Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright have revealed details from their three-day wedding extravaganza after tying the knot in Turkey on Friday.
Not without drama, the bride, 28, was nearly without a gown for her big day after a dress disaster, whilst the footballer, 40, confessed to being tears throughout the ceremony.
Speaking to OK! magazine in their first interview since the nuptials, the couple spoke candidly about the wedding, which heavily featured Rio’s three children Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight.
Emotional: Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright have revealed the details from their three-day wedding extravaganza after tying the knot in Turkey on Friday (pictured in May 2018)
Ahead of the lavish ceremony, held at the D Maris Bay hotel, Kate was left ‘stressed’ and in a ‘total nightmare’ after her original wedding dress wasn’t made the way she wanted.
The former TOWIE star ended up having her Berta bridal gown made from scratch by The Wedding Club in just a week, but admitted that she ended up preferring her new rushed dress.
All of her worries melted away on the wedding day itself, where Kate was walked down the aisle by Rio’s two sons, following on from the star’s daughter Tia.
Stunning: Kate and Rio tied the knot at the five star D Maris Bay hotel amid a lavish three-day wedding extravaganza (stock image)
Rio confessed that he was left in tears throughout the ceremony, telling OK! ‘There was just no going back on the emotion, that’s why I had to keep my shades on!
‘Seeing Tate and Lorenz walk Kate down the aisle was particularly poignant and we wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way.
‘They were so proud and they couldn’t wait to do that, they felt important.’
The ceremony capped off an emotional love story between the pair, which began more than two years ago in a meeting that Rio described as ‘fate’.
He explained: ‘I wasn’t open to bringing anyone in to be stepmum to my kids… Meeting Kate changed everything and sometimes it’s just fate’.
Meanwhile, Kate told the magazine that she knew on the night of their very first date that they would end up getting married.
Sweet moment: Rio, 40, admitted that he welled up watching his daughter Tia, eight, walk up the aisle with his new bride, 28 (pictured in March)
Meanwhile, Kate’s doting mum Jacqueline told MailOnline about the wedding: ‘It was a beautiful occasion. We’ve had a wonderful three days. The ceremony was on Friday. I’ll never forget it, it was one of the best days in my life.
The former reality star and the BT sports pundit pulled out all the stops for the special event as the pair rang in the celebration with a post-nuptials pool party beside the shimmering blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
On their nuptials, Kate’s beloved mum added: ‘I’m really happy for them both and wish them a wonderful life together.’
Newlyweds: Kate and Rio tied the knot during a ‘beautiful’ three-day ceremony in Turkey, 10 months after getting engaged (pictured in June)
Jackie also revealed 180 guests had been invited for the wedding, which was spread across three days: ‘We took the whole hotel over and it was quite a party.’
The Mayor of Marmaris, Mehmet Oktay, claimed he officiated the couple’s lavish wedding at the hotel.
The pair announced their engagement in November after he proposed to her on a family trip to Abu Dhabi with his three children – Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight, with the late Rebecca Ellison.
Proud mum: Describing Friday’s ceremony as the ‘best day of my life’, the TV personality’s doting parent Jacqueline told MailOnline: ‘It was a beautiful occasion’ (pictured in 2017)
Details: The Mayor of Marmaris, Mehmet Oktay, claimed he officiated the couple’s lavish wedding at the hotel
Stunning: Kate, 28, and Rio, 40, exchanged vows at the luxurious D Maris Bay hotel in Turkey, which has rooms ranging from £370 to an eye-watering £5,322
Sweet: In early November, Kate and Rio announced their engagement after he proposed on a family trip to Abu Dhabi in front of his three children, Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight
The former England star first started dating Kate in late 2016, following the death of his wife Rebecca – who is the mother of his three children – in 2015.
According to Daily Sabah, the Mayor of Marmaris told Demirören News Agency (DHA) that he officiated the wedding of the couple on Friday night in front of a crowd of exclusive guests.
Mehmet shared: ‘Both the couple and the guests told me that they enjoyed Marmaris a lot. Ferdinand said they will visit Marmaris in the years to come.’
The bigger, the better: Hotel staff are pictured building a wall of flowers by the striking swimming pool
What a view: Kate and Rio are said to have ended their nuptials with a lavish pool party on Saturday at the 196-room hotel their guests were staying in while out in Turkey
Lavish: Deck chairs and outdoor sofas were decorations with bouquets of flowers in celebration of the wedding
Rio and Kate’s celebrations kicked off on Thursday with a pre-wedding party, followed by the ceremony and a reception on Friday – where Rio’s daughter Tia served as Maid Of Honour.
