Inside Victoria and David Beckham's spectacular wedding 25 years later – from Spice Girl guests to those purple thrones

It was the wedding the whole world had been waiting for – and David Beckham and Victoria Adams’ big day did not disappoint.

Now, 25 years on, their lavish celebration has surely gone down in celebrity folklore as the most iconic of weddings – the dress, the first public appearance of baby Brooklyn, the Spice Girl guests and yes, those thrones for the bride and groom.

When the most stylish pop star of the 90s and Britain’s hottest footballer became husband and wife, it was certainly done in style. David and Victoria assembled nearly 300 of their closest friends and family at Luttrellstown Castle, a breathtaking location near Dublin, Ireland, on 4 July 1999.

Set in a 560-acre estate with its own golf course, the castle was the perfect location for such an exclusive event. Surrounded by a high stone wall to keep the frenzy of paparazzi at bay, the couple and their guests had the privacy and space to relax and enjoy the proceedings after months of preparations.

David and Victoria wedding day
David and Victoria assembled nearly 300 of their closest friends and family at Luttrellstown Castle -Credit:OK! Magazine

Society wedding planner Peregrine Armstrong-Jones had been tasked with organising this momentous event, which was exclusively covered by OK!

“Victoria and David had huge input right from the beginning,” he told us. “The wedding had been 14 and a half months in the planning, during which time the couple had been all over the world. Wherever they were, I would get samples, fabrics and plans to them, and Victoria would often ring me five times a day with ideas and questions.”

And what a stunning sight greeted guests as they arrived, thanks to that precision planning. Every tiny detail had been considered. Fresh apples had been sewn into an ivy arrangement along the bannisters of the castle's master staircase – painstakingly pierced to release their scent through the rooms.

A beautiful leafy walkway was created, stretching from the French windows of the library across the finely manicured lawns to a huge marquee where the reception and dancing would be held later that day.

As the bridal party began to gather at around 3pm, Victoria and David’s fathers reflected on just how much their beloved children had done to make their dreams come true.

David’s dad, Ted, said he had never imagined his son’s wedding day would be this spectacular. “It’s just something special – a fairytale,” he said. “Victoria’s an absolutely lovely girl and I feel very proud of the pair of them.”

Victoria’s father, Tony, admitted that the final few hours leading up to the wedding had made him very tearful. “When I went into the marquee with Victoria earlier, the orchestra was rehearsing Goodbye (a special version of the Spice Girls’ hit) and I got so emotional that we had to have a little bit of a cuddle,” he said.

“In fact, I got so emotional that I had to take a bike out and cycle round the golf course to get over it! I can be hard as nails at times, but today… I mean, this whole thing has been on the drawing board for so long, and to see it come together so beautifully is very, very moving.”

The three bridesmaids – Victoria’s sister Louise, then 22, her baby daughter Liberty, plus David’s little niece Georgina – made their first appearance soon after. The two little girls were dressed as woodland flower fairies, with gossamer wings and coronets decorated with ivy and twigs. Louise wore a dress by Stella McCartney for Chloé, with a fitted cream corset decorated with copper and gold flowers and diamonds, and a long cream skirt cut on the bias.

Next saw the arrival of the other Spice Girls – Emma Bunton, Mel C and Mel B, plus her then-husband Jimmy Gulzar and baby Phoenix Chi – completing the exclusive list of just 29 guests who had been invited to attend the ceremony at the ivy-covered folly chapel.

Perched above a stream some 500 metres from the main castle, it was the first time a wedding had ever been performed at this location. Victoria had earlier explained to OK! how the tiny venue had been rebuilt, as it had previously been “in a complete state – a hermit had been living there.”

She went on, saying, “It was overgrown, half the floor was missing and there were big holes in the walls – it was like walking into a garden shed. But we just looked at each other and said, ‘This is the place.’ It was just big enough for our closest family and friends. I wanted the ceremony to be as private as possible.”

At 4pm it was time for the Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Paul Colton, to marry the two stars. Five minutes later than scheduled, Victoria arrived and guests were treated to their first sight of her stunning Vera Wang wedding gown. The strapless champagne-coloured creation took everyone’s breath away.

Underneath the full A-line skirt, she wore a petticoat made from 50 metres of tulle, which had been stiffened with horse hair. Made of Clerici Duchess satin, it had a fitted, strapless bodice to support that now-famous “crumb catcher” neckline.

