People, it’s go time. After a much publicised build-up, Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough’s wedding has kicked off in Mexico.
But not without some controversy.
At the last minute, close mate of Karl, James Packer, reportedly pulled out as a groomsman, and some Australian media on the scene to cover the event were evicted from hotel rooms after Stefanovic’s management thought they were too intrusive.
But if there was any discord, it wasn’t showing as the beaming bride and groom hosted the first official event of the wedding celebrations for family and friends at the luxe One&Only Palmilla resort on Thursday night (Mexico time).
The resort in Cabo, at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, is a perennial favourite with Hollywood A-listers. Jennifer Aniston throws her birthday party there nearly every year.
The wedding comes after Karl last week signed off for the year as Today show co-host and flew with Mara & Mine shoe designer Jasmine, and his children Jackson, 19, Ava, 12, and River, 11, to Los Angeles.
The party hung out in California for a few days, celebrating the birthday of Yarbrough’s English model friend Louise Roe, before jetting down to Cabo for the four-day nuptials celebration.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Jasmine Yarbrough (@jasyarby) on
At sunset on Thursday, the wedding party with family and friends hit up the One&Only’s Agua by Larbi Mexican restaurant.
Among the guests who flew in early were a host of Today stars.
Newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys toasted the pair with her husband, Karl’s brother Peter Stefanovic. Richard Wilkins and his son Christian were also poolside, as was sport presenter Tim Gilbert.
Her arm around her father Bob, Jasmine, 34, posed for photos wearing a simple longline white dress reminiscent of the Stella McCartney dress Meghan Markle wore for her evening wedding reception.
The family love was contagious. At one point Karl, 44, in a camel suit, whizzed his mother Jenny into his arms and off the ground.
The drinks, according to insiders, were a “fun, informal celebration” for the couple and the guests, so everyone could let their hair down on arrival.
First-time bride Yarbrough has hand-picked a sizeable party – seven gals! – to stand by her as she says her vows. But she’s spurned celebrity friends.
On her big day she’ll get ready with high school friends Sarah Johnson, Sophie Pentland, Jimilla Houghton, Stoj Bulic and Georgie Fleming.
Adding to the bridesmaid power: her sister Jade Yarbrough and her Mara & Mine business partner Tamie Ingham.
From the cocktail party, Christian Wilkins showcased the dress code for the event on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by CHRISTIAN WILKINS (@theprincewilkins) on
With Packer’s reported withdrawal, Stefanovic was a man down. He’ll now be perfecting his bow tie (or open-neck shirt – it is Mexico) with brothers Peter and Tom, school pal Alan Rogina and “close friends” Ben Tilley, Mick Doohan and Steve Marshall.
In line with the family theme, Karl will be walked down the aisle by his mother, then married to Yarbrough by his sister Elisa.
According to reports, some of the lustre went out of the event when some big names declined the wedding invitation.
Among them: Stefanovic mate Alan Jones – who reportedly paid the deposit on the Sydney house Karl and his ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn bought 12 years ago – and Shane Warne, who is tied up with Foxtel duties for the first Test in Adelaide between Australia and India.