It's going to be the celebrity wedding of the year - probably of the decade -
when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez walk down the aisle this weekend.
Ben and Jen are expected to tie the knot on Sunday at an estate in Santa Barbara,
Calif. On hand for the big day will be an army of reporters and paparazzi, along
with a guest list reading like a who's who of Hollywood.
So how does this rank with other big star weddings of the past?
Here's a look - in no particular order - at other wild celebrity wedding extravaganzas:
1. Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston, July 29, 2000, in Malibu.
Their dream wedding at an oceanfront estate turned into a security nightmare.
The security staff alone numbered 225, and some guards were even put on surfboards
in the ocean.
Among the 250 guests were her "Friends" co-stars, plus Cameron Diaz and David
Funniest moment: Jennifer to Brad during her vows: "Most of all, I vow
to always order you pepperoni pizzas and milk shakes."
Marital status: They're keeping their fingers crossed that the stork
will arrive soon.
2. John Kennedy Jr. & Carolyn Bessette, Sept. 21, 1996,
on Cumberland Island, Ga.
The Camelot couple planned their wedding in secret for months.
The Catholic ceremony took place in a remote preserve on the island, accessible
only by air and sea. The wedding caravan took an hour to reach the church, where
the Kennedy clan sat on cramped wooden pews.
Funniest moment: Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's son Jack, 3, was the
ring bearer. He walked down the aisle and demanded: "Why is Carolyn all dressed
up like that?"
Marital status: They died together in a 1999 plane crash off Martha's
3. Roseanne Barr & Tom Arnold, Jan. 20, 1990, in Los Angeles.
Although the comic couple invited only 50 guests to the ceremony at her rented
home, they had 20 armed security guards to keep out the uninvited.
As helicopters hovered overhead, making it hard for fans to hear, the couple
vowed to stay together till death do them part. Afterward, they kissed for five
Funniest moment: Tom said: "We're everyone's worst nightmare: white
trash with money."
Marital status: Their marriage ended in 1994.
4. Barbra Stresiand & James Brolin, July 1, 1998, in Malibu.
Control freak Stresiand orchestrated this wedding at her oceanfront estate
like a military exercise.
The singer tried to keep the press away even with a form of psychological
warfare. As guests like John Travolta and Steven Spielberg arrived, a black
van was parked near the media, blaring the song "Thunder Kiss '65" by White
Zombie over and over for four hours.
Funniest moment: Tom Hanks doing the limbo.
Marital status: They recently celebrated their fifth anniversary.
5. Elizabeth Taylor & Larry Fortensky, Oct. 6, 1991, at
Neverland, Santa Ynez, Calif.
A Hollywood queen marrying a mere commoner at Michael Jackson's ranch brought
out fans and media in droves.
Adding to the hysteria, Liz was then 59 and had been married seven times before,
while Fortensky was a twice-divorced 39-year-old construction worker she'd met
in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic.
The frenzy was so intense that one photographer even parachuted in during
Among the 160 guests were Brooke Shields, Nancy Reagan and Merv Griffin.
Funniest moment: Wacko Jacko giving the bride away.
Marital status: They split in 1996.
6. Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones, Nov. 18, 2000,
The 250 guests at the $2 million nuptials at the Plaza Hotel - including Danny
DeVito, Goldie Hawn, Anthony Hopkins, Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe - had to show
their invitations under a black light, which revealed an identifying hologram.
But one photographer got in and took an embarrassing picture of Zeta-Jones
stuffing her face. The photo was printed in the European magazine Hello!, leading
the newlyweds - who had sold the rights to rival mag OK! for $1.5 million -
to sue for invasion of privacy.
Funniest moment: Lara Flynn Boyle begged Jack Nicholson to join her
on the dance floor. Jack was having none of it.
Marital status: Michael and Catherine, who share a birthday Sept. 25
(they'll be turning 59 and 34, respectively), have two children.
7. Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen, Oct. 7, 1995, on Martha's
Their fairy-tale sunset wedding turned into a comedy of errors that could
have come straight out of "Cheers."
First police shut down the rehearsal dinner because they were making too much
noise. Then rain turned the wedding ceremony into a muddy mess. Also, police
detained Woody Harrelson after he punched a photographer in the face and hit
another with a camera.
Ted and Mary exchanged their own vows in front of 180 guests, including the
entire "Cheers" cast, then-President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, and
Funniest moment: Because of the rain, Mary wore borrowed red plastic
gardening clogs down the aisle. Also, she serenaded Ted with an off-key version
of "My Funny Valentine."
Marital status: They celebrate their eighth anniversary next month.
8. Michael J. Fox & Tracy Pollan, July 16, 1988, in Arlington,
The ceremony at the remote West Mountain Inn looked more like a war than a
wedding. Security measures included prison-camp-style searchlights, which scanned
the surrounding woods the night before to flush out sneaky paparazzi. Red wristbands
identified locals, so they could get to their homes, while guests such as Woody
Harrelson, Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan tagged their cars with green ribbons.
Funniest moment: Pint-size Fox quipped that he wished he could dig a
hole for Pollan to stand in so he wouldn't look so short.
Marital status: After 15 years and four children, they're still happy.
9. Courteney Cox & David Arquette, June 12, 1999, in San
The quirky couple wowed the 250 guests at the stately Grace Cathedral Episcopal
Church by hiring actors to pose as Lucille Ball and Laurel and Hardy. Later,
Matt LeBlanc got the reception started with a mock burlesque show.
Funniest moment: Matthew Perry kept getting kicked out of the reception,
because he insisted on smoking.
Marital status:They're hoping for a baby to make their lives complete.
10. Liza Minnelli & David Gest, March 16, 2002, in Manhattan.
Their wacky wedding at the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Ave. was staged
for maximum publicity. And with Michael Jackson as best man and Liz Taylor as
matron of honor, it was certainly a spectacle.
Many of the 850 guests, who included Rosie O'Donnell, Joan Collins and Robert
Wagner, thought the marriage never had a chance, but came just to see the farce.
Jacko summed up the day with his reception toast: "These two deserve each other."
Funniest moment: The never-ending kiss.
Marital status: Separated this summer.
One superstar couple was able to get married quietly without a media crush:
Tom Cruise wed Nicole Kidman on Christmas Eve, 1990, at a small ceremony in
a house in Telluride, Colorado — and the press didn't find out until it was
over. The marriage didn't last though. The couple, who have two adopted children,
divorced in August 2001.
Originally published on September 9, 2003