2nd September, 2000 -
A Backstreet Boys spokesman confirmed the couple are to wed very soon although he explained that the actual day is being kept a secret from everyone including their record company to reduce publicity surrounding the event. And in a recent interview, Leighanne explained that both she and Brian hoped the event would be 'as intimate as possible' and much like the very private wedding of Bri's cousin Kevin Richardson.
However, Leighanne did reveal a few details about the day, reporting that the wedding will take place near Atlanta, Georgia, close to where she and Brian live, and that her two sisters will be maids of honor. Leighanne is set to wear a wedding gown designed by Vera Wang, who was also responsible for Victoria Beckham's wedding dress. There will be seven bridesmaids and a flower girl, and six groomsmen and one ring bearer for the nuptials. None of the Boys will sing or be in the wedding; Wallace said she just wanted them to relax, have fun and have a good time.
Backstreet Boys fans have been in overdrive in chat rooms on the band's various Internet website since the couple got engaged Christmas night 1999 at her family's home in Marietta.
Soon after they were engaged last Christmas, Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell and his future bride, actress Leighanne Wallace, pledged to wed the old-fashioned way -- without a prenup. "We don't need one," Littrell told PEOPLE. "I felt I was married the moment I met Leighanne. We believe in marriage, and this will be our only one."
You may want to know even more before your good, long cry exactly where and when the blessed event between Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and his betrothed will take place.
Sorry. To quote the Boys, you may "Want It That Way" but that's "All I Have To Give" to you.
We've been sworn to secrecy about the exact locale of the September wedding by The Backstreet Bride herself, who doesn't wish to share the nitty-gritty on her impending nuptials.
Who can blame her?
The couple were so concerned about preteen security breaches and paparazzi party-poopers that they had everyone anywhere near the half-million dollar event sign confidentiality agreements. So details will have to wait.
"That's been a big, huge thing to deal with," Wallace said. "We sent out 200 invitations. We had to put on the RSVP 'invited guests only,' but we still get them back with six names on them."
A few months later the couples friends and family received an unusual invitation in the mail.
Brian: 'Once upon a time not so long ago, in a land that peaches grow to ripe perfection, lived a beautiful golden haired maiden named Leighanne.'
She planned a celebration befitting the Prince Charming of hip-pop and his Cinderella. "We wanted a fairy-tale wedding," explains Wallace. "The wedding had to be a fairy tale wedding, it needed to be a ball, a gala."
"We wanted every couple who came to the wedding to feel like they were getting married all over again." Says Brian: "I've always wanted what my parents have--a wonderful marriage."
Two down, three to go. In other wedding news, another Backstreet Boy ties the knot. ET heard from BRIAN LITTRELL, one of the members of the pop singing group, THE BACKSTREET BOYS, that he married actress LEIGHANNE WALLACE on Saturday. Littrell met Wallace on the set of the group's music video, "As Long As You Love Me" last year. "She knocked me off my feet the first time I saw her," Leighanne got the part and, two years later, won a far more important role--that of Brian's wife. ET has all details on everything on Home video of the couple before the wedding from the rings to the wedding dress. The license, the ring, the rehearsal....Leighanne with marriage license.
"She has given him balance in his life," Littrell's friend Jordan Keller says of the couple.
Originally from Lexington, KY, Littrell has recently relocated to Atlanta. The festivities began Aug. 30 with a coed "panty shower" that endowed Littrell and Wallace with piles of his-and-hers underwear. Two nights later the couple hosted a rehearsal dinner at their sprawling 46-acre spread home in North Fulton outside Atlanta before checking into separate suites at the Four Seasons Hotel. "Here was the most relaxed person you could imagine," Berg says of Wallace. "I had to have a Valium, but she knew everything would be fine."
The happy couple also have had to use aliases throughout the wedding process to thwart the tabloids, settled on an indoor reception for fear of buzzing helicopters, and were forced to evaluate the reception hall not for charm or size, but for security and escape routes.
"You think you'd look at how pretty the ceilings are, but we were looking at how many doors there were and which ones we could get out of."
Which is not to say that Wallace has an regrets about tying the knot with Littrell.
