Victoria and David Beckham Wedding

The wedding of the decade

It was the wedding the whole world had been waiting to see. The day when the most stylish pop star of the Nineties and Britain’s hottest footballer became husband and wife. Never before had the public’s interest in a celebrity couple been so insatiable. Whether they were on holiday or at an opening for a new designer shop, Victoria Adams and David Beckham could never escape being photographed.

victoria beckham face photo
Photo by friskytuna

Described by many as the ultimate love match, they have defied the cynics who said that their romance would not last. From the moment David set eyes on Victoria while watching a Spice Girls video on television with his Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, whom he later chose to be his best man, he was determined to meet her. Little did he know that his favourite Spice Girl also had her eye on him. When she finally met him at s Manchester United game, they instantly clicked. In the bar after the match, Victoria summoned up the courage to walk over to him and start talking. Although David was extremely nervous, he knew that their meeting would lead to something more serious. There was an immediate physical attraction between them, but they waited until they had been on four dates together before their first kiss. Within weeks, they knew that this was no casual affair, but a deep and lasting love. And on July 4, the couple made the ultimate commitment by becoming husband and wife at the spectacular venue of Luttrellstown Castle in the Irish Republic. The wedding was organised by the London-based company Bentley’s Entertainments which is owned by Lord Snowdon’s half-brother Peregrine Armstrong-Jones. The firm was also responsible for Elton John’s lavish 40th birthday bash, Princess Anne’s 40th at Gatcombe Park and the 21st birthday celebrations for Peter Phillips at Windsor Castle last year. ‘Victoria and David had a huge input right from the beginning,’ said Peregrine. ‘The wedding has been 14-and-a-half months in the planning, during which time the couple have been all over the world. Wherever they were, I would get samples, fabrics and plans to them, and Victoria would often ring me five times a day with ideas and questions.’

One of the first priorities was to find a suitable venue for the wedding, and Peregrine with Victoria’s parents Jackie and Tony Adams scoured the British Isles and Europe over a 3-and-a-half month period looking for the perfect setting. In the end, the couple settled on Luttrellstown Castle, an elegant 14-bedroom house near Dublin, which dates from 1794. Set in a 560-acre estate with its own golf course, the castle is mainly the work of Henry Luttrell, the second earl of Carhampton, and more recently was home to Aileen Plunkett, daughter of Arthur Guinness of the famous Irish brewing family, who lived there until 1984. The castle estate, which is surrounded by a high stone wall, offers celebrities the chance to get away from it all – last year Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman hired the entire castle for a weekend. ‘Victoria wanted somewhere really private and unique, somewhere green and leafy, deep in the country site,’ said Peregrine. ‘Architecturally speaking, she didn’t want anywhere too stuffy and she felt the castle had clean lines and grand proportions without being too imposing.’ The couple decided on a ‘Robin Hood’ theme for the wedding, using plenty of greenery, twigs, apples and meters of fabric, with three main colours predominating: burgundy, dark green and cardinal purple. As every bride knows, the floral arrangements for a wedding requires much thought and meticulous preparation as everything else. For her wedding, Victoria hired the services of two of the most respected florists in the business – Simon Lycett, who made his name doing the flowers for the hit British film Four Weddings And A Funeral and John Plested, who was responsible for the floral arrangements at the party to celebrate the Queen’s ruby wedding. Simon first had a meeting with Victoria and David in January, and worked closely with the couple to achieve exactly what they wanted. ‘When I left, Victoria gave me a great big hug and told me to ring her if there was anything I wanted to discuss. They have both been very hands-on throughout the preparations leading up to their wedding day.’ The events of David and Victoria’s wedding day began to unfold around 3pm on the afternoon of July 4 as close family members gathered in the entrance hall of the castle. Most of the bride and groom’s immediate family had been staying at the castle for the previous few days and had witnessed the transformation of the interior as carpets were meticulously brushed and huge floral arrangements were created in the major rooms. Fresh apples had been sewn into an ivy arrangement along the banisters of the master staircase and painstakingly pierced to release their scent through the rooms. And a beautiful, leafy walkway was created stretching from the French windows of the library across the finely manicured lawns in front of the castle to a huge marquee where the reception and dancing would be held.

