Czech model Alena Šeredová and Italian footballer Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon Masocco — the goalkeeper for Serie A team Juventus and the Italian national team — tied the knot in Prague on Thursday after last-minute rearrangements to their wedding plans.
The couple, who have been partners for six years and have two sons, were forced to change the venue for exchanging their vows from the imposing gothic St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle to the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul at Vyšehrad, just outside the center of the city.
The move was forced by fears of disruption from a nationwide strike by transport workers protesting government reforms. They originally planned to march to Prague Castle, the traditional seat of the country’s head of state. The current president, Václav Klaus, had angered the strikers by calling for them to be fired in the run up to the day of action.
Despite fears of strike-caused snarl ups in the city, an elegant Buffon arrived at the church in style, in a Rolls Royce, with his bride, in a stunning white dress and shawl, following soon after. The switch from the traditional wedding place of the stars, St. Vitus Cathedral, where, for example, Czech tennis stars Radek Štěpánek and Nicole Vaidišová were married last year, was not the only hiccup for Šeredová and Buffon.
They also had to change the venue for the wedding reception party after news of the five-star hotel chosen leaked out. Apart from close family, around 60 guests, including Buffon’s former Juventus team and Czech international Pavel Nedvěd, were due to turn up for the reception.
Buffon, whom Pelé has named as one of the 125 greatest living footballers in the world and who has also been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record eight times, has been sidelined from the game with injury over the last year.
Partner Šeredová told the Italian news agency TM News that he was like a caged lion walking around the apartment. She admitted to have had problems choosing her wedding dress because the one she liked cost €110,000. “It’s an absurdity. When I was young, I lived under the [former communist] regime of Czechoslovakia and I know the real value of things,” she commented.
Šeredová started modeling at the age of 15. Five years later, she was first runner-up of Miss Czech Republic 1998 and her country’s representative at Miss World 1998, where she placed fourth in the finals.