"He's honest; he's good; he's funny; he's everything I've ever wanted," she cooed. "And of course, he's beautiful."
A throng of fans outside the church craned for a glimpse of arriving bandmates A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson, as Littrell became the second Backstreeter of the quintet to forgo bachelorhood this summer and graduate from Backstreet Boy to married man (Littrell's cousin, Kevin Richardson, 28, who is also a member of the group, got hitched in June to longtime steady, Willits, a dancer). "They look so happy and so in love," bridesmaid Kim Berg says of the couple. "Seeing them makes you never want to settle for anything less."
That noise you heard were Wedding bells as the music of choice for the Backstreet Boys Saturday (Sept. 2), and the sound of thousands of hearts breaking as another one of the teen hearthrobs tied the knot. The member of the world's biggest selling boy band Brian Thomas Littrell, 25, married Marietta native and actress Leighanne Reena Wallace, 31, during a 6 p.m. candlelit ceremony at Peachtree Christian Church Church in the bride's hometown of Atlanta, Georgia in Midtown this past Labor Day weekend.
White and black stretch limousines deposited about 300 formally attired guests in front of the church just prior to the wedding, which was kept quiet enough to avoid the usual mob of young fans that follow the chart topping band while six Atlanta police officers were on hand to provide security monitored the area.
On the morning of the wedding, New York hair stylist, Allan White, began work to give Leighanne the look of a princess.
Leighanne: It took four hours and I guess six hair pieces and we got the fairy-tale hair. I mean, I gave him a picture and he bettered the picture.
And to go with the fairy tale hair, came a Vera Wang dress in the grand style of a 18th century ball gown.
The Dress: Inside, In keeping with the story book motif, the bride walked down the aisle in a champagne-colored Vera Wang-designed (who also designed her seven attendants' gowns), white ivory silk faille satin tight-bodiced beaded gown with a cape and a corset with intricate stitching and full skirt which flowed outward from the waist fit for a modern-day Cinderella. "I wanted a dress with the feel of Dangerous Liaisons, and she made my dream come true," Leighanne says. "The dress takes 30 minutes to get into, it stands by itself in the corner, you literally step into the dress then it zips and then you tie the corset." The gown was enhanced by the glow of a multitude of candles at the evening service. Wallace hid the dress in "a secret closet [of their home] so Brian would be surprised," says Berg. It worked. "He was breathless when he saw her come down the aisle." When his bride walked down the aisle, Brian says, "I was speechless. When I heard the first musical note and the organ started playing I was like "gulp" this is really happening." There were 7 bridesmaids and a flower girl, wearing champagne gold dresses. The groom and his six groomsmen and one ring bearer wore classic traditional charcoal grey tuxedos by the Italian designer Brioni, complete with dashing top hats (seriously) for the event during the traditional 35-minute media- and fan-free service candlelit ceremony. Littrell removed his hat during his vows.
In the majestic setting of the Peach Tree Christian Church in Atlanta in front of 300 hundred of their friends and family, Brian and Leighanne proclaimed their love for each other in a poignant religious ceremony.The Ceremony: Like so many brides, Leighanne Wallace dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding, and to add to the magic of the moment the bride and groom's wedding bands arrived at the altar enclosed in a miniature carriage made of pure gold. Brian's wedding band featured white and yellow diamonds, while the bride wore a simple diamond band to compliment her 4-karat canary diamond engagement ring. Brian also apparently designed his own wedding band to match Leighanne's. The creative hunk said he really wanted to have a big ring so that when he grabbed the mic -- everyone could see it! The end result? A gorgeous thick band with caviar beading and canary and white diamonds. Littrell and Wallace vowed to make good on that promise. The ceremony featured a fairy-tale themed poem written and read especially for the occasion by Tracy Hext, the bride's sister. All four of Littrell's bandmates, Fellow Backstreet Boys Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, A.J. McLean and Littrell's cousin Kevin Richardson along with his new wife Kristin Willits were among the 300 attended at the traditional 35-minute candlelit ceremony at Peachtree Christian Church, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Brian: Church has always been a big part of my life and when I met Leighanne, we started to go to church together, because I feel, and I know she does is that that's the strength that can help you get through a lot of life's ups and downs.
