Surfing royalty marry in style

MICK Fanning has the trophy and now he has the girl. The newly-crowned surfing world champion wed his long-time sweetheart in a lavish ceremony on Saturday which friends described as "beautiful". His bride, model Karissa Dalton, reportedly kept an anxious Fanning waiting more than half-an-hour before making her way down a petal-strewn walkway to the strains of Ben Harper. The Tweed Heads-based couple, who signed an exclusive magazine deal for their wedding, made it official in a simple, lakeside ceremony in front of 200 friends and family at luxurious Nerang estate The Villa. Guests were bussed to the exclusive venue, which boasts a nine-hole golf course, landscaped gardens and European-style mansion, in private coaches. Surfing's royalty including Luke Egan, Andy Irons and Mark Occhilupo were among those to attend the star-studded event. In keeping with the early-1900s theme, guests came clutching parasols, dressed in lacy finery, top hats and suits. "The whole mood and setting was beautiful," one guest told the Tweed Daily News. "It was fantastic and everyone just looked incredible all dressed up." Ms Dalton wore an Alex Perry design for the occasion and was attended by five bridesmaids in floor-length black gowns. Fanning, who wore a black suit and vest, paired with a cream tie and bowler hat, was flanked by fellow pro surfer Joel Parkinson and childhood friends Beau Campi, Tony Cohen and Simon "Shagga" Saffigna. Following the ceremony, the couple were toasted with strawberry daiquiris and midori cocktails, while guests were treated to a sumptuous buffet which included tempura prawns, sushi, oysters and scallops. "The food was just so gorgeous. I doubt you'd get a better meal at any restaurant," said one guest. The "no expense spared" event was capped off with a fireworks display late in the evening, with the couple %believed to have spent the night at the Radisson Resort at Palm Meadows. However, plans for an extended honeymoon will have to wait, with Fanning flying out yesterday for the Rip Curl Pro at Bell's Beach. The couple first met on the Gold Coast in 2004 after being introduced by mutual friends. Fanning proposed to his sweetheart in October 2006 on Kirra Hill, presenting her with a square diamond solitaire ring set in white gold, while on a brief stopover between surfing commitments. Kirra Hill holds special significance for Fanning as it is the site of a memorial to his late brother Sean, who died in a 1998 car %accident.

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