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- July 23, 2007
- Vol. 68
- No. 4
The Wedding Belle
With Multiple Dress Changes, One Red Wedding Cake and Hundreds of Kisses, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker Marry Not Once but Twice
For the Desperate Housewives star, 32, and the Belgian-born, French-raised NBA player, 25, the lavish July 7 wedding (estimated cost: $1.5 million) capped a week of festivities that kicked off in Saint Tropez on June 30. There was a surprise helicopter ride to the eighth-century medieval citadel Mont Saint-Michel, organized by Parker for his bride; a day trip to Disneyland Paris; a romantic evening cruise along the Seine and an intimate civil ceremony at a Paris city hall (required to make a marriage legal in France) on July 6, followed by a rehearsal dinner at the Cristal Room Baccarat. On the actual wedding day, with the help of planner Mindy Weiss, the couple treated their 250 guests—including fellow Housewives Teri Hatcher, Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Brenda Strong (Marcia Cross stayed home with her twins) as well as friends Jessica Alba, Sheryl Crow, Terrence Howard and Mario Lopez—to a spectacular party that didn't end until dawn. "It's been one event after another—I'm tired," Lopez told PEOPLE a day later. "There are fun weddings and there are fun weddings. This was a fun wedding, you know? We danced all night." Says Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry: "It was easily the most amazing wedding I've been to."
Eva's dream day got under way late afternoon at the historic Saint Germain L'Auxerrois Church in Paris, with a religious ceremony conducted in both English and French. The couple—who met after a San Antonio Spurs game in November 2004 and are building a home in the city, where much of her family lives—were supported by nine bridesmaids clad in red Badgley Mischka dresses and nine groomsmen. Just before she walked down the aisle in her Angel Sanchez couture gown, Longoria "was giggling," says a guest. "She couldn't wait." But when the twosome finally said their vows, "They were very emotional. She was crying." The giggles returned when Longoria mispronounced the word pauvreté (poverty in French). And the kiss? "There were several kisses," says the guest. "Everyone stood up and cheered and clapped. There was so much joy."
Following the ceremony, the guests were whisked away to the 17th-century Chateau of Vaux le Vicomte, where the red-themed reception featured tens of thousands of red roses, 2,000 candles and a red, five-tiered, raspberry-filled wedding cake flown in from California by Perfect Endings. After friends took turns giving speeches—Marc Cherry's, says a guest, "was the best of all, hilarious"—Parker and Longoria, who changed twice during the reception, shared their first dance to Peter Gabriel's recorded version of "Book of Love." They cut the cake at midnight, as fireworks filled the sky. Says Sheridan: "It was amazing!"
But the party didn't really get started until it moved to an outdoor tent, where deejays and an orchestra kept the revelers on the dance floor until 6:30 a.m. (with a 3 a.m. break to refuel with grilled cheese sandwiches, mini hotdogs, hamburgers and french fries). "Eva and Tony danced until the last moment," says chateau owner Jean-Charles de Voguë. A mere three hours later, the newlyweds left for their honeymoon on the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos. "It was the ultimate fairy-tale wedding," says a friend. "Eva didn't want the night to end."
- With Peter Mikelbank/Paris,
- Pete Norman/Paris,
- Courtney Rubin/Paris,
- Sara Hammel/Paris,
- Michelle Tan/New York City.
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