I personally couldn't wait till we got to the end and Pastor Collins says "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Thomas Littrell" and I was like "hu hu hu".
Leighanne: All I could think of was to get down that aisle and enjoy all the time, all the preparation and experience, all the love and let people see the love between us.
Brian: It was like all the pressure was gone and let the good times begin.
After the ceremony, Littrell and Wallace stepped into a vintage black-and-white Rolls Royce with "Just Married" scripted on the back.
"Leighanne wanted a gorgeous, fairy-tale wedding and she got one," said Christy Clark, a friend of Wallace from Atlanta, after the service. "She was absolutely stunning."
Although the couple decided against video cameras, the photographs from the reception at Atlanta's Four Season Hotel captured the joy of everyone that was there.
The Reception: Music has been a binding thread in the love story of this couple. The Backstreet Boy met his future spouse at the video shoot for the single "As Long As You Love Me", and After the ceremony, In a move that branded it a celebrity wedding, The celebrity-filled wedding party (Brian's friends and family) was escorted by a police motorcade escort to the reception (in true rock 'n' roll backstage fashion) at the Four Seasons Hotel that included a buffet dinner, dancing and Brian's surprise performance of a song he wrote to express his love for his new bride called "You Are."
The couple rented the entire fourth floor of the hotel on 14th Street for the occasion. Guests wore beige Velcro wristbands and showed identification to gain entrance to the gathering. When attendees stepped off the hotel elevator onto the floor, they were greeted with a large sign resting on an easel that read: "No Photographs. No autographs."
A swing band The J Michael Davis Sound Flights big band played the rhythm of swing music as guests, which included all the members of The Backstreet Boys,
danced, were treated to a sumptuous meal of bourbon-roasted ham and sweet-potato biscuits and paused to admire a white gazebo adorned with starlight bulbs, the showcase for the couple's five-tiered wedding cake embellished with touches of 24 karat gold and a chalice wedding topper. Adding a masculine touch to the festivities, the groom's cake was formed in the shape of a humidor. Delicate white flowers decorated the chairs and tables set up for the 350 guests.
Leighanne: The cake was absolutely magnificent, the gold pieces were 24 karat gold and everything on the cake was edible.
As well as their wedding cake, the couple also had a unique grooms cake shaped as a humidor with edible cigars. Most of the guests were fooled.
Leighanne: They thought they were cigars and they were sneaking the cigars and were like "are these Savannah's or something?"
Brian: Then they realized later when they grabbed them in their pocket that they were mushy.
And among the list of suspects included all four of Brian's partners in the Backstreet Boys.
Brian: The guys showed up and showed their support and I was very thankful for that.
But the group didn't stay spectators for long.
Brian: Kevin, of course, came over to me and says 'do you mind if we get on stage'. You know, we're all hams we love attention, so my brother, who was my best man, and Kevin, my cousin, got up on stage and they were singing.
The impromptu performance included "Brick house" by the Commodores and "Celebration" by Cool and the Gang.
Leighanne: We had to yank them off the stage, by the way.
The duo shared their first dance together as man and wife to a new country ballad called "I'd Do That" which was chosen by Brian especially because of its lyrics: 'A knight in armor would draw his sword, to defend the woman he adored. Lay down his life in nothing flat, I'd do that.'
Special Moments: But for Leighanne her fairy tale wedding had one more surprise. As her new husband serenaded her, with a ballad song ("You Are") he had written specially for the occasion. (She cried.). "There were a lot of teary eyes," says wedding planner Michele Arwood. "It was a very moving moment."
Brian: I wrote it especially for her, it was especially for that moment. Like I put myself in that situation. Like everything is said and done. How would I feel at that moment?
Beautiful you are
Compassionate is she
You have made me what I am
She's all I hope to be
The world, it lies in you
For filling all my dreams
She is my dream come true
and in just two words, my destiny
cause you are everything
everything, my heart could ever imagine
everything you are
Brian: Don't cry baby.
