The Secrets of Stars' Secret Weddings

Jay-Z and Beyonce pulled off a feat few other star couples have managed.

ByABC News
February 11, 2009, 1:54 AM

April 11, 2008 — -- He has seven Grammys and a multimillion-dollar record label to his name. She has two multiple platinum albums and a booming acting career.

But their biggest achievement to date may be tying the knot in downtown Manhattan without the presence of the paparazzi or press.

Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles reportedly married last Friday. While their representatives still won't confirm whether they wed, the evidence is hard to deny: photographs of flowers, friends and family arriving at Jay-Z's loft and Mary J. Blige announcing "Congratulations to my man, Jay-Z, and my girl B" at a concert she headlined with the groom the next day.

With the media tailing stars 24/7, keeping an A-list wedding a secret is like trying to stop a celebrity sex tape from hitting the Internet. But, according to the people who plan the weddings of the rich and famous, it can be done.

"The smaller the wedding, the better," said Beverly Hills wedding planner Sasha Souza. "The fewer people who know what's going on, the better. Often our planning binders don't have names on them so staffers don't know who's getting married. Often the venue doesn't even know whose wedding it's hosting. Sometimes vendors are told to go somewhere else and at the last minute, we call and reroute them to the right location."

Many celebrities require those working on their event to sign confidentiality agreements. That way, if the sous chef squeals to the tabloids, the couple can serve up a lawsuit.

"You need to establish a proper relationship with a vendor that's not going to leak anything to the press, because once it's picked up, you're dead," said David Tutera, who planned Star Jones' wedding to Al Reynolds. "Your staff has to sign agreements as well. That's where the leaks get out, with the staff -- the lower echelon people executing the day-to-day orchestration of the event."

To keep weddings as hush-hush as possible, many stars don't let anyone outside their immediate friends and family know about the event until the last minute. Where an everyday bride and groom may take 12 months to plan their nuptials, an A-list couple may take 12 days. And with paparazzi happy to root through Dumpsters looking for discarded envelopes, invitations and anything that may offer clues as to when and where a star's getting married, planners have to get creative in spreading the word to legit attendees.