For Real This Time

updated 07/23/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/2001 01:00AM

If the guests arriving at a private estate in Malibu on July 7 weren't quite sure what to expect, who could blame them? The 100 or so invitees—including Cameron Diaz, Courtney Love, Lucy Liu and Adam Sandler—had been asked to the oceanside wedding of prank-prone comic Tom Green and his giddy bride Drew Barrymore—both of whom had treated their nuptials (including a wedding teaser on Saturday Night Live last November) like a much prolonged April Fool's joke. But when Barrymore approached the cliffside tent in a backless, lace-sleeved cream gown, carrying a bouquet of gardenias, attendees figured this was no gag. "It was really touching," says guest Beverly Donofrio, whose 1990 memoir, Riding in Cars with Boys, has been made into a not-yet-released film starring Barrymore. "It was a warm, lovely affair."

As the sun began setting over the Pacific, flower girl Frances Bean, Love's 8-year-old daughter with Kurt Cobain, preceded Barrymore down the grassy aisle, along with four bridesmaids and four groomsmen, all to the strains of "Ave Maria." Then Barrymore, 26, made her way toward the tuxedo-clad Green, 29, escorted by her mother, Jaid Barrymore. (Drew's estranged father, reclusive onetime actor John Barrymore Jr., 69, did not attend.) "I was beside myself with happiness," says Jaid, 55, whose once rocky relationship with her daughter became markedly smoother in the past year. "You could tell they were so in love."

During the nondenominational ceremony, which was conducted by a female minister, the couple exchanged vows that were "very beautiful and very from the heart," says Jaid. But the tearful ceremony was not without laughs. Nearby the couple had installed a huge banner wishing happy anniversary to a fictitious couple to serve as both a joke and a ruse to fool paparazzi. And, apropos of nothing at all, a goofy ditty about drag racing was passed among the guests during the ceremony. "It was sort of like comic relief," says Jaid.

At the reception that followed, a bounty of Indian food awaited guests, who sat at tables adorned with scattered seashells and bowls filled with floating gardenias. "Every time the wind blew, the gardenia smell went everywhere," says Jaid. Eschewing lavish excess, Barrymore opted instead for low-key, funky decor. "Drew had collected all these old tablecloths and napkins for the tables," says Donofrio. A deejay pal of the couple's spun tunes that were "all over the place—classic, hip hop, you name it," says a guest. And as the night progressed, celebrants took turns at the karaoke machine, including the groom, who sang "Imagine" to his delighted bride.

It was all a far cry from Barrymore's first wedding, at 19, in 1994. She and pub owner Jeremy Thomas were wed in his Los Angeles bar at 5 a.m., and she filed for divorce less than two months later. Shortly after a two-year-plus relationship with actor Luke Wilson ended in 1999, Barrymore met with the Canadian-born Green to discuss a role in the movie Charlie's Angels, which she starred in and co-produced. Already a fan of his gross-out humor, which proved a smash on MTV, "I was a girl with a crush," Barrymore told Rolling Stone last November.

The pair's romance was to be tested almost from the start. Within months Barrymore was nursing Green through his struggle with testicular cancer, which is now in remission. Then, in February, fire devastated their Los Angeles home. Through it all, they were either married or not (some sources still insist they eloped in March), but the July 7 ceremony, says a friend, "was legal, for sure."

Eagerly pursuing their careers, the couple are also anxious to have children—plural. "I want our kids to have someone to roll their eyes with when Mom and Dad are being totally lame and goofy," Barrymore told Premiere magazine last November. Considering the track record of Mom and Dad, the kids should never be starved for such moments.

Michelle Tauber
Rachel Biermann, Mark Dagostino, Julie Jordan and Cynthia Wang in Los Angeles

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