http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/au ... y-weddings
if you were the bride!
Italian towns prepare for bling and glitter of celebrity weddings
Petra Ecclestone and Sofia Coppola to marry in lavish ceremonies in Bracciano and Bernalda this weekend
Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 August 2011 12.29 BST
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Petra Ecclestone and her father Bernie Ecclestone leave a hotel in Rome before her wedding at Castello Odescalchi castle in Bracciano. Photograph: Reuters
Brash British bling and Hollywood style will vie for attention in Italy this weekend as two back-to-back celebrity weddings bring limos, helicopters and paparazzi to tiny, picture-postcard towns.
At a 15th-century castle in lakeside Bracciano, north of Rome, the 22-year-old sometime model Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One boss Bernie, will tie the knot in a three-day celebration.
Further south, the film director Sofia Coppola will get married in Bernalda, the town from which her great-grandfather emigrated in 1904.
Residents of both Bracciano and Bernalda have been watching wide-eyed as preparations for the parties get under way but, aside from the similar sleepy surroundings, the two weddings could not be more different.
The guest list for Ecclestone's marriage to the British entrepreneur James Stunt – to be held at Odescalchi castle, where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes married in 2006 – is under wraps, but acquaintances include princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
Local residents living in the lanes around the castle, which has been sealed off for more than a week, reported that crews of British roadies were descending on the area to set up a huge firework display and a stage for performances by Eric Clapton and the Black Eyed Peas in front of 250 guests, some of whom will arrive by helicopter.
In Bernalda, which sits among the clay hills in Basilicata, Francis Ford Coppola, the father of the bride, can often be seen sipping a Campari soda at the bar outside the old palazzo he is restoring.
The Apocalypse Now and Godfather trilogy director has long frequented Bernalda, whence his grandfather, Agostino, emigrated and where his 40-year-old daughter will marry the French musician Thomas Mars, with whom she has two children.
The actors Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman, both cousins of the bride, are rumoured to be among the 70 guests who will sit down for a meal in the garden of Coppola's property after the ceremony. They will be catered for by a small restaurant, the Vecchio Frantoio, which occupies the palazzo's ground floor.
The father of the bride has ordered half a lamb's head for each guest – which may prompt puzzled looks and Godfather gags from guests – alongside small parcels of liver and calf's lung, washed down with the local Aglianico red, a restaurant staff member told the Guardian.
A local schoolteacher, who has been watching the build-up to the wedding, which will reportedly involve scenes from the Coppolas' films being projected on to houses in the town, said: "People here are excited about the wedding, since we usually see these things on TV. But Coppola is a regular here, he comes in to chat in the bars and is well liked."
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