June 21, 1993 12:00 PM

SOME BRIDES-TO-BE FRET OVER THE ARRANGEMENTS, others fixate on a simple thing like shoes. Mariah Carey—who asked some wedding consultants to sign a four-page affidavit swearing them to secrecy and wore a pair of hand-pleated satin evening pumps by Vanessa Noel, priced at more than $1,000—did all that, says a source, plus watch a video of the 1981 Princess Di nuptials “over and over again.” The royal wedding obviously influenced the style of the 24-year-old singer’s marriage to Sony Music president Tommy Mottola, 43, on June 5 in New York City. As several hundred fans standing in the rain outside St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue could see, Carey wore an off-the-shoulder, pale-ivory dress with a beaded bodice, and a Diana-style tiara trailed by an English tulle veil sprinkled with rhinestones. Carey’s Vera Wang gown also featured a 27-foot-long train that provided employment of sorts for six ladies in waiting.

Of course, no one wants to come too close to the Waleses’ fractured fairy tale. The mere presence of shock-rocker Ozzy Osbourne, minus his bat, guaranteed that the nuptials wouldn’t be getting too pompous. In all, there were about 300 guests—including Barbra Streisand, Tony Danza, Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Gloria Estefan and Dick Clark—and a possible record 200 security personnel. One wonders if, when people did the hokey-pokey at the reception (held at the exclusive Metropolitan Club), they put their shoulder-holsters in, their shoulder-holsters out…

Prenuptially, one could merely wonder about a lot of things. Secrecy was important to Carey, who once said, “There is not much that is sacred in this business, but to me, my private life is.” The then unknown Carey met the then married Mottola at a record-industry party in 1988. Three years later she had two Grammys and he was divorced from his wife of 20 years, Lisa, and was courting the pop star.

The wedding arrangements, in the end, proved to be fairly conventional. Guests rode in limos, ate marinated grilled shrimp, pasta and baby chicken and danced to sounds (Motown for him, early disco for her) provided by a live orchestra and a deejay. Despite the megatalent on hand, none of the guests performed, and no Carey songs were played. After the bridal bouquet was tossed into a cluster of waiting fans, the beat went on—to Florida, where the newlyweds honeymooned. One estimate of the final tab: $500,000. Or, in the parlance of the retail record biz, about 38,000 units.


NANCY C. MORGAN in New York City

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