Colin Cowie and Oprah

Master party planner Colin Cowie is the man to call if you want to have a good time—and the fairy tale wedding of your dreams. Colin shares 14 of the most spectacular weddings he's ever planned in his book Colin Cowie's Extraordinary Weddings.

In the past 20 years, Colin has been at the helm of more than 120 elaborate weddings—with budgets ranging from $1 million to $25 million! Whatever your budget, Oprah says Colin's thoughtful details can fuel your imagination and provide great ideas for parties in any price range.
Oprah with Urania and Bob Green

When fitness expert Bob Greene got engaged to the love of his life, Urania, Oprah knew she wanted to throw them a wedding. "As you all who watch the show know, I call Bob my brother," she says.

This is the first time Oprah and Bob have decided to publicly share the wedding, which Oprah calls a "fairytale come true."

Set on Oprah's California estate, Oprah and Colin worked as a team from day one to create an unforgettable event. Every detail was discussed—from coral roses dangling from the trees to violins serenading the happy couple. "Nobody in the world throws a party like Colin Cowie," Oprah says.

And guess who was the best woman? That's right! For Bob, Oprah walked down the aisle in a white dress.
Colin helps Urania out of her horse-drawn carriage.

One of Oprah's ideas was to have Urania arrive at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. As she approached, the clip-clop of the horses' hooves on the cobblestone echoed throughout the trees—only Colin would think to place a microphone beneath the carriage!
Bob and Urania say 'I do' under the roses.

Once she arrived, Urania joined Bob underneath a gorgeous rose gazebo. With Oprah and the bridesmaids by their side, the Rev. Marianne Williamson performed the intimate, heartfelt ceremony. "It is my great honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife!" she said.
Bob and Urania kiss near the cake.

After the ceremony, everyone was taken by a San Francisco trolley car to the reception. Led by a path lit with old-fashioned park lamps, guests made their way to a custom-made tent—complete with a wrap-around balcony—featuring 1,800 yards of olive-colored taffeta and a jeweled gold chandelier. The tables were dressed with hand-beaded floral silk and vessels overflowing with fresh flowers.

Still, it was the cake that stole the show! The Sam Godfrey masterpiece was designed to match the room with flowers and iron gilding made of sugar. "It was one of the most extraordinary cakes I think I've ever seen," Colin says. "It really was a masterpiece."
Each guest at Bob and Urania's wedding took home a small Sam Godfrey cake.

Colin says every celebration should have a parting gift, so each of Bob and Urania's 250 guests were given their own mini Sam Godfrey masterpiece.

"The idea is to take something sweet home for a sweet note at the end of the evening," Colin says. "We put them in little boxes and as the guests were departing they got to take a little miniature wedding cake home with them."

All in all, it was a magnificent day for an outstanding couple. "They have a wonderful marriage," Oprah says. Just two years after their fairytale wedding, Bob and Urania have started a new phase of their lives together—parenthood! Baby Kylee was born on October 17, 2006.
Colin chose a pink, white and black backdrop for the Met's stage.

Colin's planned a number of big events over the years—including the only private party ever held on the legendary stage of New York City's famous Metropolitan Opera House! It was only appropriate that his inspiration for Sloan and Roger Barnett's prenuptial event—for 400 of their friends and family—came from the opera Der Rosenkavalier, meaning "Cavalier of the Rose."

To recreate the elegance of a 19th century ball, Colin chose a special shade of pink—Schiaparelli—combined with black and white to design his theatrical and glamorous backdrop. To complete the look, Colin decorated the Met's stage with glazed windows and red lacquered floors. "It was just the most exotic, exhilarating sight," Sloan says.
Colin's exquisite centerpieces took center stage.

Colin's exquisite centerpieces took center stage. Placed on pedestals, each one was bursting with 300 roses and dozens more surrounding the base.

Each table was outfitted in a pink satin tablecloth fringed with four inches of Austrian crystal beading. The napkins were monogrammed with Sloan and Roger's initials. "Colin is a man of detail. He considered what forks we'd be eating from and what the plates would look like," Sloan says. "There was this set that we had dreamed about."
These chandeliers descended on cue to music.

To signal the first course, Colin synchronized a special surprise. Before the party started, he designed four chandeliers—decked out in hot pink feathers—that were hidden way at the top of the rafters. "Then on Colin's cue, all of these huge chandeliers of feathers descended with this fanfare of music," Sloan says. "It was extraordinary. It was completely and utterly over the top."

And it wasn't over yet! Colin still had a musical trick up his sleeve—world famous opera singers serenaded the guests throughout dinner.
Sloan and Roger toast to their extraordinary evening.

Just when guests thought the evening was over, Colin's second act was uncovered. Using the stage to his full advantage, Colin lifted the background of the opera set and revealed a Havana-inspired nightclub! "We just looked around and we said, we better take a breath now and enjoy every minute of it because it was the ultimate fantasy for all of us," Sloan says.

"We would probably never experience another night like this as long as we live," Roger says.
Colin built a fountain for the garden-inspired ceremony.

Three days after the grand ball at the Met, Sloan and Roger's loved ones traveled to her childhood home in Greenwich, Connecticut, for a garden-inspired wedding ceremony.

