Our crazy life & love

New Mrs Ste­fanovic tells all

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - FRONT PAGE - MI­RANDA WOOD JONATHON MO­RAN SARAH BLAKE

FOR bride-to-be Jas­mine Yar­brough, her wed­ding to­day will be just as she pic­tured it – on the beach.

As the shoe de­signer pre­pares to tie the knot with To­day host Karl Ste­fanovic in Mex­ico, Ms Yar­brough said the lo­ca­tion was per­fect.

“I never was a girl who dreamt of their wed­ding,” the 34-year-old said. “I never imag­ined it, so I don’t have any ex­pec­ta­tions.

“I just want it to be warm and on the beach, then just fig­ure the rest out.”

Two years af­ter meet­ing in Syd­ney and fall­ing in love, Ms Yar­brough and Ste­fanovic, 44, will marry at mid­day, Aus­tralian time, at the chapel of the lux­ury One&Only Palmilla re­sort at Cabo. Ste­fanovic’s sis­ter, Elisa Poin­ton, will act as cel­e­brant be­fore the cou­ple host their re­cep­tion on site.

Guests will in­clude for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Julie Bishop and her part­ner, David Pan­ton; younger brother Peter Ste­fanovic and his wife, Sylvia Jef­freys; and model Mon­tana Cox.

Ms Yar­brough, who will take her fi­ance’s sur­name, said she al­ways hoped mar­riage was on the cards.

“It means hav­ing some­one by your side while you nav­i­gate this crazy, beau­ti­ful and some­times chal­leng­ing thing called life,” she said. “I am a very loyal per­son, so choos­ing one per­son for life is a big thing for me.”

The Bris­bane-born for­mer model re­vealed Ste­fanovic was very un­well the day he popped the ques­tion.

“Af­ter the pro­posal, he started sweat­ing and I asked if he was all right,” she said. “I thought he was just ner­vous, but it turns out he was sick from a virus.

“It’s so funny that he got sick af­ter the pro­posal – it’s not the most ro­man­tic, but it’s so us for some­thing like that to hap­pen.”

Ste­fanovic re­vealed his soft side at the cou­ple’s in­ti­mate wed­ding re­hearsal yes­ter­day, with the Chan­nel 9 star vis­i­bly over­come with emo­tion as he shared the oc­ca­sion with his three chil­dren, River, 12, Ava, 13, and Jack­son, 19.

“Hav­ing his three kids with him means the ab­so­lute world to Karl,” a friend said. “He is over­whelmed by the at­ten­tion, but most im­por­tantly wants to share this amaz­ing cel­e­bra­tion with them and Jas­mine.”

A cover of the Oa­sis hit Won­der­wall was heard com­ing from the chapel at the re­hearsal. Those in­side said Peter Ste­fanovic was in­volved in the per­for­mance.

This year dur­ing a Uber chat, that landed the sib­lings in hot wa­ter, they re­port­edly com­pared them­selves to trou­bled Oa­sis brothers Noel and Liam Gal­lagher.

The ref­er­ence was made be­cause of their frac­tured re­la­tion­ship with their dad, Alex. But de­spite the years­long rift, Ste­fanovic’s fa­ther, who isn’t at the wed­ding, in­sisted yes­ter­day that he had mended his re­la­tion­ship with his el­dest son.

The night be­fore the re­hearsal, the cou­ple hosted a wel­come party for guests, with Ste­fanovic dressed in a cream linen suit with a white shirt, while Ms Yar­brough wore a white silk slip dress.

Many of the 200 wed­ding guests spent yes­ter­day en­joy­ing the beach­side Mex­i­can hot spot.

MUCH like your cousin’s 21st birth­day bash and the me­dia ca­reer of the “how bow dah” girl, to­day’s glitzy Cabo wed­ding of Karl Ste­fanovic to Jas­mine Yar­brough has fiz­zled and faded be­fore it even blazed.

The over-the-top lux­ury ex­trav­a­ganza, in­tended to be a three-day crescendo to mark a whirl­wind love af­fair that has seen the host’s star power plum­met, hasn’t had the punch it was sup­posed to pack.

Can a two-year re­la­tion­ship be classed as a whirl­wind? Who knows. Prob­a­bly not. But for some rea­son this ro­mance feels like a whirl­wind.

Any­way, the wed­ding has been spoilt by hype and flurry, the kind that are un­avoid­able when a celebrity gets mar­ried at a Hol­ly­wood hotspot.

