- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2004

SANDY LANE BEACH, Barbados — A rainbow arching over their yacht greeted newlyweds Tiger Woods and Swedish bride Elin Nordegren yesterday, a day after the couple married in a lavish sunset ceremony that reportedly cost $1.5million.

The couple came ashore after apparently spending their wedding night aboard the vessel. They stayed largely out of public view following the ceremony, which was held in a white-netted pagoda decorated with red roses.

“Elin and Tiger want to keep this as a family thing,” the bride’s father, Thomas Nordegren, told the Associated Press by phone from the posh Barbados resort that played host to the ceremony. “I’m sorry I can’t give you any more information.”

As the couple came ashore, the California-born golfer was in swimming trunks and carrying a wet suit. The two were accompanied by the bride’s identical twin, Josefin. Both women wore shorts and tank tops.

The Barbados Daily Nation quoted unidentified sources as saying the event cost $1.5million. Woods reportedly imported 500 red roses for the ceremony.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were among more than 120 guests seen by an Associated Press reporter overlooking the clubhouse of the Sandy Lane resort and golf course, which went to extraordinary lengths to shield the ceremony from journalists.

Nordegren, 24, met Woods three years ago while she was the nanny to the children of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik.

At the ceremony, Nordegren wore an off-white sleeveless gown, according to the witnesses, while Woods, 28, wore a beige suit.

Woods’ father, Earl, arrived at the resort about three hours before the wedding in a silver Rolls-Royce. At the reception, he cried after giving a speech, witnesses said. Woods’ mother was seen on the beach at the resort yesterday.

The rock group Hootie and the Blowfish performed under a tent at the “19th hole,” a garden area of the Green Monkey golf course, witnesses said. Then fireworks lit up the night sky along Barbados’ west coast.

Parnevik, who introduced the couple, skipped the wedding to play in this week’s Michelin Championship in Las Vegas.

“There’s such a brouhaha around it, so I chose to play instead,” Parnevik told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet for yesterday’s editions. Parnevik said he and his wife “will celebrate Tiger and Elin later, a bit more privately.”

But Parnevik said he already has the perfect wedding gift for them: “A specially edited DVD from the recording of Elin’s bachelorette party.”

On Tuesday, the couple appeared to be adhering to the tradition of not seeing each other before taking their vows, while the bride remained offshore on the yacht “Privacy.”

The couple have refused to respond to reports of the wedding, and they did not make any public announcements to confirm it a day after the event.

Resort employees erected sheets of plywood, and a crane hoisted large plants to try to block views of the event.

Woods’ precautions appeared to include hiring the only helicopter charter company on the island, which said it was booked solid Tuesday — a move that prevented journalists and photographers from flying over the event.

He also rented out the entire hotel, which has about 200 rooms ranging in price from $700 to $8,000 a night, according to the hotel’s Web site.

Woods asked Nordegren to marry him in November 2003 during a sunset walk at a game reserve in South Africa, after he competed in the Presidents Cup.

On Sunday, Woods played in the American Express Championship at the Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown, Ireland. He finished ninth and slipped to No.3 in the world rankings for the first time since May 1999.

The Sandy Lane is owned by Irishmen J.P. McManus and Dermot Desmond, who reportedly are friends of Woods.

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