Covert operation ... the bride is shielded. Photo: James Brickwood
Three white umbrellas, four white sheets and eight people were used to hide fashion designer Rachel Gilbert's wedding dress as she climbed out of a black BMW in Rose Bay.
Not that many people noticed the effort. One lady was annoyed she couldn't get out of the car park, while an older couple walking by stopped to watch the spectacle with bemusement as Gilbert emerged from the car wrapped in a white sheet, with three burly men holding the umbrellas.
The groom, radio and television star Tom Williams - winner of Dancing with the Stars in 2005 - remained in the car until his sheet-wearing bride and her entourage were safely inside the Catalina restaurant for the reception. He then made his entrance to the tunes of Lovely Day by Bill Withers. The secrecy surrounding Gilbert's dress was due to an exclusive deal with OK! magazine.
Tom Williams and Rachel Gilbert.
Gilbert's dress was neither pink (a celebrity trend) nor covered in sparkles (her signature style). It was figure hugging and strapless with a fishtail of feathers below the knee. While the dress looked remarkably similar to something out of her own bridal couture designs launched last month, a worker at her flagship store in Paddington said she '''wouldn't be able to say'' what designer Gilbert was wearing. When Gilbert was recently interviewed by Fairfax Media, she said of her wedding dress: ''Somehow I feel like I should be wearing one of my own.''
The ceremony was held at Kincoppal School in Rose Bay in front of about 100 guests. Celebrities included Williams's radio comrades, Tim ''Rosso'' Ross, Merrick Watts and Ryan ''Fitzy'' Fitzgerald.
Guests later partied into the night at Bar Pelicano in Double Bay.
The Sydney publicist Roxy Jacenko reportedly set the love-birds up and was one of the bridesmaids, wearing a Gilbert champagne-coloured gown.