Upon leaving the reception, guests received photos of the newlyweds printed with the inscription "And they lived happily ever after." After the reception, Brian and Leighanne were whisked away in a vintage black and white Rolls Royce with 'just married' etched on the back.
What about wedding gifts? Have the couple gotten anything cool from celebrities- has Elton John, like, sent some fab salt shakers?
"Actually, he did just send us these two Versace vases. They're beautiful," Wallace said.
Fans have also been busy unloading their allowances at Dillard's, Macy's, Pottery Barn and other stores where the lovebirds have registered.
25th December, 1999 -
The engagement: On Christmas night of 1999, at Leighanne's family home in Marietta, Ga..
Like his cousin fellow Backstreet Boy Kevin, Brian Littrell, 25, also sought permission from the mother of his intended, actress Leighanne Wallace, 30.
The smart, romantic Brian Littrell organized a frosty impromptu Christmas picnic in 32-degree weather at Wallace's mother's house so he could propose to his longtime girlfriend, Leighanne Wallace. “He proposed on Christmas night at home in [Marietta,] Georgia,” Wallace insists her Brian popped the question like an old festive film. "It was a total surprise, Brian said he wanteed to go get a picnic hamper and set it up in my mom's back garden, " recalls Wallace. "He insisted that we should out on a picnic. He said he had a suprise, and It was like minus 30° outside and so he had loads of blankets. He picked me up and took me downstairs and carried me into the garden with a blindfold on over my eyes." Leighanne had no clue what Brian was up to. "He was taking me outside and I thought he bought me a car. It was, like, 32 degrees and he had a picnic laid out...It only lasted about 10 minutes. We had to get back inside." She just thought it was another romantic surprise Brian was giving her. "I saw Brian's mouth move and he started talkng but I was in complete shock and I can't remember a word he said to me." Brian decided to pop the question in Leighanne's mother's house so that the couple could share the celebration with Leighanne's family.
Brian: I got down on my knee, and I had the ring box in my hand, and I said that she meant the world to me, and she does, and I've waited my whole life to find someone like her, because she's my match.
"Suddenly he went down on one knee and asked me if I wanted to marry him. I don't remeber much of what happened right after, but I have to have said Yes...! It was a beautiful time," says Leighanne. “It was really sweet. I have this peace about me now.”
Ten minutes was enough time for Wallace to say yes through chattering teeth and for Littrell to slip some more ice on her finger. Brian proposed with a stunning four karat diamond engagement ring with two white diamond trillions flanking in square cut canary-yellow stone made by Chris Vanoy and Jerry Brickman from Brian's design.
Brian: I have always been fascinated by diamonds and stones and the class of jewelry.
Leighanne: Lucky for me.
15th June, 1997 -
Littrell first spotted Wallace in June 1997 when she was an extra on the L.A. set of the Boys’ video “As Long as You Love Me.” A casting director had sent her over. “I had no clue who the Boys were,” Wallace recalls.
The first day of that video shoot was the 15th of June, 1997. We were out in Los Angeles shooting a video for a single that was coming out, I was heading to the shoot and I had a stack of the headshots for some of the young ladies that were going to be in the video, so I started thumbing through them, and the last one I came to was Leighanne Wallace, and I was like “Wow, she's pretty I have to remember that (her) name,” because she was just stunning. We get to the video shoot and I was already, you know, had makeup and wardrobe and all that stuff and we had been filming and she was nowhere to be found. About five after 9, she shows up running in about two hours late. She’s prettier than the picture, like The Weekend song, [Sings] “Cause you look even better than the photo.” Every time I hear that line I’m like “Man, you’re reading my mind. That’s what I thought about my wife, I should’ve written that song!” [Laughs.]
She came over to me and I had a basketball and a cup of coffee, she bumped rumps into me and she said "Hello, my name is Leighanne" and I said "I know, I took the liberty of seeing your headshot on the way here.” She was like, “Oh, well you know my name already, I owe you one.”
Littrell asked her out for Italian food the next night—”I couldn’t eat,” she confesses— She doesn’t owe me anything -- we hit it off and we’ve been together ever since.