Angelina Jolie Details Secret First Wedding With Brad Pitt Prior to Their French Nuptials

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Getty Images)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Getty Images)

When Angelina Jolie walked down the aisle in her doodled-on wedding gown to exchange vows with Brad Pitt at their French chateau last summer, she was already a married woman.

"As Americans, we could not legally get married in France without a prior marriage ceremony in California," 39-year-old mother of six told Italian magazine Io Donna, according to a translation. "So, one day when I was working on Unbroken, I say to Brad: 'Honey, why don't we meet at 4:30?' I take a break for an hour, call a justice of the peace, run home, and sign the documents."

After their simple, secret ceremony in their homestate, her third marriage and his second, "We look at each other and we say, 'We did it!' We were happy and we laughed ... It seemed romantic."

Related: Brad and Angelina's Most Romantic Moments

The couple married for a second time on Aug. 23. (Hello magazine)
The couple married for a second time on Aug. 23. (Hello magazine)

It was at their French estate, Chateau Miraval, on Aug. 23 that Jolie and Pitt later tied the knot for a second time in a small ceremony (only 20 attendees) for which they carved out roles for each of their six children. Maddox and Pax walked their mom down the aisle, Zahara and Vivienne were flower girls, and Shiloh and Knox were ring bearers. Brad hummed Angelina down the aisle, the kids wrote their parents' vows, and Pax baked the wedding cake which was served after a picnic lunch on the sprawling estate.

Related: 11 Revelations About Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Wedding

"Of course, the real wedding was the one with the children," she told the magazine. "But we were already married."

Retired California judge John Ouderkirk was the officiant for the couple's non-denominational civil ceremony in France — and likely California, as well. Before marrying the Jolie-Pitts, he was best known for being on the bench in 1993, when Reginald Denny's attackers were on trial following the South Central Los Angeles riots.

Because a California judge can't legally marry a couple in France — and couples in France must have a French civil authority perform their wedding at city hall — there were questions about the legality of the Jolie-Pitt wedding as soon as news broke that they had married. However, a Pitt spokesperson put rumors to rest by saying, "In the days before coming to France, and as citizens of California, Brad and Angelina filled out their paperwork and obtained a marriage license from a local judge, who also traveled to France to conduct the ceremony at Chateau Miraval. They are therefore married under Californian law."

And now we know how it all went down, starting with a simple, "Honey, why don't we meet at 4:30?"