Look Back at Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s Wedding Day as the Couple Celebrates 16 Years of Marriage

Look Back at Beyoncé and JAY-Z's Wedding Day as the Couple Celebrates 16 Years of Marriage


Sixteen years ago on April 4, music’s power couple said “I do.”

In light of the “Crazy in Love” couple’s wedding anniversary on Thursday, PEOPLE is looking back on Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s luxurious (and secret) wedding.


The date was April 4, 2008 — which the couple chose as a nod to their shared love for the number four — and it was held at JAY-Z’s 13,500-sq.-ft. Manhattan penthouse with only 40 guests in attendance.

“It was a very emotional wedding — lots of crying — and really very spiritual,” a source told PEOPLE at the time of the soirée.

At the time, however, the Lemonade singer, 42, and the 54-year-old rapper’s plan to keep the celebration under wraps hit a small bump on the road when they traveled to Scarsdale, New York, to pick up their marriage license in hopes of flying under the radar.


The stars — who had been dating for six years at that point — were spotted entering the Scarsdale Village Hall and news outlets pieced the celebration together.

But that didn’t stop them.

The fairytale wedding, held inside JAY-Z’s penthouse, was under a large white tent in his living room. By mid-afternoon, candelabras and flowers began showing up on the sidewalk outside his lavish Tribeca spot.

“It looked like a palace,” said florist Amy Vongpitaka at the time, who had 70,000 white dendrobium orchids flown in from Thailand.

“It was a really pure, white wedding,” said a source at the time of the wedding, which was attended by guests including Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: “It was just beautiful. Gorgeous. Opulent.”

The reception carried on until 5 a.m. and neither of them performed, though “everyone danced to a lot of hip-hop and oldies, including Jackson 5 and Whitney Houston,” said another source. There was also a first dance.

Beyoncé and JAY-Z kept the intimate theme alive with no maid of honor and best man. However, they did stick to tradition with the “Love on Top” singer’s gorgeous white gown (chosen by her mom!) and his black tux.

She “looked beautiful,” said a source at the time.

While there wasn’t much in the way of social media at the time, the couple did ask for everyone to surrender their phones for the celebration.

Beyoncé later talked about the marriage for the first time in her December-January 2008 Seventeen cover story.

“I guess probably that we’re all human,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re picture-perfect on every magazine cover, and you’re the most handsome, successful, coolest guy — you still get sad, and you still get your feelings hurt, and you still get confused and vulnerable and nervous and scared. You have to find a person you can make it through the tough times with.”

In 2017, Queen B gave fans an inside look at her wedding and marriage to JAY-Z in the video for “Die with You,” where fans saw the couple making their way down the aisle as guests tossed rose petals at them.

Since the wedding, the couple has gone on tour together, released music and welcomed their three children: 12-year-old daughter Blue Ivy and 6-year-old fraternal twins Rumi and Sir.