With Pomp and Circumstance, a Trio of Nuptials Get the Royal Treatment
Marie-Chantal Miller & Crown Prince Pavlos
In keeping with tradition, there were things old, new and borrowed—-but mainly blueblood—at the London ceremony uniting Pavlos, 28, the oldest son of the deposed King Constantine of Greece, with Marie-Chantal, 26, the middle daughter of Robert W. Miller, an American-born millionaire who made his fortune as king of a chain of duty-free shops.
True, not every royal who counts was there; Di was off celebrating her 34th birthday with her sons at Ludgrove School outside London, and the Grimaldis were busy with Princess Stephanie’s wedding in Monaco (see page 53). But the Greek Orthodox nuptials at London’s Cathedral of Saint Sophia were attended by what seemed like the world’s remaining supply of royals (see key below).
Pavlos and Marie-Chantal’s romance is a Concorde-set fairy tale. “It was love at first sight,” says Pavlos, who officially proposed, on his knees, in a gondola lift over the ski runs at Gstaad. “I’d been carrying the ring [an heirloom sapphire with heart-shaped diamond] with me for three days,” he says. And then there was the all-night pre-wedding fete at the Palladian estate of Wrotham Park. “All those kings and queens in ball gowns on a carousel with fireworks going off and the sun coming up behind them,” described one commoner. “I’ll never see anything like it again.”
Not unless he’s invited to the Oct. 7 wedding of Marie-Chantal’s younger sister Alexandra (at right in blue with oldest sister Pia in red) to Prince Alexander von Furstenberg, the son of Prince Egon and designer Diane, (The Miller girls have a knack for marrying well; three years ago, Pia wed Christopher Getty, grandson of the late billionaire J. Paul.) Hence Marie-Chantal’s wedding tab, an estimated $1.5 million, seemed perfectly appropriate for a woman to the manor born, even if planning a party for 1,400 was a bit of a chore. “When you try to seat all those people, it becomes overwhelming,” says Marie-Chantal, whose Valentino wedding gown took 25 dressmakers four months to stitch.
At least the bride—known heretofore as M.C. and hereafter as the princess—has plenty of time to rest up during a monthlong honeymoon at a secret location, after which she and her prince will set up housekeeping in Manhattan. Pavlos has lined up a job with a ship-brokerage firm in Connecticut. The princess may resume art history studies at New York University, but only, she insists, “after I master my Greek.” She means the language, presumably, not her husband, who insists that “we will lead a normal life like anybody in the United States.” Except that “maybe when we go to the supermarket, we’ll be recognized more.”
Blissful princess brides rejoiced
A Princess Elena & Jaime de Marichalar
Prince Charles showed up late and left early, but everyone else had a royal time at the eye-popping wedding of Princess Eleno of Spain, 31, and dashing banker de Marichalar, 31. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia invited 1,300 of their closest friends, including members of 38 royal families, to the sprawling Cathedral of Seville, while 600 million people worldwide tuned into Spain’s first royal wedding since 1906. After taking their vows, the newlyweds climbed into an 18th-century carriage and wheeled past cheering crowds on the way to a flamenco-flavored service, followed by a wedding banquet and a fireworks display. “If was a lot of fun,” said a guest. “If was jolly, not snobbish at all.”
Princess Stephanie of Monaco & Daniel Ducruet
Never a fan of the press, Stephanie, 30, shut out the media—and nearly all of Monaco—when she made it official with her French-born former bodyguard Ducruet, 31, in a civil ceremony in the Monaco mairie (city hall). Only 30 guests witnessed Stephanie’s exchange of vows with the divorced Ducruet, who runs a security company and is the father of her two children, Louis, 2, and Pauline, 1. Prince Rainier, who had long disapproved of Ducruet, finally gave the couple his blessing last year, shortly after he had double-bypass surgery. Rainier and Princess Caroline attended the low-key wedding but not the lobster dinner for 60 at the Loew’s Hotel (Stephanie’s brother Prince Albert attended both). The lovebirds released two doves before cutting their raspberry cake, then, forgoing any public appearance, left the next day for their honeymoon in Guadeloupe. “Stephanie did this exactly the way she always wanted,” said a close friend. “No fuss and no big deal.”
