Times Pop Music Critic

“Very private” and “extremely beautiful” were the words used to describe rock star Bruce Springsteen’s marriage early Monday to actress Julianne Phillips in the Portland, Ore., suburb of Lake Oswego.

“We were worried when word (of the wedding) leaked out last week that the whole thing was going to turn into a circus--and that’s the last thing anybody wanted,” Jane Phillips, a sister-in-law of the bride, said Monday by phone from Lake Oswego.

Though originally scheduled for last Wednesday, the ceremony was moved up to Monday after fans and photographers began gathering in town Friday. The “secret” half-hour wedding ceremony was performed just past midnight at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. It was the first marriage for both Springsteen and Phillips, who has appeared in three TV movies.

The wedding party of about 40 met around 11:30 p.m. Sunday at a nearby high school and then rode in a caravan to the church, which was kept dark until they arrived. There were apparently few if any fans or photographers outside.


“It was a very happy event,” Phillips continued. “The tension was gone (from the days before). It was very dignified--just the way it should have been. Bruce gives so much to people on stage and this was one time I think that people should have let him have time to himself with Julianne and his family.”

Springsteen, 35, wore a blue suit, while the bride, 25, wore an antique, ankle-length white lace dress borrowed from a friend and carried a bouquet of gardenias.. The church was filled with flowers and the chapel lit by candlelight.

The bride’s older sister, Mary, was matron of honor. Serving as “best man” were Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager, and two musicians long associated with the bridegroom: guitarist Steve Van Zandt and saxophonist Clarence Clemons. The couple reportedly left for a brief honeymoon immediately after the ceremony.

With the wedding over, the Phillips’ neighborhood--which had been staked out by reporters and fans--began returning to normalcy Monday. Despite the tension, the hoopla resulted in a few amusing moments. One neighbor even told of a young fan’s offer to mow her lawn for a year if she would get Springsteen to autograph a record for him.


One final thing: Was there music at the ceremony?

“Oh, sure,” Jane Phillips said, good-naturedly. “But it was organ music--very traditional . . . No one played ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ ”