Greg Nelson and Jenny Gardner, February 14, 1984
Everyone tried to keep Greg and Jenny apart – his disapproving mother Enid, his jealous ex Liza, her meddling modeling agent Olga. But true love prevailed for the young couple.
Greg and Jenny met in high school. He was an All-American boy from an elite Pine Valley family. Jenny was a sweet girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The two found an innocent love but had to deal with the constant interferences of the snotty, conniving Liza Colby. Despite Liza’s shenanigans, Greg proposed to Jenny on Christmas Eve of 1982.
Not long after, their wedding plans were sidelined after Greg was paralyzed trying to save Jenny from falling off a catwalk. Greg decided it wouldn’t be fair for Jenny to spend her life taking care of him and broke things off. Heartbroken, Jenny went to New York to pursue modeling. When Greg regained the use of his legs, he wanted to tell Jenny, but Jenny’s modeling agent Olga had set up a fake romance for the press between Jenny and another model named Tony Barclay. Greg thought Jenny didn’t want him anymore, but then found a letter that Jenny had written to him declaring her love. Greg’s mother Enid had hidden the letter from him. Greg raced to New York just in time to keep Jenny from marrying Tony.
Greg and Jenny married at Pine Valley’s finest restaurant, The Chateau, surrounded by friends and family. Greg’s best man Jesse gave the toast and the newlyweds danced to their song “Just You and I.”
Dr. Cliff Warner and Nina Cortlandt, September 3, 1980
It was love at first sight for Dr. Cliff Warner and his patient Nina Cortlandt. The two were inseparable after Cliff saved Nina’s life and they fell in love, despite the objections of Nina’s controlling father Palmer. The two married in one of the most lavish weddings in soap history with the bridal party arriving in horse-drawn carriage.
The ceremony took place on location at Waveny House in New Canaan, Connecticut. The 1912 mansion with over 200 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds stood in for Cortlandt Manor. The ‘I Do’s’ didn’t exactly go off without a hitch – just hours before the ceremony, Cliff was shocked to learn that the one-night stand he had with nurse Sybil Thorne had resulted in a pregnancy. Cliff chose to keep the news from his bride and the wedding went on as planned.
Dr. and Mrs. Cliff Warner shared a romantic honeymoon in Martha’s Vineyard, their favorite vacation spot. This was not the last wedding for the popular couple, as they divorced twice before finally getting it right a third time in 1986.
Hayley Vaughan and Mateo Santos, May 23, 1997
Long-time loves Mateo Santos and Hayley Vaughan married in a Virginia hospital room after Mateo rescued Hayley, who had been drugged and held prisoner in a cave. Hayley’s father Adam arranged for the impromptu bedside ceremony where the two finally exchanged heartfelt wedding vows.
Hayley: “For the first time in my life, I really believe in me…really. And I believe and trust you, and I believe and trust in God. We’re going to make it.”
Mateo: “Till the day I die I will trust you, Hayley, and I will believe in you. I love you, I always will, and nothing will ever come between us.”
Erica Kane and Dimitri Marick, June 22, 1993
Erica and Dimitri married twice but the couple’s first wedding ceremony was fit for royalty. Taking a page from Dimitri’s Hungarian ancestry, the couple married at his Gothic estate, Wildwind. The groom’s brother Edmund served as best man, while Opal and Jackson (Erica’s future-husband-to-be) gave beautiful readings. Erica wore an 18-foot, gold-trimmed veil and the entire reception was a sight to behold with huge bouquets of roses and orchids and a three-tiered wedding cake made with gold.
Erica: “I love you more than anyone I’ve ever loved in my whole life. I always fought hard to protect my heart. Bu you wouldn’t let me take the easy way out.”
Dimitri: “When we met, I wasn’t looking for love. I had lost once too often. I had resigned myself to my life. But someone knew beter and that someone let it rain and rain and rain. And thanks to one glorious port in the storm, I looked into your eyes and found love.
Unfortunately, the couple’s happiness was short-lived after Erica’s troublemaking daughter Kendall showed up in Pine Valley and convinced Erica that her new husband had raped her. When Erica confronted Dimitri, she had a psychotic episode that caused her to hallucinate and mistake Dimitri for the man that had actually raped Erica years earlier (Kendall was the result of the rape). Erica stabbed Dimitri and after he recovered, the poor guy divorced Erica. Can you blame him? Erica and Dimitri went for a second round in 1994, but that marriage also ended in divorce.
Tad Martin and Dixie Cooney, December 29, 1989
Tad and Dixie have had so many stops and starts, it’s hard to keep track of their weddings and marriages. But it was their very first wedding in 1989 that is the most memorable.
After defying the odds – he had a bad reputation with the ladies as “Tad the Cad” and she was the niece of a very influential and disapproving Palmer Cortland – Tad and Dixie made their way to the altar. Although, Tad almost didn’t make it there. The groom hitched a ride to the wedding with his wacky mother Opal, but her car died on the way to the church. While waiting for the ceremony to start, the guests started to wonder if Tad had skipped out on Dixie. But he soon arrived, disheveled and dirty, from having to walk to his own wedding. Donna Tyler and her daughter Emily sang “Through the Years” as the couple exchanged vows:
Tad: “I’m no prize, but I love you. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky, but I know that I will guard you and care for you and keep you safe always. Because without you, I have nothing.”
Dixie: “I love you, Tad. And I thank the Dear Lord for bringing you to me. And I will never take advantage of that gift, because you are my life.”
Julia Santos and Noah Keefer, June 7, 1996
It had been a long, hard road to happily-ever-after for Julia and Noah, who met under less-than-ideal circumstances. Julia had run away from her family and friends in Pine Valley after being disfigured in an accident during a deadly tornado. Julia was living on the streets when she was befriended by Noah, who mistook Julia for a down-on-her-luck prostitute. The two became close and it seemed they were even starting to fall in love, but then a drug dealer named Louie raped Julia. Noah took care of her after the rape and, when Julia found out she was pregnant by Louie, Noah helped her through the abortion and an AIDS test that turned out negative.
After finally declaring their love for each other and getting engaged, Julia and Noah were put to another test. Julie’s rapist returned and kidnapped her but Noah again came to Julia’s rescue. Louie pulled out a gun and a fight between Noah and Louie ensued. During a struggle, Louie hit his head and died. Noah’s jealous ex Taylor hid Louie’s gun so that instead of looking like self-defense, it appeared to the police that Noah had killed Louie in cold blood. In spite of Noah’s impending legal troubles, he and Julia planned a wedding. But during the ceremony, Noah was arrested for murder. After a prison escape, Noah and Julia fled to Jamaica but Taylor finally came clean and presented the evidence to clear Noah.
In a fairy tale ceremony, Julia finally married her Prince Charming. She even wore a white wedding dress reminiscent of Cinderella – and Erica gave Julia her very own pair of glass slippers. The couple’s wedding cake was also decorated with a miniature replica of Cinderella’s castle.
Julia: “My life didn’t start till you, Noah. My sister’s right. I always felt like something was missing. I was scared all the time. Even when things weren’t well—deep down I thought I didn’t have what it takes. I never felt safe – till I found you.”
Noah: “My whole life growing up I heard, ‘There’s a great big world out there, Noah. You can own a piece of it if you try. Go someplace. Be somebody. Find what you want and fight for it.’ Trouble is, I could never find it. I never found anything worth fighting for till you fell into my life, Julia Santos. Everybody needs a reason—you’re mine.”