A fairytale setting in a medieval castle, a custom-made Vera Wang dress, magnificent fireworks displays and entertainment from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Black Eyed Peas… It was thought Petra Ecclestone and James Hunt’s lavish wedding had cost in the region of £5 million. But now the father of the bride has revealed that the cost of his daugher’s big day totalled a staggering £12 million – much to his shock.
Bernie was giving evidence during a fraud trial involving a German banker, but under cross-examination his daughter’s extravagant wedding in Italy became the focus. Giving a telling insight into his family’s billionaire lifestyle, the F1 tycoon said that he had no idea about the total cost until he argued with his ex-wife Slavica shortly before the ceremony. “My younger daughter got married and I thought as father of the bride I should pay for the wedding,” he explained, attempting to show that he did not break the terms of an off-shore family trust.
“But when it was suggested how much they would be spending on drinks, I thought it was absurd and I managed to upset my daughter and my wife. “Then she spent in excess of £12 million on my daughter’s wedding which I did not know about until afterwards.” The drinks at the wedding included Chateau Petrus wine, which costs £4,000 a bottle. Slavica, a former model from Croatia, has a fortune of £750 million as the result of her divorce from Bernie. Her girls are used to the finer things in life. On her marriage, Petra moved into surrounding the magnificent $85 million LA mansion once owned by TV mogul Aaron Spelling. And her sister Tamara recently showed off a collection of Christian Louboutin heels, estimated to be worth £70,000 to promote her reality TV show Billion Dollar $ Girl.Their father was giving evidence at the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, a German banker charged with tax evasion and receiving bribes worth $44 million from the Formula One boss and his family's trust, called Bambino. At the centre of the case are payments the 81-year-old businessman made to Mr Gribkowsky.