The reception kicked off mid-afternoon and continued into the night, where the guests enjoyed a boozy free bar and gastronomic delights prepared by expert chefs.
Armed security guards had reportedly been deployed at the hotel, where rooms range from £300 to £5,000 per night, for the three-day wedding celebrations.
Kate and Rio ended their nuptials with a lavish pool party on Saturday at the 196-room hotel their guests were staying in while out in Turkey.
Officiated: According to Daily Sabah, the Mayor of Marmaris told Demirören News Agency (DHA) that he officiated the wedding on Friday night in front of a crowd of exclusive guests
The five-star hotel’s pool was strictly off limits to other guests as Rio and Kate were joined by friends and family at their exclusive bash.
Their party area was adorned with white flowers, while plush canopied sun beds were placed around the edges of the pool, which offered stunning views of the Mediterranean sea.
The wedding party boogied the night away to an array of R&B hits, soul classics and reggae, featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Will.i.am and Bob Marley.
Staff were allegedly asked to leave their phone’s locked away during their shifts to adhere to the wedding’s strict social media ban.
While their guests lived it up in the hotel’s palatial accommodation, the newlyweds are thought to have stayed in a luxury villa complete with its own patio, private pool and sauna.
A hotel guest, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: ‘It was quite a party. You could hear the music and the cheering throughout the hotel. The whole pool area had been sealed off, even for us.
‘There was a lot of champagne and other drink flowing. It was a very boisterous affair and looked like great fun. You could feel the love in the air for the couple and that’s very beautiful.’
Eyewitnesses told MailOnline that they were surprised that more of Rio’s former football team-mates and other celebrities were not spotted.
Picturesque: The hotel offers bespoke packages that include tailor-made menus and a specially-made wedding cake
One said: ‘It seems as if it was an overwhelmingly a family and friends affair, which is quite unusual for a high-profile wedding such as this. I was looking out for famous footballers and other figures but did not see any. Perhaps they were just keeping a low profile.’
So far little has been revealed about which stars flew to Turkey for the big day, although a source told MailOnline that Lydia Bright was the only former TOWIE co-star of Kate’s to be invited.
A member of staff at the hotel described the scale of the stunning wedding, they told MailOnline: ‘We’ve not had a wedding like this for a long time and it’s been a lot of hard work.
In the works: Preparations for the hotel ahead of the wedding were teased by a staff member who posted a video to Instagram Stories, but otherwise little was revealed about the big day
‘I’m a big football fan and know who Rio Ferdinand is but I’ll be happy when things return to normal at this hotel,’ said one worker called Mehmet.
It comes after it was reported that the couple were finally set to tie the knot this weekend, ten months after announcing their engagement.
The couple are said to have set their hearts on holding their special day in Turkey after jetting to the country in secret.
On Thursday, a source told The Sun: ‘All their family and friends are already there. Phones have been taken from everyone — nobody has one.’
Set to return: He said: ‘Both the couple and the guests told me that they enjoyed Marmaris a lot. Ferdinand said they will visit Marmaris in the years to come’ (Picture in June 2018)
The couple have been together since early 2017, but two years prior to his relationship with Kate, Rio tragically lost his first wife and the mother of his children, Rebecca Ellison to breast cancer at the age of just 34.
Following Rebecca’s passing, Rio has been open about the struggles of raising his children without her. Kate has since formed a close bond with his offspring.
Speaking of her romance with the former Manchester United player, Kate previously told Daily Mail’s YOU magazine: ‘Rio and I just clicked.
‘I knew about the children and what had happened but at first I didn’t give it much thought.
Bridal beauty: They announced their engagement in November after Rio proposed on a family trip to Abu Dhabi with his three children Lorenz, 13, Tate, 11, and Tia, eight (Pictured in June)
Wedding bells: It comes after it was reported that the couple were finally set to tie the knot this weekend, ten months after announcing their engagement
‘When you meet someone you’re just enjoying the moment, not thinking about how serious things might become.’
‘I fell in love with Rio, then I met the kids and fell in love with them. I realised, ‘Wow, my life is going to change’. I couldn’t be part of his life and not part of theirs.
‘I knew it would be a challenge, but if you love someone you go with it and deal with the difficult stuff.’
Back in July last year, Kate discussed her decision to leave behind the world of TOWIE and showbiz to become a step-mother.
