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16 Aug

Alakija’s Son spends N2bn on wedding

 

Folarin Alakija  and wife dance surrounded by roses and guests

His mother is the world’s richest black woman so it’s little surprise that Folarin Alakija’s wedding was a lavish, no-expense spared, fairytale affair.

Folarin, who is one of 66-year-old oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija’s four sons, married Iranian beauty Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar in an extravagant bash at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire over the weekend, which is estimated to have cost around £5m, about N2billion.

The father-of-one, who is in his late 30s and lost his first wife to cancer, tied the knot to his stunning wife in front of friends, family and celebrities, including Victoria’s Secret Angel, Shanina Shaik.

Guests seated at the reception

While Folarin makes his money as an entrepreneur, investor and cinematographer, it’s his mother who has an estimated fortune of $2.1 billion. Forbes rank her as the 14th richest person in Africa but the richest woman in the country. She is number 80 on its global Power Women list and overtook Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world in 2014.

It is thought the family flew hundreds of close friends and family members over from Nigeria, who were no doubt put up in the lavish hotel for the weekend.

The Woodstock venue, which is the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, was kitted out with one million white roses, a lavish cake decorated with hundreds of ornate white roses and even hosted pop star Robin Thicke at an estimated cost of £150,000.

Wedding planners believe the venue hire was exclusively hired at a cost of £150,000 with the bespoke marquee and bespoke marble floor with their initials etched in gold costing around £200,000 on top.

According to the venue’s website, the cost of hiring the whole venue is on application but hiring just the palace and state rooms costs £33,000.

Folorunso Alakija and her husband at the wedding

Searcys are the approved caterer for the Orangery at Blenheim palace and three course meals start at £52 per head – excluding alcohol – but it’s believed they had a much more expensive bespoke package. Guests dined on deliciously lavish food, such as barley wafers with cheddar custard and chive yoghurt dip, crispy duck egg and Wiltshire truffle.

The breathtaking flowers were the work of Jeff Leatham, who is known for his elaborate decorating of the Kardashian’s homes.

Bringing over 30 staff members to the UK for the ceremony, Jeff adorned every inch of the venue with copious amounts of roses and white orchids.

Jeff, who can command up to £250,000 for flowers, has worked for Madonna, Oprah and Tina Turner. He was also the man behind the flowers at Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s wedding.

Guests were also treated to a surprise performance from Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke, who reportedly costs around £150,000 to hire and would have been flown over from the US, as well as a magnificent firework display in the hotel grounds later in the evening.

Folarin’s new wife, who once dated Rob Kardashian, studied Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manchester, has a graduate Diploma in Law and has also worked as a model and marketing consultant.

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