Click here to send this news item to a friend For much of her life Christina Onassis' daughter Athina Roussel has lived quietly, intent on avoiding the controversy surrounding her family name. But this weekend her wedding to Brazilian showjumper Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto, nicknamed Doda, was marked by lavish celebrations.

Walking down the aisle in a pearl, lace and satin creation by Valentino, the 20-year-old Greek shipping heiress was watched by some 700 invitees. Guests then quaffed 1,000 bottles of vintage champagne in the grandeur of the Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano Foundation.

Curiously, her father Thierry Roussel and his Swedish wife Gaby Landhage - the stepmother who brought Athina up - were absent from the ceremony in Sao Paulo's exclusive Morumbi district. Thierry is said to have reservations about his daughter's choice of partner.

The couple have been dating for three years since meeting at a Belgian riding school.

Doda, who at 32 is 11 years Athina's senior, moved early on to dispel gossip about his intentions. "Apart from Bill Gates, any man who shows an interest in Athina could be accused of being only after her money," he said.

The happy couple asked friends to dispense with presents in favour of giving donations to an orphanage. "There is a much better place for their money," said Doda. "Besides which, it's so much classier than a toaster or a set of fish knives."

In another sign that the 20-year-old bride is determined to free herself from the past, from now on she will drop the name Onassis and be known as Athina de Miranda.

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The 20-year-old Greek shipping heiress tied the knot with Doda in a dress by fashion maestro Valentino. Her father Thierry Roussel did not attend the celebrations in an upmarket district of Sao PauloPhoto: © ReutersClick on photos for gallery
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Athina, who has been dating the Brazilian rider for three years, will become stepmother to Viviane, his five-year-old daughter from a previous marriagePhoto: © Getty Images