05/29/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT
On May 9, just minutes before leaving his Burbank hotel room for the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, singer Marc Anthony smiled at his fiancée, Dayanara Torres, and told her something she—as he might sing it—needed to know. "It's good you're all dressed up," he said, admiring her beige-and-brown Eduardo Lucero gown, "because we're getting married tonight."
After tears of joy (and Torres's makeup repairs), calls to their parents in Puerto Rico and Anthony's performance at the awards, the 31-year-old singer put his plan—plotted in only a day—into action. Accompanied by about 15 friends and family members, they boarded two rented jets to Las Vegas—where at midnight, Anthony and Torres, 25, were married by a minister in the penthouse Oriental Suite of the Desert Inn. (It's a first marriage for both, though Anthony has a daughter, Arianna, 6, from an earlier relationship.) Later, at a reception in the suite, Anthony serenaded Torres with his hit "You Sang to Me." Says photographer Annamaria DiSanto: "He couldn't take his eyes off her."
The only real surprise about the couple's wedding was the timing. Anthony and the 1993 Miss Universe have been besotted since they met at a party in her native Puerto Rico in 1998; last fall he presented her with a 6-carat diamond engagement ring. The pair say a church wedding (and honeymoon) will follow, but for now Anthony's getting back to work. "You can see how easy it is for this guy to write his songs," says DiSanto, "because she is the inspiration."