They lived the fantasy
Alan Thicke & Gina Marie Tolleson
Taking a carriage to her marriage was the beginning of true wedded blisstor Tolleson, 25, who says, “I was so happy, it was like this calm peace came over me.” The only glitch was a noisy helicopter overhead when Thicke, 48, serenaded his bride, a former Miss World, before 250 guests, including Sharon Stone and Wayne Gretzky, at his rolling Santa Barbara ranch. The former Growing Pains patriarch, now starring on Hope & Gloria, had proposed on New Year’s Eve 1993 by acting out “Will you marry me?” during a game of charades. He was nearly speechless again after pledging his love to his bride. “It was just a perfect day,” he said. “Gina should be a wedding consultant.”
Blair Underwood & Désirée DaCosta
Thundering in on horseback, his six groomsmen galloping behind, Underwood overwhelmed the 350 guests at his outdoor Southern California wedding to DreamWorks SKG staffer DaCosta, 29, who pulled up in a Cinderella carriage. Wearing skintight jodhpurs and shiny riding boots, the former star of L.A. Law, 30, impressed ex-castmates Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker with his equine élan (“Every groom should gallop to meet his bride,” said Tucker), but when it came to commitment, Underwood didn’t horse around. “I knew there was something special about us from the beginning,” he says. “I just couldn’t envision ever letting her go.”
Anthony Radziwill & Carole DiFalco
A natty JFK Jr. was the best man (but then, when isn’t he?) as his cousin Radziwill, 35, wed fellow ABC News producer DiFalco, 31, in a stylish but casual ceremony in East Hampton, N.Y. After a shortened Catholic service in the Most Holy Trinity Church (and a Shakespearean sonnet read by John John), luminaries, including Diane Sawyer, Melanie Griffith and Ted Kennedy, ate quail under billowing tents at the breezy beachside reception. “There were all these famous people, but you never felt out of place,” said a bridesmaid. “It was one big happy room full of people having a great time.” The most impressive accomplishment? Getting JFK Jr. that close to an altar.
Lisa Kudrow & Michel Stern
“I’ll Be There for You” is the bouncy theme song from the hit show Friends, and sure enough, all but one of her five costars (David Schwimmer, who was filming a movie in Manhattan) were there when Kudrow, 31, who plays flighty Phoebe, wed French ad executive Stern, 37, in Malibu (see also Wedding Planner story, page 131). Kudrow opted for an informal dress code and had friends and family members select different flowers for her eclectic bouquet. “I didn’t want the wedding to be too storybook,” says Kudrow, a Vassar grad. “I’m not that type.” The couple also wrote their own vows. “They had to be short,” explains Kudrow, “because we said them in French and English.”
From the mountains to the ocean to the moon
Kwon-Jin Moon & Hwa-Yun Chun/Sun-Jin Moon & In-Sup Park
For Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, the Unification Church heads who in 1992 married 30,000 couples at once, it was easy to bless the arranged unions of son Kwon-Jin, 20, left, and daughter Sun-Jin, 19, right, in New York. “In my church, marriage is like a box of chocolates,” says In-Sup, 24. “You never know what you’re gonna get!”
Richard Thomas & Georgiana Biscnoff
Still John-boyish at 43, Thomas gathered his kinfolk (but not his Walton clan) near the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles for a hitchin’ to art dealer Bischoff, 34. Surrounded by offspring (his four, her two), the couple said their vows standing on a Navaho rug (she’s part Pueblo Indian). “It was a big family picnic,” says Thomas. “There was such a feeling of love from the kids.”
Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee
So what if her wedding outfit was a skimpy bikini and sunblock? Baywatch beauty Anderson, 27, was a picture-perfect bride on a beach in Cancun, Mexico, where she wound up a five-day fling by marrying rocker (and Heather Locklear‘s ex) Lee, 32. “It was just instant, mind-blowing animal attraction,” explained Anderson. “He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in somebody.”
Christie Brinkley & Richard Taubman
The Uptown Girl went way uptown—11,900 feet, to be exact—when she ascended to the top of Colorado’s Telluride Mountain to marry Taubman, 46, a real estate developer. Alexa, her 8-year-old daughter by Billy Joel, was the flower girl, while Taubman’s 8-year-old son, Wyatt, was ring bearer. After breathtaking outdoor vows (temperatures were in the 30s), Brinkley, 41, opened amnio results and revealed to guests she was four months pregnant with son Jack Paris (who was born June 2). “I was stunned,” says Brinkley. “I couldn’t regain my composure for 10 minutes.”
Black Beaver & Soaring Feather
Buckskins, not tuxes, were the clothes of choice when West Virginia businessman and Wampanoag tribesman Black Beaver (Robert MacDiarmid) asked the Great Spirit to bless his Martha’s Vineyard wussentamoonk (wedding) to tribal chairwoman Soaring Feather (Beverly Wright). Chief Running Deer (Don Malonson, far left) performed the ceremony inside a circle of blossoms and lilacs.
