LOVE IN BLOOM
by Jennifer Wulr. Ulrica Wihlborg and Michael Fleeman in
Why stop at one flower girl scattering rose petals along
your path when you can have seven? From the heart-shaped
peony wreath over the church door to the cocktail lounge
bursting with white tulips, casablancas and calla lilies
to the 5-ft. wedding cake layered with roses and lilacs,
flowers were more than just decoration at the June 24
wedding of actress Marcia Cross and money manager Tom
Mahoney: They were a tribute to the couple's first
encounter. Cross was browsing at a Los Angeles flower
shop in 2004 when she spied Mahoney. She inquired about
the handsome stranger with an employee, who offered to
discreetly pass along her number. "He called me a week
later," says Cross. Two years on, one of her few
instructions to their wedding planner was that the
reception should "look like a flowershop." Yet even
cross was amazed at the result. "It was one of the most
beautiful events I've ever been to," she says. "I wish I
could go back and look at it all again!"
Though she plays consummate hostess Bree on Desperate
Housewives, Cross, 44, had little interest in most of
the details of her own nuptials. "It's not really my
thing," she admits. Instead she left many of the
particulars to Mahoney, 48 (he wanted black tie and a
Saturday night affair), and event coordinator Julie
Pryor of Pryor Events, who calls her "the calmest bride
I've ever seen." Even having delegated, says Cross, "you
have to answer questions for months. But it was so worth
every annoying decision. It was exquisite."
The actress took an equally carefree attitude to getting
ready. "My hair and makeup people were teasing me
because I hadn't told them what I wanted. I figured it
would all work out." And, amazingly, Cross didn't balk
when her dressing room at the church lacked a mirror. "I
had no idea what I looked like," she says. "I got into
my dress, put on my veil and was sent out the door!"
She had nothing to worry about. In a satin reem Acra gown
and Neil Lane diamonds, "Marcia looked as beautiful as
I've ever seen her," says Desperate Housewives costar
Doug Savant, who came with wife Laura Leighton (both
were Cross's colleagues on Melrose Place). Also on the
guest list of 240 were Housewives pals Marc Cherry,
Felicity Huffman (with husband William H. Macy), Eva
Longoria (with boyfriend Tony Parker) and Brenda Strong,
who called the event "formal but without the formality."
Held at the church of Our Savior Episcopal Parish in San
Gabriel, California the ceremony began with a procession
of Cross's many flower girls (her niece and her friends'
daughters), followed by her sister Susan Hett as maid of
honor. The bride entered with mom Janet, 72, and dad
Mark, 83, as younger sister Ellen sang Paul McCartney's
"Only Love Remains." The couple's vows were traditional,
but Cross deviated from the script ever so slightly.
"After I said 'I will' about everything, I whispered
under my breath, 'As long as I don't have to cook!'"
Another moment of levity came when Mahoney's cell phone
went off. "Marcia couldn't contain her giggles," says
With church bells chiming, the guests headed for Pasadena's
Ritz Carlton, where they dined on sea bass and filet
mignon at tables filled with vibrant hydrangeas and
roses. "It was rich and warm and passionate," says
Cross. "I was overwhelmed."
Even more so during her first dance with Mahoney, "I'm
floating just thinking about it," says Cross. The song?
"At Last," by Etta James. "You had to pick that one if
you're our age!" she says. Soon, the whole party was on
the floor, and only when her "feet were killing me" did
Cross sit down.
Days later, she still hasn't quite recovered. "I'm
exhausted, but the most happy exhausted," says Cross,
who was spotted shopping for groceries with Mahoney the
next day. They were hand in hand, still obviously under
the spell of their big day. It was "magical, filled
with love and beyond my wildest imagination."