MAKING PROMISES TO MILLIONS—LIKE, it will not rain this weekend, really—is all in a day’s work for Al Roker. So the thought of making one small pledge to one woman didn’t rattle the Today show weatherman and CNBC talk show host—until he saw 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts walking down the aisle of Manhattan’s St. Thomas Episcopal Church. “I can’t puddle,” Roker told himself. “No.”
As it turned out, he didn’t. On Sept. 16, as the Boys Choir of Harlem sang and the E train rumbled in the distance, native New Yorker Roker, 41, and Roberts, 34, of Perry, Ga., calmly exchanged vows. But their 200 or so guests—including ABC’s Barbara Walters, Today coanchor Katie Couric and talk show host Rolanda Watts—were less restrained. “I cried,” said Watts, “but then, I cry at everything.”
The couple met in 1990, when Roberts did a brief stint on Today’s news. But there was no romance, they say: He was in his second marriage (he has a daughter, Courtney, 8), and she was soon off to NBC’s Miami bureau. In 1992, Roberts moved back to Manhattan to work for Dateline, and while away on assignment asked Roker, by then divorced, to house-sit. “When I got back,” says Roberts, who moved to ABC’s 20/20 this past spring, “he had left flowers, stocked the refrigerator and written a really nice note.”
Three years later, he was on his knee at the Grand Canyon. “Al said, ‘I want to ask you in front of all this if you’ll marry me,’ ” recalls Roberts. “If she had said no,” adds Roker, “I could have jumped.” Instead, they jumped into wedding plans—culminating in a honeymoon in France. “I don’t think they’ll miss us,” says Couric.