Inside People

updated 07/25/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/25/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

WHILE PREPARING PEOPLE'S SECOND ANNUAL Special Celebrity Weddings issue, the staff observed a trend. In the last 12 months, a slew of stars dashed to the altar, flummoxing fans who had no inkling that a marriage was in the making. Natasha Richardson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Geena Davis are among this year's elusive brides (see page 42) who kept their weddings shrouded in secrecy.

Coincidentally, the tendency toward quickie weddings has also invaded PEOPLE'S offices. Several staffers pulled off their nuptials without the headaches of compromising on guest lists. Take PEOPLE special projects photo researcher Tom Mattie. His April 13 marriage to Columbia University graduate student Yan Ni, at Manhattan's city hall, took "about five days to plan," he says. Mattie met Ni just days after he helped put last year's Celebrity Weddings issue to bed. "I may have been predisposed to marriage," he admits. "After seeing an image again and again, who knows?"

Los Angeles correspondent Craig Tomashoff's Aug. 8 marriage to freelance writer Judy Santos in Taos, N.Mex., took less than two months to organize and was witnessed by just two friends. Following a one-month engagement, edit technology manager Cécile Leliévre tied the knot with tai kwon do instructor Marc Marzullo on May 21, in front of seven family members in Norwalk, Conn. Only 20 guests celebrated the May 15 marriage of associate editor Paula Chin and TIME International senior editor John Saar at their Manhattan co-op.

But deputy editorial operations manager Tony Zarvos stepped up to the altar with more fanfare. He married Sophia Kondos in front of some 150 onlookers at the Greek Orthodox Church of Zoodohos Peghe in The Bronx on June 25. And 68 guests attended writer-reporter Maria Speidel's Aug. 21 union with illustrator Michael LaBash at Brooklyn's Church of the Assumption. "My wedding was nothing compared to those huge celebrity affairs," says Speidel. "I have such appreciation for the massive work that goes into those events." Given celebrity brides' penchant for privacy, not a little work went into this issue.

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