Surprise Party

07/21/2005 at 12:00 PM EDT

Surprise Party
"We've been engaged since October, suckers!" groom Jesse James told guests on a video they saw shortly before the wedding.
Todd Williamson/FilmMagic; Albert L. Ortega/WireImage
The bride wore white. And there were flowers everywhere. But the fact that they were flowing out of old barnwood troughs – and that the bride wore cowboy boots under her silk tulle Angel Sanchez dress – was a clue that the wedding of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James was not going to be a traditional affair.

For starters – until a half an hour before the evening ceremony at a ranch in Solvang, Calif., on July 16 – almost none of the guests were sure they'd been invited to a wedding. They RSVP'd instead to a barbeque "in honor of Sandy B. given with love by Jesse J.," as the invite read, to celebrate Bullock's 41st birthday on July 26.

In the requested "evening cocktail attire" on Bullock's side were old pals from elementary school in Arlington, Va., relatives from Germany (where her mother was born) and a handful of celeb buddies including Hugh Grant, Keanu Reeves, William Shatner and Regina King. On the side of the groom – who owns West Coast Choppers custom bike shop in Long Beach, Calif. – were family members and a few Hell's Angels buddies in suits and tattoos.

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