Secret Celebrity Weddings: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Zuckerberg & More (Photos)

From Ryan Reynolds to Beyonce & Jay-Z, stars whose nuptials were hush-hush.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Even the most public figures are inclined to keep private when it comes to affairs of the heart. This weekend, Green Lantern star Ryan Reynolds wed his Gossip Girl girlfriend Blake Lively in South Carolina in a private ceremony that was reportedly planned in just one month. Beyonce and her hip-hop hubbie Jay-Z put a ring on it in a quiet 2008 ceremony; invitees to the 2002 nuptials of Julia Roberts and Danny Moder thought they were turning out for a Fourth of July barbecue in Taos, New Mexio. The quiet exchange of vows is no recent innovation among America’s celebrity couples, however. The relationship between Clark Gable and Carol Lombard in 1930s Tinseltown was kept secret first because Gable was still married to Ria Langham, but the two continued to keep to themselves through their 1939 union.

From Jennifer Lopez to Mark Zuckerberg and Matthew McConaughey, here are the stars who chose to keep their blissful banns far from the prying public eye.

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Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively

Green Lantern star Ryan Reynolds has traded in his green power ring for a wedding band with his costar-turned-girlfriend Blake Lively. Less than a year after the two were romantically linked, the couple tied the knot at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in a ceremony that was apparently planned in under a month. (Sources told the New York Daily News that Lively asked for days off from the Gossip Girl set only three weeks ago!) Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, performed at the couple’s reception and guests were served a $3,000 wedding cake from Maggie Austin Cakes in Maryland. The bride reportedly donned a Chanel gown (Reynolds wore a Hugo Boss tux) and Lorraine Schwartz designed the couple’s rings. This is Reynolds’s second marriage—his first marriage, to Scarlett Johansson, ended after two years.

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied

Black Swan star Natalie Portman wed her dancer/choreographer fiancé Benjamin Millepied this past Saturday in an intimate Jewish ceremony. The pair succeeded in keeping their relationship mainly under wraps, and their wedding was no different. Saying "I do" around 8 p.m. among family and close friends, the happy couple tied the knot with recycled platinum and "conflict free" diamond bands. Portman and Millepied met on the set of 2010's "Black Swan," where Millepied choreographed Portman's oscar-winning dance numbers.


Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

McConaughey broke the hearts of millions of ladies (and a few fellas) when he married his longtime girlfriend Camila Alves in a secret ceremony June 9. The private affair was held in Texas on a sprawling estate where guests slept in luxurious tents pitched outdoors. The wedding party was said to be a small one, including the couple’s two children, Levi and Vida, ages 4 and 2 respectively. Alves, 30, has reportedly taken McConaughey’s last name. The two have been dating for six years and have been engaged since Christmas Day, though they kept details surrounding their big day mum. Guess Camila never watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days—she’s stuck with Matt for life!

Julie Jacobson / AP Photo

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

No Facebook invitations were sent. One day after taking his company public in a historic IPO, Mark Zuckerberg longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan shocked guests at a party celebrating her graduation from medical school when the couple revealed to those in attendance that they had actually arrived to witness a wedding. The hoodie-wearing hacker wore a dark suit when he exchanged vows with Chan in the backyard of his Palo Alto home. Zuck reportedly designed the wedding band, a “very simple ruby” affair, and the two posted a wedding photo and status updates to their Facebook pages soon after the ceremony. “Everybody was shocked,” a source authorized by the couple to speak with reporters told the Associated Press.

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Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz

In a mission worthy of James Bond himself, 007 star Daniel Craig married actress Rachel Weisz this week in an ultra-private ceremony with just four guests—Craig's 18-year-old daughter, Weisz's 4-year-old son (with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky) and two family friends who acted as witnesses. The couple have known one another for many years but have only been dating a few months, since they filmed The Dream House in which they play, yes, husband and wife.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Vince Vaughn and Kyla Weber

Vince Vaughn and Kyla Weber can claim the title of First Secret Celebrity Marriage of the new decade—the couple tied the knot two days after ringing in 2010. The pair met at a wedding last year—presumably neither crashed—leading Weber to break things off with her longtime boyfriend and move to Los Angeles to be closer to Vaughn, who proposed the following Valentine’s Day. The wedding wasn’t exactly top-secret—the couple had formally announced their engagement prior to the event—but the ceremony was small and private, attended only by a few friends and family. The couple also declined to talk publicly about the marriage, and sources say Vaughn was eager to keep the relationship and the wedding low-key after his high-profile romance with The Break Up costar Jennifer Aniston in 2005.

