Taking advantage of the recent Supreme Court ruling affirming that corporations have all the rights of individuals, Aetna Insurance and News Corp were married in small, private ceremony at the Hamptons estate of musician Billy Joel, a mutual friend of the bride and groom.
The wedding caught many friends and family off-guard, planned quickly and quietly in a matter of days following the high court's ruling.
"I knew they had been seeing each other for a while, but I have to say I was shocked when the invitation arrived," said Steve Forbes, one of a small group of A-list guests who flew in for the ceremony on a moment's notice. "But more than anything, I'm just happy for them. It's so clear they're totally in love."
According to guests, the bride wore a strapless, custom-made Vera Wang gown and the groom wore a Versace tuxedo. "She's never looked lovelier," Kathy Hilton, another member of the short guest list, said.
News of the impending nuptials leaked to the press a few hours before the ceremony, and the sound of helicopters commandeered by members of the paparazzi filled the air above the Joel compound. According to guests, though, nothing distracted those in attendance from the event itself.
"You know, it wasn't until we left that I realized there were any press around at all," said Bill Gates. "It was sort of like being in this bubble of love that nothing could puncture."
Asked what he felt the highlight of the day was, Gates said it was the bride and groom's first dance at the reception to Etta James's rendition of "At Last."
Photos of the wedding and reception will appear in next week's HELLO! as per an exclusive deal between the couple and the magazine.
Although representatives for the happy couple would not comment on the record, rumor has it that Aetna and NewsCorp are honeymooning at a private estate in the Cayman Islands.
Asked for a comment on the unconventional marriage, neither the Reverend Pat Robertson or Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson expressed any concern.
"The good Lord is quite clear about this. Marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman. Or one multinational conglomerate and another," Dobson said.
Robertson agreed, "I'd have been honored to preside over the ceremony myself."
When asked how such a union could be seen as less perverse than marriage between two actual human beings who happened to be of the same gender, Robertson bristled. "Where in Leviticus does it say a single word against love between corporations? Where?!"