Under a sky free of media helicopters, the long-anticipated wedding of Vince Gill and Amy Grant took place Friday afternoon (March 10) in a field in Williamson County, Tenn., a few miles outside of Nashville.
The usually pampered entertainment press was kept firmly away — both from the ceremony and the reception held directly afterward in the bride’s Nashville home.
Grant, 39, was dressed in an ivory-colored, full-length gown with cape, designed by Jane Booke. Gill, 42, wore a black Calvin Klein suit.
At the end of the wedding ceremony, witnesses say, a corps of bagpipers streamed over a nearby hill and onto the field, playing the hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” Prior to the wedding, guitarist Tom Hemby and fiddler Ruth McGinnis entertained guests with hymns and a performance of “Ashokan Farewell.”
Gill’s daughter, Jenny, and Grant’s children, Matt, Millie and Sarah, all attended the service, as did the groom’s mother and sister and the bride’s mother and father.
Although approximately 400 guests came to the reception, relatively few of them were from the entertainment industry. Among those spotted were guitarist Chet Atkins; singer Larry Stewart; MCA Records president Tony Brown and chairman Bruce Hinton; Gill’s managers Larry Fitzgerald and Mark Hartley; comedian Henry Cho; songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick; Ed Benson, executive director of the Country Music Association; and Steve Buchanan, president of the Grand Ole Opry group.
The couple’s first dance was to Celine Dion’s recording of “Because You Loved Me.” For the second dance, Gill took a turn with his daughter and Grant with her father.
The Beach Walk Café of Destin, Fla., catered the reception.
Gill, who is one of the most respected and awarded figures in country music, was divorced from singer Janis Gill, of Sweethearts of the Rodeo, in 1997. A contemporary Christian music superstar while still in her teens, Grant subsequently branched into pop music but maintained her strong gospel moorings. Her sixteen and a half-year marriage to singer/songwriter/television host Gary Chapman ended last June.
Persistent rumors that there was a romantic attachment between the two performers were confirmed last October when Grant admitted to a newspaper reporter that Gill was her “boy friend.” She insisted, however, that he had had no part in the breakup of her marriage to Chapman.