As the family members began to gather, they reflected on a wedding day which has been at least a year in preparation. ‘I still can’t believe it,’ said Sandra Beckham, David’s mother, who was dressed in a beautiful white suit by Frank Usher. ‘All the things we’ve talked about for months are actually here.’ Her husband, Ted, David’s Dad, said he had never imagined his son’s wedding day would be this spectacular. ‘It’s just something special – a fairy tale,’ said the dad who had supported every step of his son’s football career and seen him reach the heights of glory with Manchester United and England. ‘Victoria’s an absolutely lovely girl and I feel very, very proud of the pair of them.’ He added that he also felt proud that Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton was attending the wedding with his wife Lady Norma Charlton. ‘He was my absolute hero when I was a youngster,’ said Ted, ‘ and my favourite moment was when I finally got to meet him, alongside David. He was everything I’d imagined he would be – and a bit more.’ Victoria’s father, Tony, standing in his morning suit and cradling a top hat, admitted that he final few hours leading up to the wedding had made him very tearful. ‘When I went into the marquee with Victoria earlier, the orchestra was rehearsing Goodbye (a special version of the Spice Girls’ Christmas hit) and I got so emotional that we had to have a little bit of a cuddle,’ he said. ‘ In fact I got so emotional that I had to take bike out and cycle around the golf course to get over it!’ I didn’t think I would ever be emotional. I can be as hard as nails at times, but today – I mean this whole thing has been on the drawing board for so long and to see it coming together so beautifully i very, very moving.’ At 3.25pm, the three bridesmaids – Victoria’s sister Louise, 22, Louise’s 13-month-old daughter Liberty, plus David’s nice Georgina, 16 months – made their first appearance. the two little girls were dressed as woodland flower fairies in outfits made by theatrical costumiers Angels & Bermans, who worked closely with Victoria on the design, Attached to the back of their cream-colored dresses were little gossamer wings, while wreaths of fake ivy were entwined around their wrists and ankles. On their heads they wore coronets decorated with ivy and twigs. Louise wore a dress by Chloe, the design house headed by Stella McCartney, which consisted of a fitted cream corset, laced at the back and decorated with copper and gold lowers and diamonds, with a long cream skirt, cut on the bias. All three bridesmaids had been presented with Tiffany diamond necklaces, as a wedding gift from David and Victoria. Best man Gary Neville received a specially engraved Cartier watch, while usher Christian Adams, Victoria’s brother received a gold and silver Rolex watch. Shortly afterwards the other Spice Girls – Emma Bunton, Mel C and Mel G plus husband Jimmy Gulzar and baby Phoenix Chi – arrived, Phoenix in a trendy, olive green canvas buggy. The girls completed the list of 29 guests who had been invited to attend the ceremony at the ivy-covered folly ‘chapel’. As soon as they arrived, a fleet of Mercedes cars was brought up to the main entrance of the castle – also decked in flower and apple arrangements – to take these guest on the five-minute drive through the castle woodlands and down to the folly. Male guests had been asked to wear morning suits with black jackets and gray trousers, while female guests wore black, white, or a combination of both. Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton wore an all-white ensemble of miniskirt, waistcoat, long morning coat and homberg hat, all by Copperwheat Blundell, and high-heeled sandals by Gina. Sporty Spice Melanie Chisholm was also in white – trousers and a white sleeveless top by Daryl K and trainers. Scary Spice Melanie Gulzar wore a floor-length, black dress with spaghetti straps.

