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Mrs Clooney outshines new hubby as wedding made official

AFP , Monday 29 Sep 2014
U.S. actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin
U.S. actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin arrive at Venice city hall for a civil ceremony to formalize their wedding in Venice September 29, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
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George Clooney may be Hollywood's darling but it was his stunning bride Amal Alamuddin who lit up Venice on Monday as the pair sealed their marriage at the town hall to the screams of delighted fans.

The new Mrs Clooney looked elegant in a short-sleeved cream pant suit with a dark blue band at the rim of the jacket, her dark locks under a wide-brimmed hat, her diamond-studded ring flashing in the sun and a broad smile on her face.

The pair swept up the Grand Canal in a vintage taxi to cheers from tourists and onlookers on the banks, accompanied by a flotilla of police boats and paparazzi.

The silver-haired actor, elegant in a dapper grey suit, grinned as they arrived at the 13th century town hall.

Running a fashionable hour and a half late, he still took time to joke with fans crowded on either side of the entrance, jerking his thumb towards the door as if to say it was time to get on with making the union legal under law.

The pair had said "I do" at a private ceremony with A-listers on Saturday, reportedly exchanging vows under an arc of white roses in the garden of the exclusive seven-star Aman resort on the world's most famous waterway.

Monday's ceremony, which made the union official, was conducted by Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome and a long-time friend of the silver-screen star, who gave the groom an emotional hug on the pier as the crowds cheered.

"It's official, the dreamboat's finally off the market," sighed Jane Hipkin, a British tourist who had come especially to catch a glimpse of "Gorgeous George".

Not even the appearance of a black cat, which crossed in front of the town hall moments before the bridge and groom arrived -- a sign of bad luck for many -- could dampen the feverish enthusiasm as the pair wrapped up four days of lavish celebrations.

The photogenic couple who share a passion for human rights have spent the weekend celebrating with family and Hollywood chums including Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Cindy Crawford.

But Monday's ceremony was just for the newlyweds, who sailed off in a water taxi to Marco Polo airport where they left on a private jet reportedly headed for London.

Despite a small demonstration at the town hall by locals enraged by a series of corruption scandals in the City of Masks, the atmosphere was electric and many in Venice said they were sad to see the Clooneys leave.

"It's been like having a royal couple in town. Only classier. It's been a whirlwind ride," said Pietro Bosso, a singing gondolier who'd been hoping the couple would pick him for a romantic glide to the Bridge of Sighs.

Clooney, who has owned a home in northern Italy for years, was married once before, to "Mad Men" actress Talia Balsam, but the pair split in 1993, just before his breakout role in the TV series "ER" propelled him to the status of global sex symbol.

Alamuddin's rights work has involved representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the pair met in Rome at the end of last year, before getting engaged in April.

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