As Cameron Diaz marries Benji Madden, in relative secrecy, Celia Walden asks if this is a new trend - or are celebrities still too self-important to keep their nuptuals truly secret?
“If I’d known David Attenborough 40 years ago,” Cameron Diaz rather startlingly confessed to me last year," he might have been the one man to tame me.” As it turned out, it was Benji Madden – a diminutive, tattooed, shaven-headed rocker with more paunch than one of Attenborough’s quirkiest marsupials – who was finally able to make that claim. After an eight-month long romance, the unlikely pair wed last Monday under a Chinese lantern-lit marquee in Diaz’s Beverly Hills
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When news of the wedding broke the following day, fans and idle priers were astonished not so much by the union as the fact that the Good Charlotte front man and the most eligible bachelorette in Hollywood had managed to keep it semi-secret. Semi, because although the paparazzi were successfully thwarted and even Diaz’s neighbours were under the illusion that the 42-year-old star of Something About Mary and The Other Woman was throwing a party to tee up this Sunday’s Golden Globe awards, tantalising details of the ceremony (right down to the Stephanotis adorning the marquee) flooded the internet within hours.
The ring bearers, we discovered quickly, were Madden’s brother Joel and Nicole Richie’s five-year old son, Sparrow; the bridesmaids Richie, Drew Barrymore, Cameron’s sister Chimene, and her assistant Jesse Lutz. “I waited because I didn’t want to settle,” Diaz’s wedding speech reportedly began. “Now I got the best man ever. My special man. He’s mine…” Whether by accident or design, Diaz’s semi-secret wedding provoked more enthusiasm than an eight-page spread in Hello! magazine.
“When Drew, Reese, Nicole and Gwyneth all tip up at your home at the same time one morning, swiftly followed by the wedding planner to the stars and her giant white marquee,” says Jade Beer, editor of Brides magazine, “I’m afraid your secret is out, Cameron. But in keeping her wedding under wraps for this long, Diaz has managed to get the world even more interested in it. We still don’t know what she wore, what flowers she carried, what guests ate, who partied hardest and longest. There has been just a mere trickle of tiny detail. Cue an enormous magazine deal to quell that growing global interest? Or a refreshingly civilised celebrity approach to what is still a pretty personal moment between a couple and their closest family and friends?”
While I can’t help but hope that Diaz ditches the magazine deal and goes for the “civilized celebrity” option (one famous actress I know admitted that she “would happily pay to get that kind of coverage in a magazine”, so giving the proceeds to charity isn’t always quite the selfless act it seems), stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – who married in secret at their chateau in France before sharing edited titbits with the world in People magazine and Hello! – have set a trend we’re likely to see a lot more of in 2015.