If at first you don’t succeed
Joe Eszterhas & Naomi Baka
Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriter showed a basic instinct for bliss with artist Baka, 35, and their 4-month-old son, Joe Jr. Their Maui wedding was simple, unlike their engagement: Eszterhas, 49, left his wife of 24 years to live with Baka, whose husband of five months left her for Sharon Stone. “Life with Joe is like deep gulps of oxygen,” says the bride. “It’s living every moment to its fullest.”
A George Mitchell & Heather MacLachlan
She lobbied for love; he voted yes. Both parties celebrated when former Senate Majority Leader Mitchell, 61, married sports marketing executive MacLachlan, 35, in St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York City. Fewer than 100 guests (and no politicos) attended the cozy conjoining. “They just radiated,” says maid of honor Alexandra Nastase. “They were oozing with happiness.”
Tristan Rogers & Teresa Parkerson
The former General Hospital hunk (he played Robert Scorpio) put the squeeze on his live-in love Parkerson, 31, on a ranch in Agoura, Calif. Though the two didn’t rush into marriage (their daughter Sara, 2, was the flower girl), they flew through the stripped-down ceremony. “We cut it to the bone,” says the Aussie, 48. “It was, ‘I do, we do, okay, let’s go.’ ” G’day and g’bye!
Heather Locklear & Richie Sambora
Her nearly eight-year marriage to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee ended in 1993, but the Melrose Place vixen did not give up on rock stars. When Locklear, 33, snared Bon Jovi guitarist Sambora, 35, she decided to marry him twice. The duo first spoke their “I do’s” in a civil ceremony in Sambora’s Rumson, N.J., home. Two days later they were in Paris, with some two dozen guests, for a more lavish Episcopal wedding at the American Cathedral. The bride wore a gown of imported lace by Dynasty designer Nolan Miller. Later, the couple’s champagne reception at the Ritz hotel spilled onto the balcony, where Locklear and maid of honor Liso Christy, a makeup artist who introduced the couple in 1994, charmed fans on the street below. As for Sambora—well, the honeymoon suite was not trashed.
Offscreen but on location for their vows
Cynthia Geary & Robert Coron
The moose was a no-show, but the rest of the regulars from recently axed Northern Exposure turned up for the sunset wedding of Geary, 29 (she played ditsy waitress Shelly), and real estate broker Coron, 32, under a tent outside Seattle’s Woodmark Hotel on Lake Washington. Wearing a ’20s-style dress (“kind of like Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby,” she says), the bride listened to musical star John Cullum, who played her TV hubby, sing “Ave Maria” before she departed with her groom for the San Juan Islands. There was no wedding video, however. “I couldn’t have cameras there,” says Geary. “I would have felt like I was doing a scene.”
Tracey Gold & Rohy Marshall
No, ABC didn’t order a Growing Pains reunion movie, though it sure looked that way at the North Hollywood nuptials of Gold, 25, and Marshall, 29. Proud TV parents Joanna Kerns and Alan Thicke, plus bratty brother Jeremy Miller (Kirk Cameron couldn’t make it), joined Gold’s real-life family and 270 guests at St. Charles Catholic Church, where Gold and Marshall, who coaches a Little League softball team as he prepares to go back to school, capped off their four-year courtship. Then recovering from a long battle with anorexia, Gold wore a white-and-ivory satin gown by designer Helen Benton. “This was the most amazing day and night of my life,” she said, before the couple dashed off for a Hawaiian honeymoon. “This wedding has been my dream since I was 13 years old.”
Tough guys danced, soap stars celebrated
Arthel Neville & Derrick Lassie
Mardi Gras came late for Extra anchor Neville, 32, when she gave her hand to Carolina Panther running back Lassie, 25, near New Orleans’s French Quarter. Her uncle Aaron sang two songs before Neville led a conga line around the reception hall. Not even fleet-footed Lassie (flanked by footballers Tony Richardson, left, and Ron Stone) could keep up. “I don’t have this New Orleans beat down yet,” he said. “It’s tricky.”
Dennis Franz & Joanie Zeck
Exactly 13 years after meeting on a dance floor, Franz, 50, who plays NYPD Blue’s scruffy Detective Sipowicz, partnered with businesswoman Zeck, 47, in Carmel Valley, Calif. The TV tough guy chose the date, ordered her horse-drawn carriage and even picked out the flowers. Sipowicz picked out flowers? “He really surprised me,” says Zeck. “He’s always been romantic, but this just blew me away.”
