RUSSELL CROWE' S WEDDING VOW TO NEW BRIDE: MY FAMILY WILL COME FIRST

Published on: April 10, 2003

Oscar-winner Russell Crowe gave his new bride Danielle Spencer the best wedding present she could have asked for: The hard-living ladies' man vowed to start a family immediately and make it his No. 1 priority.

"Russell' s pledge made Danielle the happiest bride in the world," a close friend declared.

"It meant more to her than all the other presents combined."

Those presents included a $100,000 diamond engagement ring, a $100,000 Giorgio Armani wedding gown and a lavish million-dollar wedding celebration.

"It was Russell' s vow just days before the nuptials that made all the celebration around the wedding that much more special," said the friend.

"Danielle was overcome with emotion as Russell told her that her happiness and having children were the most important things in the world to him.

"He said, ' I' m not about to chuck my movie and music careers. But I' m going to be a lot more choosey about what I do, and my family life will dictate my decisions.' "

Russell and Danielle, 32, who met 13 years ago, wed before about 85 close friends and family members at Russell' s custom-designed domed wedding chapel on his ranch in the town of Nana Glen in Australia on April 7 -- his 39th birthday.

And Russell -- who shaved his customary stubble -- spared no expense for the 3-day celebration at his 560-acre ranch.

Among the outlays: $250,000 to build the wedding chapel, $187,000 on Armani suits and gowns for the 25-member wedding party, $100,000 on food and $100,000 on booze.

He also spent $100,000 on music, flying in a symphony orchestra from Sydney, plus $50,000 on security, $40,000 on hotels and $40,000 on airline tickets. With additional expenses, the wedding totaled a whopping $1,367,000!

During the 20-minute ceremony, officiated by Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins, the couple exchanged gold wedding bands they chose during a visit to jeweler Cartier in Paris.

In the only departure from the customary service, each of the four parents read from a traditional Apache wedding prayer.

Russell' s father read: "Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other."

And Danielle' s dad read: "Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other."

Before the ceremony, the festivities had begun with a cricket match on April 5.

The next night, Danielle entertained the female guests with a banquet at a nearby restaurant. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Russell and the male guests had what was for Russell a low-key party, "drinking beer and talking about sports and women," said a source in Australia.

"He' s a changed man -- and Danielle' s responsible!"