Wow. Even by California standards, this weekend’s wedding of internet billionaire Sean Parker and his singer-songwriter girlfriend, Alexandra Lenas, is on a lavish scale.
Not only has the hard-partying backer of Napster, Facebook and Spotify splashed out an arguably extravagant £7m on the event. He has also remodelled the grounds of the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur to host it, spending hundreds of thousands on such necessities as ornamental gateways, fake waterfalls, picturesque ruins and even a cottage. To top it off, there is a costume designer – Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings alumna Ngila Dickson, no less – to ensure that the 300 guests are all suitably attired.
So much for the low-key, T-shirt-and-trainers approach for which Silicon Valley is supposedly famous. So much, too, for the superior virtues of the virtual – a cause which Mr Parker (immortalised by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network) has done so much to promote.
While Mr Parker may have prevailed over local planners to bring his fantasy to life, whether he has prevailed in matters of good taste is another question. But he has, at least, given the landscape gardeners of Monterey much to celebrate.