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George Clooney's 'fairy tale' wedding
01:13 - Source: CNN AP

Story highlights

NEW: George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are married in Venice

Italians cheer Clooney as he arrives by motorboat for star-studded bash

They were photographed Friday on a motor launch cruising Venice's canals

Actor Clooney and Alamuddin, a human rights lawyer, got engaged in the spring

Venice, Italy CNN  — 

George Clooney, long considered Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, married British human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin Saturday in a private ceremony in Venice, Italy, his publicist, Stan Rosenfield, told CNN.

Clooney arrived by motorboat at a star-studded bash at the Aman Canal Grande Venice resort, housed in the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli.

“George, auguri!” Venetians could be heard offering their best wishes as Clooney waved. “Auguri!”

Celebrities, paparazzi and the world’s media have been congregating in Venice for the widely anticipated nuptials.

The actor and his then-fiancée were photographed Friday cruising the sun-dappled canals of Venice ahead of their big day.

Clooney, 53, and Alamuddin, 36, looked happy and impeccably glamorous as they were carried around the city in a motorboat appropriately named “Amore,” or “Love,” passing bemused tourists in gondolas as they went.

The bride-to-be was dressed in a stylish black-and-white dress, while Clooney wore a sharply tailored gray suit and white shirt with dark sunglasses.

The first celebrity guests to arrive were also caught on camera in the city famed for romance, notably actor Matt Damon, American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and supermodel Cindy Crawford.

“I guess this is, as Dean Martin put it, ‘That’s Amore,’ the land of love,” said a tourist visiting Venice from Canada, referring to the late crooner’s signature song.

“Yes, my heart is broken but I’m excited,” his partner said with a smile.

“He has made the right choice,” an Italian woman said. “Because Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”

It’s not been confirmed exactly how the wedding weekend will play out.

But a notice from the city authorities said that because of George Clooney’s marriage the city hall area will be closed on Monday from 12 p.m to 2 p.m. local or later if necessary – presumably for a civil ceremony.

Paparazzi throng canal side

Clooney revealed earlier this month at a celebrity charity event in Tuscany, Italy, that he and Alamuddin would be tying the knot in Venice.

According to People magazine, Clooney was receiving a humanitarian award at the black-tie gala, and said during his acceptance speech, “I met my lovely bride-to-be here in Italy, whom I will be marrying, in a couple of weeks, in Venice, of all places.”

Plenty of paparazzi, cameramen and photographers were on the docks facing the Aman Canal Grande. Others were going up and down the Grand Canal on taxi boats.

Power couple

The nuptials of Clooney and Alamuddin come hot on the heels of the long-awaited marriage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie last month.

The Hollywood power couple went for a low-key ceremony at their estate in France, in which each of their six children had a part to play.

Clooney and Alamuddin seem set to make more of a public splash with their event, although since they became engaged in the spring, they’ve been largely protective of their relationship.

When a Daily Mail report claimed that Clooney and his Lebanese future mother-in-law Baria were at odds, Clooney blasted the publication with a first-person piece in USA Today, and then refused to accept the Daily Mail’s subsequent apology.

CNN’s Erin McLaughlin reported from Venice, Laura Smith-Spark wrote and reported in London, Ray Sanchez wrote and reported in New York, Rachel Wells reported from Los Angeles. Journalist Livia Borghese contributed to this report.