The Most Famous Celebrity Wedding the Year You Were Born
Celebrity weddings have always been a big deal. High-profile nuptials have carried this grandeur since the dawn of Hollywood and the rise of the celebrity. This is still true today. There's forever something special about watching a major star (or two!) tie the knot (just take Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal nuptials, for instance!). While this fascination probably has something to do with curiosity—who doesn't want access to some of the most opulent weddings imaginable?—it really comes down to recognition. Celebrity weddings may be bigger than our own, but they're still a ritual that we also partake in. The gist? Celebrities really are like us—especially when it comes to marrying the person we love.
Since we spend a good amount of time honoring the celebrity marriages of modernity, we figured it was only appropriate to do the same for newlyweds of the past. That's why we've rounded up the biggest, most noteworthy weddings that took place the year you were born. Not only is it a way to look back on the iconic nuptials of the past few decades, it's also a fun way to root yourself in a few of your favorite stars' love stories. Any '80 babies? You entered the world while a few major celebrity weddings were in the works. Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot at the beginning of the decade, while Denzel Washington and Paulette Pearson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson followed.
As for the '90s kids? This period saw the unions of major political players, like Barack and Michelle Obama, and A-list actors, like John Travolta and Kelly Preston. Click through to discover which celebrity wedding aligns with your particular birth year.
1978: Robert Kardashian Sr. and Kris Houghton
Before she was elite momager known as Kris Jenner, Kristen Houghton married lawyer Robert Kardashian Sr. in a church ceremony, wearing a simple white dress and wide-brimmed hat. Her bridal outfit, however, belied the extravagant life the couple would build with their children, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Robert Kardashian. Though the pair divorced in 1991, they remained close until Kardashian's death in 2003. As for the other major celebrities that exchanged vows in '78? Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Philippe Junot, Aretha Franklin and Glynn Turman all tied the knot before the year's end.
1979: Liza Minnelli and Mark Gero
The iconic Cabaret star met Gero, a sculptor and stage manager, in 1977, when their play, The Act, opened on Broadway. Their 1979 union marked Minnelli's third marriage, which was also her longest—the pair were husband and wife for 13 years before they divorced in 1992. The duo shared an anniversary year with a long roster of other celebrity couples, including Kurt Russel and Season Hubley, Rod Stewart and Alana Collins, and Martin Scorsese and Isabella Rossellini.
1980: Dustin and Lisa Hoffman
The Hoffmans may have one on the longest celebrity marriages in Hollywood (38 years!), but they actually first crossed paths at a barbecue, long before they officially got together (their families were close). They reconnected 12 years later and knew from their first official date that marriage was in their future. Following their 1980 Roxbury, Connecticut, nuptials, the duo went on to have four children—Jacob, Rebecca, Maxwell, and Alexandra. Another major couple that tied the knot at the dawn of the '80s? Demi Moore married her first husband, rock star Freddy Moore, whose surname she later used as her stage moniker.
1981: Prince Charles and Diana Spencer
On Wednesday, July 29, 1981, Prince Charles—the heir to the English throne—wed 20-year-old Diana Spencer in St. Paul's Cathedral, in London. It's important to note that this particular wedding supersedes the rest of the celebrity nuptials on this list. The televised ceremony drew over 750 million viewers from all corners of the globe (talk about popular!) to become one of the most-watched events in history.
1983: Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson
Fun fact: At Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson's 1983 wedding reception, they ran out of food. (They ended up eating eggs, instead!). Here's hoping that they didn't run into the same issue during their 1995 vow renewal.
1982: Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Arden
This longtime duo met in 1971, in perhaps the most unlikely of places: an office building! Sharon Arden was working as a receptionist for her father, Don Arden, who had just signed her future husband's band, Black Sabbath. When the rock star decided to go solo, Arden took on the role of his manager, and their profession relationship quickly turned romantic. They tied the knot during a Hawaiian ceremony in 1982. They weren't the only A-listers to marry that year, however. Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman and Robert Kennedy Jr. and Emily Ruth Black also exchanged vows.