The wedding ceremony itself was held in the tiny folly chapel, perched above a stream some 500 meters from the main castle. It’s the first time a wedding has ever been performed at this location. ‘The folly was a ruin and very cave-like when we found it, but Victoria loved the look of it,’ says Peregrine. ‘We had to do a lot of work to get it ready for the day – we had to bring builders in, put up scaffolding, lay a new floor and install power.’ The Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Paul Colton, was in charge of the important task of officiating the ceremony. When Victoria chose the wedding to be at Luttrellstown Castle, the bishop was the rector of the parish. He has only been a bishop for three months, and was only 38 years old when he was appointed. Contrary to media speculation, the couple were allowed to marry in Ireland because they were issued a special license by the Archbishop of Dublin. The Right Reverend Paul Colton first met the couple late last year, and they requested that he treat them like any other couple who are preparing for marriage. ‘I don’t see the ceremony as the marriage between to celebrities, but of a couple who are very much in love. The have had the same preparation and consultations as any other couple I have ever married,’ said the bishop. After the ceremony, the bishop spoke about the emotion of the event. ‘It was very special and Victoria and David acted exactly how I knew them to be from our previous meetings together. Although much preparation has gone into making their wedding as special as possible, I told them what really matters is what is in their hearts. In my eyes, every couple is a celebrity on their wedding day.’ And seeing Victoria and David on the day it was clear to all of the guests who were lucky enough to be there that the couple were totally in touch with their innermost feelings. As they waited for the cars – and the eventual, first dramatic appearance of Victoria herself – guests watched little Liberty gleefully rolling around on the top steps of the castle entrance in her fairy costume. ‘Dont’ do that, Liberty,’ said Victoria’s mum Jackie, ‘ you’ll flatten your wings!’ In keeping with tradition, the groom arrived first, driving a silver convertible Bentley Azure, worth ?230,000, and accompanied by his best man. At 4.05pm, five minutes after the wedding ceremony was scheduled to begin, Victoria swept into the castle’s entrance hall in her stunning Vera Wang wedding dress. As stylist Kenny Ho made the last few adjustments to her train, her smile was one of absolute, unadulterated happiness – the day and the moment for which she had waited so long were finally at hand. Once the purple carpet stretching down the castlesteps had been given one last brush and her silver Bentley Arnage was maneuvered into position, the imposing white doors of the castle were hauled open and Victoria stepped out into the sunshine and down into the waiting car. Kenny Ho helped her fold her train carefully into back seat beside her and the car slid away, bound for the folly chapel. In the months leading up to the wedding, everyone from fashion designers to newspaper columnists had been speculating about the style of Victoria’s dress. However, nobody could have predicted how the most stylish of the Spice Girls would look on her special day. ‘A lot of people were expecting me to have a tight little number with a great big split up the side, but I wanted to look quite virginal on my wedding day,’ said Victoria. The exquisitely simple champagne-coloured wedding dress, by American designer Vera Wang, literally took everyone’s breath away. ‘It is very Scarlett O’Hara,’ said Victoria, speaking the day before her wedding.
Underneath the full A-line skirt, she wore a petticoat made from 50 metres of tulle which had been suffened with horse hair. It was made of Clerici Duchess satin – the finest Italian satin in the world – and had a fitted, strapless bodice with a zip at the back, reminiscent of a traditional Victorian corset. The intricacy of the design was truly spectacular. Underneath it, she wore a tightly fitted corset, by English corsetiere Mr Pearl, who has been used by Lacroix, Mugler and many of the big couture houses in Paris. Vera wang, who has designed wedding dresses for such international star names as Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman and Mariah Carey, had obviously worked long and hard to achieve the stunning outcome. She had even gone as far as to have an Italian mill dye the dress to make sure that its colour fitted Victoria’s exacting specifications. Although many people expected Victoria to opt for a British designer, she chose Vera Wang, not only because of her reputation, but because of the warmth of her personality. Despite being a fan of Vera’s work for a long time, it was not until she was on tour with the Spice Girls in the US that Victoria began to realise what a design genius she is. The idea of the ‘crumb catcher’ – a fold detail at the top of the dress’s bodice – first came into Victoria’ head when she went with her stylist Kenny Ho into Vera Wang’s shop in New York. From that moment on, she knew that she wanted to incorporate it into her gown. The overall look of Victoria’s wedding dress was one of understated elegance with a modern twist. What made it even more special is that Victoria is the first British celebrity to have a Vera Wang couture bridal gown, something that she will remember for years to come. ‘It was a fairy princess dress, the shape of the gown drew attention to her small waist,’ explains Laura O’Brien, director of public relations and advertising for Vera Wang. ‘Vera only makes six to ten couture wedding dresses a year, and has six to eight people working on each one. Victoria’s own dress took two preliminary consultations, six fittings in New York and London, and 15 months to make.’ For her wedding shoes, Victoria wore cream, high-heeled satin sandals with a ten-centimeter heel. The shoe was a prototype for Vera Wang’s new autumn collection. As every bride knows, it is not only the dress that is important, but the accessories. On her head, Victoria wore a beautiful diamond and gold coronet by Slim Barrett, a jeweler who made pieces for the late Princess of Wales, while around her neck was a spectacular diamond crucifix that David bought her for Christmas last year. ‘I’ve never actually worn – I’ve been saving it for the wedding,’ said Victoria, who chose the cross as the ‘something old’ the bride usually wears. As well as something old, it is also traditional for a bride to wear things new, borrowed, and blue. Pinned inside Victoria’s dress was a brooch that her mother and grandmother before her had worn inside their own bridal gowns – this was the traditional ‘something borrowed’. The ‘something new’ was a series of little antique blue taffeta bows sewn inside her dress. For their wedding jewellery, David and Victoria wore rings designed and made by Asprey and Garrard’s jewellery craftsmen in their workshops in Bond Street, London. Victoria’s ring features a stunning Marquise-cut diamond, supported on each side by three grain-set baguette diamonds and set in 18-carat yellow gold. Each side of the shank of the ring is set in six diamonds, with the total diamond weight adding up to 5.82 carats. David’s ring is a full eternity ring, set with 24 baguette diamonds, with 24 smaller diamonds set on one side of the shank, in 18-carat yellow gold, adding up to a total diamond weight of 7.44 carats. As a wedding gift, David gave Victoria a pair of Asprey and Garrard emerald-cut diamond earrings set in 18-carat yellow gold, to match her wedding ring. He also gave her an 18-carat yellow gold waist chain featuring and Asprey and Garrard worldwide exclusive 0.53-carat Eternal Cut diamond on one end. For David’s gift, Victoria selected a beautiful Brequet steel wristwatch, also from Asprey and Garrard. As for Victoria’s bouquet, there was another surprise in store for her assembled guests. She decided against a traditional bridal bouquet and opted instead for a natural selection of green berries, twigs, blackberries, and brambles. Although all eyes at the ceremony were obviously directed towards the bride, David made sure that he looked qually stylish. In a cream suit by English designer Timothy Everett, who also dresses Tom Cruise, David perfectly complemented the simplicity of Victoria’s wedding gown. The look of his suit was one of understated sophistication: his knee-length cream jacket over cream trousers, together with a gold and cream waistcoat, cream shirt and cravat, cream top hat and cream shoes by Manalo Blahnik, all finished his outfit off to perfection. He also wore a dazzling diamond bracelet that Victoria had bought him especially from Cartier last year. David’s best man, Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, stood by the groom’s side, waiting patiently for Victoria’s entrance. His frock coat, and the jackets, waistcoats and ties worn by the Manchester United team attending the wedding, were supplied and fitted by Moss Bros in Manchester and Kenny Ho, Victoria’s stylist. As Victoria arrived at the folly chapel, she was greeted with a trumpet fanfare by pageanters positioned on the roof dressed in traditional Irish costume. The stone steps up to the folly chapel had been garlanded in ivy, woven with woodland flowers and ferns, forming a magical leafy tunnel up to the main door. Inside the tiny folly chapel, a string quartet – The Festive Ensemble – had been entertaining the guests with classical pieces including Serenade by Schubert, Intermezzo Sinfonico from Cavelleria Rusticana, by Mascagni and Dvorak’s Humoreske. But at 4.32pm they launched into the melody everyone had been waiting for – Bridal Song from Lohengrin by Wagner – as Victoria was escorted into the folly on the arm of her proud but clearly tearful father, Tony. At the altar, David – cradling the sleeping Brooklyn in his arms – smiled in wonder and sheer delight as he saw Victoria for the very first time in her beautiful dress. Baby Brooklyn, who was as important a part of the day as his mother and father, was dressed in cream-coloured combat trousers, little cream boots, and a cream shirt with his name embroidered on the back. A cream cowboy hat completed the striking and elegant Antonio Beradi-designed ensemble. The interior of the folly chapel, its walls and ceiling covered in ivy and twinkling with tiny white lights, was packed with the couple’s closest family and friends, including the three other Spice Girls, Mel B, Emma Bunton and Mel C. The orchestra – a concert harp, violin, flute and cello player – were set up at the back of the room. At the ceremony began the background sounds were of the stream tumbling over rocks below and under the folly itself and the distant thud, thud of press helicopters hovering overhead. The Right Reverend Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, introduced proceedings by underlining David and Victoria’s commitment to having a traditional Christian marriage service. ‘They have chosen to be married according to the rites of the Church of Ireland,’ he said, ‘and we are their supporters.’ At the altar, David and Victoria exchanged glances and smiles. The reading, delivered by Reverend Lynda Peilow, the curate of the local parish in Clonsilla, was from John 1. 9-12: ‘As the father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.’ As the words were read, David leaned across and tenderly placed a kiss on Victoria’s right shoulder.

