Earl Woods, celebrities attend lavish ceremony

SANDY LANE BEACH, Barbados -- A rainbow arching over their yacht greeted newlyweds Tiger Woods and Swedish bride Elin Nordegren on Wednesday, a day after the couple married in a lavish sunset ceremony that reportedly cost $1.5 million.

The couple came ashore after apparently spending their wedding night aboard the vessel. They stayed largely out of public view following the ceremony, which was held in a white-netted pagoda decorated with red roses.

"Elin and Tiger want to keep this as a family thing," the bride's father, Thomas Nordegren, told The Associated Press by phone on Wednesday from the posh Barbados resort that hosted the ceremony. "I'm sorry I can't give you any more information."

As the couple came ashore, the California-born golfer was in swimming trunks and carrying a wet suit. The two were accompanied by the bride's identical twin, Josefin. Both women wore shorts and tank tops.

The Barbados Daily Nation quoted unidentified sources as saying the event cost $1.5 million. Woods reportedly imported 500 red roses for the ceremony.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were among more than 120 guests seen by an Associated Press reporter overlooking the clubhouse of the Sandy Lane resort and golf course, which went to extraordinary lengths to shield the ceremony from journalists.

Nordegren, 24, met Woods three years ago while she was the nanny to the children of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik.

At the ceremony, Nordegren wore an off-white sleeveless gown, according to the witnesses, while Woods, 28, wore a beige suit.

Woods' father, Earl, arrived at the resort about three hours before the wedding in a silver Rolls-Royce. At the reception, he cried after giving a speech, witnesses said. Woods' mother was seen on the beach at the resort Wednesday.

The rock group Hootie and the Blowfish performed under a tent at the "19th hole," a garden area of the Green Monkey golf course, witnesses said. Then fireworks lit up the night sky along Barbados' west coast.

Parnevik, who introduced the couple, skipped the wedding to play in this week's Michelin Championship in Las Vegas.

"There's such a brouhaha around it, so I chose to play instead," Parnevik told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet for Wednesday's editions. Parnevik said he and his wife "will celebrate Tiger and Elin later, a bit more privately."

But Parnevik said he already has the perfect wedding gift for
them: "A specially edited DVD from the recording of Elin's
bachelorette party."

On Tuesday, the couple appeared to be adhering to the tradition
of not seeing each other before taking their vows, while the bride
remained offshore on the yacht "Privacy."

For most of the week, the couple refused to respond to reports of the wedding, and they did not make any public announcements to confirm it until Friday.

"There certainly has been a lot of speculation about my
personal life, which is why Elin and I wanted to confirm that we
got married on Tuesday," Woods said on his Web site. "Elin and I
celebrated this wonderful occasion with our close friends and
family, and we look forward to starting our new life together."

Also Friday, Woods canceled an appearance Sunday in Orlando, Fla., where he
was to meet with winners of the Buick Scramble, the world's largest
amateur event. Woods has an endorsement deal with Buick. He is expected to return to the PGA Tour on Oct. 21 for the Funai Classic at Disney.

Resort employees erected sheets of plywood and a crane hoisted
large plants to try to block views of the event.

Woods' precautions appeared to include hiring the only
helicopter charter company on the island, which said it was booked
solid Tuesday -- a move that prevented journalists and photographers
from flying over the event.

He also rented out the entire hotel, which has about 200 rooms
ranging in price from $700 to $8,000 a night, according to the
hotel's Web site.

Woods asked Nordegren to marry him in November 2003 during a
sunset walk at a game reserve in South Africa, after he competed in
the Presidents Cup.

On Sunday, Woods played in the American Express Championship at
the Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown, Ireland. He finished
ninth, and slipped to No. 3 in the world rankings for the first
time since May 1999.

The Sandy Lane is owned by Irishmen J.P. McManus and Dermot
Desmond, who reportedly are friends of Woods.