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Burning Question: Was That Massive Grammy Wedding Ceremony Really Legit?

Leslie Gornstein
Yahoo Music
January 27, 2014

Burning Question: Was That Massive Grammy Wedding Ceremony Really Legit?

Leslie Gornstein
Yahoo Music
January 27, 2014

Did Queen Latifah legally marry all those people at last night's Grammys on live TV? How did they pull it off?

Well, let's see: Thirty-three willing couples of all types and stripes: Check.

One celebrity who was recently authorized by the state of California to perform marriages for a tiny window of time: Check.

Marriage licenses signed by the above: Check.

Entertainment, including, you know, your typical wedding singers like Macklemore and Madonna: Check.

All of the marital love you saw last night — gay, straight, etc. — was 100 percent out, proud, and real.

"I look forward to the day when presiding over a historic wedding ceremony like this is just the norm," Latifah told reporters backstage at the awards show. "To me, it was special to all the couples we married today and I look forward to dashing off to go sign their marriage certificates. It's awesome.

"I had to get sworn in as a commissioner for the state of California, so I'm not an ordained minister like I said, but I'm a commissioner," she added. "So you can call me the commish — Queen Commish!"

[Related: Latifah Tears Up at Grammy Wedding]

Latifah's status as a wedding officiate expired at midnight, so if you're hoping to have her at your own ceremony: Sorry.

Some more details: The whole shebang was planned in only two weeks, under NSA-level secrecy. In fact, the participating couples had to sign non-disclosure agreements before they could even learn what their Grammy gig would be.

"They had a hunch," a source close to several of the couples says, "but they didn't even know it involved marriage."

Only after they signed the documents did they learn that they were all swapping vows onstage, and made the proper arrangements. Well, almost all of the arrangements.

"They also couldn't tell anyone about the ceremony before Sunday, not even family," the source says.

"The reason there were 33 couples and not 34 is because one couple talked to a local paper, and sure enough, they were kicked out and excluded."

Instead, the couples got exactly one rehearsal, during which Latifah couldn't even reveal the wording she would use "or else they all would have been legally married right then and there," one of the participants says.

Meanwhile, Christy and Patty Garcia, a couple that sealed the deal last night, tell our pals over at "The Insider With Yahoo" that everyone had to bring their valid marriage licenses to the ceremony.

"Latifah came out right after the awards [and] she signed all the licenses and it was really binding," Patty says. "To have her sign it, it became real."

Jamal Sims and Octavius Terry, who were also part of the Grammy newlywed class, tell "The Insider" that they planned a reception for family and friends after the show. And they wound up with a special guest at their Hollywood Hills home: Latifah.

As Octavius relates: "At the Grammys she said, 'I'll see you later,' and we weren't sure what she meant!" Must have been some party.

And one more thing: In case you're still holding out with the stubborn cynicism of a, well, Yahoo entertainment reporter, cast your lingering doubts aside: I just got off the blower with the Los Angeles County registrar and county clerk, which super-duper, triple confirmed to me that, yep, all of the marriages that you saw last night were the real deal. The certificates were filed with their office.

Got a Burning Question? Tweet it to us @YahooBurningQs.

Leslie Gornstein is an entertainment writer and the host of the weekly Hollywood gossip podcast The Fame Fatale.