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Sunday 28 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Mark Seliger via Business Insider The bride and groom in the giant redwood forest where construction took place.
# lord of the woods
This is the fantastical set built by Napster and Facebook billionaire for his wedding
Pictures show the reconstruction of redwood forest area – created by Lord of the Rings set designer – which got him in trouble with state of California.

NEW US government documents show just how over-the-top Sean Parker’s extravagant $10 million wedding in the Big Sur forest really was.

The state of California actually fined the Facebook billionaire $2.5 million over it.

That’s because he built a cottage, fake ruins, waterfalls, staircases and a huge dance floor in an ecologically sensitive area near ancient redwoods and a stream with endangered steelhead trout.

He also built a gateway and arch, an artificial pond, a stone bridge, multiple event platforms with elevated floors, rock walls and fake ruined castle walls. And although he was building all of this in a forest, he also planted 125 trees and other plants and flowers, too. The sets and gowns were created by a designer for the Lord of the Rings films.

Parker even created an LLC company, Neraida, to run his wedding, reports The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal.

But he didn’t get permission from the Coastal Commission, which regulates the area. The commission got wind of it all before his unauthorised construction caused too much damage.

Parker, who also co-founded file-sharing site Napster, married singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas as scheduled last Saturday.

All images California Costal Commission unless otherwise stated

This is the fantastical set built by Napster and Facebook billionaire for his wedding
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  • This is what the area looked like before construction began

  • Then Parker's wedding company brought in bulldozers

  • The fake stone pond and bridge under construction

  • Here's one of the stairways, rock walls and potted trees

  • An elevated platform built over the creek

  • An ancient redwood holds up rock wall (note comparative size of people on right)

  • More rock walls and equipment put in place

  • Sean Parker and Alexandra Lenas in the forest

    Image: Mark Seliger/Business Insider

- Julie Bort

Published with permission from
Business Insider
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