In a March 2, 2011 file photo, Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James, center, sits with his girlfriend Savannah Brinson, right, at a new computer during a charity event at the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
by Tim Reynolds
AP Basketball Writer
(AP)- LeBron James wanted his wedding day to be perfect and private.
It appears he got both.
With guests dining on a five-course dinner, prefaced by plenty of appetizers and all done under incredibly tight security, the Miami Heat star married his longtime partner Savannah Brinson on Saturday night at a posh resort in San Diego. Guests had their phones taken away for the ceremony and reception in an effort to ensure that no photos or details leaked out.
“A first-class affair,” said one of the guests, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the couple had yet to reveal any details of the event themselves. “Ceremony was short and sweet.”
Many members of the Heat organization were there, including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, managing general partner Micky Arison and coach Erik Spoelstra. Wade and girlfriend Gabrielle Union posted images of themselves dressed for the occasion on social media, as did Bosh and his wife Adrienne. Some of James’ longtime friends were also in attendance, including his manager Maverick Carter.
“What a wonderful evening!!” Adrienne Bosh wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. James…Thanks for sharing Ur night & love with us”
The ceremony was the obvious highlight of a three-day wedding weekend for the couple, who were high school sweethearts and are the parents of two sons. They were engaged just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012, when James dropped to a knee and surprised his longtime girlfriend by finally popping the question as many of their close friends were gathered around.
James told AP last year that he and Brinson decided not to rush plans for their wedding, especially since last summer was hectic for him basketball-wise — James played for the U.S. in the London Olympics, helping the Americans win a gold medal, and also was involved in the wedding for one of his longtime close friends.
So the date was set for this offseason, and even after a 21-month engagement, very few details leaked out — including why the wedding was taking place in San Diego, especially since the couple still considers Akron, Ohio as home and have essentially been based in Miami for three years now.
Also unclear: If the couple would be using social media to make any statement about the wedding — James has more than 14 million fans on Facebook, and nearly 10 million followers on Twitter.
The measures to ensure privacy were hardly a surprise. In an interview with AP last spring, Brinson acknowledged that she’s leery of media coverage, since she hasn’t always found it to be fair or factual.
“I’ve heard things about me that are bad, where they’ve literally looked up into the sky and said, ‘What can they say about Savannah?,'” Brinson told AP in April. “It’s going to happen.”
Television stations in San Diego showed aerial images of the hotel, including large tents set up for both the reception and to shroud the arrival of guests. In some cases, umbrellas were even used to protect the identity of wedding-arrivers from prying eyes in the sky, and people who tried to gain access to the hotel just to get a better look were quickly ushered away and told only that a private event was taking place.
Even some local vendors in the San Diego area thought they had a role in the wedding — though were not themselves actually sure if that was the case. The Village Mill Bread Company — located about 3 miles from the wedding site — told Fox affiliate KSWB that someone ordered 500 loaves of Brioche from them to be delivered Saturday, but would not confirm that they were heading to the James-Brinson nuptials.
James is a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, and he will be back in Miami later this month to resume preparing for training camp. James is scheduled to address reporters when the Heat hold their annual media day on Sept. 30, and the first practice of the new season is scheduled for Oct. 1.