Both celebrity weddings were hush-hush, but there the similarity ended. Ted Turner and Jane Fonda wed in Southern-gentry style at his 8,100-acre plantation, Avalon, in Capps, Fla., while Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford flew to a Vegas chapel on a whim and, one hopes, a prayer.
Frills and family in Florida
Considering the two hard-earned fortunes involved (his: an estimated $1.4 billion, hers: $60 million), the wedding was surprisingly simple. Although the prenuptial agreement reportedly conferred an up-front award to the bride of $10 million in Turner Broadcasting System stock, Jane Fonda clearly didn’t cash it in on her wedding toilette. She pinned up her shoulder-length, pale brown hair herself and wore a floor-length, off-white linen-and-lace dress from her 1981 movie Rollover (of course it still fits!) when she married media mogul and TIME magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year, Ted Turner, 53, on Dec. 21, her 54th birthday. Baptist minister A.I. Dixie performed the ceremony, and Jimmy Brown, head houseman at Avalon and a Turner family retainer for more than 40 years, was best man. Jane had no maid of honor, but her son, Troy Hayden, 18, gave her away. “It was a wonderful, joyous moment,” says Peter Fonda, Jane’s brother. “We were all crying and laughing.”
The guests feasted on pheasant, sweet potatoes and wild rice, all from the Avalon property and Turner’s Montana ranch. “When Jane and Ted danced, they looked very much in love,” says Peter. “They’re just so alike,” adds Ted’s daughter Laura Turner Seydel, 30. “Both overachievers, both brilliant.” And this may be the key point: “Neither one of them outshines the other.”
No nonsense in Nevada
Supermodel Cindy Crawford, 25, and high-rolling Pretty Woman John Richard Gere, 42, found a time-honored way to avoid Hollywood’s taste for Nikon nuptials. The couple eloped to Las Vegas, where, at 11 P.M. on Dec. 12, a stubble-faced Gere and pantsuited Crawford exchanged I do’s (each for the first time) at the Little Church of the West, a marriage chapel that Crawford said reminded her of the International House of Pancakes.
So hasty was the $510, nondenominational ceremony that the couple exchanged aluminum foil rings. Gere’s agent, Ed Limato, was best man, and celeb photographer Herb Ritts (whose mother introduced Crawford to Gere at a 1988 barbecue that Ritts gave for Elton John) snapped pictures. After the rites of merger—during which the groom promised to serve the bride breakfast in bed for six months—the wedding party repaired to Denny’s for dinner. The following week, Crawford, who reportedly is expecting a baby this summer, told David Letterman on his Late Night show, “We could have had a videotape [of the ceremony], but we declined.”