Bubba's Wedding Album
Howard Stern doesn't like polish sausage much, but he'll go for a plate of brown rice and a crab cake-style grouper patty.
I know this, because I found myself standing just in front of the King of all Media Saturday night, working the food line at Bubba the Love Sponge's wedding reception. I wasn't really planning on eating anything -- I had gravitated to the line when I saw Stern and his amazingly statuesque girlfriend Beth Ostrosky ambling over. And the King turned out to be a pleasant enough guy to share a food line with, though when I tried to chat him up about the possiblity of a merger between his employer Sirius satellite radio and their rival XM, he insisted he didn't know anything and didn't understand the dynamics at work.
Indeed, navigating Bubba's wedding and reception was a surreal experience. On the one hand, it was as star studded as the Tampa Bay area gets these days, with Stern's sidekicks on hand -- including Artie Lange, Robin Quivers, Gary Dell'Abate, Fred Norris and many others. Wrestling star Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea was also on hand, with daughter/pop star Brooke Hogan. There were even radio industry bigwigs such as Randy Michaels, the former "shock jock" at WFLA-AM in Tampa who masterminded Clear Channel's ascendancy as the largest radio chain in the country (and who bent my ear a bit about the FCC's struggle to sustain the indency fines it has levied against TV networks).
On the other hand, it was a lot like a typical wedding and reception. The couple had their first dance -- "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley -- they posed for the cameras with friends and family; the showed off their children from previous relationships.
Passerby near the Gulfport Casino could hardly believe what they were seeing, crowding around the front door as guests piled out of stretch limousines and luxury cars (an unlucky pair of knuckleheads even got ejected by police for pretending to be invited guests -- considering how loose things seemed to be inside, I was surprised they got caught). I wasn't surprised at the attention; my phone was ringing off the hook in the days after my feature on Bubba was published -- but i had promised Bubba I wouldn't reveal the location of his wedding and reception until after the proceedings were done.
A 10:15 p.m. deadline forced me to leave the reception rather early, but it looked to be a rather sedate affair for a guy known as one of the raunchiest radio talents around. With no strippers or porn stars in obvious view, this was a well-planned, lavish, yet down to earth celebration -- an unexpected turn from a guy whose reputation for debauchery and a party-hard lifestyle is legendary.
The photos featured here are courtesy of Colleen Walsh Photography, a crack company which handled photography for Bubba's wedding and worked hard to get the newspaper images for our story. Unfortunately, i didn't get them sent into the office in time to run with my story today, so the best I could do was post them here. Thanks Colleen...
(click on an image to enlarge)