Billy's Bride and Joy
OCTOBER 2, 2004
It may have been his wedding day, but Billy Joel couldn't seem to leave work behind. There he was, harmonizing for 45 minutes—"until we dragged him away," says event planner Marcy Blum—with the a cappella group hired to entertain guests before the ceremony. And that was him onstage at the reception, performing around 20 songs with the wedding band, including "Try a Little Tenderness," which he dedicated to his new wife, Katie Lee Joel, before dropping to his knees to serenade her. "I had to do something," he says of the romantic gesture. "I dance terribly." During the couple's first dance, to "Moon River," he notes, "I was just stepping on her feet."
Not that the bride minded. "Everything went exactly the way it was supposed to—it was perfect," Lee Joel, 23, says of the wedding, held on the grounds of Joel's 15-acre Centre Island, N.Y., estate. Among the 210 guests: Howard Stern, Paul Reiser, Don Henley, Joel's second wife, Christie Brinkley, and Brinkley's daughter with Joel, 18-year-old Alexa Ray, who served as maid of honor. "One of the things that was especially touching was that there was a big mix of people, between relatives and ex-relatives, in-laws and ex in-laws," says Joel, 55, who was also previously wed to his former manager Elizabeth Weber from 1973 to 1982. "The fact that Christie gave it her blessing was very nice. It's good to be able to get along."
After the ceremony, during which the couple—who began dating in spring 2003—exchanged traditional vows, guests repaired to a tent designed to resemble a farmhouse complete with faux shutters, windowsills and hanging orange vines. "You looked up, and you felt like you were dining in the country," says Blum. Following a Tuscan-themed dinner devised in part by the bride, who recently taped a pilot for a new TV cooking show, the couple cut their chocolate-iced cake and were treated to several toasts, including one by Alexa Ray. "She mentioned how Kate made me happy," says Joel. "I saw people getting choked up on it." As for the groom himself, two days after the extravaganza he still couldn't stop singing a happy tune. "It feels very good," he said, "to be a married man again."
Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegren
OCTOBER 5, 2004
With its three scenic golf courses, the exclusive Barbados resort Sandy Lane seemed the perfect venue for Woods's wedding to Nordegren. Never mind that the groom skipped the links to go snorkeling and jet-skiing. Sandy Lane had something else he craved: privacy. With armed security guards keeping the curious away, Tiger, 28, and Elin, 24, the Swedish former nanny and model whom he met at the 2001 British Open and proposed to last November, said I do in a sunset ceremony before approximately 200 family and friends. The nuptials were held amidst 500 red roses in the largest of four tents set up at the resort. Guests (including former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley) then feasted on shrimp cocktail, flying fish, macaroni pie and a four-tier wedding cake. But it was Tiger's trademark cool that really took the cake. "He didn't act like he was going to get married," says a source. "He was very relaxed, like this was any other day for him."
Michael Bergin & Joy Tilk
SEPTEMBER 24, 2004
When they decided to tie the knot after five years together, Tilk, a movie makeup artist, and former Baywatch star Bergin didn't want a lot of fuss. "We wanted something romantic and intimate," says the bride, 34. The result: a traditional Hawaiian wedding at Kauai's Hanalei Bay Resort before 23 guests, including the couple's two children, Jesse, 5, and Alana, 7 months. "At one point Jesse interrupted and said, 'Mom, why are you crying?' " says Bergin, 35, who wrote a 2004 book about his relationship with Carolyn Bessette. "It was so sweet. We had to tell him it wasn't sad tears, it was happy tears."
Mike Upton and Michelle Tauber, Reported by: Rachel Felder in New York City, Ulrica Wihlborg in Los Angeles and Steve Helling in Barbados