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Sean Parker, the billionaire who invented music-sharing service Napster as a teenager and later served as the first president of Facebook, spent millions—multiple reports say it was around $10 million, Parker says it was closer to $5 million—on his wedding. The setting: the beautiful Ventana wilderness. But the area's natural majesty, full of redwoods and running along Post Creek, wasn't pretty enough for Parker and his betrothed, Alexandra Lenas, so they cut a deal with the Ventana Inn, the high-end resort that manages the ecologically sensitive land, and proceeded to build walls, staircases, an artificial pond, waterfalls and fake bridges. And when they were finished with the place, the California Coastal Commission was not happy.
Image via Inhabitat
In a report, the commission says the wedding planners threatened redwoods and increased the risk of erosion in the area. The Atlantic reports that Parker was slapped with a $2.5 million fine for damages.
But Parker has fired back at accusations that he trashed the redwood forest saying he loves nature and actually donated the $2.5 million to the area preemptively. He says the location was paved over with asphalt, which he found "appalling" and had removed. What do you think? Was the Parker-Lenas extravaganza a gross display of excess or a display of a couple's love of nature? To their credit, they did not, as Parker notes in his letter to The Atlantic, hire a pop star to perform.
· New Government Documents Show the Sean Parker Wedding Is the Perfect Parable for Silicon Valley Excess [The Atlantic]
· All Weddings Week Coverage [Racked SF]