Catherine Zeta-Jones Waited 20 Years to See Her Wedding Photos With Michael Douglas

This November, Hollywood power couple Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglass will celebrate their 20 year wedding anniversary. Not only is a marriage of this length rare in Hollywood, but the couple seems just as in love as ever, defying all the odds. 

The couple shares the same birthday — September 25th — but 25 years between them, with Zeta-Jones now 50 and Douglas now 75. But age never was a factor for anyone but the onlookers.

Now, nearly twenty years later, Zeta-Jones has said they are just now getting around to looking at the photos from their wedding day. It is a surprising admission, especially given the amount of controversy that surrounded the photos.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’ wedding was a star-studded event

The couple was married in 2000 at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. The guest list was impressive and included the likes of A-listers such as Sir Michael Caine, Sir Sean Connery, Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson, Goldie Hawn, and Meg Ryan just to name a few. Zeta-Jones is Welsh, so in addition to all of her friends stateside, she had 30 of her friends and family flown in for the event from abroad.

The entire wedding was reported to have cost $1.5 million and included performances by 40-member Welsh choir, Art Garfunkel and Jimmy Buffett. As if that entertainment wasn’t enough, Zeta-Jones reportedly hopped on the piano at 6 am to keep the party going once the hired pianist left.

The couple worked out an exclusive deal for all of the photographs with OK! magazine, meaning the security was extra tight and no other photographs were allowed to be taken. Guests had to present invitations with a hologram for confirmation. The deal for the photos was made for £1 million (which is over a million in U.S. dollars) so the wedding nearly paid for itself, in a way. 

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’s wedding photos were involved in a lawsuit

Recently, Zeta-Jones revealed: “I looked at the proofs and that was it – I never made an album. The photographer got in touch recently, so about three weeks ago I got to see all my wedding photographs. It was a wonderful day.”

It’s unclear why she never looked at the photos again, but they certainly garnered a lot of attention from her and Douglas as the subject of a legal battle. The couple, as well as OK! magazine sued the rival magazine, Hello!, for posting photos of the wedding event despite the exclusivity deal.

The lawsuit was a partial success, with one claim receiving a ruling in their favor, and nine additional claims being tossed out. In the end, the Zeta-Jones and Douglas won  £500,000 and OK! magazine won back more than they originally paid for the deal, at a whopping £1.75 million.

How do Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas keep their marriage alive?

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Mark Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones | Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

When it comes to long marriages, Douglas learned from the best: his father and fellow Hollywood legend, Kirk Douglas. Though father and son both had one divorce each, their second marriages had some serious longevity.

Kirk Douglas celebrated 65 years of marriage with his second wife before he passed recently at age 103.

Kirk Douglas gave a little bit of advice along with his congratulations on his son’s 19th wedding anniversary via a mailed letter: “Michael, you learned a very important lesson, to stay married you must obey your wife! Keep practicing what I do with my wife.”

That year, Michael Douglas and Zeta-Jones celebrated their anniversary by splitting the cost of a golf club membership. When it comes to their relationship, they seem to keep things simple and loving.  During a red carpet interview together, Douglas gave this bit of advice for making marriage work: “Treat the person that you love the most with the most effort, rather than taking them for granted.”