All eyes were on Venice back in September 2014 as George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding celebrations drew the attention of the world's press and celebrity watchers from across the globe. But the couple's private ceremony stayed strictly under wraps – before our exclusive feature in HELLO!, which presented the first photos of the eagerly anticipated wedding between the Hollywood heart-throb and his beautiful barrister bride, and found out everything there was to know about the exciting day.
George and Amal tied the knot in 2014
George spoke about the pair tying the knot in Italy, telling HELLO!: "We met in Italy. We have a home there. We knew that was where we wanted to get married." The wedding of the year took place at the luxury Aman Canal Grande hotel. Family and star friends from more than 30 countries, many with tears in their eyes, applauded after the couple exchanged vows and platinum wedding rings during a 30-minute ceremony. Speaking about marrying Amal, the Ocean's 11 actor said: "My verdict on being Mr and Mrs Clooney? It feels pretty damn great."
Amal and George gave sweet momentos at the end of the special day
The pair exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony, and George told us: "It's such a small group, we felt that they were all part of the ceremony." A family friend added: "The ceremony was so touching. It was a very intimate yet vibrant affair with just close family and friends. The room was small but very full; it was like a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. Everyone was dressed beautifully, like stars in their own way, and all got to know each other very quickly." Another friend spoke about the stunning location for the nupitals. "It was just such a special, understated ceremony for such a huge star and a prominent barrister," they said at the time. "It was exactly how they wanted it to be, casual in many ways, but yet so very grand in one of the most beautiful buildings in the world."
Their family gave speeches
Amal's exquisite custom-made, French lace Oscar de la Renta dress can also be seen in all its glory. Speaking about Oscar, Amal said: "He's such an elegant designer and such an elegant man." The stunning gown was embroidered with pearls and diamanté accents and featured a gorgeous lace overlay and off-the-shoulder sleeves. The groom, meanwhile looked dapper in a black tuxedo, which was created by his good friend Giorgio Armani, as part of his Made to Measure collection. The star teamed it with a white shirt, black bow tie, and black leather oxfords, and the finishing touches were cufflinks gifted from Amal, with 'George' inscribed in Arabic, and a 18K white gold OMEGA De Ville Trésor watch. He joked about getting ready for the occasion, saying: "It's a little different for guys. I can dress myself." Speaking about Giorgio, he added: "He's the class act of all class acts. He's been a good friend for many years and the night wouldn't be complete without him."
The pair have since welcomed twins
The lavish reception was attended by a host of A-listers including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, U2 singer Bono and George's best friend Rande Gerber and his model wife Cindy Crawford. Praising the beautiful day, Bono said: "It was very emotional and lovely. The party was great. It's still going on – in some people's minds." The guests drank fine wine and of course, tequila, from George's own company, Casamigos, with George joking: "Well it's Italy, so of course, but we thought we'd fly a little of our tequila out as well."
The couple wed in Italy
Speaking to the 170 guests at the wedding, George's close friend John Lambros said that he had "not changed as a friend one bit", adding: "And it isn't a case of 'not forgetting who was there when I was getting started'. It is more a function of how deeply, how honestly and how genuinely George both cares for and enjoys the people in his life and how much he values friendship. George is one of the most present people I know. He is 'in the moment' always when he is with his friends. He is perceptive, sensitive, sharp, smart, funny, participating in the conversation and always leading the storytelling. As a friend, George elevates you. You engage. You are present with him as he is with you and frankly, you have to be because the pace with which the inside joke or the political debate or prank travels around the room in his presence is remarkably quick." He jokily added: "To say we, George's friends, have been waiting for you, Amal, for a while is an enormous understatement."
READ: Best moments from the couple's magical Venitian wedding
Amal's mother, Baria, was dressed elegantly in a dress by young Beirut-based Saudi designer Ashi, and paid tribute to her 36-year-old daughter, saying: "Amal to me is a sweet dream that started when I was pregnant with her and I'm sure will continue for the rest of my life." Sharing a photo of her daughter as a one-year-old, she revealed how Amal "gave me and my family only love and joy and lots and lots of pride". "As for George, we love you truly, deeply and sincerely. We enjoy your charm, your wit, intelligent conversation and generosity. You are simply perfect."
READ: First look at the wedding rings which sealed George and Amal's love
Speaking about the mother of the bride, a family friend said: "They looked so in love. You could literally feel the love in the room. Baria looked like the proudest mother in the universe. At the end of the day, all a mother wants is someone to love and respect their daughter and George is that person." George's father added humour into the mix during the speeches, saying: "The others have been warm and eloquent – and said everything I wanted to say. I even had a list. The loveliest, most intriguing city on the planet – CHECK; a glittering assembly of accomplished people – CHECK; A beautiful bride – CHECK; a nervous groom – CHECK." On a more serious note, Nick spoke of how in "the age of irony" his son, "the crown prince of irony", got down on "one basketball-battered knee and asked the savvy Amal to marry him. And if you think that's crazy, Amal said yes."
George and Amal's wedding had just 170 guests
He added: "In their tidal wave of generosity, Amal and George present us with one more gift: hope. No, it's more than hope. It is belief that in this place and at this moment, love is alive and well." The guests were given a photo from the day as a keepsake, with George quipping: "Were the guests given keepsakes? Other than a hangover? Yes," adding: "The only decent picture we've ever taken – so you're getting that." The picture reads: "Thanks for being here. It means the world to us."