In Depth

George Clooney wedding: five things we learned in Venice

From menus and gifts to Amal Alamuddin's dress and actor's rumoured pay-out to Michelle Pfeiffer

Hollywood stars descended on Venice this weekend for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's "celebrity wedding of the year". Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Cindy Crawford, Bill Murray and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour were among the guests pictured on the city's Grand Canal. Here are five lesser-known facts and rumours about the wedding weekend:

Lobster and figs on the menu

Clooney and Alamuddin said "I do" just after 8pm on Saturday night at the Aman Canal Grande, a seven-star hotel in the Palazzo Papadopoli. Guests were then treated to a five-course dinner by Italian chef Riccardo De Pra, according to US Weekly. The menu apparently included lobster, lemon risotto, sea bass, polenta with mushrooms and beef, while canapés included prosciutto and figs. Guests were apparently given a photograph of the couple as a wedding favour and one unnamed source close to the hotel told AFP that Clooney's hands were shaking so much after the vows that he had trouble cutting the cake.

Hotel on lockdown

Vogue has bought up the exclusive rights to cover the wedding ceremony in return for a seven-figure donation to a charity close to Clooney's heart, Darfur in Sudan, reports The Independent. As a result, the hotel was on lockdown during the ceremony to prevent photographs being leaked. TMZ claims guests were told to leave their mobile phones in their hotel rooms and were each given a pre-paid mobile and camera so they could take photos as they pleased without the risk of hackers getting hold of their pics. Special QR codes were also reportedly used by guests and staff to access rooms in the hotel.

The Dress

Alamuddin was photographed wearing a black and white striped Dolce & Gabbana dress, a red printed Alexander McQueen dress and an embroidered Giambattista Valli couture dress (pictured above) – but photos of her actual wedding gown have been kept closely under wraps. The dress was rumoured to have been created by McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who made Kate Middleton's wedding gown. However, The Sun says it was in fact designed by Oscar de la Renta, while Clooney opted for a smart Armani suit. Meanwhile, one local paper revealed that Alamuddin's bouquet had been kept on ice to stop it from wilting.

Clooney owes Michelle Pfeiffer $100k

The Washington Post suggests Clooney might have a six-figure sum to add to the wedding bill. The actor reportedly vowed never to remarry after his 1993 divorce from actress Talia Balsam and is said to have made a $100,000 bet with Michelle Pfeiffer that he would stay single. "No word on whether Pfeiffer has called him on it," adds the newspaper.

Official ceremony to take place amid protest

According to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, the nuptials will not be officially recognised by Italian law until they are registered at City Hall. The Daily Telegraph says the couple will arrive at Venice's 13th century City Hall, Ca' Farsetti, close to Rialto Bridge, today just as angry council workers stage a protest over budget and salary cuts. Protesters are even hoping that Clooney, who has been outspoken on issues such as the war and famine in Darfur, may "help publicise their grievances", says the Telegraph.

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