The highs (and lows) of Trista and Ryan's wedding. From Charlie's commentary to Estella's down-to-there dress, we rate the evening on a scale of -- what else? -- 1 to 5 roses

By Erin Richter
Updated December 11, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter: Bob D'Amico

The highs (and lows) of Trista and Ryan’s wedding

It certainly WASN’T the most dramatic rose ceremony ever (although some 60,000 long-stems adorned the Rancho Mirage ceremony), and more tears flowed at the televised bachelor party. But the highly hyped wedding of ”America’s First Bachelorette” Trista Rehn to Vail firefighter-poet Ryan Sutter, costing ABC upwards of $4 million, set a new standard for the celebrity wedding. Here’s a look at the night, and the over-the-top affair, through our rose-rating glasses (5 is the best — we’re on a budget).

PINK ”Pink? pink? pink? pink? pink.” Since the network’s prewedding extravaganza started three weeks ago, the blushing bride has repeatedly requested her favorite color, and wedding planner Mindy Weiss didn’t let her down. Trista and Ryan, as well as their parents, wore pink and drank pink drinks at the rehearsal dinner. The bridesmaids seemed to rarely dress in any other color. But the gradated pink chair covers at the ceremony (from pale in the front to dark in the back), which provided the backdrop for host Chris Harrison turned pink into PEP-to? BIS-mol!
(2 Roses)

SHOW US THE MONEY As the trucks pulled up and Weiss’ massive crew got to work, we all wondered just how much bling-bling went into this glitter-filled night. Polite guests would never ask, so thankfully Trista’s fairy godparents, ABC, told us with a detailed breakdown: $250,000 wedding party wardrobe; $150,000 food; $15,000 cake; $1,250,000 jewelry? and it didn’t stop there. Apparently, $4 million buys a lot of bragging rights.
(5 Roses)

PLAY-BY-PLAY COVERAGE The so-called ”wedding of the decade” felt more like the Masters golf tournament. ”Bachelor” runner-up Charlie Maher and ”Bachelorette” producer Stephanie Lydecker toted ”Trista and Ryan’s Wedding” microphones while whispering inane commentary and conducting sideline interviews. The interviewess — the couple and their friends and family — seemed almost as annoyed and uncomfortable as we felt.
(1 Rose)

BOB THE BACHELOR’S DATE: ESTEL-LO She never dressed like this on ”The Bachelor” (or we could have immediately predicted this season’s outcome) but Estella Gardinier, on the arm of Bob Guiney (despite rumors of their breakup), looked more ”J. Lo glamour” than ”storybook wedding” in a black halter dress with a Niagara Falls-plunging neckline. Hey Hollywood, she’s ready for her close-up!
(Her bold fashion sense: 3 Roses)

APOCALYPSE NOW? Crazed paparazzi or ABC’s flying hype machine? Either way, the incessant chop-chop-chopping of the helicopters circling the ceremony almost drowned out the most heartfelt moment of the evening. Was it (1) the symbolic blending of pink-and-blue sand — representing two individuals becoming one — into a keepsake vase? No. (2) Trista yelling ”Party!” as she walked back down the aisle with her groom? Try again. (3) Earnest Ryan’s visible love for and devotion to a woman who’d put him through a circus like this? Nuh-uh. The most heartfelt moment of the entire two-hour extravaganza was the happy couple’s personal and loving vows, the only thing that made us believe we might not be seeing ”Trista and Ryan’s Divorce” in five years.
(Helicopters: 0 Roses; Vows: 5 Roses)

What did you think of the wedding?