The happy couple: Kate previously discussed her decision to leave behind the world of TOWIE and showbiz to become a step-mum to Rio’s children (pictured last year)
The former reality star spoke to The Sun about quitting the limelight as she insisted his kids ‘needed someone at home’ following Rebecca’s death.
She admitted they have worked to ‘include the kids in everything’ to ensure their relationship worked, after first getting together.
After soaring to fame on TOWIE in 2015, when she was introduced as the ex-girlfriend of show heartthrob Dan Edgar, she became a fan favourite, with her sizzling figure and girl’s girl personality winning hearts.
Despite two years of fame, winning various lucrative contracts and garnering over 1million Instagram followers, she confirmed her time in the spotlight was up in 2017.
Family unit: Kate explained of her decision to prioritise love over fame, ‘I had two choices. I’m in this world with lots of drama and then I met Rio and the children’
In her candid discussion, Kate explained: ‘I had two choices. I’m in this world with lots of drama and then I met Rio and the children and, I thought, ‘I’m with these kids, who have lost their mum, they don’t need a woman who is out all the time…
‘They need someone at home with them.’ A really big part of our relationship and it working for the children is that we’ve included them in everything we’ve done…
So from the first date, him asking me to be his girlfriend, us moving in — everything — the kids were part of it. So it wasn’t me taking their dad away from them, it was more us becoming a family unit.’
Since finding love again with Kate, Rio kept the details of their love life notably private, but in the past year has been sharing Instagram snaps of their adventures.
Living it up: Rio recently shared some throwback snaps from his stag do on his Instagram page in July, showing off his athletic physique as he went shirtless by the pool
With both having a penchant for the gym, the couple often upload footage of their workouts together, much of which was presumably in preparation for their nuptials.
The lovebirds celebrated their upcoming wedding with lavish hen and stag getaways over the summer – and they gave fans a glimpse via their social media accounts.
Rio enjoyed a raucous weekend in Barcelona with his pals in July, clutching a doll bearing his fiancée’s face under one arm, reassuring her she was ‘never far away’ during the trip.
The TV pundit was joined by 11 of his nearest and dearest including brother Anton and cousin Max for his wild weekend.
Kate also had a similar Rio doll for her own hen do on the Greek island of Mykonos two weekends beforehand.
‘MrsFerdyToBe’: Kate enjoyed a lavish hen do in Mykonos with her close friends in June
Happiness for Rio after the death of his wife Rebecca aged just 34
Rio has been candid about the difficulty of becoming a single parent following the tragic death of his wife Rebecca Ellison.
He met Rebecca, a former fitness trainer and accountant, while he was at West Ham United in the late 1990s. The pair married in the Caribbean in 2009.
Rebecca was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 but had appeared to be clear of the cancer following treatment
But a scan earlier in 2015 revealed it had returned and spread to her bones and she died just five weeks later on May 1.
The BT Sport pundit opened up about his loss in a BBC documentary – Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, in which he explored ways of managing grief.
Rio broke down in tears as he accepted the BAFTA award for Best Single Documentary in May 2018, saying: ‘I didn’t do this for any other reason other than my three kids. The worst thing to come out of this is that I get quite emotional now.
Ferdinand was still playing professional football for Queens Park Rangers when Rebecca lost her battle with breast cancer, but retired the same month without playing a further match.
Rio found happiness again with Kate, after previously opening up about losing his wife Rebecca, in a tearful conversation six months after her death.
The father-of-three said in the weeks following her death in May 2015 didn’t ‘look at himself’ and instead focused on his children — sons Lorenz, then nine, Tate, then six, and daughter, Tia, just four. It was ‘all about the school run, the basic stuff,’ he said.
He filmed a documentary, Being Mum and Dad, in 2017, about how he and his three children have coped with grief.
‘This is one of the only things in life that we’re going to go through together, where I haven’t got the answers for them, and that’s quite a worrying, daunting thing’, he said in the programme.
‘When they don’t speak, it’s difficult sometimes, you’re just sitting there going like ‘what are they thinking? Where are they? Are they worried, are they happy, are they sad?”
Rio added that while he is ‘desperate to know’ what his children are thinking, he doesn’t ‘want to scare them.’
In a previous interview with The Sun, he admitted his wife’s battle was a private one, as she opted to stay out of the limelight for the sake of her family.
‘Rebecca was an incredibly brave woman and a very private person who didn’t want anything about her illness to appear in the media while she was fighting for her life,’ Rio noted. ‘Only a close-knit group of family and friends knew.’