Everyone loves a TV wedding. It gives us the opportunity to dream of a wedding we may never be able to afford, whilst we shed happy tears for people we’ve never even met. I repeat: Everyone loves a TV wedding! And this month, we get two!
If you missed it (we’ll be honest and admit that we did – much as we can’t get enough of Say Yes to the Dress, we’ve boycotted the network to take a stand against the production of exploitative crap like Extreme Cougar Wives and Toddlers & Tiaras), TLC aired Mario & Courtney’s Wedding Fiesta this past weekend, a two-hour special filmed at the wedding venue – Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis’ palatial Punta Mita, Mexico estate, Casa Aramara – for former Saved by the Bell star and current X Factor host Mario Lopez and his actress fiancee Courtney Mazza on Saturday, December 1st. The couple’s two-year-old daughter Gia served as a flower girl alongside Lopez’ three nieces for the beachfront ceremony in front of 150 guests. Lopez wore a simple white shirt, black suit and tie, and met Mazza, donning an Ines di Santo off-shoulder lace gown, at the elaborate altar painted white and draped in translucent fabric for the Catholic ceremony. The white rose bouquet that Mazza carried for the day was embellished with a jeweled cross on a hanging chain. Pink rose petals dotted the aisle and reception tables.
Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro designed a pink-hued winter wonderland-meets-beach themed chocolate and red velvet wedding cake for the reception, where Mazza, who’ll go by Lopez professionally, changed into a second di Santo gown and let her hair out of the chic chignon she wore during the ceremony. Guests, like Lopez pal Eva Longoria (she’s Gia’s godmother), were entertained by a mariachi band, limbo contest, a sexy salsa performance by the bride and groom, and the night was topped off with a fireworks display. Guests toasted the newlyweds at the complimentary tequila bar, and were instructed to donate to charity in lieu of bringing wedding gifts for the unregistered longtime live-in couple, who first met when Lopez starred on Broadway’s revival of A Chorus Line in 2008.
“Everyone had a blast,” a guest reported to In Touch Weekly. Even toddler Gia hit the dance floor. “At the end of the night, the whole wedding party, including Mario, Courtney, and Eva Longoria, jumped into the pool with their clothes on.”
This is the first marriage for Mazza and the second for Lopez, whose two-week union to model/actress Ali Landry was annulled in 2004 after she discovered he had cheated on her at his bachelor party. And forget a honeymoon – Lopez admits that the couple have already started trying for baby number two, and they’ll spend New Year’s Eve together in the city where they met and fell in love, on promotional duties with Nivea in Times Square.
Casa Aramara previously played host to Francis’ own short-lived nuptials to Entertainment Tonight court reporter Christina McLarty in November 2010 – she walked out a month later.
And over on ABC this Sunday, you can catch only the second successful show-to-ceremony couple in Bachelor history, when Maine dentist Ashley Hebert, 28, marries 35-year-old NYC construction manager J.P. Rosenbaum in a two-hour special aptly titled The Bachelorette: Ashley & J.P.’s Wedding. The outdoor garden ceremony in at the Langham Huntington resort hotel in Pasadena, Calfornia took place the same day as Lopez and Mazza’s wedding, this one attended by Bachelor alumni including Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, Ali Fedotowsky, Jillian Harris, Emily Maynard, and the show’s original “Happily Ever After,” Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter. (They now have two kids.) Bachelor host Chris Harrison officiated – using the certificate he achieved online over a decade ago but barely has the opportunity to actually use – during the non-denominational ceremony, which included both Christian and Jewish wedding traditions. (And for those counting, Jason and Molly, who met on his season of The Bachelor, were a roundabout success story, albeit at the expense of the woman he initially chose, then dumped, to return to Molly. The couple married in a TV special in 2011, and they expect their first child together in 2013, joining his son Ty, 9, from his first marriage.)
The couple met and fell in love on season 7 of The Bachelorette, and in the finale Hebert turned down a proposal from runner-up (and future Bachelor) Ben Flajnik in order to accept a ring from Rosenbaum, who got down on bended knee in gorgeous Fiji. The couple decided against rushing to the alter, and celebrated an 18-month engagement to get to know each other with the cameras off, but they were confined to a contractual obligation to wed on TV, which they have said recently they were fine with. “We know what we signed up for,” Rosenbaum said.
Hebert told People: “Today is about our friends and family. It’s about standing with J.P., [and] looking around at all the people we love in the same room there to celebrate our love.”
L.A.’s San Gabriel Mountains, just minutes from the metropolis’ city centre, served as the picturesque backdrop as the couple said “I do” in front of 300 guests. Rosenbaum, in a classic Hugo Boss tux paired with suspenders (his bride thinks they’re sexy), donned a yarmulke and the couple stood under a chuppah, and the couple’s mothers tied their children’s hands together in a Celtic knot ceremony and love prayer that’s said to have brought the guests to tears. Petite Hebert stood tall in 4.5-inch soft pink Manolos, and wore a white satin strapless gown with a 14-ft (forty pound!) train and blush-coloured accents by Randi Rahm, while the couple’s siblings, Roy and Chrystie, served as best man and maid of honour. As the holder of the Bachelor contract, Beverly Hills-based jeweler Neil Lane provided the couple’s wedding bands, and also supplied Hebert’s engagement ring.
Guests partied into the night with a reception on the property, where they dined on chicken with English peas and mashed potatoes, or beets and risotto. The couple shared their first dance to “Fools Rush In,” which could be fitting as part of Ashley’s season took place in Las Vegas, and included a group date backstage at the Elvis Presley-themed Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis! In any event, the couple call it “our song.”
Some typical Bachelor gossip also leaked after the wedding – reportedly, Ali Fedotowsky, the former Facebook sales rep who met and got engaged to Roberto Martinez during her starring season of The Bachelorette before they called off the wedding earlier this year, reunited with her TV love and the pair may be headed for a full-blown reconciliation. Hebert’s custom gown is now available for purchase from the designer’s website, called the Ashley Alli.
After the wedding, the couple embarked on press to promote the wedding special, admitting to the ladies on The View that they’ve yet to take a honeymoon. “I wish we’d taken a honeymoon,” Hebert said, “But we probably won’t get away until January or February.”
And you can catch the romance for yourself this Sunday, December 16th on ABC, starting at 9/8c in the couple’s two-hour special.