Brian Zak / Sipa Press; Sipa Press / AP Photo

Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds

When Canada native Ryan Reynolds married girlfriend Scarlett Johansson at Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in fall 2008, the couple reportedly wanted guests to enjoy the outdoor scenery, though the fact that the remote location was paparazzi-free didn’t exactly hurt. The wedding was attended by fewer than 40 guests, who spent the weekend fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the area. The events were kept largely under wraps, even on the island: “I didn't hear any buzz around the town," one local told  the Vancouver Sun at the time. Fittingly, the couple's split in December 2010 was equally quiet. As Reynolds told Details this month: "The media was not invited to my marriage, and they're definitely not invited into the divorce."

Evan Agostini / AP Photo

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

In spite of unrelenting scrutiny from the press, hip-hop’s reigning power couple kept mum throughout their six-year relationship, though they were photographed on vacation together several times and appeared in music videos for two of Beyoncé’s singles, “Crazy in Love” and “Déjà Vu.” They took the same hush-hush approach to their April 2008 wedding, and the press didn’t get wind of the marriage until the day of the event, causing swarms of reporters and paparazzi to descend on Jay-Z’s Tribeca apartment where the ceremony took place. Jay-Z later admitted to Oprah Winfrey that the guest list was kept to around 30 people, which reportedly included Gwyneth Paltrow and fiancée Beyoncé’s fellow Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland. “The sad part is that we offended some,” he said. “But people who love you understand. Because at the end of the day, it’s your day.”

Bret Thompsett / Louise Barnsley / Pacific Coast News; Virginia Sherwood / NBC NewsWire

Julia Roberts and Danny Moder

Some celebrity weddings are so secret that not even the guests know about them. Such was the case for attendees of Julia Roberts' 2002 nuptials with cameraman Danny Moder, most of whom thought they were attending a Fourth of July barbecue in Taos, New Mexico, right up until the wedding ceremony began around midnight. The proceedings were informal—one guest told people that the couple “kissed throughout the ceremony"—and guests were later serenaded by none other than Bruce Willis, who briefly joined the band to sing and play harmonica during the reception. Roberts and Moder still live on the same ranch in Taos, and have since had three children together.

George Pimentel / WireImage

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Sometimes the only way to get over your world-famous ex-girlfriend Jennifer is to marry another world-famous Jennifer. It seems to have worked for Ben Affleck, who left his red-carpet-heavy “Bennifer” days behind him after breaking up with Jennifer Lopez, and started a low-key courtship with Jennifer Garner after they met on the set of Daredevil in 2002. Not only did the couple keep their 2005 wedding in the Caribbean a secret until after the fact, they also kept mum on Garner’s increasingly visible pregnancy, which a publicist for Garner refused to confirm until after the nuptials. Affleck and Garner refused to even confirm the engagement beforehand, and their only public outings as a couple were to Red Sox games in Affleck’s native Boston. The pair has since had two daughters, 4-year-old Violet and 1-year-old Seraphina Rose.


Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney

After an intense four-month courtship, Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney surprised friends and the public alike with their May 2005 marriage in the Caribbean, which featured little fanfare and was attended by just 35 guests. In spite of romantic statements from the pair (the country singer called himself “the luckiest man alive”), the marriage lasted a scant 128 days, and ended abruptly with little explanation. Zellweger filed for an annulment in September 2005, citing “fraud” as the reason in official papers rather than the more typical “irreconcilable differences,” leading to much speculation about the split. The reasons for the breakup are still largely unknown, but Zellweger has since called the marriage “the biggest personal mistake of my life.”

Danny Moloshok / AP Photo; Splash News

Britney Spears and Jason Alexander/Kevin Federline

Britney Spears has always had a knack for making headlines, never more than with her unplanned 55-hour marriage to childhood sweetheart Jason Alexander in January 2004. Apparently on a whim, the two tied the knot at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and annulled the union less than three days later, with papers saying that Spears “lacked understanding of her actions” at the time. Alexander later told reporters that they had decided to get married “just for the hell of it.” Spears rebounded quickly, though, and became engaged to backup dancer Kevin Federline that summer, after three months of dating that were chronicled in their reality-TV show, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic. The two kept the press guessing about their small September wedding until after it had ended, reportedly inviting only 20 to 30 guests. After having two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, Spears and Federline filed for divorce in November 2006.

AP Photo

Clark Gable and Carol Lombard

This old Hollywood golden couple may have originated the concept of the undercover celebrity relationship—they kept their affair secret for three years while Gable was married to Ria Langham. A gossip magazine outed the couple, however, leading Gable to file for what would prove to be a very expensive divorce. He reportedly proposed to Lombard from a phone booth in the legendary Hollywood restaurant the Brown Derby, and the pair married in a quiet ceremony in March 1939. They lived together on an Encino ranch until Lombard’s sudden death in a 1942 plane crash, part of a trip she took in her fundraising efforts for World War II.

