Rings in the New Year

updated 01/19/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/19/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

As New Year's Eve celebrations go, this one couldn't have been more romantic—or secretive. At around 3 p.m. on Dec. 31, Australian pop diva Natalie Imbruglia and Daniel Johns, her rock star beau of four years, tied the knot on a secluded beach not far from Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The 100 guests, who had been given no details about the event to ensure against press leaks, had to hop a three-hour flight from Sydney, then be driven 50 miles to the tropical resort town of Port Douglas. Arriving at the 85-room Thala Beach Lodge, they then hoofed it about a mile to the site.

There Imbruglia, 28, a 1999 triple-Grammy nominee for her debut album Left of the Middle, and Johns, 24, frontman for the Aussie grunge band Silverchair, wed in what the couple's spokesman John Scott described as a "beautifully moving, nontraditional spiritual ceremony." The bride, dressed in a silk chiffon V-neck gown by Beverly Hills designer Monique Lhuillier, was attended by her 5-year-old niece Ella, who looked, in the rep's words, like "a fairy princess" in a Suzanne Burgess dress.

An hour later, back at the lodge, guests tucked in to a meal that included prawns, fish and veggies. While they dined, the revelers (who included actor Guy Pearce, Virgin Airlines mogul Sir Richard Branson and Johns's band-mates Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou) gaped at the decor. "There were literally thousands of daisies," says Scott, "cascading through the room." Finally it was time for deejay Paul Mac to oversee the countdown to midnight. The next day Imbruglia and Johns set off on their honeymoon. Their destination: a secret, of course.

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