Teresa Blake & Mike McGuire
She was married to rotten Adam Chandler on All My Children, but Blake, 30, lucked out in life when she wed her high school sweetheart, McGuire, 35, the drummer for country bond Shenandoah, in Birmingham, Ala. Castmates Kelly Ripa (far left) and Eva LaRue (far right) were bridesmaids.
Witnessed by family costars, even a marching band
Meredith MacRae & Philip Neal
“I guess I’m a corporate wife now,” said the former Petticoat Junction star, 48, after celebrating her third marriage, to office-supply company president Neal, 54, at L.A.’s Hotel Bel Air. Witnesses included mom Sheila, Petticoat costars Linda Henning and Lori Saunders, and Dear Abby, who kept her advice to herself.
Melissa Gilbert & Bruce Boxleitner
After three years and two broken engagements, Sweet Justice star Gilbert, 30, and Babylon 5’s Boxleitner, 44, gave in to fate. The bride’s sister Sara (Roseanne) was maid of honor at the family-oriented ceremony held in their mother’s L.A. home. Gilbert, who expects a baby in December, strategically planned the wedding for New Year’s Day. “Now,” she says, “Bruce can’t forget our anniversary.”
Holly Robinson & Rodney Peete
Rev. Jesse Jackson presided at the West L.A. wedding of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’s Robinson, 30, and Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Peete, 29. But the preacher was upstaged by USC’s marching band, which surprised Peete with his college fight song. All part of Holly’s plan, explains her mom, Dolores. “When other babies were hearing lullabies in their heads,” she says, “Holly was hearing ‘Here Comes the Bride.’ ” (See also Wedding Planner story.)
They promised to laugh, honor and cherish
Martin Lawrence & Patricia Southall
There was something borrowed (a handkerchief) but nothing blue when the raunchy comedian degartered his bride, a former Miss Virginia he met at a Def Comedy Jam show three years ago. Lawrence, 29, packed 600 guests into the Norfolk Waterside Marriott to witness his Baptist wedding, while hundreds of Martin sons huddled outside. “Marriage is a beautiful thing, and everybody should do it,” says Southall, 24. “Only not with Martin.”
Rich Little & Jeannette Markey
If you say “I do” in Cary Grant’s voice, is it legally binding in Las Vegas? Probably—if you’re impressionist Little, 54, who also did his best Cary to coax a yes from stage partner Markey, 28, when he proposed last year. “He’s her favorite actor,” explains Little, who did just the one impression at the black-tie bash at the MGM Grand Hotel. “Saying ‘I do’ in 200 different voices,” he points out, “would have taken two hours.”
Denise Matthews & Anthony Smith
The Prince protege formerly known as Vanity showed none at all when she proposed to L.A. Raiders defensive end Smith, 27, just days after seeing a TV clip of him and arranging a date. Four weeks later they teamed up permanently at his five-bedroom spread in Playa del Rey, Calif. “I haven’t been so sure about anything since I got baptized,” says the evangelical Matthews, 36, while Smith declares, “I knew she was the one. I like the way she makes me feel about myself.” This is what it sounds like when doves coo.
To the altar, with a song
Don Henley & Sharon Summerall
“It was like a rock-and-roll hall of fame,” says a starstruck witness to the ultrasecret Malibu wedding of Eagles legend Henley, 47, and model Summerall, 33, his girlfriend of two years. The A-list attendees (who were told of the Vista Ranch location only the night before) included all the Eagles, as well as Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Bob Seger and, seated together (below) eating crawfish and crabcakes, the Bruce Springsteens and the Stings. Tony Bennett did a set of songs (Sting and Joel also sang) before Henley crooned the Beatles’ “In My Life” to his bride. The guests kept on rocking into the wee hours. As one waiter said, “It was a really happening party.”
Céline Dion & René Angélil
Not only did it take a month to plan the bride’s hairdo and 1,000 hours to make her pearl-encrusted gown, but the city of Montreal virtually shut down when Canada’s queen of pop, 26, wed her longtime manager, Angélil, 52, in Notre Dame Basilica. “Do you know,” Angélil asks, “that 900 people were working for our wedding to happen?” Twenty-pound tiara notwithstanding, the regal bride was walking on air. “It was the ceremony of my dreams,” says Dion. “We thought of everything from A to Z.”
