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Nicole Richie's Wedding Elephant Explained

USMagazine, Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 1:40pm (PST)

Why in the world was there an elephant at Nicole Richie and Joel Madden's wedding?

Folks were baffled Saturday when an elephant with an elaborate headdress was seen entering the premises of Lionel Richie's Beverly Hills estate -- where 150 guests watched his daughter and Madden exchange vows.

The answer lies in an interview Richie, 29, gave way back in November 2005, when she was then engaged to marry the late DJ A.M. (real name: Adam Goldstein).

On "Larry King Live," she told guest host Ryan Seacrest all about her wedding plans. "I want to have a very, very big wedding. I want it to be very extravagant. I want like hundreds of people and elephants ... and a horse and carriage."

Befuddled, Seacrest asked about the inclusion of elephants. "Because elephants are really good luck," Richie explained. "And they're beautiful animals. You don't think?"

To illustrate, she added: "You know, the movie 'Coming to America,'" in which Eddie Murphy plays an African prince who has a beyond-lavish wedding with elephants and many other creatures.

"I want it bigger than that," she said.

Elephant or not, Richie's actual nuptials were slightly more low-key. Richie wore three different Marchesa outfits for the black-tie, winter-themed event, attended by celeb pals like Khloe Kardashian and Samantha Ronson. Rapper-minister Rev. Run officiated the ceremony, and guests dined on goodies like homemade butternut squash ravioli, filet mignon and a dessert buffet.

"It was awesome!" a guest told Us.

More on Wonderwall:

Hookups and Breakups 2010

Romance Report for Dec. 13: Cuddles and Cocktails

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden wed

More from UsWeekly:

PHOTOS: Nicole and Joel's most romantic moments

PHOTOS: Nicole and Joel's adorable daughter Harlow

PHOTOS: Gorgeous celeb weddings

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