Britney and Justin are so over. Long live Jessica and Nick.
The happy ending that never was for Ms. Spears and Mr. Timberlake came true for popster counterparts Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, wed Sunday in her native Texas.
Simpson's record label, Sony, confirmed the nuptials.
The merger between Simpson, the Irresistible bubble-gum babe, and Lachey, the 98 Degrees boybander, occurred at a chapel near Austin. (Simpson was born in Waco, about 100 miles up Interstate 35; Lachey's an Ohio player, if you must know.) A reception reportedly followed at the nearby Barton Creek Resort amid a Texas-sized rainstorm.
Downpour or no, some 350 people attended the festivities. No word on the guest list, although we'd bet the groom wasn't the only 98 Degrees representative. (Lachey's brother Drew is also a member of the on-hiatus quartet.)
Simpson wore white, a logical fashion choice for the music world's most famous self-proclaimed virgin since the pre-python Spears.
"[Saving myself for marriage] just was always something that was just a part of me and my life, and I was shocked that it was like on the cover of newspapers and magazines and that it was such a great deal," Simpson told Craig Kilborn on CBS' The Late Late Show in September.
Still, getting hooked up with Lachey sounded like a very big deal to the gospel singer turned pop princess. "Nick and I have been together for four years, so I think it's about time that we get together," she told Kilborn.
Simpson, 22, and Lachey, who turns 29 on November 9, first made commercial music together in 1999, when she and 98 Degrees toured together. She was the opening act; he and his were the headliners. The concert schedule was timed to the launch of Simpson's debut album, Sweet Kisses. 98 Degrees, contenders to the Backstreet Boys-'N Sync throne, previously had broken onto the MTV play list with the 1997 hit "Invisible Man."
"The first time I heard her sing, I got chills," Lachey once said of Simpson. "And I told the guys..., 'I'm going to marry that girl one day.'"
But first the duo dueted on the arguably prophetic love song "Where You Are." (Sample lyric: "I still believe/I will touch you that sweet day.")
The notes soured in spring 2001, when Simpson and Lachey took a break. (She said she needed to focus on her career.) The jarring events of September 11, 2001, brought them back together.
"After [the] 9-11 [terror attacks], I knew that I never ever wanted to be away from Nick ever for the rest of my life," Simpson wrote on her Website last February.
Simpson, last seen time warping for a guest appearance on Fox's That '70s Show, got her wish when Lachey proposed aboard a yacht in Hawaii the weekend before Valentine's Day 2002.
This is the first marriage for both. They'll call the tony Westside of Los Angeles their home. The two previously had lived in, ahem, separate highrise L.A. condos.
In other boyband-wedding news, Jacob Underwood, the 22-year-old O-Towner with dreads, was set to marry his longtime girlfriend in his hometown of San Diego later this month, Launch reports. Underwood's made-on-TV group (see: Making the Band) is due to release its second album, 02, November 12.