It’s hard not to picture a ton of fanfare, over-the-top decor, and famous guests when you think of the typical celebrity wedding. The bride and groom often become the stars of their own blockbuster marriage! But not every Hollywood couple wants it that way.
These big stars had no need for giant cakes and crazy photographers to celebrate their love. Many of them tied the knot without telling anyone — and their reasons for doing so often relate to astonishing secrets from their past…
1. Julia Roberts and Danny Moder: In 2002, Julia invited a large group of family and friends to her New Mexico ranch to celebrate the Fourth of July. What she didn’t tell them was that she and Danny — a cinematographer she met while shooting The Mexican — had a wedding planned, too!
2. Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves: Could a wedding be so secret that not even the bride and groom knew about it? It could be for these Bram Stoker’s Dracula stars! For a scene where their characters married, director Francis Ford Coppola hired a real priest and included the full rituals of a Greek Orthodox ceremony. In real life, Keanu and Winona say they’re just good friends.
3. Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley: A few years back, Margot secretly tied the knot with her longtime beau. She made the ceremony, which took place in Australia, so discreet that guests were forbidden from using phones or cameras. They then honeymooned by working together on I, Tonya.
4. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James: Reporters could hardly believe it in 2005 when news broke that Miss Congeniality herself got hitched to tough-guy TV personality Jesse James. They kept their plans under wraps by shuttling guests from Santa Barbara hotel to a remote ranch 45 minutes away. Bullock later divorced him after reports of infidelity.
5. Neil Young and Daryl Hannah: The folk rocker and actress started dating in 2014, but they managed to keep their 2018 wedding completely under wraps. They understandably wanted to avoid the media circus that it would attract. As Young poetically explained their decision, “Love is like a fart, something that isn’t forced but just happens naturally.”
Consequence of Sound
6. Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden: After a mere seven months of dating, Cameron and Benji realized they were in it for the long haul. “We got married in our living room in front of our friends,” she revealed. The low-key 2015 wedding concluded with a small party on their backyard tennis court.
7. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz: These two met all the way back when they were teenagers, and they connected when Swizz Beatz — also known as Kasseem Dean — produced some of Alicia’s records. They announced their engagement and Alicia’s pregnancy in 2010, and they followed up the news with a quiet but picturesque wedding that summer.
8. Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison: Though notoriously private about her romantic and family life, Jodie publicly came out during a speech at the 2013 Golden Globes. A year after, reporters learned she covertly married photographer Alexandra Hedison after spotting a wedding band on her finger.
9. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis: Reporters were all over the That ’70s Show stars while they started dating. Understandably, they kept the guest list small, and didn’t even share the location of the wedding until the day before. Mila shared the news with the public when she flashed her ring on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
10. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: By 2014, Brangelina was an item for nearly a decade, but they decided to take it a step further. Angelina and Brad married in a French chateau, and the bride looked so beautiful that Brad gasped aloud as she walked down the aisle. Unfortunately, the spark didn’t last forever; they divorced in 2016.
11. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen: This New England Patriots’ phenom wanted to add another ring to his collection. He quietly wed Brazilian model Gisele in 2009, but a subsequent ceremony open to the public wasn’t as peaceful. Some incompetent bodyguards pulled out guns and opened fire at paparazzi. Luckily, nobody was hurt.
12. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: These two stars entered a relationship after working together on Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. They took the plunge in 2005 with only two guests in attendance, and the next day, they dropped a bombshell: Garner was pregnant with their first child!
13. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively: The 2012 Reynolds-Lively wedding was such a confidential affair that nobody outside of their inner circle knows all the details. According to reports, the ceremony took place in South Carolina’s Boone Hall Plantation — famously seen in The Notebook — and featured a performance by Florence and the Machine.
14. Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego: Just a few months after the Guardians of the Galaxy star began dating this Italian artist, they walked down the aisle. In a big twist, Marco revealed he would take Zoe’s surname following their marriage. Not long after, they welcomed twins Bowie and Cy into the world.
15. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett: Deep thinkers Will and Jada have doubts about the institution of marriage — they consider each other “life partners” — but they married in 1997 after Jada became pregnant. They exchanged vows in a lavish mansion in Baltimore called The Cloisters, a far cry from West Philadelphia.
Instagram / Will Smith
16. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux: Wanting to keep things private, Jen and Justin held their wedding in their own backyard! Still, they transformed the simple space into a fairytale venue, and pop singer Sia even showed up to perform for their first dance. They amicably split in 2018.
17. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard: This funny couple was together for quite some time, but announced they would not tie the knot until same-sex marriage was legal. Once that law passed in 2013, Dax and Kristen made good on their promise. However, their wedding wasn’t exactly lavish. They only spent $142 on the whole thing!
18. Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson: To make traveling easier ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Michael and Nicole had an impromptu backyard wedding while wearing “sweats and jams.” They later held a more proper ceremony in Mexico, where their 7-month-old son Boomer served as the ring bearer.
19. Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher: The Borat star is quite proud to call Isla “MY WIFE!” The couple announced their engagement in 2004 but waited until 2010 to hold a secret wedding that none of the guests knew about beforehand. Isla also converted to Judaism in preparation for the ceremony.
20. Beyoncé and Jay-Z: When these private icons filed a marriage certificate on April 1, 2008, many wondered if they pulled an elaborate April Fool’s prank. But this was no joke. Queen B and Jay-Z renewed their vows in 2014, while on tour in Europe.