Wedding Plan B: Italy Is So Last Year

Ashley Taylor and her fiance, Joe Roberts.
Ashley Taylor and her fiance, Joe Roberts. (Courtesy Of Joe Robert - )
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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Glamour girl Ashley Taylor and real estate magnate Joe Robert finally have a date for their wedding: Sept. 27.

The 56-year-old multimillionaire (Washington native, philanthropist and chair of the global J.E. Robert Cos.) popped the question to the 25-year-old model last summer on a chartered yacht in Capri, and the couple had planned to marry next month at Italy's exclusive Grand Hotel Quisisana. That ceremony was called off in October, although Taylor continued to wear her massive Graff diamond engagement ring.

Now, everything appears to be back on track for a fall wedding. Taylor (the granddaughter of former chief of protocol Lloyd Hand and jeweler Ann Hand) recently moved into Robert's McLean home and hired celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss to orchestrate the lavish nups, reportedly for 400 or so guests, and a reception at the Mellon Auditorium. The L.A.-based Weiss, who just did Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz's"Alice in Wonderland"-themed wedding last weekend, is the go-to-girl for A-list bridal extravaganzas: Clients include Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum and Eva Longoria Parker; her fee typically starts at $25,000.

This will be Robert's third marriage and Taylor's first.


Marrying: George Takei and Brad Altman. The 71-year-old "Star Trek" star (Mr. Sulu), who came out in 2005, announced on his Web site that California's gay marriage ruling finally allows him to marry his partner of 21 years. No date set: "For now, Brad and I are enjoying the delicious dilemma of deciding where, when and how we will be married."

Divorced: Kiefer Sutherland and his wife, Elizabeth. The "24" star -- now legally back into "most eligible" status -- formally called it quits Friday, nine years after separating.

Coupling: Serial dater Lance Armstrong and actress Kate Hudson. The Tour de France champ was spotted twice over the weekend with the actress in Austin, reports People. Hudson just split with Owen Wilson; Armstrong was recently seen making out with Ashley Olsen.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Newlyweds Harold Ford Jr. and Emily Threlkeld on Sunday at the Sports Club/LA downtown. The bride (black pants, fitted white tank) and groom (shorts, baggy T-shirt) were back in D.C. after their wedding and honeymoon last month. Ford taped "Meet the Press" earlier that morning, then watched himself during the broadcast while working out on the treadmill. As they walked out, a man turned to the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and said, "Hey, didn't I see you on TV this morning?" Ford waved back and replied, "Yes sir, that was me."


A recovering Ted Kennedy underwent more tests yesterday at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of Saturday's seizure; while the 76-year-old Democrat was being evaluated by doctors, President Bush called and reached Kennedy's wife, Vicki. "Take care of my friend," Bush told her, according to a Kennedy family spokeswoman. Unclear exactly when Kennedy will be released, but he plans to recuperate at his Boston home.

* * *

"He would not even ride in the same car with a woman other than my mother. I remember in Little Rock, Hillary Clinton, when she was the wife of Governor Clinton, wanted to meet my father for lunch. She wanted to have a private conversation. Daddy said, 'I'd be glad to meet you, but we'll meet in a public place.' "

-- The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, on his father's extreme caution around women. Graham was asked to share lessons from his famous dad in the new issue of Best Life magazine.

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