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From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

  • Julie Anne Rhodes

I Do?

My facebook friend and fellow blogger, Amanda Eliasch recently posed an interesting query on her blog. “Do you say happy anniversary to your husband after you are divorced?” I can’t answer that for others…Nick and I have successfully avoided the issue up until now, but I can’t help being a little nostalgic today…

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Rhodes

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Rhodes

Twenty-five years ago today I married the keyboard player of Duran Duran. BTW, my poor father may still be paying that wedding off, but you have to admit…it is pretty cool to have your wedding considered one of the 10 most notable nuptials in a quarter century along with JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and a Rolling Stone! Not bad company. Although, come to think of it (due to an assassination, a tragic car accident, and 3 divorces), none of us stayed married to each other. Hmmmmm….food for thought before the next marriage… ELOPE like dad suggested. At least it will save him the cost of live pink flamingos, flowing pink champagne, and dinner at the Savoy Hotel for 219 of our nearest and dearest.

US magazine 1985

US magazine 1985

Festivities leading up to the big event began with a bridal shower in Henley Upon Thames, an apres theatre dessert and coffee party at the Cafe Royal, and a brilliant hen night in which my 80 year old spinster Auntie Vera gave me edible panties…that image alone forces a smile across my face whenever I think back on it. The hen night also left me with a ghastly hangover for the prenuptial dinner my parents threw for the 75 American guests aboard a private boat cruising the river Thames. I was turning every shade of green with each swell, and was enormously relieved when a rope twisted around the rudder, and we all had to disembark early.

Just Married

Just Married

We nearly missed our own wedding the next morning when our make-up artist turned up late (I barely had any make-up on, but we did have matching Yves St. Laurent #32 pink lipstick). A 1931 Cadillac ferried us to Marylebone registry office where we met our families, and royal photographer Norman Parkinson began snapping photos for LIFE magazine that would continue through the wee hours of the next day.

Julie Anne Rhodes, Norman Parkinson, & Nick Rhodes

Julie Anne Rhodes, Norman Parkinson, & Nick Rhodes

Luckily Mr. Parkinson found a comfortable place to rest his weary head (and seemed to enjoy it immensely judging by the smile on his face).

Nick greeting his fans at the Savoy

Nick greeting his fans at the Savoy

After nervously arriving at the Savoy where police barricades tenuously held back 400 screaming fans, and an army of press outside…inside, the flamingos Nick had insisted on (he also wanted black panthers, but we managed to talk him out of that detail) kept pecking at the diamond bracelet he’d given me as a wedding present. Then their heads bobbed up and down to the jazz quartet as they drank from the fountain and relieved themselves to the orchestra that came on after the cabaret show. The sheer volume of the music literally scared the… out of them!

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Rhodes in LIFE magazine

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Rhodes in LIFE magazine

Months of planning and anticipation, and then the evening sped by so quickly it’s mostly all a blur. I know my jaw ached from smiling through greeting each of the 219 guests the Master of Ceremonies announced in the reception line, I remember dancing in that dress was like dancing with a rope tied around my ankles while Nick hopped around the tulle at the bottom, and that I fell in love with Nick all over again when he danced with my Auntie Vera (Nick does not like dancing to put it mildly), after cutting the cake with me.

With Duran Duran

With Duran Duran

Then Mr. & Mrs. Rhodes started their honeymoon in….where else…RHODES! I did have my modern day fairytale wedding. As for the “happily ever after” bit – the marriage eventually ended on a sour note, but we do enjoy a civil friendship today. I have no idea what the correct protocol is to Amanda’s question, but happy anniversary anyway Nick. It does make me happy to remember the good times we had together.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Julie Anne Rhodes

I unfortunately, do not have a copy of my own wedding menu. People magazine reported that we “dined on salmon and stuffed lamb” which sounds about right. I did recently cater a wedding for 75 people in the Hollywood Hills.

Hollywood Wedding Menu

Marinated Tomato & Mozzarella Skewers

Crostini with Spicy Shrimp

Dill Blinis with Lemon Crème Fraiche & Smoked Salmon

Poppy Seed Tartlets with Rare Roast Beef & Grainy Mustard

Mixed Greens with Gorgonzola, Pears, & Candied Pecans with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Chutney or Mint Sauce

Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Couscous

Mama’s Artichoke Lasagna

Broccoli, Red Pepper, & Roasted Garlic Salad

Balsamic Marinated Cauliflower & Carrots

Roasted Asparagus

Wedding Cake Ala Mode

Mama’s Artichoke Lasagna

Servings: 4


1 1/2 cans artichoke heart, drained and halved

1/2 stick butter

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup milk

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 package no-cook lasagna


1). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2).Make béchamel sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to keep any clumps from forming. Stir in the seasonings, and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and coats the spoon, about 10-15 minutes.

3).Grease an 8″x8″ lasagna pan bottom and sides with butter. Place a single layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom, spread with half the artichokes, sprinkle with 1/3 of both cheeses, and cover with 1/3 of the béchamel sauce. Repeat with another layer. Repeat, ending with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The pan should be about ¾ full.

4).Bake the lasagna until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions: Mixed green salad and garlic bread.

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