Sim­i­lar to Cabo it­self, the op­u­lent play­ground for the world’s ridicu­lously rich and fa­mous perched on the edge of the rough and rocky Mex­i­can desert where poverty and vi­o­lence are just blocks away, the three­day af­fair of next-level lux­ury has been forced. The names on the guest list got big­ger and more bizarre as to­day neared. James Packer! Julie Bishop! Shane Warne?

While part of us hoped that Julie would be seated next to Shane at ev­ery event across the week­end in the hope he’d ac­ci­den­tally spill gua­camole on one of her Ar­mani blaz­ers, thus ig­nit­ing a weird grudge she’d hold against him for years, an­other part of us won­dered why this whole she­bang was or­ches­trated to be a spec­ta­cle.

Karl and Jas­mine have be­come that an­noy­ing cou­ple you know who de­cide to have a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding in some in­con­ve­nient and ex­pen­sive lo­ca­tion you’d never choose to go.

That cou­ple who de­mand all their friends and fam­ily aban­don their own lives and part with their life sav­ings and use up all their an­nual leave to come cel­e­brate them. Des­ti­na­tion wed­dings fuel bit­ter re­sent­ments in all friend­ship groups.

Not all of Karl and Jas­mine’s wed­ding guests can af­ford to stay at the cou­ple’s re­sort of choice, the One&Only Palmilla, a lush par­adise where Jen­nifer Anis­ton goes to ap­ply Avene while ly­ing on a day bed and Oprah goes to do things bil­lion­aires do. It’s not just any re­sort. For­get the mud huts on the Gold Coast your par­ents used to make you spend your Christ­mas hol­i­days in. At this joint, ev­ery room has an ocean view and each guest has their own per­sonal but­ler, be­cause to have one with­out the other is just stupid.

Keep­ing up with the Ste­fanovics isn’t easy and some groups of friends have been forced to slum it down the road at the Hilton. “I’m all set for the Stu­dio 54 party!” one of th­ese guests said to an­other af­ter check­ing into the far less star-stud­ded re­sort. “Got my all-white suit.”

Not to spec­u­late, but I think it’s this Stu­dio 54 party that made Packer re­think his at­ten­dance. He was all set to go and be best man un­til, just days ago, re­ports sur­faced he’d pulled out. The only thing worse than a cos­tume party is hav­ing to do nov­elty group disco chore­og­ra­phy while at a cos­tume party. Of course Packer pre­ferred the idea of stay­ing home alone at his Ar­gen­tinian ranch.

What made it even more awk­ward is he couldn’t just say he was short on cash, so he blamed his mum’s birth­day which she al­ready cel­e­brated with a bash weeks ago.

Sure, the guest-list was still stunt­cast with a weird name or two – a JBish here and a Warnie there, a ran­dom sports re­porter from Chan­nel 9. But news of Packer’s no-show was a clear sign this thing was about to be a let­down.

Rather than try­ing to be big and bold, small and in­ti­mate would’ve been more im­pres­sive this week­end. A guest list of close friends and fam­ily, rather than Roxy Ja­cenko and that 20-some­thing model Jor­dan Bar­rett. Se­ri­ously, it’s one in the morn­ing, Night Fever is play­ing over the sound sys­tem for the sev­enth time and Karl, Roxy and Jor­dan are stand­ing around the tequila bar in iden­ti­cal white flares. What do they talk about?

“It’s a bizarre thing to hap­pen,” one of the pals slum­ming it down at the Hilton was over­heard say­ing to an- other while sip­ping sugar-free mar­gar­i­tas three nights be­fore the big day. She wasn’t re­fer­ring to the Stu­dio 54 party, though her state­ment ap­plies to that too. In­stead, she was mus­ing about the me­dia at­ten­tion sur­round­ing the wed­ding. “But now she (Jas­mine) is used to it.”

On the sur­face, some may shrug and say the get­away was an at­tempt at a pri­vate wed­ding.

Af­ter all, Karl’s on the other side of the world.

But this wasn’t an at­tempt to be pri­vate or a des­per­ate es­cape from the spot­light. It was a leap into it while do­ing the splits and wav­ing jazz hands.

If Mar­got Rob­bie can get mar­ried on some farm in By­ron Bay with­out any of us know­ing, so too can the Ste­fanovics.

How bow dah.

WED­DING EVE: Karl Ste­fanovic and Jas­mine Yar­brough; and (in­set) Julie Bishop and part­ner David Pan­ton.

BIG BASH: The wed­ding of Karl Ste­fanovic and Jas­mine Yar­brough, pic­tured with Ste­fanovic’s mother Jenny, has fiz­zled be­fore it starts.

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