Petra Ecclestone, Formula One Heiress, Weds in Lavish, 5 Million Dollar Wedding

Heiress who purchased Candy Spelling's $85M mansion weds in lavish $5M affair.

ByAnna Wild and Chris Connelly
August 29, 2011, 9:27 AM

Aug. 29, 2011 -- What does it take to top the wedding extravaganzas of even a royal bride, Kate Middleton, and a royal wanna-be bride, Kim Kardashian?

Ask British heiress and socialite Petra Ecclestone, 22, whose reported $5 million wedding was held over the weekend in Italy at the same 15th century castle where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wed in 2006.

Ecclestone's wedding to businessman James Stunt had all the accoutrements of previous weddings of the century. It included a custom-made Vera Wang gown and royal attendees but also $6,500 per-bottle wine, fireworks and entertainment that ranged from Andrea Bocelli to the Black Eyed Peas.

"Petra Ecclestone's wedding topped them all," Hollywood Life reporter Chloe Melas told ABC News. "It was like Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian's wedding combined."

The three-day extravaganza took place at the Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, outside Rome. The bride arrived for the nuptials in a white Rolls Royce. She wore a $130,000 custom Vera Wang gown, which was accented by diamonds on her ears and a diamond tiara on her head.

Andrea Bocelli sang for the happy couple after they delivered their vows in an hour-long outdoor ceremony.

Then it was time to party for Ecclestone and Stunt and their 350 guests, who included a royal snubbed by William and Kate at their wedding in April, Sarah, Dutchess of York, and her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Also on hand for the nuptials were U.S. socialites Nicky and Paris Hilton, to whom the bride and her older sister, and fellow millionaire, Tamara, 27, are often compared.

Tamara tweeted photos of her and her sister prepping throughout the three-day nuptial spectacular, which Paris Hilton called "the most incredible wedding."

Guests dined to fireworks and an acrobatics show, and live performances by Eric Clapton and the Black Eyed Peas.

Ecclestone, who has a $4 billion fortune, has been called the "world's richest bride" by People magazine and is, of course, no stranger to luxury.

Her father is Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone and her mother, Slavika, is a former Armani model. She and Stunt said publicly that they'd signed a prenuptial agreement.

Ecclestone made U.S. headlines in July when she purchased Candy Spelling's 57,000-square-foot Hollywood mansion, once the most expensive home for sale in the U.S., in an all-cash deal for $85 million. "Candyland," as the Hollywood property has come to be known after its former owner, will be Ecclestone's second pad.

PHOTOS: See Ecclestone's $85 million U.S. mansion.

Ecclestone already owns one of Great Britain's most expensive homes, a Georgian mansion in Chelsea, valued at an estimated $90 million.

In an interview in July with ABC News' Nick Watt, Ecclestone didn't hesitate to drop a few hints about her upcoming wedding.

"We're getting married in Rome, and it's going to be a very private affair," Eclestone told ABC News. "As low-key as I can be. I try."

But this weekend's affair was anything but low-key.

Before the big day, guests were treated to a pre-wedding dinner, dining on caviar, spinach ravioli and lamb chops at the luxurious Villa Aurelia hotel. They sipped Cristal champagne as they watched singer Alicia Keys serenade the bride to be.

The couple's London engagement party in May included a performance by Rihanna, a performance Ecclestone told ABC News she hoped to top on the big day.

"We're trying," she told ABC News in July. "I'm not going to go into the details, because I want it to be a surprise for the guests."

But the fashion designer, who will release her own line of handbags in the U.S. this fall, is not all excess and extravagance.

Ecclestone had viral meningitis as a child, overcame the disease and now serves as an ambassador, a fundraiser, for the Meningitis Trust.

She and Stunt asked encouraged guests to donate to charity in lieu of gifts.

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