In some ways Toni Braxton was an ordinary bride: She dieted before her wedding, fretted about how to wear her hair and registered at Williams-Sonoma. But as her 4.5-carat diamond ring (estimated worth: $75,000) might suggest, ordinary only went so far. When the six-time Grammy-winning R&B singer, 34, wed musician Keri Lewis, 30, in Atlanta’s wisteria-and-rose-filled Dean Gardens on April 21, it was, says her great-aunt Vermelle Matthews, “a fairy tale.” In more respects than one. Since signing with LaFace Records, reportedly for nearly $20 million, just months after declaring herself bankrupt in 1998, Braxton is once again looking solvent. She wore a $15,000 Vera Wang gown and $500,000 in borrowed jewels—opting for simplicity only in the 30-minute ceremony officiated at by former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young. Says T-Boz Watkins of hip-hop’s TLC: “It was fast, sweet and to the point.”
Afterward, Braxton and 250 guests—including LaFace co-owner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and singers Usher Raymond and Biz Markie (who acted as deejay)—nibbled on fried lobster and sipped peach martinis before being seated for dinner in a tent beneath thousands of hanging crystals. As they watched the newlyweds’ first dance, to the Bee Gees’ “More than a Woman,” revelers feasted on Chilean sea bass, lamb and a towering vanilla wedding cake composed of blue boxes that are the trademark of Tiffany & Co., which made the couple’s diamond-and-platinum wedding bands. Then, just before midnight, fireworks lit the sky.
The only detail overlooked: the irritated neighbor who called police about the noise. He, however, was the only one complaining. “I’m ecstatic,” says Braxton’s mother, Evelyn, 53. “Keri’s a wonderful man. I’m hoping they have twins!”