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Nature Lovers Peter Beard and Cheryl Tiegs Leave Wildlife Behind for the Newlywed Game

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The Atlantic Ocean shimmered in a glorious spring sunset. Gaily colored tents dotted the lawn. The tinkle of ice, the soft strains of a string quartet, the sparkle of champagne—in such a setting, would not the bride be dazzlingly beautiful, the groom impossibly handsome and debonair? In a Fitzgerald novel, of course, but every so often life imitates art, and such was the case over Memorial Day weekend when supermodel Cheryl Tiegs married jet-set photographer Peter Beard.

From the wilds of Africa to the urban jungle of Manhattan’s nightlife, theirs has been a public romance. But Beard, 43, and Tiegs, 33, tied the knot with a minimum of fanfare and a maximum of tradition in a simple 12-minute ceremony in Montauk, N.Y.

“My life is so untraditional,” explains Tiegs (who wore black when she married adman and film director Stan Dragoti in 1970) of her desire for a quiet wedding. Hence the all-white Oscar de la Renta gown, the rice outside the church, the cutting of the cake and the first dance to a lilting Blue Danube. The reception was held at Thunderbolt Ranch, Beard’s six-acre estate at the tip of Long Island. Some 80 guests went through four cases of Dom Perignon (“OD on DP” became something of a rallying cry) and dined on cold lobster and veal. They danced until 1 a.m., but the ice-sculpture elephant, a symbol of Beard’s lifetime devotion to the preservation of African wildlife, dripped until dawn.

Eschewing a traditional honeymoon, the newlyweds are unwinding at home, walking the beach with one most unusual wedding present—a goat—and slipping into town for ice-cream sodas. “So far,” reported Cheryl with a giggle two days after the event, “we’re still happily married.”