Football stars walk down aisle

Three of the UK's biggest football stars are marrying their long-term girlfriends today.

Three of the UK's biggest football stars are marrying their long-term girlfriends today.

Gary Neville, Steven Gerrard, and Michael Carrick are all due to tie the knot in no-holds-barred ceremonies and celebrations, with many stars of the beautiful game expected to attend.

Manchester United player Wayne Rooney is rumoured to be flying between two of today’s ceremonies, which come a day after England captain John Terry’s wedding to Toni Poole.

Rocker Rod Stewart will also be joining the line-up of nuptials as he is set to marry his partner Penny Lancaster today.

All four will have to push the boat out to beat Terry’s lavish celebrations yesterday at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which were said have cost nearly £1m (€1.5m).

It is understood the couple had a civil marriage ceremony in the Great Hall at Blenheim, home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

Among the guests pictured being driven into the event were footballers Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and Jamie Redknapp, with wife Louise.

One disapproving passer-by, who saw Terry’s marquee being prepared during a visit to the palace on Thursday, said yesterday: “There were pink Cadillac seats, purple carpets – it all looked very tacky to me.

“Lionel Ritchie is reported to be singing, so that’ll probably be the only bit of true quality that they have got.”

The couple reportedly hired Old Etonian party organiser Peregrine Armstrong-Jones – who oversaw the weddings of David Beckham and Elizabeth Hurley - to mastermind the festivities.

Gary Neville and Emma Hadfield will marry in Manchester today, at another ceremony said to be approaching the £1m (€1.5m) mark.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Alex Curran’s wedding at the exclusive Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire has a slightly more restrained price tag at a rumoured £750,000 (€1.1m).

And Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, marrying Lisa Roughead, is having a reception at Stapleford Hall in Leicestershire which is thought to be costing a mere £250,000 (€369,000).

The biggest spender of them all, however, could well be rock star Rod Stewart, who has kept the location of his wedding ceremony a closely guarded secret.

It is thought to be taking place in the Italian Riviera resort of Portofino, where Richard Burton famously proposed to Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s.

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