Gwen and Gavin’s Beautiful Day

US Weekly
September 2002

It was a nice day for a pink wedding when rock royals Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale made it official in a regal, romantic London affair. Here, every perfect detail-

Her hair has been almost every color imaginable: pink, blue, even black streaked platinum. She’s worn bindis, multicolored braces and the occasional bra over her shirt. So it came as no shock, then, when No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, at her September 14 wedding to longtime love Gavin Rossdale of the band Bush, entered London’s St. Paul’s church in a white-and-pink silk faille gown designed by friend John Galliano for Christian Dior. “She looked very beautiful,” Galliano told Us. But for the self-described “girly girl” that tweak on tradition was the event’s one and only (aside from Rossdale’s beloved puli dog, Winston, sitting by his master during the ceremony; “Winston enjoyed himself,” Rossdale told Us). From the oversized pink roses to the hour long ceremony, everything about the affair was a full-blown, full-on fairy tale. “She cried, he cried and so did the dog,” says Galliano. In fact, at one point during the vows, Stefani, 32, was fighting back so many tears that one of the officiants-a Church of England vicar who was the 34-year-old Rossdale’s religious-studies teacher as a child-gently urged, “Come on, you’ve got to say it.”

The tears were surely those of joy-and perhaps relief considering how long the road to matrimony had been with these two rock royals. With six years of on-again, off-again dating, a nine month engagement and countless transatlantic flights behind them (she lives in L.A.: he in London), the couple at long last decided on Rossdale’s hometown for their 130-guest affair. The eclectic attendees included families (she has three siblings, he has one), bandmates, actor Jonny Lee Miller (Angelina Jolie’s first husband) and- what else?- a transvestite named Marilyn.

The Big Day
The festivities kicked off on Thursday, three days before the actual “I do’s,” when the couple invited guests for drinks at Rossdale’s $2.3 million five-story Primrose Hill town house. Afterward, the party moved to the Feng Sheng Princess, a swank Chinese restaurant that has long been a favorite of Stefani’s and Rossdale’s (they reserved the space just two weeks earlier). Between bites of sea bass (Rosedale fed his bride-to-be with chopsticks), guests gave speeches as Stefani bounced a niece on her knee. “Thank you all so much for coming to my wedding,” Stefani told guests. “I feel so emotional!” One guest recalls a toast by a No Doubt member: “When we first discovered Gwen was going out with a British rocker, we were really disappointed and though he’d be a real poser,” said the bandmate. “It turned out they were perfect for each other. Gavin is the cat’s cream.” At night’s end, Stefani announced, “It’s my orders that all the teenagers go dancing after this!” Around 12:30 A.M., the lovebirds were spotted outside Kabaret, a local hot spot.

At 11 A.M. the next day, the couple hit St. Paul’s for a rehearsal. Meanwhile, at Home House, a private club nestled in a town house, the staff geared up for the wedding reception. A $23,000 blue-and-cream tent had already been filled with more than a dozed illuminated ficus trees and hundreds of white candles. Waiters were scheduled in 12-hour shifts so guests could party from 6 P.M. until 6 A.M. “It’s going to be a great occasion,” Douglas Rossdale, Gavin’s dad and a retired doctor told Us beforehand. “I don’t have a role in the wedding. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

On Saturday morning, Rossdale and friends stepped into the Queens, one of the groom’s favorite pubs; Stefani’s longtime hairstylist Danilo and Galliano reported for duty at Home House where Stefani had slept the previous night (keeping with British custom, the couple didn’t see each other the night before). At the church two bouncers ensured guests had the black and silver invitation. The courtyard, transformed by Sophie Muller, the director of seven No Doubt videos, had trees adorned with roses, hydrangeas and silver stars. Pink roses rimmed the doorway, which was topped with two silver Gs for their names.

