There are few activities in the world more stressful and frustrating than planning your own wedding. It requires making thousands of choices and setting aside hundreds of hours. I’m a dude, and the process gave me more than a few headaches. I can’t imagine how much worse it must be for brides. Hell, I can’t imagine how much worse it must be for celebrities. On top of the usual flower arrangements and deejay and band options, there are the added wrinkles of photographers, tabloids and public interest.

Luckily, there’s now a perfect guide for how to handle it. With grace, sophistication and plenty of intelligence, Justin Timberlake and his new wife Jessica Biel played the press like a fiddle during the lead-up to the wedding and the actual wedding itself. In fact, I’m not sure they made a single misstep.

The intelligent choices began the day the couple picked out its save the date notifications. Rumor has it Biel actually had guests save a window instead of a specific date, knowing at least one copy would likely get leaked to the press. In addition, she didn’t include a specific location but instead simply made it clear there would be traveling involved. That prevented more dedicated photographers from tracking down where the real reservations were made.

When the time to travel actually came, Timberlake and Biel booked the arrangements themselves to further prevent leaks, and neither they nor their publicists responded to any of the numerous rumors working their way around the Internet. As for the photographers, they commissioned People Magazine to exclusively cover the ceremony, and in exchange for the access, they were paid and assumedly, got written promises that no information would be published until after the festivities. If you’re going to hire your own photographers for a wedding, you might as well let a tabloid photographer take some shots to net free money too, whether it's being pocketed or going to charity.

Celebrities don’t have to have combative relationships with the press. Under the right circumstances, both parties can use each other for mutual gain. In withholding information from some, cooperating with others and ignoring rumors, Timberlake and Biel handled the situation perfectly. Bravo.



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