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In what is described as one of the most elite weddings of the year, Folorunsho Alakija, world’s richest black woman celebrated her son, Folarin Alakija’s marriage with Iranian beauty Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar in an extravagant ceremony at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
The fairy tale ceremony conducted over the weekend is estimated to have cost about £5m, (equivalent to N2billion) which is no surprise as Folorunsho Alakija – a business tycoon has an estimated net worth over $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.
The groom, Folarin is reportedly a father-of-one, an entrepreneur, investor and a cinematographer who lost his first wife Chena to cancer. His new bride, Nazanin studied Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manchester.
The couple were engaged in 2016 and had a flamboyant traditional Nigerian wedding in Lagos in November the same year. Their wedding venue, the Blenheim Palace is known as frequently used as a film location. It has been seen in Hollywood blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rogue Nation, Cinderella and the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Knight.
Known as the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, the cost of hiring the whole Woodstock wedding venue is allegedly only on application and to rent just the palace and staterooms costs £33,000 (N15 million). Other reports alleged the venue was rented out exclusively at a cost of £150,000 (N71m) and decorated with a million white roses – as can be seen in the pictures.
Guests at the party were elite individuals – including the richest black man in African Aliko Dangote, who were treated to an elaborate and expensive five-course menu that included crispy duck egg, guinea fowl, foie gras, ‘slow braised feather blade of Oxfordshire beef – no alcohol was served.
Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik was also present at the ceremony as she shared few pictures of the wedding on her IG page captioned:
“Congratulations to now Mr and Mrs Alakija. It was an honour to witness your union as husband and wife.”
The marble floor of the venue was also engraved in golden initials of the couple and allegedly cost £200,000 (N95m). The beautiful flower decor -roses and orchid were courtesy of Jeff Leatham, who is known for his elaborate decoration of the Kardashian homes. Leatham has also worked with other American celebrities such as Madonna, Oprah, Tina Turner. He’s equally the man behind the flowers at Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s wedding.
But with a wealthy woman like Folorunsho Alakija ready to chip in some few millions and few connections, it won’t be a problem getting top wedding planners for her son’s wedding at any cost money can solve.
Guests at the wedding – some of who came all the way from Nigeria, were treated to a surprise performance from Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke, who reportedly costs around £150,000 (N68.2million) to hire.
Another eye-catcher is the wedding cake standing at 12-feet tall and comprising eight tiers adorned with flowers and assumably cost about £2,400 (N1.1million).
A magnificent firework display in the hotel grounds later in the evening brought the grand ceremony to a glorious end as guests watched in awe.