Nicole Richie and Other Celebrities Who Delay Marriage

After two children, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden get engaged.

Feb. 18, 2010— -- Three years and two children later, actress Nicole Richie and musician Joel Madden have announced they are officially tying the knot.

If it seems Madden and Richie are flouting the words "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage," they are certainly not alone. Plenty of stars have either delayed marriage after having children or forsaken the nuptials altogether. When it comes to relationships in Hollywood, nearly anything goes.

Just yesterday, Leonardo DiCaprio, 35, who has dated some of the world's most beautiful women, including his current flame Israeli model Bar Refaeli, told "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts that he is putting off marriage and family, even though three years ago, he told Oprah Winfrey that he'd be ready for both ... when he's 35.

Now that he's 35, DiCaprio told Roberts Monday, "The truth is I'm very lucky to be in the position I am in now. If the other stuff happens to come along in a natural progression, then so be it."

"As long as I have another 10 years," he added jokingly.

Madden and Richie didn't seem in a big hurry to get hitched either, even though they have been living as a close-knit family for some time. As recently as October, Richie dashed engagement rumors.

"One day I would love to get married," she told a reporter. "It's not something we're talking about right now. If my kids ask me to get married, I'd get married."

Then on Monday, Madden revealed the couple had been engaged for some time.

"Yep. i'm engaged," Madden Tweeted. "Very happy. Yeah we've been engaged for a while."

Richie reportedly told David Letterman Monday during a taping of his show that the couple was engaged. The show is scheduled to air Friday.

Father-of-the-bride singer Lionel Richie was overjoyed by the news.

"I am not sure who is luckier, Nicole and Joel to have each other, or me, to have both of them in my life," Richie told People magazine Tuesday. "I cannot wait to give away the bride!"

Richie added that the couple has "proven to be great parents."

Whether they will be great spouses remains to be seen. Dr. Jenn Berman believes they stand a good chance, though.

"They appear to be a couple with good heads on their shoulders," she told

"But putting the cart before the horse is generally not what I recommend," added Berman, the author of "The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids." "Everybody is well served when parents are able to create a solid relationship and level of stability and familiarity prior to starting a family."

Celebrities are not like the rest of us, though. While most average couples wait until marriage to start a family, in part, out of financial need, Berman said celebrities don't have the same financial needs. For that reason they may be more hesitant to get married and choose to start a family first.

If Madden and Richie wonder what the future holds for them, they can look at some other Hollywood couples who have taken a less traditional route:

Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham

Actor Mark Wahlberg and his longtime model girlfriend Rhea Durham had three children and were expecting their fourth when they finally made their relationship official.

"I was not prepared to be married...when I was 20 or 30," Wahlberg told Us Weekly. "Committing to making it work and all the other things that go into building a solid foundation is where I'm at now."

Wahlberg, 38, returned to the traditions of his Boston upbringing and married Durham in a Catholic church in Beverly Hills last August. Their children, Ella Rae, 6, Michael, 3, and Brendan Joseph, almost 2, and about 12 close friends attended the intimate ceremony, according to People magazine.

Last month, Durham, 31, gave birth to another girl, Grace Margaret.

"I'm the youngest of nine," Wahlberg told People, adding that the final count will be "however many Mom wants to have."

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have vowed not to marry until everyone who wants to, including gay couples, can.

"I have love in my life, a soul mate, absolutely," Pitt told Parade magazine. "When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.' I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it -- hate mail from religious groups."

Since becoming a couple in 2005, just about everything Pitt and Jolie do is scrutinized, including raising their brood of six children outside of wedlock.

"What damn right does anyone have to tell someone else how to live if they're not hurting anyone?" Pitt told Parade. "How many times do you think real love comes to someone in a lifetime? If you're lucky, maybe two or three."

Fed up with the breakup rumors that constantly circulate about the couple, Pitt and Jolie recently filed suit against a British newspaper claiming they had split. Then, they took a vacation with the family in Venice.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins

Perhaps the most surprising split of last year came when Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins announced in December that they had separated after more than two decades.

One of Hollywood's rare enduring couples, Sarandon, 63, and Robbins, 51, who met on the set of "Bull Durham" in 1988, never married but had two sons together, Jack, 20, and Miles, 17. Sarandon also has a daughter, Eva Amurri, from her 1980s relationship with director Franco Amurri.

Amid the couple's breakup were rumors that Sarandon was dating her 31-year-old business partner, Jonathan Bricklin, an aspiring filmmaker and ping-pong aficionado. Her publicist Teal Cannaday told, "The rumors are absolutely untrue. Susan's relationship with Jonathan Bricklin is strictly a business one."

Unlike Pitt and Jolie, Sarandon and Robbins projected a family-first stability while drawing a curtain between their personal and professional lives. They rarely turned up in gossip columns and even managed to keep their split, which took place last summer, out of the media for several months. So, we are left only to speculate on why this most enduring couple called it quits after 23 years.Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

If media reports are to be believed, there was nothing traditional about this famous couple's march to the aisle.

In April 2005, mega movie star Tom Cruise reportedly invited actress Katie Holmes to a four-hour-long private meeting at his home office, where they made an instant connection. A month later, Cruise was jumping on Oprah Winfrey's couch declaring to the world his love for Holmes. A month after that, the couple became engaged in Paris.

But instead of announcing their wedding date, Cruise and Holmes revealed in October 2005 that Holmes was expecting their child. Little Suri was born in April 2006. And exactly seven months later, the couple married in Italy.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell

Another of Hollywood's golden couples, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been happily unmarried for 27 years.

Here's what Hawn told Woman's Day magazine last year about why they won't get married: "Because we have done just perfectly without marrying. I already feel devoted and isn't that what marriage is supposed to do? So as long as my emotional state is in a state of devotion, honesty, caring and loving, then we're fine."

Hawn, now 64, and Russell, 58, met in 1983 on the set of "Swing Shift." Twice divorced with two children, Hawn became a stepmother to Russell's son Boston with ex-wife Season Hubley. Hawn's children, Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson, both of whom became actors, have said they consider Russell their father. Hawn and Russell also had a son, Wyatt Russell, in 1983.

Hawn has defended their decision not to get married. "We both have independent finances, we're both independently well-off. We have raised our children brilliantly; they are beautiful people. We did a great job there and we didn't have to get married to do that," she told Woman's Day.

"I like waking up every day and seeing that he is there and knowing that I have a choice," Hawn added. "There is really no reason to marry."