By People Staff
Updated March 10, 1997 12:00 PM

WHEN SINGER JON SECADA HID a two-carat diamond engagement ring inside her dessert last May, Maritere Vilar recalled, “I started to cry because I couldn’t believe it.” On Feb. 22, it was her father, Enrique, shedding tears as he escorted Vilar, clad in a white Raoul Arango gown, into the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Fla. Inside, 450 guests—including Gloria Estefan and Univision talk show host Cristina Saralegui—looked on as Secada, 35, and Vilar, 24, who started dating in May 1995, wed in a traditional Cuban Catholic ceremony. “She changed everything,” said Secada (whose first marriage ended in divorce in 1993) of Vilar, a former publicist for the company that manages the two-time Grammy winner. At the rose-and-tulip-bedecked Inter-Continental Hotel, the newlyweds took their first dance—as a Secada song, “Por Fin” (“At Last”), played. “If everything ended today,” he said, “I would be more than happy.”