Gabriela Maj / Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony

Jennifer Lopez’s love life has always been a favorite tabloid topic, and after two divorces (first from Ojani Noa and later from dancer Cris Judd) and high-profile power pairings with P. Diddy and Ben Affleck, J.Lo stepped out of the spotlight when she began dating Marc Anthony. The two had briefly dated in the 1990s, and reconnected to record a duet in 2004 while Anthony was divorcing from Dayanara Torres. The pair was so press-shy that they even kept wedding guests in the dark about their plans, inviting friends to Lopez’s Beverly Hills home for an “afternoon party.” Though the wedding took place in summer 2004, Lopez refused to officially confirm the marriage until February 2005. In spite of a much-criticized Grammy performance together, the couple is still going strong and Lopez gave birth to twins, Emme and Max, in 2005.

Splash News

Emmy Rossum and Justin Siegel

Emmy Rossum and Justin Siegel found an unconventional (and possibly unintentional) way to make their marriage public: They filed for divorce. The couple had been secretly together since 2007, but paid for their marriage license to be confidential, so the actual date of their marriage is still unknown. Neither has commented on the marriage or the split, though Rossum was seen out and about with Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz a number of times shortly before the divorce was announced.


Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

Occasionally celebrity weddings are so hush-hush that not even family members are invited. At least that was the case for Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, who quickly and quietly got married in Santa Barbara in December 2003, days after they confirmed that Paltrow was expecting the couple’s first child, Apple. The couple has remained tight-lipped throughout their marriage, including the birth of their second son, Moses.

Andrea Venturini / Bauer Griffin

David Letterman and Regina Lasko

Before he was working to keep his affairs with staffers under wraps, David Letterman had the more pleasant task of planning a secret wedding to longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko. With their 5-year-old son, Harry, in tow, the two married in rural Montana, where Letterman’s truck got stuck in the mud en route to the ceremony. There were no public announcements, but on his show the following week Letterman joked, “I had avoided getting married pretty good for, like, 23 years.”

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

Though they’ve kept their relationship high-profile ever since, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon worked hard to keep their wedding a secret, and kept fans guessing until they released a wedding photo one week after the ceremony, along with a statement in which Carey said, “we really do feel we are soul mates.” The couple had only known each other for a little over a month at the time of the nuptials, and also got tattoos to mark the event; his read "Mariah" and hers said "Mrs. Cannon." Since the wedding, the pair is often seen in matching outfits and adopted a dog together, which they named Dolemite.

Everett Collection

Charlie Chaplin and Oona O'Neill

Sometimes famous people marry in secret to avoid the overwhelming avalanche of publicity that accompanies a celebrity wedding. And sometimes they marry in secret because disturbed scorned women are suing one partner for paternity, while the other is mired in a family feud with her famous father. Charlie Chaplin and Oona O'Neill definitely fall into the latter camp. The May-December couple—he was 54 and she 18—eloped and married in rural Carpinteria, California, while Chaplin was in the midst of being accused by Joan Barry of fathering her unborn child (blood tests proved he was not). O'Neill, meanwhile, earned the scorn of her father, playwright Eugene O’Neill, and her elopement caused him to disown her. But Oona never looked back—she and Chaplin remained married until his death in 1977.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

One hundred guests thought they were attending a party when they headed to New York’s Angel Orensanz Synagogue in 1997, learning the truth only after they arrived: It was the wedding of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The couple wore black to avoid drawing tabloid attention—the groom in an off-the-rack suit and the bride in a dress with a ruffled full skirt. Parker now says she regrets the dress and wishes she’d worn a traditional white one. She clearly didn’t consult with Carrie Bradshaw.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Diane Lane and Josh Brolin

In 2003, Diane Lane and Josh Brolin exchanged vows in an understated sunset ceremony on Brolin’s 97-acre ranch north of Los Angeles. Seventy guests—including maid-of-honor Elizabeth Perkins, Brolin’s stepmother Barbra Streisand, and dad James Brolin—looked on as a classical guitar cooed. Guests’ dogs were allowed to roam free.

Dave Allocca / AP Photo

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

What's the best way to keep your wedding secret? Only invite four people, and make one of them your daughter. Winslet may have starred in one of the biggest films of all time, but the guest list for her May 2003 wedding to director Sam Mendes was among the smallest: just Winslet’s daughter Mia (with former husband Jim Threapleton) and "three close friends." Of course, just because a wedding is small doesn't mean it can’t be exotic—Winslet and Mendes were married in Anguilla.


Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel

Who better to master the low-key under-the-radar wedding than the king and queen of low-key and under-the-radar? Soft-spoken indie god Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie wed the doe-eyed Zooey Deschanel near an under-the-radar city (Seattle) during an under-the-radar month for weddings (September). No one heard about it until the following week, when Deschanel’s publicist confirmed a question from People magazine. What wasn't on the downlow? Deschanel's engagement party, which was filmed for an episode of Bravo's Top Chef Masters.