Accompanied by security that rivaled that of the White House, a few select guests from all over the country attended an unusual wedding last Saturday. The event? The television taping of The Bachelorette marriage of "Trista and Ryan," which airs tonight on ABC.
For months, there's been speculation on where the wedding would take place and the hundreds of people involved were all sworn to secrecy. The gala event finally took place at one of Palm Springs' leading resorts, The Lodge at Rancho Mirage, which was closed to the public for four days to accommodate the giant TV production.
According to reports, nearly $1 million was lavished on the wedding, which was attended by 300 specially invited guests and the families of both the bride, Trista Rehn, who lives in Los Angeles and the groom, Ryan Sutter, a fireman who hails from Vail, Colo.
Since announcing their wedding plans, the betrothed pair has appeared on a half-dozen national magazine covers and the "Oprah" show. Additionally, their pre-wedding specials have scored some of reality TV's top ratings. As a result, the producers spared no expense in staging the wedding.
The celebrity couple was treated to a wedding ceremony under the hotel's famed gazebo overlooking the Coachella Valley, a glamorous reception in the stately hotel ballroom and an overnight stay in a newly redecorated honeymoon suite, named in honor of local resident, former Pres. Gerald R. Ford.
The hot design team of Badgley Mischka created the bride's wedding gown and Kenneth Cole did up the men's trendy tuxedos.
Country star Brad Paisley made a special appearance as Trista walked down the aisle. The celebration reunited Brad and Trista, who not only guest starred in Paisley's high-spirited video for the tongue-in-cheek
smash, "Celebrity," but also introduced Paisley's performance at November's
CMA Awards telecast.
Some 30,000 roses from Ecuador were brought to the location, as was a TV crew of several hundred, who had to be fed and housed for a week. And for the TV wedding's gala reception, the resort's top chef, Fredric Nail, prepared a lavish dinner, featuring food from 14 countries (America, Peru, France, Venezuela, Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Japan, Morocco, India, England, West Indies and Tahiti).
The resort even named drinks in the couple's honor: "Trista's Pink Passion" (the bride has a passion for pink) and "Ryan's Firestorm" (in honor of the groom's firefighting occupation).
"This is the biggest thing to hit this area in a long time," says Herbert Spiegel, managing director of The Lodge at Rancho Mirage. "Even though it was under wraps, people were gossiping for weeks about what was going on up here, and the phones are flying off the hook for wedding information and bookings.
"Everyone wants a wedding just like Trista and Ryan."
So what does it take to put on a wedding like this? Spiegel was kind enough to provide some fast facts:
* 200 pounds of shrimp, lobster and crab
* 2000 pounds of tomatoes
* 1500 pounds of chocolate
* 3000 eggs
* 4300 cups of coffee
* 2800 dinner rolls
* 6400 pounds of ice
* 5300 pieces of silverware
* 3000 wine and champagne glasses
* 5900 assorted serving plates
* 1100 cloth napkins
* 180 bottles of champagne
* 600 bottles of wine
* 12,000 man-hours for planning and execution of weekend events
* 500 employees
Still want a wedding like this? You're in luck. The "Trista & Ryan Wedding Package" includes the same presidential suite used by the TV couple, caviar and Dom Perignon champagne upon arrival, "Trista & Ryan" commemorative champagne flutes and a signature wedding album, a private dinner under the stars at gazebo, where the pair were married, breakfast or brunch prepared by a private chef, use of a Jaguar or Mercedes and a rose petal turndown service on the wedding night.
You can also own an authentic piece of the wedding. Starting tomorrow (December 11), ABC will be auctioning off the Lenox China actually used in the wedding. It's all for a good cause, though, since proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
So remember, that's tonight, December 10, at 9pm (est/pst). After the nuptuials, stay tuned to find out who will be the next Bachelorette.