August 14, 2006 12:00 PM

Pamela Anderson has a knack for letting it all hang out. But at her July 29 wedding to Kid Rock, it was the groom who couldn’t contain himself. “Kid had tears in his eyes,” says a source. “He was more emotional than Pamela.” By the end of the yacht-board ceremony in Saint-Tropez, “we all cried,” says Elton John’s husband, David Furnish. “It was very moving.”

Oh, who are we kidding? The five-minute wedding ceremony of Anderson, 39, and Rock, 35, may have been surprisingly teary, but that was about the only mushy moment in an otherwise free-wheeling, music-blaring, champagne-swilling throwdown befitting the union of the Detroit rocker and his bikinied bride. And the newlyweds—along with their 150 guests—wouldn’t have had it any other way. “The best thing about today was the sheer fun of it all,” says Furnish. “It was a real rock and roll wedding.”

The fact that the marriage isn’t legal—French law requires a prior civil ceremony at the mayor’s office, plus three months’ residency—didn’t seem to bother anyone, least of all the ecstatic bride. As she put it in a July 30 posting on her Web site: “It was the best most romantic wedding of all time.”

It also marked a full loop in the rock-and-roller-coaster romance between Anderson and Rock (real name: Robert Ritchie), who began dating in 2001, got engaged in 2002 and then split the following year, around the time Anderson rekindled a relationship with ex-husband Tommy Lee, 43, the father of her sons Brandon, 10, and Dylan, 8. (The boys did not attend the wedding.) When she and Rock ran into each other in early July on a mutual friend’s yacht in Saint-Tropez, “it was like we’d never been apart,” he says.

With guests like Cindy Crawford, her husband, Rande Gerber, designer Tommy Hilfiger and celebrity photographer David LaChapelle looking on, the bride—in a Heatherette mini-dress—exchanged self-written vows with her groom in a sunset ceremony aboard the yacht Altavida (Spanish for “High Life”). “She was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen—the modern day Brigitte Bardot,” says Jimmy Choo designer Tamara Mellon, a former girlfriend of Kid’s who caught the bouquet. “Kid Rock looked like a gorgeous rock star. He gave her a good kiss.”

After releasing white balloons and toasting with Champagne, Anderson signaled that she was ready to really party, whipping off her dress to reveal a white Melissa Odabash bikini underneath. From there it was off to Nikki Beach, a restaurant and bar in Saint-Tropez that had been decorated with hundreds of white candles and crimson rose petals for the couple’s reception.

While guests feasted on a seafood buffet, the newlyweds—she in her bikini sipping Cristal, he shirtless with a bottle of Corona in one hand and a cigar in the other—shared kisses and mingled. At one point Rock took the microphone to serenade his bride with U2’s “With or Without You.” (Bono, who was invited, sent his regrets.) “When he sang, Pamela was right in front of him, looking at him,” says a guest. “They were in their own little world.” The couple also indulged in at least one wedding tradition: cutting the cake, a local specialty made with pastry cream and vanilla layers called tarte Tropézienne. “They were laughing and feeding each other,” says a guest. Later, they duetted on a karaoke version of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.”

The next day brought more partying in Saint-Tropez before they jetted off for the rest of the Pam-Kid wedding express. “We have to do Malibu, we’ve got to do Detroit, and we’ve got to do Nashville,” Anderson said July 26 of their plans to marry Stateside. The Saint-Tropez wedding, if not official, was most definitely rockin’. Says Furnish: “It was spectacular. Pamela looked sexy, she looked happy, she looked radiant. We loved all of it.”


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