Renee Zellweger's wedding dress designer Carolina Herrera has slammed reports her newlywed client has only known new husband Kenny Chesney for a few weeks, insisting the pair have dated for "six months, at least".

The blonde actress is one of Herrera's most famous clients, having sported the designer's creations to the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 Academy Awards.

And when Zellweger approached Herrera to create a dress for a mystery occasion, the designer admits she suspected the actress was preparing to marry. Zellweger and Chesney married in the Caribbean on Monday (09MAY05).

In an interview with trade newspaper WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY, Herrera explains, "We made it quickly because it was decided in a very quick way. I really didn't know what it was for. I knew it was for a special occasion and deep in me, I knew it was going to be something like a wedding, but I didn't want to ask too much because Renee is very private and she doesn't say too much and I respect that because I'm the same way."

Several newspapers have reported Zellweger and Chesney met at the CONCERT OF HOPE tsunami fundraiser concert on 15 January (05), despite only being linked by the press for the first time last week (ends06MAY05).

However Herrera claims their relationship has been going much longer, saying, "They love each other and they have been going out for a long time.

"It's not only two weeks as they say. It's like six months, at least."

Zellweger split from White Stripes frontman Jack White in September (04) after a two-year relationship, while the country singer ended his engagement to MANDY CONNOR in 2000.

11/05/2005 17:16