Canceling the caterers, then hiring them back at the last minute. Confiscating guests’ cell phones and cameras. Applying for a wedding license out in the ‘burbs. Hell, not admitting that they’ve been dating for six years.
Plenty of celebrity couples try to keep their wedding days private by doing everything they can to throw the paparazzi and celebrity press off the scent in the hours and weeks leading up to their special day. Ever since paparazzi helicopters buzzed Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding in 1985, the cat-and-mouse game has become part of the story anytime a power couple make it official.
But Jay-Z and Beyoncé have taken the cone of silence to new heights by refusing to even confirm, even after the fact, that they’re now man and wife — if they are.
“They are intensely private people,” said Laura Schreffler, senior writer for OK! magazine. “It took them years to even admit they were a couple, and they say more about themselves as a couple in their music than they do out loud. I don’t think they’ll admit [to getting married] now, and I don’t think they have to. They have no one to answer to.” Schreffler said keeping their wedding a secret could be the couple’s way of trying to have a semblance of normalcy in their otherwise closely watched lives.
So it’s been left to fans and the paparazzi to gather the scraps of proof, though the newlyweds aren’t making that easy either. Jay has yet to wear a wedding ring in public, either onstage the night after the intimate event at his posh New York apartment, or during a Houston Rockets game he attended on Friday with B, who covered up her hand so as not to give anyone a clear shot of her reportedly impressive wedding ring.
That was a sharp turnaround from the week before, when Beyoncé, 26, waved the rock around during Jay’s April 8 show at Atlanta’s Philips Arena during the line, “I got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain,” from Jigga’s “PSA.” Jay, 38, was not as forthcoming the night before that gig, reportedly saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” when patrons at his 40/40 club in Manhattan congratulated him on the blessed event.
This kind of secrecy is becoming more and more common among celebrity couples trying to hold on to their final bits of privacy in a 24/7 paparazzi world. From Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez pulling a bait-and-switch on their wedding guests by telling them they were attending a backyard awards ceremony to Ellen Pompeo keeping her secret wedding under wraps for weeks afterward, celebrities are getting better at throwing reporters off the scent — or at least keeping the photographers on the wrong side of the fence.
“Beyoncé and Jay-Z don’t need any more press,” Schreffler said, adding that it’s also unlikely that the couple is holding out for a big magazine-cover payday for exclusive photos. “Jay-Z has more money than many people, so it’s not about the money.”
Jay may not be talking, but others certainly are. From tourmate Mary J. Blige offered congratulations the night after the wedding from the stage, to former Def Jam boss Russell Simmons telling reporter Chris Yandek last week that he was proud of his former protégé.
“I know Jay-Z. We signed him at Def Jam many years ago,” Simmons said. “I watched him grow as an individual, and I watched him become a great giver. Beyoncé supported us at the Hip-Hop Summit. … They are two people I have a great deal of admiration and respect for. I love them both, and seeing them get married is a perfect order. I am very happy for them.”
But even Blige was a bit vague about the wedding when she offered some praise from the stage the night after the event, saying, “Congratulations to my man, Jay-Z, and my girl B.”
So for now, until they release their next album and offer us a musical update on the state of their union, that’s probably as close as we’re going to come to an official confirmation.