When the hubby-to-be is a billionaire -- yes, with a b -- his bride-to-be can surely have anything she wants. Absolutely anything. So why bother registering for wedding gifts?
Paula Fortunato, a third-grade teacher at a public school -- yes, public -- in Manhattan, is about to become the second Mrs. Sumner Redstone, the outrageously wealthy boss of Viacom Inc., owner of Paramount Pictures, CBS Television, MTV, Nickelodeon and on and on.
Redstone, 79, can afford to buy anything his 41-year-old fiancee wants, before and after their April 6 nuptials in New York, and his spokesman says he has told friends he wants no gifts. But just in case a guest wants to get the newlyweds a little something, Fortunato's sister registered the couple, with their knowledge, at two upscale department stores, Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus.
Bloomie's didn't return phone calls, but a Neiman Marcus spokesman said the betrothed can choose to make their online registry public or "password-protected," which would make it private.
Fortunato and Redstone's wish lists are public, very public. Viewable at WeddingChannel .com and both store's Web sites, they run from the very basic to the finest, from a $7 salad server set, $12 coffee mugs and $12.50 wine glasses, to a $1,500 Steuben bowl, an $1,175 Moser vase and other items quite out of the price range of most underpaid elementary school teachers.
Is this gift-grubbing?
Not at all, says Millie Martini Bratten, editor of Bride's magazine. "Particularly if you are in an economic bracket that is unfamiliar" -- to most of mankind -- "people want to know what they can get for you. It gives them a place to start."
Besides, there's that new $15-million Beverly Hills-area home to set up. Redstone recently purchased the house from Sylvester Stallone, who bought it as a place for his relatives to stay, and who lives next door.