Gwen Stefani knows how to make an entrance: When the No Doubt singer wed her longtime boyfriend, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, Sept. 14, she arrived at the London church a full hour late. And by the time her 1970 Rolls-Royce pulled up at 6 p.m., the crowd of onlookers at St. Paul’s Covent Garden had swollen to 250 people, all jostling for a peek at the rock siren as she swept into the 17th-century churchyard under hundreds of sparkly stars strung from the trees.
There were stars inside too—including bandmates from No Doubt and Bush—but “it really wasn’t a big, glamorous glitzy affair,” says one of the 150 guests. “For two people with such high-profile lives, it was fantastically down-to-earth and ordinary.”
Well, mostly ordinary. Rossdale, 36, did keep his beloved Hungarian sheepdog Winston, decked out in a collar of flowers, at his side for the ceremony. “He didn’t bark and was very well-behaved,” says Rossdale’s security guard Guy Johnson. Still, the emphasis was on tradition. Stefani, 32, clutched rosary beads and her grandmother’s Catholic prayer book as she walked up the aisle with dad Dennis, 57, an L.A. marketing consultant. Wearing a custom-made Dior by John Galliano silk gown and antique lace veil, “she looked unbelievable,” says one guest. “There were gasps.” Tears, too, as the pair exchanged vows in the Anglican service. “They just quietly said them to one another,” says Rossdale’s father, Douglas, 78, a retired doctor. “It was pretty emotive for both of them.” Adds Galliano: “Gwen was visibly choked with emotion. She cried, he cried—and so did the dog!”
The pair met in 1995, when Bush and No Doubt toured the U.S. together. “I first saw her on Rollerblades,” says Rossdale. “I don’t know what it was, something about her. She ruined my concentration.” More than six years later, after asking Stefani’s father for her hand in marriage (“He was very gracious,” says Rossdale), he popped the question on New Year’s Day, 2002. “She did tell me to say it again, but then she said yes.”
After the ceremony two double-decker London buses shuttled guests to nearby Home House, an elegant private club where a sit-down, six-course Italian feast of seafood, pasta and risotto was served in the courtyard garden. There the newlyweds—who also have a Catholic blessing planned for Sept. 28 ‘in L.A.—hit the dance floor until 5 a.m. Throughout the revelry, there were “ridiculous amounts” of smooching, says a friend. “But they always do that. They can never keep their hands off each other.”
Liz Corcoran, Caris Davis and Ashley Williams in London, Cathy Nolan in Paris and Julie Jordan in Los Angeles