As she gushes about the details of her April 21 wedding in the Mexican coastal town of Huatulco—her strapless Jenny Packham gown, the "insane" red and orange orchids, the candelabras that cast a soft glow during the 5 p.m. ceremony—Anastacia can't help but reflect on what it took to get her to that moment. "Life," she says, "has taken such a turn in the last few years for me."
It was in 2003 that the pop singer found herself in a battle for her life. Diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at the age of 34, Anastacia underwent a lumpectomy and reconstruction of her left breast. Recovery was "so painful," she told PEOPLE at the time. "It was hard to even sit up."
Within months, however, the singer's fortunes had turned, after meeting Wayne Newton, 39, who had been hired as her bodyguard. "We didn't expect this to happen to us at all!" says Anastacia, now 38. "It was kinda one of those things where we were best friends and it just happened." Engaged last fall, the couple—who wrote their own vows—were married by a shaman in front of 80 guests at the Quinta Real Huatulco, exchanging rings (his has a blue diamond, hers a pink) to Luis Miguel's song "Dormir Contigo" ("To sleep with you"). "It's crazy," Anastacia says, "what a fairy tale this feels like."
At the reception, the couple and their guests dined on mahimahi, shrimp and beef filets, followed by "dancing all night!" Anastacia says. "We made it to 5 a.m."
And the newlyweds have no plans to slow down, with scuba diving and snorkeling on the agenda for their honeymoon in Mauritius—and a new Anastacia album due in 2008. "Just when you think all of the cards are dealt and you don't have any luck," she says, "you do get good returns."
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