First comes crazy in love, then comes marriage.
Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z, a match made in musical heaven, tied the knot in New York Friday, just three days after setting tongues wagging by taking out a marriage license—and hours after what appeared to be the signs of lavish (and possibly nuptial) party preparations compelled dozens of reporters and photogs to gather outside Jay-Z's Tribeca loft.
"Yes, it's a wedding," a source at the scene told E! News. However, it was unclear whether the vow-swap took place earlier at another location or at the penthouse apartment.
Amy Vongpitaka, owner of Thailand-based Amy's Orchids, confirmed to E! News that she shipped flowers for Beyoncé's wedding. "The designer called us a week ago, and we had to move quickly. We used a total of 200 workers to cut and process 100,000 Dendrobium White orchids, and then we hand-chose the best 60,000."
There has been no official confirmation from the couple yet, although all signs point toward holy secret matrimony. Alan Nierob, Beyoncé's publicist, said he had "no comment" on the matter.
The intimate affair was attended by about two dozen friends and family members. Among those present: the parents of the bride and groom; Knowles' kid sis, Solange; Jay-Z's mother, Gloria Carter; former Destiny's Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, who has collaborated with Jigga. Most were dressed in white. Also present: the Knowles' family minister from Houston, who presumably officiated.
(George Clooney happened to be photographed at the scene in a natty suit, but it turns out he was taping Charlie Rose. His timing was impeccable, anyway.)
The previously subdued festivities finally got raging at 2:30 a.m. ET when the Jackson 5 tune "I Want You Back" started blaring from the penthouse, followed by a steady stream of hip-hop music. The tunes were still blasting at 4 a.m. with no sign of the bash slowing down.
Earlier in the day, crates of cream-colored orchids and oversize silver candelabras were spotted being delivered to the hip-hop superstar's penthouse. A white tent was also erected atop the building, presumably to keep out raindrops...and telephoto lenses.
According to various media reports, the Roman numeral IV was also prevalent throughout the party, in honor not only of the wedding month and day (4/4/08), but because the number holds special significance for the couple, each of whom was born on the fourth of the month—September for Knowles, December for the man born Shawn Carter.
(For what it's worth, In Touch Weekly reports that the duo, who have matching "IV" tattoos on their ring fingers, are planning a second ceremony in France on May 4, exactly one month from today. However, Jay-Z is on a North American tour with Mary J. Blige that's not scheduled to wrap until May 8.)
The duo's well-seasoned wedding rumors picked up speed on Tuesday, when People reported the superstars obtained a marriage license in Scarsdale Village, N.Y.
Adding to the deafening wedding buzz leading up to the vow swap was the descending of likely wedding guests on New York, chief among them Rowland and Williams. The particularly giddy twosome posted a video online Thursday evening from what they teasingly referred to as an "undisclosed location," later revealing it to be the Four Seasons.
Knowles, 26, and Jay-Z, 38, have been together for nearly six years.
Don't expect much of a honeymoon, though. The rapper, on the verge of signing a whopping $150 million music deal with Live Nation, has concerts scheduled for Saturday in Greensboro, N.C., and Sunday in Washington, D.C.
—Additional reporting by Ken Baker
(Originally published April 4, 2008 at 10:16 p.m. PT.)