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The happy couple clasp hands tenderly, all smiles after exchanging vows in the historic surroundings of Portofino on the Italian Riviera
Photo: © Reuters
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After the early morning ceremony, Rod and his bride Penny took to the waters off the exclusive resort where their luxury yacht is moored
Photo: © Reuters

Celebrations had started the night before with a spirited party in one of the town's upmarket hotels
Photo: © Reuters

Rod and Penny tie the knot in private Italian ceremony

16 JUNE 2007

Before an intimate gathering of their closest friends and family, just as they had wished, Rod Stewart and his long-term love Penny Lancaster became man and wife this weekend. The nuptials took place on the Italian Riviera, where the couple held a civil ceremony in Santa Margherita Ligure, just outside the exclusive resort of Portofino, followed by an evening service at La Cervara Abbey.

Penny, 36, arrived for the morning ceremony in the 17th-century Villa Durazzo showing off the endless set of pins Rod so admires in a curve-skimming white satin mini-dress, teamed with heels. The model's long blonde tresses flowed free about her shoulders, and the look was finished off with a simple diamond necklace. Her 62-year-old groom, meanwhile, had chosen a dapper cream jacket and blue pin-striped trousers.

After making their vows, the couple walked from the villa to a nearby restaurant to pick up their 19-month-old son Alastair. From there it was a short stroll back to the resort's habour where they greeted well-wishers before boarding a small boat to the superstar's luxury yacht Lady Ann Magee.

At sunset the wedding party set out in blacked-out people carriers to La Cervera Abbey, a 14th-century monastery with a spectacular cloister and sea-view gardens.
While Saturday's celebrations were shrouded in secrecy, the night before the star and his sweetheart were pictured enjoying themselves at a pre-wedding party and emerging from an exclusive Portofino hotel singing songs.

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