My Big Fat Soprano Wedding
07/28/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
By the time Carly Simon serenaded newlyweds Jamie-Lynn Sigler and A.J. Discala on July 11, her choice of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" seemed comically appropriate. That morning the New York City sky dawned gray and rainy, casting doubt on the Sopranos star's plans for outdoor nuptials at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. At 5:30 when Sigler pulled up in a white Rolls Royce, the sun was finally out. So too were some 300 folding chairs. But at 7:00, half an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, wedding planner Joanne Gregoli gasped at the hovering rain clouds. "Jamie," she said, "we've got to start now!" As 20 white doves were released and the 20-member wedding party started across the lawn, the sky opened. "It was, 'Everybody, run!' " says Sigler. "I was laughing. What was I going to do? Kick and scream and cry?"
Indoors, Sigler, 22, was handed a walkie-talkie to confer with Discala, 32, her manager and love of two years. When Discala said, "Hi, honey. What do you want to do?" Sigler shot right back, "Let's move it! I wanna get married!" Within the hour, more than 300 dry chairs were set up in a glass atrium and filled by the guests, among them Sopranos costars Edie Falco, Aida Turturro, Dominic Chianese and Robert Iler. (James Gandolfini and Lorraine Bracco were no-shows.) Then the procession again began with a flute trio playing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." This time as Sigler took her father's arm, word came that her older brother Adam was locked behind an unyielding bathroom door—with the wedding rings. During the 10 minutes it took security guards to break down the door, Sigler remained unruffled. "Talk about a test!" says her dad, Steve, 54, founder of the Men's Senior National Amateur Baseball League. (Mom Connie, 55, is a homemaker.) "Not a word from her, not an ounce of frustration or anxiety."
On take three Sigler finally headed down the aisle, only to burst into tears when she caught sight of Discala, himself fighting back tears. "I was overcome with joy," she says. Discala says he didn't even notice Sigler's off-the-rack Vera Wang gown as he peered into her eyes, "feeling like the luckiest man in the world." During the nondenominational service the couple exchanged self-written vows, which included a pledge from Sigler to "eventually learn how to cook for you." Later Sigler, who's changing her name to Discala, explained, "He's obsessed with my mother's meatballs. He eats them for breakfast!"
The skies now clear, guests enjoyed cocktails by the Garden's reflecting pools before moving back inside to dine. Between courses, Sigler, who in '02 starred in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" to her new hubby, then shared the mike with Carly Simon for "My Funny Valentine." "We wanted her there as a friend," says Discala. "When she said she'd sing, our jaws dropped." Simon, who performed four solos, says, "I was so riveted by Jamie and A.J.'s faces. This was special." Around 1 a.m. guests drifted home, each toting a heart-shaped box stuffed with chocolates, a cookie embossed with the newlyweds' picture and a Swarovski Crystal wedding bell.
Looking to the future, Sigler says she plans to be "a young mom," but that children will have to wait until the final Sopranos season wraps in 2004, because "Meadow [her character] is still a teenager." More short range, the newlyweds, who first met at a basketball game, plan a honeymoon on the Caribbean island of Nevis, where they will no doubt laugh about their barometrically challenged wedding. But in the first blush of married life, Sigler could find no fault with her soggy nuptials. "I made a conscious effort to stop every once in a while and take it in and appreciate it," she says. "It truly was perfect, like a fairy tale."
Natasha Stoynoff in Brooklyn