Everybody loves the holidays. But for these celebrities, that magical time of year between Christmas Eve and the New Year holds some extra-special significance: It's when they got married. Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at all the stars who said "I do" during the holidays, starting with these lovebirds… After 20 years of dating, TV host Maria Menounos and writer-producer Keven Undergaro tied the knot on live TV on New Year's Eve 2017! The ceremony — which was officiated by Steve Harvey — was a surprise to the couple's family and friends and happened just before midnight. They had a more traditional wedding in Greece the following summer. Keep reading for more…
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Kathy Griffin married longtime boyfriend Randy Bick just after midnight on New Year's Day 2020 — and Lily Tomlin officiated the 14-minute ceremony! The comedian surprised fans on New Year's Eve 2019 when she took to social media to announce plans to wed a few hours later, then shared video of the ceremony the next day. The white Diane Von Furstenberg gown Kathy wore to exchange vows was the same dress she wore on her first date with Randy back in 2011. "We are in love and we cannot stop laughing," she tweeted.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith met in 1995 when she auditioned to play his character's girlfriend on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." She didn't get the part — she was deemed too short — but a real-life romance ensued and on Dec. 31, 1997, Jada donned an ivory crushed-velvet gown to exchange vows with Will for their wedding at the Cloisters Mansion in her native Baltimore.
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After falling for one another on the set of "Days of Thunder" in 1989, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman secretly wed on Christmas Eve 1990 in a rented $2 million, six-bedroom property in Telluride, Colorado. According to People magazine, the log house, which had views of the Rocky Mountains, was decorated with a willow arbor laced with white lilies and red roses, and the 30-minute ceremony — Nicole wore a white silk gown with a train, while Tom donned a tux — was held at sunset. But not all holiday weddings have a happy ending: Like so many stars' December marriages, this one ended in divorce a decade later.
Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford tied the knot on New Year's Eve in 1997 — which also just so happens to be Taylor's birthday! — after a 10-year romance. It was a very small wedding — only 16 guests — in a small town in Scotland. "When I arrived at the church, word had gone out," Helen told Yahoo! in 2018, "because we got married in a really small fishing village … So when I arrived at the church, it was like 6 o'clock at night on New Year's Eve … all the people who lived in the village had come to stand outside the church to watch me arrive and watch. And because I knew there were so few of us in the church, I said, 'Why don't you all come in? Come on in! Join in.'"
In a controversial move, "The Real Housewives of New York City" star LuAnn de Lesseps tied the knot with her allegedly philandering beau, Tom D'Agostino, in an elaborate ceremony in front of 250 guests on New Year's Eve 2016. "I want people to come and be a witness to a great wedding, a beautiful setting, a fun party, and the spectacularness of New Year's Eve," LuAnn told People magazine. They divorced just seven months later.
Maybe there's a New Year's wedding curse? "The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco married former tennis pro Ryan Sweeting in a fire-and-ice-themed wedding on New Year's Eve 2013 wearing an unconventional pink dress. They split after just 21 months of marriage, and Kaley later revealed she'd learned a tough lesson. "I had the date tattooed on my back to remind me," she said on "The Ellen Degeneres Show." "Don't tattoo wedding dates."
TV writer and "Barely Famous" creator and star Erin Foster married businessman Simon Tikhman on Dec. 31, 2019, in Nashville. The bride's father, composer-producer David Foster, walked her down the aisle and stepmother Katharine McPhee sang at the reception. Other well-known guests at the New Year's Eve nuptials included Erin's sister Sara Foster and celebrity pals Kate Hudson, Rachel Zoe and Jonah Hill.
On New Year's Eve 2012, Hugh Hefner wed Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, who was 60 years his junior. The lovebirds tied the knot after a rocky two-year engagement during which Crystal called off their first wedding before reconciling with Hef. They remained husband and wife until his death in September 2017.
Why marry once when you could marry three times?! Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson celebrated their union three times over! The two originally tied the knot in a secret ceremony in June 2016 before Michael competed in the Summer Olympics, then had a Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, ceremony before celebrating for a third time on New Year's Eve 2016 with a "Great Gatsby"-themed party at an Arizona resort.
Former Disney star Christy Romano wed producer Brendan Rooney in a beautiful winter wedding on New Year's Eve 2013. The two married in snowy Alberta, Canada, two years after getting engaged on a gondola in Italy.
All American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter donned a black-on-black suit while "Revenge" actress Elena Satine slipped into a body-hugging Inbal Dror gown to say "I do" on New Year's Eve 2013. Their beach wedding in Seaside, Florida, had a country-chic theme and included fireworks and wish lanterns, People reported. "We feel very fortunate to have started the New Year this way," the couple told the magazine.
Two years after they met filming his 2005 "Only You" music video, Katherine Heigl married Josh Kelley in Park City, Utah. The couple exchanged vows on Dec. 23, 2007, in a tent at the Stein Eriksen Lodge while it snowed outside, then partied with celebrity pals including her "Grey's Anatomy" co-stars T.R. Knight, Sandra Oh and Kate Walsh. The actress wore an ivory silk Oscar de la Renta wedding gown (her bridesmaids wore holiday red) for her walk down the aisle.
Four days after their first date in the spring of 2000, Kate Hudson moved into Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson's New York City apartment. On New Year's Eve that same year, the actress and the rocker said "I do" in front of 70 guests at the Snowmass, Colorado, ranch belonging to her parents, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Kate wore a satin ivory Vera Wang gown with a corset bodice beneath a floor-length white coat for the nuptials, which were officiated by an Ute Native American shaman, People reported. The romance was over five and a half years later, and their divorce was finalized in 2007.