Then, shortly after 4 P.M., Rossdale, his dog, Winston, and his six groomsmen-three of whom shared the best man title – emerged from a silver Mercedes van in dark suits and sunglasses. Even Winston was dolled up. “He had his hair done and had a lei of flowers,” Bone, Rossdale’s bodyguard, told Us. But when church bells rang at 5 P.M.-the official start time-the bride was nowhere in sight. “[Rossdale] wasn’t nervous,” a groomsman told Us. He knew she had a big dress.” Bagpipers passed the time as everyone waited…and waited. When designer Galliano finally strolled in 45 minutes later, it was a sign the bride was on her way.

At long last, a 1970 black-and-cobalt-blue Rolls-Royce drove up. Breathtaking in her one-shoulder gown the bottom blossoming from white into camellia pink, “Gwen was a stunning bride,” Danilo later told Us. She looked fabulous.”

The bride and her father, part time folk musician Dennis Stefani, walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride.” Three clergy members presided, including a Catholic priest to represent the bride’s faith. “It was beautiful,” one guest gushed to Us. “They had traditional vows, [but] there was no ‘obey’, just ‘to protect’.” At the reception, guests dined under the tent on risotto with saffron and bone marrow, spaghetti with octopus and venison. Later, four DJs spun 1970s and ‘80s funk and dance music, including “Best of My Love.” In what one witness called “a very L.A. move,” arrivals checked in with the bouncer armed with a list. (That list included no-show Macy Gray, who had been expected to bring up to 10 people.)

The Courtship
The path to the alter wasn’t always scattered with rose petals. In fact anyone who’s ever listened to No Doubt knows Stefani’s sometimes tortured love history, from her seven-year relationship with bandmate Tony Kanal to her Rossdale roller coaster. The five-foot-six Stefani met the six-foot-one Rossdale in 1995 when her band opened for his. In many ways, they were opposites. Stefani was raised in conservative Orange County, California, where she was a piccolo-playing, churchgoing teen. Rossdale, raised in London by his aunt after his parents divorced when he was 11, was a Sid Vicious fan who was nearly expelled from boarding school; by 17 he was running with a wild, cross-dressing crowd.

But Gwen and Gavin had chemistry-if not geography-on their side. From the start, theirs was a daunting transatlantic romance. “the only reason we’ve been successful is we’ve been able to afford it first of all,” Stefani has said of their plane trips. Rossdale’s reputation as a chick magnet didn’t help. “I know who those girls are and know exactly what goes on backstage,” Stefani once said. “I wish I had a little leash to walk Gavin around.”

Since their relationship began, Rossdale has been linked to All Saints’ Nicole Appleton (now engaged to Oasis’s Liam Gallagher) and the Corrs’ Andrea Corr. “I caught you/Your hands are red/Now I’m your brokenhearted detective,” Stefani sang in “Detective,” on last year’s Rock Steady, which some suspected referred to Rossdale’s Corr tryst.

On New Year’s Day 2002, Rossdale finally popped the question. “I definitely wanted to do it the right way, so I took my time,” he told Us. He purchased the diamond ring in Amsterdam; Stefani later had Beverly Hills jeweler Neil Lane make it smaller. She didn’t like the idea that the ring would have to be cut,” Lane tells Us. “So I designed a tighter-fitting eternity band to hold [it].” Rossdale told Us in April, “I based my life on not being traditional. I guess [getting married] is my most traditional move yet! But that’s cool. I haven’t looked back.”

What Now?
With no announced plans for a honeymoon, Stefani and Rossdale will re-rejoice on September 28 in L.A. at a larger reception (sources say it will be at the home of Interscope president Jimmy Iovine). Expected guests include Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (whose wedding Stefani and Rossdale attended) and Carson Daly. “We didn’t want to impose on anyone…so we decided to do it in both places,” Rossdale has said. But it looks like there’s no end to the bi-continental commute. On October 9, No Doubt starts a two-month U.S. tour. Of course, Stefani may have plans for an even bigger project. “I’m 32 and I think about babies a lot,” she has said. “I’ll make one more album then get pregnant.” Even if that doesn’t happen right away, friends are psyched about the collaboration, in whatever form. “If Gavin and Gwen don’t make beautiful music together,” one guest toasted, “I don’t know what I’ll do.”