A Big Wedding at Home
Remember Donald Trump's wedding in January? The seven-tier cake, the $200,000 dress, the 400 guests? The man behind that lavish affair is who BET co-founder Sheila Johnson is calling in to design her Sept. 24 wedding to Circuit Judge William T. Newman Jr. of Arlington.
Johnson spokeswoman Vicki Bendure told The Post's Kathy Lally that her client has hired Preston Bailey, who has planned events for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Liza Minnelli.
Bailey told "The Insider" last year that for Trump's wedding, "I want all of the guests to walk in and faint. There has to be drama, there has to be a feeling, there has to be romance."
For Minnelli's wedding to David Gest in 2002, Bailey designed the ceremonial altar, which featured two willow trees decked out with white roses, peonies and a wealth of other flowers. For the 2000 launch of Oprah's magazine, O, the designer filled the ceiling of New York City's Metropolitan Pavilion with cherry blossoms and installed a giant floral "O" gateway at the party's entrance.
Bendure said Johnson's wedding would be at her Middleburg property, Salamander Farms, but would not disclose details. A phone call to Bailey yesterday was not returned. The couple has purchased a house together in Arlington.
I Can't Fight This Feeding
Hey, this song sounds familiar . . . Four members of '80s rock band REO Speedwagon dined at an Italian restaurant in Arlington while listening to their own music Monday night.
Extra Virgin owner Shary Thur said the band was taking a break from its current tour to celebrate the 59th birthday of keyboard player Neal Doughty before heading off to a Nationals game. Thur, who met the musicians a year ago, downloaded their old songs onto her iPod and played them over the restaurant's sound system when they walked in. "They were like, 'Oh! We haven't heard this in a while,' " she said. Alas, no one sang along with the music.
The band dined on a menu sampling of ravioli, lamb chops, rockfish and salmon. And they didn't stop there: Thur says they plowed through the entire dessert menu. We hope no one went into sugar shock.
It pays to be an old friend. The man who whipped Jessica Simpson into shape for "The Dukes of Hazzard" knew her in middle school and says she's "surprisingly down to Earth."
Personal trainer Mike Alexander, 27, said Simpson recruited him in August when the singer/actress heard she was on a "short list" to play Daisy Duke in the movie, which comes out Aug. 5. She got the part and moved her old pal to Baton Rouge for "three long months," he says. Alexander, who lives in Beverly Hills, added: "I'm from Dallas so the whole Southern thing wasn't such a culture shock. It was fun."
Simpson isn't Alexander's only celebrity client: He also trains her little sister, Ashlee, and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks.
So what's Alexander's fitness advice for the rest of us? "Stay hydrated and be safe in this heat." Hey, he told Jessica the same thing.
* Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president of public TV station WETA, has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, her husband announced yesterday. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said his 60-year-old wife will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment for the next three months. "Sharon is a fighter, and I know she is going to beat this," he said.
-- Compiled by Korin Miller
from staff and wire reports