The wedding of Nigerian-born Folarin Alakija to his bride and Iranian model Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar over the weekend will likely top the list as one of the most extravagant weddings in the world.
Alakija’s wedding to Nazanin cost an estimated £5 million and is described as one of the most lavish affairs the U.K. has ever seen, according to the Daily Mail.
Alakija is one of four sons of Nigerian oil tycoon Modupe Alakija, and his mother, Folorunsho Alakija, is one of Africa’s richest women with an estimated fortune of $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.
In 2014, she replaced TV personality Oprah Winfrey as the richest Black woman in the world.
Mrs. Alakidja, 66, is also one of the most powerful people in Nigeria with connections in high places, and she spared no effort in treating the more than 200 A-list guests, including friends and family members flown in from Nigeria, to a memorable occasion.
The Fairy-Tale Occasion
The wedding was held on the grounds of the famed Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire with the Woodstock venue of the occasion adorned in seemingly endless amounts of roses and white orchids by celebrity florist Jeff Leatham.
The eight-tier wedding cake, intricately decorated with iced flowers and doves, was created by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, which caters for an exclusive list of clients that include celebrities, royalty, and high-net-worth individuals.
The event planning was handled by esteemed wedding planner Sade Awe of The Bridal Circle, bringing a touch of luxury and finesse to the occasion.
Part of the planning for the wedding included the construction of a bespoke marquee and marble floor that had the couple’s initials inscribed in gold.
Guests enjoyed a surprise live performance from singer Robin Thicke who is famous for hits, such as “Lost Without You” and “Blurred Lines.” Thicke was flown in from the United States exclusively for the occasion.
Later in the evening, guests were also treated to a magnificent display of fireworks on the hotel grounds.
The guest list at the occasion included the First Lady of Nigeria Aisha Buhari, Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, Victoria’s Secret angel Shanina Shaik, and a host of local celebrities from Nigeria.
Newly married Alakija is in his late-30s and a Father of one. His first wife, Chena, died six years ago after losing her battle with cancer.
Alakija studied Geography at the Imperial College London and his interests include business, entrepreneurship, and cinematography.
The bride Ghaissarifar is the daughter of Iranian businessman Khosro Ghaissarifar and Nooshin. “Naz,” as the stunning brunette is fondly known as, was born in Iran but moved to London in her youth.
She studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manchester but also enjoyed stints in consultancy and modeling. She also briefly dated reality star Rob Kardashian in 2013.