3 MARCH 2007

Elizabeth Hurley has wed Indian businessman Arun Nayar in private on Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday's lavish celebrations. The couple, who began dating in 2003, secretly tied the knot in an intimate civil ceremony at Sudeley Castle, in Gloucestershire, in front of just two witnesses.

By 4.30pm on Saturday some of the newlyweds' celebrity guests including Elton John's partner David Furnish, artist Tracey Emin, and actress Patsy Kensit had started arriving at the 15th-century stately home, which is steeped in history and royal connections. They were there to attend a religious blessing for the couple in St Mary's Church - a small chapel in the castle's picturesque grounds - conducted by the Reverend John Partington. The new Mrs Nayar's close friend, Rocket Man singer Elton, later arrived by helicopter.

Elizabeth, 41, and the entire bridal party have been dressed in Versace for Saturday's traditional English celebrations which are being exclusively covered in this week's edition of HELLO! magazine. Oxford University-educated textile heir Arun, 42, was to be supported by younger brother Nikhil as his best man while Elizabeth's four-year-old son Damian, from a previous relationship with Hollywood producer Steve Bing, was said to be acting as ring-bearer. Not one to do things by halves, Elizabeth is reported to have five bridesmaids and ten pageboys including Elle Macpherson's son Cy.

The Estee Lauder model's mother, Angela, is hosting the glamorous black tie affair following the service. Guests will enjoy a four-course feast and vintage champagne before hitting the dance-floor in a specially-erected marquee. Elizabeth and Arun are then to board a flight to Mumbai on Sunday to continue the festivities in India which will include a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in Rajasthan.

It is the first time up the aisle for Elizabeth and second-time-round for Arun who was previously married to Italian model Valentina Pedroni.

Read more about Elizabeth and Arun's special day, in Issue 960 of HELLO! magazine on sale this week.

Click here for more on Elizabeth and Arun's wedding

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Elizabeth's new husband Arun looked relaxed ahead of the star-studded celebrations on Saturday as he arrived at Sudeley Castle in a blue Bentley. He tied the knot with his model love the previous afternoon in an intimate civil ceremony at the stateley homePhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The couple, who have been dating since 2003, chose to keep their actual wedding a private affair before the lavish weekend festivites beganPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Actress Patsy, who looked elegant in classic black, was among the first guests to arrive Photo: © Getty Images