Five years ago on Thursday, October 17, lovebirds Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard drove to the Beverly Hills Courthouse in coordinating black outfits to quietly exchange vows. It was a no frills occasion between the celebs, who were focused on the simple message of legally binding their love in marriage.
“We did not want a wedding,” Shepard tells The Knot exclusively of their nontraditional approach. “We spent a hundred bucks at the courthouse. The last thing we wanted to do was take something and add stress—Who’s invited? What’s for dinner?—since we’d rather buy a family member a house.”
“The total was $147 and I believe that included the gas in the car and the playlist,” Bell adds. “He bought all of my favorite songs from high school on to play in the car on the way there and those $1.99 single tracks, the total for the day was $147.”
Despite their intimate approach to their wedding, Bell and Shepard still remain occasional wedding guests, which is an experience the Veronica Mars actress appreciates.
“I enjoy watching the vows,” Bell muses. “I’m still taken with public promises. We’ve been to a few weddings of friends who’ve wanted a big ceremony, and their vows have been breathtaking to witness—the public promise of marriage to one another. Even when I don’t know a couple that well, it’s still somehow moving.”
Her husbands jokes, “No, I don’t like weddings.”
The couple likes, however, using their personal platforms to help others. The spouses, parents of two and now business partners even launched their new baby-care line Hello Bello last month with the general public in mind.
“We weren’t just dying to create a baby line or business,” Bell explains. “We were dying to have our friends and family living in the midwest have accessibility to quality baby products that we have out here in L.A. boutiques. Being an ambassador for Baby 2 Baby, No Kid Hungry and the Alliance of Moms, I’m very familiar with how families struggle and the statistics.”
“Making sure families didn’t have to choose between babies and their budgets was…” Bell trails as her husband chimes in, “…the singular goal of the company.”
Therefore, if the two were to have a wedding registry today, it would be charity-focused and more practical. “I would absolutely divert—as we do for our birthdays and Christmas presents to each other—it to somebody who actually needs it,” Bell speculates of what she would request today. “I would create a registry [that includes] Donors Choose, which is a website where you’re allowed to see a list of what teachers need in the United States and you can see what they’re buying on their own dime.” (Of course, you can help give back to your favorite charity through The Knot Registry with our Gifts Back option.)
“On my social pages, I’m doing Featured Teacher Friday, where I’m getting the stories of different teachers throughout the United States and getting a wish list together on Amazon,” Bell explains. “Every Friday, the incredibly generous people who follow me are able to buy a couple Harry Potter books or bean bag chairs for classrooms. It’s been so successful. Diverting a page to No Kid Hungry. Meeting the needs of someone else would be important to me.”
For a newlywed nest, Bell has a few suggestions as she’s approaching six years of marriage. “If we weren’t overpaid actors, I’m a very practical person,” she notes. “I would say, practically, I would want to register for anything that caught my eye because I am especially susceptible to impulse buying. I would make a list ahead of time and pick the 25 most practical items that I needed like pans or light bulbs. I know it’s not sexy to put light bulbs on your registry, but you need light bulbs!”
Shepard chimes in, “I would register for a Chevrolet performance engine. There’s a couple of supercharged LS9s that I want.”
“I think it means cars,” Bell says. Indeed, an LS9 is a small-block engine that’s used in General Motors cars. The couple now shares two young daughters, Lincoln and Delta.
Want to give back too? Start through The Knot Gifts Back here.