John Leguizamo

Knot Ready

UPDATED 07/14/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/14/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

How do you follow up an exotic marriage proposal staged deep in the jungles of Mexico? For actor John Leguizamo and his companion of six years, estate planner Justine Maurer, the answer was to keep it simple. On June 28 the couple wed at their lakefront home in upstate New York, with just 30 relatives and friends on hand. The Catholic-Jewish ceremony featured their self-written vows, exchanged beneath a chuppa of sunflowers and figs. "I was saying things I have felt about this woman for a long time," says Leguizamo, 42, best known for his autobiographical one-man comedy shows, including '98's Emmy-winning Freak, and films such as Moulin Rouge and Ice Age. "I was very choked up."

First down the aisle was the couple's daughter Allegra, 3, who, as flower girl, "didn't miss a petal," says Leguizamo pal Santiago James. Next came their son and ring bearer Ryder, 2, who "tore like a bullet through the aisle as if promised a trip to Candy Land as a reward," says James. When Maurer, 35, clad in a Calvin Klein gown and adorned with her own diamond tiara, appeared, "it was like seeing a vision," says the once-divorced Leguizamo. "She was more beautiful than I'd ever dreamed." The solemn mood was broken when the pair lit candles and Allegra playfully blew them out—again and again. Later, guests danced to "Hava Nagila" as well as salsa and hip-hop. Says the groom: "No Latin party is complete without a Soul Train line."

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