06/16/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Telling reporters "It did happen," church minister Susan Brown finally confirmed on Saturday morning (some 12 hours after the festivities began) that Madonna, 42, and Guy Ritchie, 32, were married on Friday evening in Scotland's Skibo Castle. The exchange of the marital vows during what some British newspapers called a tearful ceremony capped a whirlwind week in which Hollywood high society headed for the Highlands, though most of the actual details of the reportedly nearly $2 million wedding and reception have been kept under tight wraps. Gwyneth Paltrow was reported to be the maid of honor, while football-player-turned-actor Vinnie Jones (of Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") was named as best man. Stella McCartney, who designs for the Paris fashion house of Chloe, is said to have created Madonna's wedding dress as well as been a guest. Among the first to arrive at the castle on Friday was Sting, wearing a kilt. His wife, Trudie Styler, introduced Madonna to her future husband at a party two years ago. Donatella Versace was another early arrival. Rupert Everett was also reported seen entering the castle, and Elton John, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are also believed to have attended. The first guests to leave the party the morning after didn't do so until around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, with the wedding couple said to have left for their honeymoon later that afternoon. The Times of London reported that the couple made a beeline for Sting and Styler's 41-room Tudor mansion (on a 52-acre estate) near Stonehenge, England, having flown there by private jet from Scotland and then rushed inside the gates via a silver Mercedes.