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- September 17, 2007
- Vol. 68
- No. 12
The Third Time's a Charm! After a Last-Minute Cancellation in July and a Private Ceremony in August, Usher and Tameka Foster Finally Get Their Dream Wedding
Braselton, Georgia Sept. 1
He may be an R&B superstar known for his onstage moves, but on his wedding day, Usher made his entrance by "taking a trip down the aisle—literally," he tells PEOPLE. "Of course, I played it smooth as ever." And during his first dance with wife Tameka Foster, what made this turn memorable wasn't fancy footwork. "They danced to 'Here I Stand,' a song he wrote for her, about how she's the only one for him, and he'll always stand for her," says the couple's wedding planner Diann Valentine. "She was crying, and he took care of her. It was like no one else in the room existed—a really emotional moment."
And rightfully so, given their winding road to the altar. After canceling the lavish nuptials they had planned for July 28 in the Hamptons, the couple—who are expecting a child in December—were married six days later by a judge and minister at a small, private ceremony in Atlanta, where they live. To properly celebrate with their loved ones, Usher, 28, and Foster, 36, decided to do it all over again on Sept. 1 at the Château Elan Winery & Resort outside Atlanta. Says Foster: "To have all of our family and friends together laughing, crying, eating, drinking and dancing was the best."
After the 30-minute Christian ceremony, the 150 guests dined on fried green tomatoes and buttermilk fried chicken, followed by the white chocolate and vanilla bean wedding cake flown in from Perfect Endings in Napa, Calif. And then it was time to hit the mirrored dance floor. "You couldn't get Usher off it," says Valentine. Which led to the first official marital compromise: At 1:30 a.m., "Tameka had to drag him off," says Valentine. "She was like, 'Honey, my feet are hurting!'"
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Byron Allen & Jennifer Lucas
Los Angeles Sept. 1
Former Real People host Byron Allen, 46, couldn't contain his happiness at his Sept. 1 nuptials to producer Jennifer Lucas, 36. "During the vows he yelled out, 'I do!'" says wedding planner Mindy Weiss. "She's very soft-spoken, so after she said 'yes,' he yelled out, 'She does!' He was so happy the moment was finally here."
There were no wedding jitters for this couple, who met in April 2001 at a restaurant in Los Angeles. "After this long, I know she's the one," says Allen, who hosts Entertainers with Byron Allen and Comics Unleashed. "She's my best friend, and I couldn't wait to see her walk down the aisle." Adds Lucas: "We know we want to spend our lives together."
After the ceremony, held outdoors at the Hotel Bel-Air in L.A., the newlyweds and their 120 guests—including Natalie Cole and Eddie Murphy and his fiancée Tracey Edmonds—gathered under a tent for a five-course meal featuring sea bass and salmon pizza and a five-tiered wedding cake by Cake Divas. Before a deejay took over, spinning tunes until 2 a.m., Cole surprised the couple with a performance of her dad's hit "The Very Thought of You." And Allen's thoughts of his new wife? "She's full of life," he says. "I'm a lucky man."
Giuliana DePandi & Bill Rancic
Capri, Italy Sept. 1
For Italian-born E! News anchor Giuliana DePandi, 33, and former Apprentice winner Bill Rancic, 36, there could be no wedding without the destination. "We didn't want a wedding where everyone shows up at 6 o'clock and then it's over at midnight," says DePandi. "We wanted a whole experience."
And what an experience it was. On the Italian island of Capri—where DePandi's family vacationed every summer—the couple, who dated 10 months before getting engaged last December, planned what the bride calls "a week of just food and music and limoncello and friends together," capped by a Catholic ceremony at the 16th-century Santa Sofia church on Sept. 1. After the service, private cars brought the 190 guests to the main piazza, where Neapolitan singers and dancers formed a festive procession, escorting them to the reception at the Grand Hotel Quisisana. There, guests enjoyed southern Italian fare—buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and two pasta main courses—and a traditional Italian wedding cake decorated with rose petals, and danced into the wee hours to a 16-piece band. The big surprise of the night: DePandi put together a video of clips from the many times she interviewed Rancic (who was just named a cohost of NBC's In the Loop with iVillage) over the years. "Our very first interview," she recalls, "I ask him, 'So, are you dating anyone?' And he said, 'No, I'm holding out!' And I said, 'What are you holding out for?' And he said, 'You!' He was totally kidding, but can you imagine? I think it's destiny!"
Kate Walsh & Alex Young
Ojai, Calif. Sept. 1
She met him in February. She was engaged by May. But it wasn't Kate Walsh's whirlwind romance to movie executive Alex Young that made her weak at the knees during their Sept. 1 nuptials. It was mostly the heat. Standing at the altar of the Ojai Presbyterian Church in a custom-made Monique Lhuillier gown, as the temperature outside approached 100 degrees, the actress, 39, actually fainted. The ceremony was briefly interrupted as the star of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice was treated in a side room, but she recovered and exchanged vows with Young, 36, just minutes later. By 7 o'clock, says a guest, "Kate was all smiles as she greeted her guests. She looked completely over the moon."
Although the heat wave threatened to put a damper on the event—the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa lost power that evening—the couple's 100 guests were blissfully unaware. As family and friends—including Kate Beckinsale and Walsh's former Grey's costars Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight, Justin Chambers and Chandra Wilson—left the ceremony, a gospel choir sang "Oh, Happy Day." (They also performed Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road.") Guests were shuttled to the Spa's Casa Elar estate for the reception, where Walsh arrived still wearing her veil and "looked stunning," notes the guest. Adds a friend of the newlyweds: "They were on cloud nine about their wedding."
- With Jed Dreben/L.A.,
- Natasha Stoynoff/New York City.
April 18, 2015
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