For a wedding that boasted a 35-member bridal party, 356 guests, and a $246,000 price tag for the venue alone, it's not surprising Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi wanted everyone to see their nuptials, which were broadcast on live TV via pay-per-view over the weekend.
Schon, co-founder and guitarist of Journey, and Salahi, the former "Real Housewives of D.C." star who infamously crashed a 2009 White House dinner, tied the knot Dec. 15 at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts and invited everyone at home to watch.
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For just $14.95, fans could watch the wedding live through a pay-per-view event, "Neal & Michaele: Winter Wonderland Wedding and Music Event."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a portion of the proceeds will be donated
to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in November.
"[The pay-per-view wedding idea is] the talk of the industry, is what I’m hearing, because it’s brand new," Schon, noting that nobody has ever before tried to sell a wedding on pay-per-view television, told The Daily Beast
. "I like to do things that people have not done. Thinking out of the box."
It's not clear yet how many people actually paid to watch Schon and Salahi's wedding, but a publicist for the couple said "80,000 buyers is a good conservative benchmark."
Paying customers would have tuned in to see a star-studded guest list, including rock singer Sammy Hagar, Journey singer Arnel Pineda, Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, "Celebrity Apprentice" star Omarosa Manigault, and surprise guest R&B singer Brian McKnight.
They would have also been privy to the debut of a new Journey song called "Triumph of Love," which Schon dedicated to his new wife.
Schon and Salahi, who have known each other for nearly 20 years, started dating in 2011 after she split with ex-husband Tareq Salahi. Schon proposed to Salahi onstage during a benefit concert in October 2012 with an 11.42-carat diamond ring.
Salahi is best known for crashing a 2009 White House state dinner with her ex-husband. Though they weren't invited, the Salahis managed to get past two security checkpoints and were even photographed speaking with President Barack Obama. The "White House gatecrashing incident" led to an internal investigation into security measures and a congressional hearing.
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