Wyoming’s Most Famous Celebrity Weddings
This year marks the 140th anniversary of Wyoming’s first “celebrity wedding”. March 7, 1876, legendary wild west gunslinger ‘Wild’ Bill Hickok and Agnes Thatcher Lake tied the knot at a house in Cheyenne.
At the time, the bride was nearly as famous as her infamous new groom. A tightrope walker and lion handler, Lake was regarded among the best circus performers in the country.
The following day, The Cheyenne Daily Sun reported this account of the ceremony.
“Wild Bill of western fame has conquered numerous Indians, outlaws, bears and buffaloes, but a charming widow has stolen the magic wand. The scepter has departed and he is as meek and gentle as a lamb. In other words, he has shuffled off the coil of bachelorhood.”
The Cowboy State has hosted several celebrity nuptials since then. Here’s our list of the most famous weddings in Wyoming history.
Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn – Wyoming was one of iconic author Ernest Hemingway’s favorite places. He one famously said, “There are two places I love; Africa and Wyoming.”
Hemingway may have only loved two places, but he loved many women. The third of his four marriages took place on November 21, 1940, when he wed New York Times reporter Martha Gellhorn at the Justice of the Peace office in Cheyenne.
Their reception was held at the historic Cheyenne Depot and was later depicted in the 2012 HBO movie “Hemingway and Gellhorn”.
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Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw – After meeting in the 1972 movie “The Getaway”, the two Hollywood stars tied the knot at Holliday Park in Cheyenne on August 31, 1973.
It was the second trip down the aisle for both McQueen and MacGraw, who began an affair on the set of the film while the actress was still married to her first husband, famed filmed producer Robert Evans.
McQueen was in Wyoming researching the notorious bounty hunter Tom Horn, who he would later play in a 1980 western.
According to some accounts, MacGraw and McQueen first discussed marriage during their trip to Cheyenne. McQueen reportedly found a Justice of the Peace in the local phone book and the couple wed the next day.
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Allison Williams and Ricky Van Veen – When the actress and website founder were married at the Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga last summer, the bride and groom weren’t the biggest stars in attendance.
Williams, known best for her role on the HBO series “Girls”, was given away by her father, longtime NBC News anchor Brian Williams. The biggest celebrity was their wedding minister, legendary actor Tom Hanks, who officiated the ceremony.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel – In 2012, several tabloids reported that the pop star and movie star secretly tied the knot at a private ceremony near Jackson. Turns out, the couple had already secretly wed at a ceremony in Italy and came to Wyoming to celebrate their recent union with friends and family
Timberlake and Biel aren’t the only celebrity couple to honeymoon in Jackson Hole. Actress Cameron Diaz and her husband, rock star Benji Madden, stayed at the Four Seasons in Jackson after their wedding last year.