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Wayne Gretzky’s royal wedding

The Story

It's a love story of royal proportions. Edmontonians have come out in droves to see their favourite hero marry American actress Janet Jones. It is one of the biggest events in the city's history. As seen in this CBC Television footage, well-wishers have lined every inch of the route from the church to the reception. Hockey stars Gordie Howe and Paul Coffey, along with actor Alan Thicke, a longtime friend, provide some of the glitz but much of it comes in the form Gretzky's new bride. Jones looks every inch the Hollywood celebrity in an elaborate wedding dress.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: July 16, 1988
Host: Susan Ormiston
Reporter: Susan Bonner
Duration: 2:25

Did You know?

• Wayne Gretzky first met Janet Jones in 1981 when he was a celebrity judge on a dance contest show called Dance Fever. The 16-year-old Jones was a dancer on the show. But it wasn't until six years later during a chance meeting at a Celtics-Lakers basketball game in Los Angeles that sparks began to fly.

• In 1988, Janet Jones talked candidly to the CBC about being very much in love with Canada's hockey hero, as heard in this Digital Archives clip "Janet Jones loves Gretzky". 

• Janet Jones starred in movies including The Flamingo Kid (1984), A Chorus Line (1985), American Anthem (1986) and Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988). In 1995, Janet Jones-Gretzky appeared in an exercise tape called The Firm: Totally Body - Low Impact Aerobics.

• The other significant blonde in Gretzky's life was Canadian singer Vicky Moss.  They dated from 1980 to 1987 but broke up just prior to Gretzky's chance meeting with Jones.  See the Digital Archives clip "Wayne Gretzky and Vicky Moss appear on Tommy Banks Live".

• The media frenzy surrounding Gretzky's wedding was fanatic. It got so bad that Gretzky held a press conference to set the record straight about rumours of lavish spending. Edmonton newspapers had reported that Gretzky spent $40,000 on the wedding dress and ordered crates of champagne at $3,000 per bottle. But according to Gretzky, the dress had 40,000 sequins and the champagne was free, thanks to a friend.

• During the wedding reception, best man Eddie Mio urged Gretzky's past girlfriends to return keys to Gretzky's apartment. He supposedly had 30 made. One by one all of Gretzky's "ex-girlfriends" obliged. People were laughing as Paul Coffey's mom and the very pregnant wife of one of Gretzky's teammates joined the procession. At last only one key remained unreturned. After some urging, the last key-holder slowly got up and sheepishly dropped it in the basket. It was Gordie Howe.

• Gretzky and his wife, Janet, have five children: Paulina, Ty, Trevor, Tristan and Emma. 


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