The Back Story: Mariska Hargitay & Peter Hermann

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Photo: Lara Porzak

The Back Story: Mariska Hargitay & Peter Hermann

01 of 07

The Couple

hargitay & hermann
Lara Porzak

Mariska Hargitay, star of Law amp Order: Special Victims Unit, and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, who has a recurring role on the show, first met on the set in November 2001. To break the ice Hargitay tried making a joke, but "he didn't think I was funny," she says with a laugh. Things went slightly better several months later, when the two became engrossed in a discussion about religion, which culminated in Hermann's suggesting they attend church together. "I just about passed out when I saw him there," says Hargitay. "I thought, That's my husband."

02 of 07

The Transportation

jaguar
Lara Porzak

The bride and her father rode to the ceremony in an antique Jaguar.

03 of 07

The Ceremony

vows
Lara Porzak

Hermann popped the question in 2004 with a weathered platinum band set with nine round diamonds, designed by N.Y.C. jeweler Karen Karch for Push. The style symbolizes the idea that even though the couple will encounter rough patches, there is always a happy moment up ahead. They solidified that notion at the Unitarian Historical Chapel in Santa Barbara, where the pair wed on August 28, 2004, in front of 200 guests. Says Hermann, "I recited my vows so loudly you could have heard them in Oregon. But Mariska's were quiet and small."

04 of 07

The Guest List

meloni
Lara Porzak

Hargitay with Law & Order: SVU co-star Christopher Meloni.

05 of 07

The Details

locket
Lara Porzak

A locket with photos of the bride's grandmother and mother, actress Jayne Mansfield.

06 of 07

Peter Hermann & Mariska Hargitay

Peter Hermann & Mariska Hargitay
Lara Porzak

Very Different Cakes in L.A. created the couple's ornate confection. A bright orange, magenta and green color palette set a festive tone.

07 of 07

The Decor

decor
Lara Porzak

The couple walked under an arbor decorated with votive candles and hurricane lamps filled with dahlias, chocolate-colored cosmos and hydrangea. The newlyweds strolled hand-in-hand towards a pond edged in rose petals.

Couple update! The pair have recently adopted a son and daughter in 2011, giving 5-year-old son August official big-brother status.

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