To complement the look, Victoria wore a beautiful diamond and gold coronet by Slim Barrett, a jeweller who had made pieces for the late Princess of Wales, while around her neck was a spectacular diamond crucifix that David bought her for Christmas the previous year.

Deciding against a traditional bridal bouquet, she instead opted for a natural selection of green berries, apples, ivy, blackberries and brambles.

David, who waited in the folly chapel with his best man, Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, wore a cream suit by English designer Timothy Everett, his knee-length cream jacket over cream trousers, together with a gold and cream waistcoat, cream shirt and cravat, cream top hat and cream boots by Manolo Blahnik. He also wore a dazzling Cartier diamond bracelet, a gift from his bride.

To a trumpet fanfare, followed by the strings of an assembled orchestra playing the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin by Wagner, Victoria and her emotional father made their way up the aisle as David cradled baby Brooklyn, who was dressed in cream-coloured combat trousers and a shirt with his name embroidered on the back.

As the ceremony began, the background sounds were the stream tumbling over the rocks under the folly and the distant thud, thud of press helicopters hovering overhead.

As their vows were exchanged and readings completed, the Bishop declared them husband and wife, and David leaned across and tenderly placed a kiss on Victoria’s right shoulder.

At just before 5pm, the orchestra struck up Mendelssohn’s Wedding March and the newlyweds walked back up the aisle together. “It was very lovely,” said Victoria’s younger sister, Louise, after the ceremony.

“It was so emotional,” added David’s sister, Joanne. “All of us were in tears, including Victoria and David.”

Received by their guests back at the castle, the beaming bride and groom made their spectacular entrance down its ornate staircase as a pianist played the theme tune from Beauty And The Beast. The couple explained they loved listening to Disney soundtracks and this was one of their favourite songs. “No doubt people will be wondering which one of us is Beauty and which one the Beast,” laughed Victoria.

Once inside the marquee, guests marvelled at the spectacular flower arrangements in three colours: burgundy, green and purple, which created a suitably regal effect. Ingeniously, Victoria had asked that walls were covered with birch trees and foliage to make it look like the waiters were coming out of a forest – in keeping with their Robin Hood-style theme for the day.

The newlyweds changed into purple outfits and sat on thrones in a raised “bridal alcove”, accompanied by a sleepy Brooklyn. His swinging chair, which had been decorated with burgundy velvet and gold ribbon, was nearby.

Addressing the opulent nature of the wedding, Victoria told OK!, “Some people will say it’s over the top. But then if we’d had a small wedding they would have said, ‘Couldn’t they have done something bigger?’ A lot of the stuff is tongue in cheek. For example, we’ve got a flag on top of the castle with our initials, VDB, on it. We don’t care what people say – as long as we’re happy and our families are happy, that’s all that matters.”

The wedding menu featured delights such as roasted red pepper and tomato soup served in hollowed-out pumpkin halves. Corn-fed chicken with English asparagus came next, with roast potatoes, a French bean and sugar snap pea medley and a herb jus. Chef Jason Reynolds also created vegetarian options such as Irish brie with sage, which was deep-fried and served with a cranberry sauce.

For dessert, there was sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch, and a berry terrine with summer fruits inside a brandy snap basket with raspberry coulis.

Hilarious and heartfelt speeches were to follow, with Victoria’s dad recounting the story of how David had seen a member of an all-girl group on television and had said, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.”

“Unfortunately,” joked Tony, “he was talking about Louise from Eternal, and Jamie Redknapp got there first!”

Best man Gary Neville brought the house down by making his entrance in a Beckham-style sarong, and the star of the show David made everyone misty eyed when he promised to look after his new bride “like a princess”.

A second marquee, decorated in the style of a lavish Moroccan boudoir, was soon full of guests ready to party on the sunken dance floor to the sounds of a live 70s band and disco. Guests, including David’s Manchester United team-mates, danced until the early hours.

Although the couple’s best friend, Elton John, was due to sing at the after party, he’d been struck down with an ear infection that morning and couldn’t attend. However, the high spirits continued until a four-minute firework display, accompanied by Björk’s It’s Oh So Quiet, drew a close to the celebrations.

Reflecting on their nuptials, the couple told OK! they just wanted their guests to feel “comfortable”. “We chose surroundings that weren’t intimidating, and we didn’t invite hundreds of guests,” said Victoria, adding, “I’ve seen a lot of weddings where there are all these famous, glamorous people walking around, but we didn’t want a wedding like that. People aren’t there because of who they are or what they do – they’re all there because they’re friends.”