Scott Ian & Debbie Leavitt
What kind of music does a heavy-metal guitarist want at his wedding? For Anthrax’s Ian, the sedate strains of a jazz trio playing “An Affair to Remember” set the surprisingly mellow mood. Says Ian, 31: “I’m pretty traditional.” Maybe, but beneath his tux were Doc Martens boots when he bonded with fashion sales rep Leavitt, 23, in Huntington Beach, Calif. After their ad-libbed vows (“I love you,” he said, “because you’re the only one who’ll make me pancakes for breakfast every weekend”), the happy headbangers (they met at a Metallica concert) gave each other high fives. Explains Ian: “There was a seriousness to it, but we also saw it as a chance to throw a really big party.”
Shaun Cassidy & Susan Diol
He may be well past his teen idol days, but Cassidy, 36, still knows how to make a girl quiver. “My heart jumps every time I see him,” says Diol, 30, an actress who read for the part of Cassidy’s wife in a proposed Partridge Family TV movie, then snagged the role in real life. The Methodist wedding in Westwood, Calif., included Cassidy’s mom, Shirley Jones, stepdad Marty Ingels and brothers Patrick and Ryan (but not David, who was working and couldn’t make it), as well as his daughter Caitlin, 13, and son Jake, 10, from his first marriage. “From our very first date,” says Diol, “we knew that we were soulmates and that we had found true love. Our hearts were meant for each other.”
A rock, a pop, heavy-metal marriage
Brian Wilson & Melinda Ledbetter
“The vibrations in that chapel were so wonderful,” pronounced Beach Boys’ founder Wilson, 52, after exchanging vows with Ledbetter, 47, in an Ecumenical service in Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif. With his drug problems and legal battles with bandmates (who attended) behind him, Wilson clearly had fun, fun, fun. His daughters Carnie and Wendy (right, with Ledbetter), of the disbanded group Wilson Phillips, gave their pop excitations when they sang “God Only Knows” as “our special gift to him,” says Carnie. “It means so much to see Dad happy.”
The Bride wore red…. or no thing at all
Janice Dickinson Gersten
Kissed off by Sylvester Stallone after a DNA test showed that her daughter Savannah Rodin wasn’t his, model-cum-photographer Dickinson, 40, puckered up for real estate developer Gersten, 43, at his West Hollywood nightclub, the Gate. “I believe in God, fate and karma,” says Gersten, who had met his bride nine weeks earlier on a blind date. Dressed in Karl Lagerfeld’s red lace and tulle (“It was Valentine’s Day, what was I supposed to wear?”), the bride celebrated with 400 guests, 600 dozen roses and a 23-carat engagement ring. “I said yes before I sow the diamond,” says Dickinson. “I really dig this guy.”
Roseanne & Ben Thomas
Married life was never a piece of cake for Roseanne, 42, who nevertheless went back for thirds with her ex-bodyguard Thomos, 28, on Valentine’s Day at Caesars Tahoe in Nevada. The bride was decked out in a red-velvet Richard Tyler dress embroidered with “Ben and Roseanne”; the groom wore a cast on his broken leg. Among the 180 guests was first hubby Bill Pentland, but not Tom Arnold. Could it be that then-two-months-pregnant Rosie finally landed the right man? “He’s in love with the broad, you know what I mean?” said Thomas’s uncle Joe Caporali. “And she’s in love with him.”
Dolores O’Riordan & Don Burton
Some guests thought she forgot half her dress, but O’Riordan, 22, insisted that she “just wanted my husband to think I looked like a beautiful woman.” The Cranberries’ lead singer traded vows with Burton, 31, a former Duran Duran tour boss and now her band’s tour manager, at the Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary, Ireland. For the occasion, she slipped into see-through lace tights, a midriff-baring mini-top and a gold coronet—then glued a gemstone in her belly button. “The bridegroom had the pleasant job of removing it,” said O’Riordan, who described her bridal style as “cute, coy—and a bit naughty.” We’ll say.
Susanna Bartsch & David Barton
Maybe she thought it was, “Something old, something nude….” More likely, her flair tor drama led party promoter Bartsch, 43, to don a flesh-colored leather bodysuit and dome-shaped veil for her nuptials to gym owner Barton, 29, who wore a matching G-string. The only thing more surprising than the attire was the wedding itself, which took place before 1,500 startled guests at a Manhattan fashion show. Ring bearers raced in on rollerskates, and the couple’s 14-month-old baby, Bailey, was led in by a drag queen. Still, the couple bowed to one tradition: bridesmaids. Bartsch had 43 of them. “One,” she says, “for each year I’ve been around.”