An Unbridled Success...

March 19, 2002
Copyright 2002, Newsday, Inc
An Unbridled Success by Liz Smith

'ANYONE WHO is fair and who was there can't criticize Liza and David's wedding. It was flawless," said the social observer Dominick Dunne.

And I agree. Truman Capote's "Black and White" ball back in 1966 is often rated as America's greatest party (it had top names like Babe and Bill Paley, Kay Graham and other swells). I'm here to tell you that Liza Minnelli and David Gest's controversial wedding falls into the same category. It may not have had the class, but it had smash and pizzazz.

I have lots of dish. From the moment the artist Peter Rogers picked me up to go to the Marble Collegiate Church, I began having a good time. And that prevailed through the friendly and informal atmosphere of the ceremony and the fabulous party after at Wall Street's Regent Hotel. In a lifetime of celebrity-watching, party-going, reporting and being a guest, I have never had such a good time.

SO PHOOEY and a big Fap! to all the naysayers. I am stunned and amazed at the efficiency and command of entrepreneur David Gest, the most enthusiastic bridegroom since the Duke of Windsor or King David.

Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson, those big stars, participated the least. They appeared only far away, at the altar, and mostly disappeared soon after, but let's give them credit. They came. And contrary to those nasty rumors, Miss Taylor had her own borrowed private plane. I'm told David Gest didn't pay her anything and that, in fact, not a single person in the party even accepted a plane ticket. When Natalie Cole was asked to stand in for Whitney Houston, she refused even to let others pay to fly her up from Nashville. She came on her own. Participation in this wedding was as a gift to Liza.

Let me say that Whitney simply wasn't missed. Natalie did a great offering of Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." The bride and groom did the rest, welded in an embrace at the altar before the minister could say a word.


NEWSFILE: 19 MARCH 2002

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