The wedding's theme emphasized natural surroundings. Colin created an English garden atmosphere, complete with vintage birdcages, overlooking the Long Island Sound. From the green bridesmaid dresses to the green and white tablecloths, Sloan says "everything looked like nature."

The structures Colin built for the special day looked like they had been part of the house for years. "It didn't look as though we had put up a tent and created a party," Sloan says. He installed a 4,000 square foot stone floor, which took 21 days to construct, and a matching fountain just for the occasion. "Colin had created truly an extension of our home," Sloan says
Sloan and Roger say 'I do.'

Continuing with the natural theme, guests were surrounded by hundreds of thousands of flowers, and the huppah was wrapped in vines of stunning roses. But there was one flower Sloan was insistent upon having at her wedding. "I wanted to have the Colin Cowie signature bouquet, which is lilies of the valley," she says. "And I did."

An eight-tier wedding cake was elegantly adorned with roses meticulously crafted from frosting, along with individual flower pots that looked like actual blooms!

The 13 bridesmaids wore silk gowns in celadon green, and the groomsmen wore tuxedos. In true Colin style, a chorus of opera singers sang the traditional wedding march the moment Sloan started down the aisle. "As I was walking in I said, 'Dad, this is my moment. I've been dreaming of this for a really long time. You've got to walk really slowly,'" she says. "It was a dream come true."
Sloan and Roger

For Roger, the wedding celebrations were learning experiences. "What I learned is that there's an energy to an event and you have to keep the energy going," he says.

Eight years after their big day, the couple's relationship with Colin has continued beyond parties. Sloan and Colin are great friends, and Colin is even godfather to one of the couple's three children! In fact, Sloan says his goddaughter has watched the wedding many times and now has "princess dreams."

Oprah says Sloan and Colin's friendship is a testament to what a great guy Colin is. "Thank you," Colin says. "You know, at my birthday party last year there were 40 people at the table. And [I] married half of the table. They've become lifelong friends."
Antonio 'L.A.' and Erica Reid

When music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid decided to propose to his girlfriend, Erica Holton, he chose the stunning scenery of Italy's Isle of Capri. So when the pair were planning their wedding, they decided to return to the enchanting spot—with Colin in tow to head up the three-day affair.

Using Italy as his inspiration, Colin chose white and coral as the wedding colors and featured an Italian mountain on the invitations.

The first day of the celebration was a welcome day for friends and family. The dinner was set inside a lemon grove, with tables, chair cushions and even the waiters dressed in the festive citrus color. "It felt like a garden," L.A. says. "It was really, really beautiful."

The next day, the ceremony took place at the Capri Palace Hotel at sunset. "We were getting married outside. I wanted something just pure, innocent, spiritual, a reflection of God," Erica says. "So everybody wore white."

As Erica walked down the aisle in a Vera Wang gown, an Italian band played. Under a canopy of roses, the couple said "I do"—and, 20 pounds of rose petals fell from the sky. "Colin was the great conductor," L.A. says. "He put together a masterpiece."
Colin shows off the Reid's welcome gift.

Although L.A. told Colin to spare no expense, Colin says the most meaningful touches of the wedding cost little to nothing. "As the Mediterranean sun was setting, we had them light a unity candle and the unity candle was passed [to every guest]," Colin says. "When they made their vows to one another, it was done in the candlelight and the spiritual connective energy of everything today [brought] all the family and friends together."

Because L.A. and Erica were married far from home, Colin made sure each guest received a welcome bag. In everyone's hotel room was a monogrammed beach bag filled with mementoes from the region—music, a bottle of Limoncello, a fragrant candle and a handwritten note from Erica.

Seven years and two kids later, Erica and L.A.'s marriage is going strong. Still, Erica says she doesn't watch the tape of her wedding very often. "I live in the moment, but it was wonderful to go back and relive it again," she says. "I'm so glad we got Colin when we did because now Oprah's in his life. So back then, it was an arm and a leg. Today it's an arm, a leg and a trust fund!"
Colin Cowie

So what does Colin say when a bride asks for the perfect wedding? "You came to the wrong man," he says. "I don't do perfect. I can't do perfect. But I will give you a piece of my heart, a piece of my soul and an inch of my hairline."

Colin urges every couple to incorporate meaningful and inexpensive personal touches into their wedding. One way is to embrace the cultures of both families by integrating special recipes or items of significance.

If you dream of a destination wedding, Colin suggests sticking closer to home, like going to a country bed and breakfast for the big event. "You don't have to go miles away," Colin says. "It's 72 hours of jam-packed love, ceremony and fabulousness."

Weddings can sometimes become bittersweet if loved ones have passed away. To remember those there in spirit, Colin suggests ringing a bell for each of the deceased. "So you bring in the presence of those who have passed on," he says.

Your guests can also create a gift that will keep giving. Colin suggests giving every guest a yard of ribbon and a marker, and asking them to write their wishes for the bride and groom. "Take all those and tie them above the arbor so they get married under the collective energy of their friends," Colin says. "Then you roll them up and you give them to the bride and groom. And when they hit a rocky road, they can always go back and look at the loves and wishes of their family and friends."