One Love to Live
updated 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST
A fairy tale, maybe, but these nuptials were no daytime drama. For one thing, never on a soap would anyone under-dress for a wedding. But among the parishioners and 300 invited guests in the pews were a smattering of denim-clad fans. They were there to glimpse both the Emmy-winning actress's offscreen happiness and her cast mates, including Lisa Brown and Elizabeth Hubbard, who play, respectively, Lily's birth and adoptive mothers. "They're going to be wonderful," says Hubbard of the newlyweds. "And, naturally, as Martha's mother, I've had talks with her." On hand for the reception at a nearby hotel was Jon Hensley, who as Holden has played Lily's major love (and second husband) since Byrne joined ATWT at 15. "Over the years," he says, "we've developed a wonderful relationship."
Byrne and McMahon met at a Mahwah, N.J., nightclub in February 1993, just weeks before she rejoined the ATWT cast following a four-year stint living in L.A. and appearing on such TV dramas as Murder, She Wrote and In the Heat of the Night. "I said, 'Wow, he's cute!' " she recalls. "And when he didn't come up to me, I went right up to him and started talking. We talked for hours." McMahon told her that within the previous two months he had lost his father to leukemia and an older sister to neuroendocrine cancer. "Martha honestly cared about how I was feeling," he says. "And that meant a lot to me."
Unlike Lily, Byrne plans on playing this marriage for keeps. "I just want us to keep laughing," she says. "We are meant to be together for life, and I am blessed."