After a short musical interlude, Tchaikovsky’s Song Without Words, the Right Reverend Colton began his address to the assembled guests and the beautiful bride and groom. He started by repeating their names: ‘David and Victoria, Victoria and David – the marriage doesn’t give us a way of putting those names in order – but through your whole married life you put each other first.’ He said that everything about the service, every sight and sound, was beautiful, ‘apart from that particualr noise,’ he added, referring to the sound of the helicopters from the press flying overhead to get a better view. ‘But why do we do this?’ he continued. ‘Why do we make everything so beautiful? It’s simply because words fail us at a time like this. So we do all these beautiful things because they say better than words can: “thank you” and “I love you”. There is a lot of interest in this marriage, and we are all excited to be here. But what matters is what is in David’s heart and what is in Victoria’s.’ He then went on to warn against empty infutuation by quoting and old Irish country priest – ‘the eyes that over cocktails seem so very sweet, may not seem so amorous over Shredded Wheat’ – which brought a smile to Victoria’s already glowing face. He then outlined his ‘three directions’ for a successful marriage: good communication, caring for other people and ‘finding a place for spirituality and for God in your lives’. Before the marriage service commenced properly, the Right Reverend Colton requested that the bride and groom stand, and face the congregation. The banns were called – ‘If anyone knows any cause or just impediment why these two should not be joined together’ – and he placed the couple’s hands together before beginning the marriage vows. At 4.49pm David Robert Joseph Beckham and Victoria Caroline Adams were officially declared husband and wife. There was a whoop from one of the congregation and then the handclaps and cheers from the rest of the guests. Vitoria and David, who had waited more than 14 months for that moments, laughed, smiled warmly and then kissed, still clutching each other’s hands. David and Victoria then kneeled down at the altar and the prayers were said, ‘Almighty God, giver of life and love; bless Victoria and David whom you have now joined in marriage. Grant them wisdom and devotion in their life together, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a comfort in sorrow and a companion in joy.’ At just before 5pm, the orchestra struck up Mendelssohn’s Wedding March and the couple walked back up the aisle together. When the guests started to arrive for the reception at Luttrellstown Castle, they walked up an impressive staircase which was covered with a rich purple carpet, perfectly complementing the colour scheme the couple had chosen for their wedding. Once inside, they could not help but marvel at the elegant surroundings of the wedding venue chosen by the couple. They were greeted by a 15-feet tall column bursting with a floral arrangement of red roses, purple flowers, and a plethora of greenery. As the remainder of the 226 guests arrived at the castle they were greeted by pageanters in Irish costume, playing a fanfare on the castle battlements, while six foot silk flames shot out of the turrets. A rich purple flag, decorated with David and Victoria’s specially designed crest, which also featured on the wedding invitations, blew in the breeze atop the castle. Meanwhile, inside, a pianist helped create the elegant atmosphere while the Spice Girls, Victoria and David’s family, and the rest of the assembled guests sipped on Laurent Perrier pink champagne, elderflower cordial with raspberries, and Sicilian red orange juice. They also nibbled on canap?s by Jalapeno, the company co-owned by Charles Howard, and chef Jason Reynolds. Among the delicious selection were Asian chicken skewers served with an orange dipping sauce, miniature leek and cheese tartlets topped with tomato and red onion salsa, baby potatoes with cream horseradish sauce with chilli-marinated beef and fresh rocket leaves, flaked lobster and salmon on a baby French croute with cavia, grilled basil chicken with a rich purple plum chutney, and tuna ni?oise with a tasty basil dressing. Everyone at the reception was unanimous in thinking that the ceremony was romantic, beautiful and a dream come true for the happy couple. ‘It was very lovely,’ said Victoria’s younger sister Louise. ‘I think everybody there was in tears,’ said David’s sister Joanne, echoing Louise’s sentiments. ‘It was so emotional. All of us were in tears, including Victoria and David.’ At 6.45, Victoria and David made their spectacular entrance down the 18th-century staircase, adorned with flowers and apples, while a pianist played the theme tune of Beauty And The Beast. The couple love listening to Disney soundtracks and this was one of their favourite songs. ‘No doubt people will be wondering which one of us is Beauty and which one is the Beast,’ laughed Victoria, speaking to OK! the day before her wedding. Then they made their way to the reception marquee, which was attached to the castle by a 250-foot-long walkway which resembled an oasis of greenery. Simon Lycett had decorated it in a swathe of birch trees, and used Irish reeds which had been woven into mats to make a thatched covering. Lights were entwined into it, with Irish ferns, and ivy finishing off the decorations to beautiful effect. Once inside the marquee, the guests could not help marvelling at the wonderful sight that greeted their eyes. Carpeted in sumptuous deep red, with the walls lined with a pleated ivory taffeta lining, the marquee was more than fitting for the most famous celebrity couple in the world. The spectacular flower arrangements were in three colours: burgundy, green and purple, which created a suitable regal effect. The tables themselves were covered in dark green velvet, and overlaid with cream-coloured Irish calico, trimmed with purple velvet. ‘It was a Robin Hood look meets Conran forest,’ said Simon Lycett. ‘Between us all, we discussed every detail possible. One of Victoria’s own ideas was to cove a wall with birch trees, and different foliages to make it look like the waiters were coming out of a forest. This was in keeping with the natural look that David and Victoria wanted to achieve.’ Equally as impressive were the fantastic table decorations that consisted of apples, greenery, and candles to create a very organic effect. The lighting was also made to fit in with the back-to-nature-style decor. There were many moss-coloured candles, and two huge candeliers, dressed with greenery, apples, and fitted with tiny twinkling lights. The added touches included ten-foot-high Georgian-style glass windows, draped with cream-coloured voiles, built into the marquee, which overlooked the castle and its flood-lit grounds. Nobody could take their eyes off the main attraction inside the marquee: the bride and groom, who were seated in their own private ‘bridal alcove’, lined with luxuriant Irish green crushed velvet. The other main attraction was the couple’s son, Brooklyn, who was not to be outdone by his parents. He was placed in his favourite swinging chair which had been decorated for the occasion in burgundy velvet with gold ribbons. The magnificent dinner was suitably lavish for the grandeur of the occasion. Some months before the wedding, Victoria and David had personally conducted a taste test of dozens of different dishes to decide what they wanted to iclude on their wedding menu – the couple had specifically requested food that was uncomplicated and easy to eat, rather than what Victoria calls ‘fiddled with’ food. The winning menu consisted of a delicious roasted red pepper and tomato soup served in hollowed out pumpkin halves instead of plates. This was followed by free-range corn-fed chicken with English asparagus, roast potatoes, a French bean and sugar snap pea medley, and a hurb jus. For the vegetarian guests, chef Jason Reynolds made sure that they were catered for to the same high standards as the rest of the diners. They were served Irish Brie with sage, which was deep fried and served with cranberry sauce. For dessert, Victoria and David had chosen two different puddings for the different tastes of the gentlemen and ladies present. The men were treated to David’s favourite – sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch – and the women were given summer berry terrine with summer fruits in brandy snap basket with raspberry caulis. As the guests enjoyed the delicious meal, an 18-piece string orchestra seated on a ten-foot tall mezzanine draped in white voile played a selection of Spice Girls hits, including Say You’ll Be There and Mama as well as classic melodies such as Cheeck To Cheek and Night And Day. At just before 10.30pm, the master of ceremonies rose and announced the cutting of the cake, a lavish three-tier creation by Rachel Mount, featuring one tier of traditional fruit cake, one tier of vanilla sponge and one of carrot cake. In the continuation of the Robin Hood theme, the entire cake was smothered in green and purple leaves, made of icing, while the supporting pillars for each tier were made of red apples. Sitting on the very top was a fondant sculpture of a naked David, Victoria and Brooklyn. the couple cut the cake using a silver Wilkinson sword, which had been made especially for them as a gift from Brooklyn and which had been engraved with the couple’s special crest and an inscription from their son. The cutting of the cake was followed by the speeches. Victoria’s father Tony started the proceedings. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, many people would like to be here today, but it is you that David and Victoria have chosen. It is with great pride that I speak to you for a few moments about our bride and groom. Obviously, it is very difficult for me to find anything that hasn’t already been written by the News Of The World, The Sun, The Daily Mirror… need I go on?’ He said that Victoria, the eldest of his three children, had never been any trouble. ‘She started dance classes at the age of three and was soon rushing home from school to change from her uniform into a leotard to kick her legs about – little did she know that only a few miles away there was a little boy changing from his uniform into shorts to kick a ball around. ‘They continued with enthusiasm and at 16 both left home to continue their training. Victoria went to dance college in Epsom and we all know where David went. As it happened, they both did quite well!’ Tony went on to tell the story of how David had seen a member of an all-girl group on television and had said: ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry.’ ‘Unfortunately,’ joked Tony, ‘he was talking about Louise from Eternal, and Jamie Redknapp got there first!’ Tony also told how David had found out which clubs Victoria went to in London and traveled down there hoping to meet her – and how the pair had finally got together after Victoria and Melanie Chisholm went to Old Trafford, ‘where their eyes met across a crowded players’ lounge,’ recalled Tony. ‘The rest is, as they say, history.’ Paying tribute to the couple, Tony said: ‘This afternoon I have given David someone who is very precious to me, but I know he will look after her, as he always does, with the utmost love and affection. We know we couldn’t wish for a better son-in-law.’ He finished by asking guests to be upstanding and to join his wife Jackie and himself in wishing ‘our bride and groom a life of love and happiness – to the rest of the world they are Posh and Becks, but to us they are David and Victoria.’ It was then the turn of the groom himself to make a speech and there was applause as David took the microphone. ‘Thank you, Tony, for that speech – that means more to us than you’ll ever know. My wife and I,’ he began, using a phrase which brought a huge cheer from the guests, ‘would like to thank you for coming. I’m sure you’ll all agree that the bridesmaids looked absolutely beautiful and stunning and I’d like to say that our mums have scrubbed up very well today too! No seriously, they look stunning.’

David went on: ‘What can I say? My mother and father-in-law have loved and supported me and been there for me and obviously that means the world to me. Jackie and Tony have given me something very precious to them. I will love and look after Victoria and treat her like princess – which she always wants to be treated like.’ He then turned to Victoria’s brother and said: ‘Christian, I’ve always wanted a brother and that’s how I feel about you. And I feel just as close to Louise. I’d also like to thank my mum and dad who have brought me up from a young age – obviously! – and my sisters, who have been there from day one – obviously! Also, my nan and granddad who, in a few weeks, will be celebrating their 50th anniversary – I love you!’ There was also a tribute to David’s best man, Gary Neville. ‘If Gary Neville’s performances have been a bit shaky in the last few months, now you know why,’ said David. ‘He’s been disappearing off to the toilet, wiping his brow and looking very worried. But Gary has always been there for me when I’ve needed him – especially when Victoria was away, and I needed someone to talk to. I’d like to say that I really love you Gary, and you’ll notice that we kiss a lot on the pitch!’ David finished with some heartfelt words for his new wife and to his son Brooklyn. This has been a massive year for us but she couldn’t have given me a better present than the one she presented me with four months ago. I think love is a very strong word and all my love goes to Victoria and Brooklyn. Victoria wakes up every day and seems to get more beautiful every time I see her. I know that a lot of people say that we’ve done it the wrong way round – had Brooklyn and then got married -but if you’ve got love, nothing else matters.’ Finally, came the aforementioned best man, Gary Neville. As David retook his seat next to Victoria, Gary quipped: ‘He speaks well, that Julian Clary, doesn’t he?’ He went on to thank he staff at the castle and at the marquee, the Bishop of Cork, Right Reverend Paul Colton, Peregrine and Pippa, who helped organise the wedding, and David and Victoria’s ‘active role’ in the whole thing. Gary then apologised to the Spice Girls saying that they were very keen to have Bayern Munich – the team Manchester United beat to win the European Cup in May – at the ceremony. ‘They said they wanted to meet any man that could stay on top for 90 minutes and still come second!’ laughed Gary. The jokes kept coming when Gary said that he would read out some of the telegrams from guests who could not make the ceremony. ‘The first is from Diego Simeone,’ he said – and held up a red card! (Simeone is the Argentinian footballer who was involved in the incident which led to David being sent off while playing for England in the World Cup last year.) Gary then read out a telegram of congratulation from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was attending another wedding that day. ‘Dear David and Victoria, sorry we cannot be there to share your special day, but I take this opportunity of wishing you both every happiness as you start out on married life.’ There were futher telegrams from one of the Manchester United supporters’ club, from former Manchester United assistant manager Brian Kidd and finally, much to the guests’ amusement, a not entirely believable message from ‘Prada, Gucci, Tiffany, British Telecom and Ferrari – best wishes and thanks for your support!’ Gary then went on to talk bout his friendship with David, which began when they were both in their early teens and has flourished despite the fact that they possess very different characters. ‘David’s outgoing and bubbly – I’m a bit of a moaning, miserable sod,’ said Gary. He added: ‘People are always asking me why I always kiss David Beckham. My answer is that I’d usually do much more than that to a six-foot blonde in shorts with legs up to the armpits!’ He gave his own insight version of how David and Victoria had met and said that David had been ‘absolutely besotted’ with her from the moment they met. ‘He would come into training every day like a little schoolboy – you’d go a long way to find two people more in love’ Gary finished by turning his gaze to Victoria and telling her she looked ‘absolutely beautiful’. He then added: ‘Brooklyn and Victoria have made David the happiest person in the world and that, in turn, has made me happy and everyone else here in the room. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the evening and drink away!’ After the meal, the guests were given coffee and petit fours which included orange zest coated in dark chocolate, nougat dipped in chocolate and a hazelnut praline log. The wine served was C?tes du Rhone red and an Australian Chardonnay. Then the bride and groom led their guests through to a second marquee, which was decorated in sumptuous Moroccan style with luxuriant purple and gold drapes and huge gold statues bearing towering floral arrangements. The sunken dance floor was painted in a black and white chequerboard design and surrounded by comfy chaise lounges and huge velvet and leopard print cushions, with low-level tables topped with silver dishes of sweet bonbons. At that point, the bride and groom slipped away to change into their evening attire, designed by their friend Antonio Beradi. Victoria wore what she described as a ‘Jessica Rabbit’ dress – a slim-fitting, strapless fishtailed gown of purple stretch satin, with a thigh-length split and bright-red lining, which matched her red nail polish. A wreath of hand-made silk flowers, dusted with tiny crystals that twinkled like dew drops when the light caught them, trailed over one shoulder. Strappy silver sandals by Manolo Blahnik completed the outfit. David, his hair now in a quiff, wore a matching purple Saturday Night Fever suit, which consisted of a double-breasted jacket with a red lining and matching purple wing-collared shirt and waistcoat. The trousers, fitted at the hip and slightly flared at the ankle, were teamed with purple suede Manolo Blahnik shoes. Brooklyn too, had been changed into a purple outfit to match his parents – a different coloured version of the Antonio Beradi ensemble he had been sporting earlier in the day.

David and Victoria first met Antonio Beradi last year when they attended his fashion show in London. ‘Afterwards, we were asked if we would like to meet him,’ says Victoria. ‘We thought to ourselves, “He must be really busy, he won’t want to meet us,” but we decided to pop backstage quickly just to say, “Hi, the show was great and the clothes were wicked.”‘ The pop beauty continues: ‘When he saw us, he said, “I can’t believe you two have come to my show!” He was so sweet – in fact, I’d say he was one of the nicest people we’ve ever met.’ Then it was time to dance the night away to a mixture of Sixties and Seventies music, sprinkled with salsa, from DJ Hugo Fuller, who alternated with a live soul band formed especially for the occasion by the Spice Girls’ musical director, David Laudant. At two o’clock, guests gathered on a huge balcony built on to one side of the marquee and decorated entirely in black, save for a drinks bar covered in zebra skin, and dominated by a huge Egyptian-style cat sculpture. From here they were able to watch the evening’s spectacular finale – a four-and-a-half-minute firework display. And when the last dazzling firework had lit up the black sky, the privileged guests went to their beds, safe in the knowledge that they had witnessed the celebrity wedding of the decade In an intimate conversation with OK!, Victoria and David spoke about their intense love for one another, their joy at starting a family together, and the planning behind their fairy tale wedding…

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