A soap opera wedding in Vegas, minus the drama

When you stop and think about it, Las Vegas and daytime soaps actually have a lot in common — just in frequency of weddings alone. Over the past year, viewers of the CBS daytime drama “The Young and the Restless” have witnessed the marriages of Victor and Sabrina, Jeffrey and Gloria, Cane and Chloe, Billy and Chloe, Cane and Lilly, Roger and Esther, Murphy and Katherine, Victor and Ashley, and so on …

The ceremony

Y&R veteran stars Tracey E. Bregman and Christian LeBlanc witness the wedding of Charlene Lee and Willie Williams. Photos by Aleza Freeman

So it’s only fitting that today one of the fictional Genoa City’s more stable married couples, Michael and Lauren Baldwin (actors Christian LeBlanc and Tracey E. Bregman), witnessed a Vegas wedding.

This was not just any wedding, of course. This was “The Young and the Restless” Wedding of a Lifetime at the Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. And the newlyweds, Charlene Lee and Willie Williams of Bronx, New York, were selected from a pool of 2,600 applicants in a contest sponsored by Sony Pictures Television, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and MGM Grand.

Lee and Williams were wed outdoors in a shaded area, decorated with sunflowers, near the Signature pool. Musicians from Cirque du Soleil’s “O” accompanied the bride and groom, the bridal party and the veteran soap stars as they walked down the aisle.

The bride is practically a lifelong fan of “Y&R,” having watched the show since she was in elementary school. She said she was thrilled to meet LeBlanc and Bregman, and didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with soap stars on her wedding day.


Lee and Williams in their first moments as a married couple.

“I don’t need all the attention,” she said immediately following the ceremony as she reached out to hold her new husband’s hand. “This is it. This is forever.”

In addition to having the actors as witnesses, the couple also received a wedding package that included roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas, a photography package, dinner for six at Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, wedding attire, wedding bands, custom hair and make-up from Cristophe Salon at MGM Grand and tickets to “O” at Bellagio.

Like the bride and groom, LeBlanc and Bregman were all smiles before, during and after the wedding (apart from a few tears shed during a few of the more moving moments). LeBlanc even took some of his own photos, which he posted on his twitter page, @cjleblanc, (where he also accidentally broke the news earlier this month that his “Y&R” co-stars Amelia Heinle and Thad Luckinbill — who are married both on and off the show — are expecting their second child).

Wedding cake

The wedding cake was made by MGM Grand's pastry team.

To dispel the rumor that soap stars don’t sweat, Bregman admitted she wasn’t immune to the summer heat in Las Vegas (although it certainly didn’t show). She and LeBlanc also confessed they were looking forward to eating some of the wedding cake.

Bregman scanned the photos of the Vegas wedding on LeBlanc’s camera and the two agreed that Lee and Williams were “a lovely couple” who deserve a lifetime of happiness.

“Where else can a young couple from the Bronx be married … with two soap actors as their witnesses?” asked LeBlanc. “It’s a weird confluence of magic that can only happen in Vegas.”

As for their own harmonious television marriage, the two agreed that it’s time for some shaking up.

“We’re hopeful,” said Bregman.

“It’s fun being the loving couple,” added LeBlanc. “But come fall, we’re hoping for some drama.”