On the golf course during the 2001 British Open was probably the last place Tiger Woods, 28, expected to meet his future wife, Elin Nordegren, 24. The thunderbolt struck when fellow golfer Jesper Parnevik introduced Woods to Nordegren, who was then working as the Parneviks' nanny. If his scores are any indication, Woods was more than a little distracted by the stunning Swedish former model. He lost the tournament but soon won her heart. And on a South African safari two years later, Woods proposed to Nordegren during a sunset stroll around the Shamwari Game Reserve. They were married October 5, 2004 in front of about 200 guests at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados. "Our families and friends are always going in different directions, so it's hard to get them all together," Tiger said after the wedding. "We were able to do that for this occasion—which made it even more special for all of us. We had a great time."
Dressed in a Vera Wang gown, Nordegren took in the views of the Tom Fazio-designed Country Club golf course before the ceremony. At dusk the duo exchanged vows in a white-netted pagoda adorned with sprays of lilies. The groom also had hundreds of red roses flown in specially for the occasion. Friends and family who gathered couldn't fail to catch the significance (not to mention the beauty) of the setting, with the Caribbean sparkling just beyond the rolling green hills.
The couple rented out the entire Sandy Lane resort in Barbados for their big day. As twilight deepened into night, sports superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley as well as other guests dined on flying fish, macaroni pie and a four-tier wedding cake, and danced to music performed by Hootie & the Blowfish. Leave it to Woods to plan a spectacular finish: Before the festivities wound down, revelers were treated to a display of fireworks that lit up the skies along the island's west coast.
The day after the ceremony, the newlyweds boarded Woods's mega-yacht Privacy for a Caribbean cruise honeymoon. The 155-foot luxury boat was reportedly a gift from Woods to his wife. "I'm having so much fun on my honeymoon, I don't know if I'll be back or not," he told reporters during a 30-minute conference call. "It's so nice to be on the boat. We're diving every day, being by ourselves, away from everybody. It's a lot of fun."