Kim, Kanye wedding extravaganza arrives in Florence

2014-05-24 18:26

Florence  -Celebrity royalty Kanye West and Kim Kardashian brought their marathon wedding celebrations to Florence on Saturday after kicking off with a sumptuous private party in Versailles.

The couple and their guests flew out of the City of Light aboard private jets and arrived midday in the historic Italian city nestled in the Tuscan countryside where their wedding party will be held Saturday evening in a 16th-century fortress.

On Friday night the limelight-loving couple and their entourage were partying in Versailles.

Wearing a white gown whose deep-plunging neckline defied the laws of motion, the 33-year-old reality TV star and her 36-year-old rapper beau welcomed several hundred guests to celebrations that featured horses and riders with huge feathers in their hats, musketeers in wigs and drum rolls.

Teenagers, drawn by rumours that superstars Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Jay Z would be among the guests, hung around outside the castle, desperate for a glimpse of their idols.

West and Kardashian settled on a private party in the prestigious chateau outside of Paris after they were told they would not be able to marry there in January.

But Versailles was a mere exclusive aperitif to the huge fete planned for 1,600 guests in Florence's Fort Belvedere, built by the Medicis.

Renting out the fortress normally used for exhibitions stirred up some controversy but the city promised that most of the $490 000 paid by West and Kardashian would be used for restoration work.

The owner of a house near the venue who gave just the name Diego said he regretted "this invasion of Hollywood people" which he felt was not in keeping with "the nature of Florentines" seen in Italy as elegant and refined.

'I'm so lucky' 

After months of suspense, the festivities were gradually revealed throughout Friday according to a carefully orchestrated plan by the Kardashian clan, who became famous through reality TV and were clearly eager to make this the marriage of the year.

The marathon wedding could earn them up to $21m thanks to sponsors and through the sale of exclusive photos of the ceremony, according to press reports.

Some websites say the couple, who have a daughter, were already married in early May in a civil service in California.

According to a source in Florence city hall, the couple will be married by a Protestant minister.

Earlier on Friday, the couple lunched in the Chateau de Wideville, to the west of Paris, which is owned by iconic designer Valentino.

From early afternoon, the surrounding sleepy hamlet was abuzz as black sedans rolled into the magnificent property and journalists scrambled to catch sight of the celebrity pair.

A helicopter hovered over the chateau, whose origins go back to the 17th century, but few turned up near its imposing gates to catch a glimpse of the couple.

A source involved in the event said the couple had requested that the cars transporting their entourage be sprayed with Chanel perfume inside.

On Thursday night, Kim Kardashian celebrated her bachelorette do with her friends in Paris, sporting a white Balmain mini dress embellished with pearls.

The quilted dress was reportedly inspired by a Faberge egg that Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor received from iconic actor Richard Burton.

Kardashian has tweeted several photos of herself in the city, including one with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind her and her friends with the message: "Night out in Paireeeeee."

One showed her with her grandmother while yet another of her and her friends bore the message "I'm so lucky! I have the best friends in the whole wide world."

(Images: AFP)

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