1984: Olivia Newton John and Matt Lattanzi
The Australian Grease star first crossed paths with the American dancer and actor in 1979, on the set of their movie, Xanadu. Their meet-cute was orchestrated by one of the most well-known actors of the era, Gene Kelly. They tied the knot five years later—as did David Hasselhoff and Catherine Hickland and Janet Jackson and James DeBarge.
1985: Madonna and Sean Penn
Madonna and Sean Penn's wedding day wasn't just a celebration of their (short-lived) love—it was also the pop icon's 27th birthday. Unfortunately, the duo split just four years later. While this particular union may have been the most talked about at the time, three other major couples made wedding announcements in 1985: Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielson, and Bruce Springsteen and Julianne Philips.
1986: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
As far as star-studded celebrity weddings go, Schwarzenegger and Shriver's was especially high-profile. Their nuptials brought together stars from so many sectors: The political sphere (Jackie Onassis), the music industry (Andy Jones and Grace Jones), and the art world (Andy Warhol). This interesting blend—a result of their epically diverse background—would become the theme of their married lives thanks to Schwarzenegger, a body-builder-turned-actor-turned-governor. The now-separated couple shares a wedding year with several other iconic duos, including Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Johnson, Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg.
1987: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet
Lenny Kravitz was at the peak of his career when he married Lisa Bonet, an actress best known for her role as Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show. The couple went on to have one child (Big Little Lies star Zoe Kravitz!) before calling it quits in 1993. But their post-married life is a lesson in strong family dynamics—today, they remain the best of friends. There is, however, another couple that married in 1987 that is still going strong. Veep star Julia Louis Dreyfus and her husband, Brad Hall, just celebrated 31 years of marriage.
1988: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Speaking of couples that are still going strong, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been living out their own version of happily ever after since they exchanged vows in 1988. Wilson wore a mini wedding dress with a voluminous veil for the April celebration, while her husband looked dapper in a tux and white bow-tie.
1989: George Clooney and Talia Balsam
Long before there was Amal Clooney, there was Talia Balsam. Clooney married the actress at the very beginning of his career (the marriage took place before his 14-year-long tenure on ER), in a private ceremony in Las Vegas. The couple split four years later, and the actor's bachelor-era began. That is, of course, until he met Amal Alamuddin in 2013. As for the rest of the celebrities that tied the knot during the same year as Clooney and Balsam? High school sweethearts Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley and longtime couple Bryan Cranston and Robin Dearden also got hitched in '89.
1990: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise's relationship can be summed up in one word: whirlwind. From the moment Kidman first saw her then future-husband (he'd pulled up to a movie set in a Porsche and was the only person to shake her hand during her audition), it was electric. They were married shortly after (little is known about the actual ceremony!), which, thanks to the Top Gun actor's movie-star status, earned them the title of '90s power couple. The public was heartbroken when the pair parted ways in 2001. Kidman married her current husband, country music star Keith Urban, five years later.
1991: John Travolta and Kelly Preston
The Grease actor faced a major relationship block when he first met Preston on the set of the 1989 comedy, The Experts—she was married. When her relationship status (finally) changed, Travolta didn't wait long to make his move. Just two years later, the duo was married at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. And they weren't the only ones. Turns out, 1991 was a huge year for celebrity weddings. Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa, Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford, and Kris and Bruce Jenner also entered wedded matrimony.
1992: Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson
The former president actually woke up with a nasty head cold on the morning of his October wedding to Michelle Robinson. He fought through it, though, and was the picture of health when he met his now-wife at the altar, where he vowed to give her an interesting life. Two children and a presidency later, it's safe to say that he delivered. As for our honorable mentions? 1992 also saw the unions of David Bowie and Iman, Sting and Trudie Styler, and Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.
1993: Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola
The singer and her former mentor planned their wedding using Prince Charles and Princess Diana's nuptials as a guide (note how her Vera Wang wedding dress and 10-foot veil echoed Princess Diana's!). From start to finish, the lavish New York City affair cost a whopping $500,000. Despite the elaborate festivities, Carey and Mottola's marriage lasted just four years.