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Mary Kay Letourneau Wedding Skipped by Queen May 22, 2005 - 7:38
WOODINVILLE, Wash. - Queen Elizabeth issued a brief press release yesterday explaining that she did not attend the wedding of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau because she feared her presence would turn the ceremony into a media curiosity. Many royal watchers interpreted the queen's absence as a snub to the couple because the queen is thought to be opposed to relations between teachers and their students.
The queen's statement insists, however, that her absence was motivated by nothing more than a desire not to infringe on the couple's privacy. In addition, the statement noted, the queen's opposition to teacher-student relationships does not necessarily extend to teachers who marry their students.
Despite the queen's absence—and the absence of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, and other celebrities who had received invitations—the wedding went on Friday night at the Columbia Winery in Woodinville, Washington, a Seattle suburb. According to "Entertainment Tonight," which owns the rights to the wedding and other personal details of the couple's lives, the bride was nearly two hours late for the ceremony, scheduled to start at 8:30.
"Mary Kay was distraught," said an "ET" spokesperson, "because none of the dozens of celebrities she had invited to her wedding elected to attend. She kept hoping that somebody famous would show up to lend credibility to what she was about to do. Finally, just after 10:00 p.m., she decided to proceed to the glowing-white wedding tent even though we had just received word that David Hasselhoff had checked into a local hotel under an assumed name."
According to "ET," the bride wore a Carolina Herrera white satin jumper, a high-fashion replica of the outfit she wore on her first date with Fualaau, a visit to a Chuck E. Cheese. The groom was "boyish-looking" in a Calvin Klein re-creation of the OshKosh B'Gosh play suit he had worn his first day in Letourneau's second-grade class.
Although the couple had met when Fualaau was eight years old, "ET" noted in the souvenir wedding program given to each of the three hundred guests who did attend the nuptials, "they thought it best to wait until Fualaau had mastered decimals and cursive writing before they started dating. Four years later, in the summer of 1996, they knew it was time to consummate their love."
That decision eventually cost Letourneau six months in prison. Her decision to continue seeing Fualaau after her release, despite a court order forbidding her to do so, cost her seven additional years in jail and her teacher certification. She was released last August.
During the twelve-minute wedding ceremony the bride and groom held hands and read wedding vows, which they themselves had written, after fishing them awkwardly out of their pockets with their free hands. Just before the vows were read, the six groomsmen raised small cartons of chocolate milk aloft and toasted the couple. Then the vows were read.
"You have walked with me through puberty, I will walk with you through menopause," said Fualaau, 21.
"You are in my heart and in my lesson plans forever," answered Letourneau, 43.
Following the ceremony the couple and their guests repaired to the reception hall next to the wedding tent. The hall was decorated like an elementary school classroom. The guests sat at tables of eight, which contained boxes of crayons and large white place mats on which the guests were encouraged to write or to draw.
The menu for the reception included an open pizza bar followed by a sit down dinner of Salisbury steak, french fries, and creamed corn. Dessert consisted of hot fudge sundaes and a slice of Snickers bar wedding cake. The winery, in return for being allowed to place its logo on the bride's and groom's wedding outfits, provided complimentary glasses of a twelve-year-old merlot that one guest described as "surprisingly large bodied and virile for its age."
Because Letourneau had anticipated a significant celebrity presence at her wedding, the event was surrounded by much secrecy. Invitations simply contained an 800 number, a user name, and a password. Guests were instructed to phone that number, using a touch-tone phone, and to key in their user names and passwords. They received a call the morning of the wedding, telling them where to meet the buses that would shuttle them to the ceremony.
Guests were required to arrive two hours prior to the ceremony in order to be strip searched. Cell phones and cameras were confiscated, and guests' hands were stamped with an image of a venus fly trap. Guests were advised that if they left the wedding or the reception hall, they would not be readmitted. All vendors were required to close fifteen minutes before the ceremony began.
In related news, Audrey Fualaau, 8, the daughter of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau, attended the wedding with her second-grade teacher. Audrey told "ET" that the she and the teacher are "just friends."