Last Thursday, the woman behind the Gen X global hit Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O’Connor, tied the knot with her fiancé Barry Herridge. The unconventional artist who had always been a passionate activist against child abuse came to her wedding with her trademark shaved head donning a long, low cut, non-traditional wedding dress in dreamy pink which revealed the tattoos imprinted on her arms while her groom sported a dark suit with a matching pink shirt. The couple said their I-Do’s in the backseat of a pink Cadillac at the Las Vegas Strip famous for drive-thru weddings. The memorable evening was highlighted by the couple lighting candles after the ceremony while the chapel employees sang Happy Birthday to the beaming bride who incidentally was also celebrating her 45th birthday.
For the controversial Irish singer who once had a brush with the Roman Catholics when she tore a picture of The Pope during a Saturday Night Live segment broadcast on national television as a sign of protest for reported sexual abuse within the scope of the Roman Catholic Church and once declaring herself a lesbian only to later retract her statements, it was interesting to see Sinead who had already been previously married three times showing a rather unconventionally softer side by being seemingly swept still by the idea of experiencing the magical and fairy-tale like ritual towards “happily-ever-after”. On her website before her wedding, she described her marital union with her fourth husband as an “absolute dream wedding ceremony.”
Sinead’s dream wedding seemed simple yet meaningful that was planets apart from the usual glitzy dream weddings typically thrown by the high rollers of the exclusive world of the rich and famous specifically in Hollywood.
But what lures men and women alike from all social demographics to invest time and money on planning and going through all the complexities brought about by their so-called perfectly executed dream weddings without the guarantee that doing so will lead them to their happily ever after?
Tradition, peer and family pressure, dramatic flair, too much money to spare, love for entertaining friends, family and strangers, addiction to the limelight, religious and cultural beliefs, conventionality … could be the reasons from among a million other excuses to play dress up and party like a rock star for once in their lives.
Generation X has witnessed a host of weddings from all walks of life that were surely memorable. In one corner of the universe where standing out has always been the norm, the crowd-pleasing display of lavish wedding ceremonies were endless in the exclusive world of the stars.
Let’s look at some of the famous Gen X couples who tickled the media’s fancy by attempting to wear Cinderella’s and her Prince Charming’s shoes for one memorable day and night and exchanged their vows.
In August 1985, pop icon Madonna wed actor Sean Penn on her birthday in the much-publicized wedding in Malibu that sent both the public and the media in a state of frenzy. During the seemingly beautiful ceremony, thanks to the paparazzi helicopters that tried to take videos, Madonna wore a beautiful wedding gown just a tad tamer than her Material Girl costume. After two years in the marriage, Penn and Madonna exhibited serious marital issues allegedly from Penn’s violent behavior. The couple finally divorced in 1989. Penn remarried in 1996 with actress Robin Wright but the couple also divorced in 2010. Madonna, on the other hand, gave birth to her daughter Lourdes in 1996 from a previous relationship and married screenwriter Guy Ritchie in 2000 with whom she had a son but only to be divorced again in 2008.
Ten years later, in 1995, Chynna Phillips, most popularly known as one of the singers of the trio Wilson Phillips and daughter of the iconic group Mamas and Papas members John and Michelle Phillips, wed one of the famous and gorgeous Baldwin brothers, William Baldwin, in what media had described as a very un-Hollywood and down-to-earth wedding ceremony. The couple recently renewed their vows during their 15th wedding anniversary. Chynna and William are still together which is a humongous feat in Hollywood and have been blessed with three children.
Gen X film and TV icons Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston said their wedding vows in July 2000 in a glitzy mansion in romantic Malibu. The $1 million wedding was a media sensation due to the pair’s popularity and fairy tale like romance. Jennifer’s wedding gown and Brad’s dinner jacket were both created by famous designers while the wedding reception was highlighted by fireworks and a décor of over 50,000 flowers. The gorgeous couple divorced in 2005 due to irreconcilable differences and allegedly after Brad met his Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie.
The biggest and most celebrated wedding of all during the Gen X era was, of course, the fairy tale wedding, literally fit for a royal couple, of the Prince of Wales Charles and Lady Diana Spencer more popularly known as Lady Di in 1981. The couple’s wedding was held at the St. Paul’s Cathedral and was broadcast all over the world with an estimated audience of over 750 million people. The couple had two sons, Princes William and Harry, during their relatively short and troubled marriage which ended in divorce in 1996. Diana allegedly had a romantic relationship after her divorce with Charles which was the focus of media attention until her tragic death in Paris from a car crash in 1997. Charles, on the other hand, eventually married rumored mistress Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 which Charles admittedly had a relationship with while he was still married to his first wife Lady Di.
Camilla and Charles are still married. From the looks of it, they seem headed towards their longtime goal of living together, for better or for worse, happily ever after despite how they started their “Once upon a time” in their own fairy tale book.
These stories are just a small portion of the long and sweet walk of love-struck couples to the sacred aisle during the magical era of the 80’s and the 90’s. Among the four wedding tales, only one survived and passed the matrimonial test. The rest have failed but fortunately, they seem to have recovered and moved on from their failures.
Many weddings have been planned and staged later on as seen and heard on the news. Some marriages have reportedly failed as usual yet some are showing signs of strength and endurance which is a brilliant torch of hope for the rest of the Cupid speared couples who want to experience their own time under the moonlit sky amidst the flutter of silk, chiffon, pastels and tux.
For the newly wed and the hopefuls, best wishes on your journey to your own brand of happily ever after. Remember, no one knows about the future. If it fails, don’t worry about it. You can always reminisce about your dream wedding ceremony and reception … your dreamy gown, handsome tux, lovely face and the champagne’s excellent taste … and best of all, the look on your partner’s face when he or she saw your ex’s name on the guest list.
Sinead O’Connor Weds in Las Vegas
Everyone Said It Wouldn’t Last
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston Marriage Profile
Wikipedia (Sinead O’Connor, Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Sean Penn, Chynna Phillips, William Baldwin, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Diana Princess of Wales, Charles Prince of Wales)