NBA star Shaquille O'Neal married film marketer-turned-reality star Shaunie Nelson at Los Angeles' Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 26, 2002. All of their kids — they had two under 2 together, plus another on the way at the time, as well as one kid each from previous relationships — served as ring bearers and flower girls, People reported. The pair divorced in 2010 after Shaq admitted he'd been unfaithful.
Madonna married director Guy Ritchie in the Great Hall of Scotland's Skibo Castle on Dec. 22, 2000. Surrounded by hundreds of candles, the processional began with Madge's daughter Lourdes Leon in bare feet and a long ivory Stella McCartney gown that matched her mother's, People reported, while Guy and their infant son, Rocco, wore matching kilts. But not quite eight years after celebrity pals including Stella, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rupert Everett, Donatella Versace, Sting and Trudie Styler watched them say "I do," the marriage was over.
Despite being a Hollywood star, Woody Harrelson actually lives off the grid in Hawaii. That's where he quietly married his girlfriend of 20 years, Laura Louie, on Dec. 28, 1993. The private ceremony on Maui was attended by a small number of friends and family including their three daughters — Denni, Zoe and Makani.
After 18 months of dating, comedian Jerry Seinfeld married Tommy Hilfiger fashion publicist Jessica Sklar in a Jewish ceremony on Christmas Day 1999. Jerry wore a black tux while the bride donned a white spaghetti-strap gown designed by her famous boss as they exchanged vows before about 40 guests in a private penthouse in New York City, People reported. The reception menu included crab meat hors d'oeuvres, lamb and chocolate cake with white frosting.
Country singer Kellie Pickler and songwriter Kyle Jacobs eloped at sunset on the Caribbean island of Antigua on New Year's Day 2011. Before exchanging vows on a sandbar, Kyle sent Kellie a wedding gift — a CD of music he'd written for her — to open as she got ready in a nearby villa. "As soon as I hit play and heard his voice, I lost it," she told People. "I think we had to redo my makeup three times." As for her Badgley Mischka ballgown, seen here during one of her fittings? "I just stood there and instantly fell in love with it," Kellie added.
Less than a year after her split from "The Good Wife" star Josh Charles, Jennifer Connelly married her friend and "A Beautiful Mind" co-star Paul Bettany on New Year's Day 2003 in a small, private ceremony in Scotland. The couple both wore black, People reported — a strappy gown for her, a pinstriped suit for him — and exchanged vows in front of just 14 friends and family members in the candlelit music room at Gilmerton House near Edinburgh.
Rachel Griffiths married artist Andrew Taylor in a candlelit ceremony at dusk in Gardenvale, Australia, on Dec. 31, 2002. After their Catholic mass ceremony, which was sung by the St. Kevin's Boys Choir, the couple danced a tango for their 220 guests at their reception-turned-New Year's Eve party at St. Kilda's Palais Theatre, The Age newspaper reported. The bride wore a deconstructed white silk-gauze couture gown by Alberta Ferretti for the ceremony, while her flower girls were dressed in hand-dyed silk fairy dresses designed by the costumers on Rachel's hit show "Six Feet Under."
Fourteen years after marrying her first husband, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange in a holiday-season wedding (the pair tied the knot on Dec. 28, 1993), country star Shania Twain's heart broke when she discovered he'd allegedly been having an affair with her close friend and employee Marie-Anne Thiébaud. Shania ended the marriage and in a crazy twist of fate, later fell for her friend's equally jilted husband, Nestle executive Frédéric Thiébaud. Shania and Frédéric married in another holiday-season wedding, this time on a day that signaled new beginnings — Jan. 1, 2011 — on a beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico, in front of 40 loved ones.
Two years after meeting on the set of her show "Las Vegas," comedian Jay Mohr and actress Nikki Cox tied the knot at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Nikki wore a strapless white gown topped with a tiara and traditional veil and carried a bouquet of white flowers for their nuptials on Dec. 29, 2006. He filed for divorce in 2016.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates married former Microsoft employee Melinda French on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on Jan. 1, 1994. The billionaire reportedly rented out all the hotel rooms and helicopters on the island to guarantee privacy for their big day, which is said to have cost $1 million. Bill secretly hired Willie Nelson to perform for their 130 guests at the reception as a surprise for his new wife, who's a big fan of the country music legend.
Figure skater and TV host Johnny Weir exchanged handwritten wedding vows with attorney Victor Voronov in an early-morning civil ceremony at the New York City courthouse on Dec. 30, 2011. But less than three years later, it was over: Johnny filed for divorce in 2014, and an attempt to rekindle the romance that summer failed.
U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan married "Rules of Engagement" actress Bianca Kajlich at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, California, on Dec. 31, 2007. After the bride (in Monique Lhuillier) and groom (in a Ted Baker tux) rang in the New Year with their guests, they surprised everyone with In-N-Out Burgers and a karaoke machine at the afterparty, People reported. Three years later, he filed for divorce.
"Lord of the Rings" and "Homeland" actress Miranda Otto married Australian actor Peter O'Brien at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney in a 90-minute ceremony on New Year's Eve 2002. The Age newspaper reported it was a rainy day Down Under, but fortunately not a cold one, as the holiday season falls during Australia's summer months.