Nuptial Finnish Line

updated 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

UNTIL NOW, FINNISH DIRECTOR RENNY Harlin, 34, was best known for such action-packed screen spectacles as Cliffhanger and Die Hard 2. But those scripted tales pale in comparison with his latest production feat: the three-day celebration in the heart of California's wine country that culminated in his marriage last week to actress Geena Davis. Brought in on lime on a reported $700,000 budget, the lavish fete in the Valley of the Moon featured a prenuptial carnival complete with elephant and hot-air balloon rides, a skywriting plane that drew hearts overhead—and deluxe Port-O-Lets outfitted with carpeting. Still, says one dazzled guest, "it was like a wedding picnic. Everything about it was romantic."

The festivities got started Friday night with a hoedown in a barn for more than 200 invited guests, including Sylvester Stallone and girlfriend Jennifer Flavin, Craig T. Nelson and John Lithgow. (Among those not in attendance: Davis's ex-husbands, restaurateur Richard Emmolo and Jeff Goldblum, and Harlin's ex-girlfriend Laura Dern. Goldblum and Dern have themselves been an item since filming Jurassic Park last year.) While that was underway, Davis, Harlin and their nearest and dearest held a rehearsal dinner on redwood tables amid rows of oak wine barrels in the caves of the 90-year-old, 2,000-acrc Kunde Winery in Kenwood, Calif.

The party resumed the next day at a nearby ranch, rechristened "Loveland Fun Park," where guests (many of them children) rode ponies, navigated paddleboats and tried out a giant human slingshot. Back at the winery, Davis and her bridal party spent most of the afternoon preparing in three smallish but elegantly furnished white canvas tents—one for her clothes, one for a dressing table and one for refreshments. At nightfall the bride emerged in a backless champagne-color satin gown with a long train and a veil. A coterie of men in tuxes held a canopy over her during the 30-yard walk to the wedding site: the tapestry-draped ruins of an old stone winery. (The canopy shielded her from a low-flying tabloid helicopter whose engine, according to one guest, drowned out the first 10 minutes of the ceremony.)

Guests crowded into the candlelit winery to see Davis's entrance (to strains of a Finnish wedding march) and hear the couple's exchange of vows before a Finnish Lutheran pastor. Afterward the celebrants dined and danced under a large, open tent to a 13-picce band until past 3. What some guests (most of whom were billeted at the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa) will longest remember were the diehard partygoers among the Scandinavian contingent. A lively patio party reached its inevitable conclusion when the Finns threw everyone into the pool. "I've never" said a guest, "seen a wedding like this."

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