After years of speculation, singer Beyoncé Knowles wed her longtime boyfriend, rapper Jay-Z, on Friday, a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE.

Though there is no official confirmation, the friend says, “It happened earlier this evening. Jay wanted it to be a really private affair – close friends and family.”

The ceremony was followed by a lavish party at the rapper’s Tribeca apartment that drew Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles, her father/manager Mathew, her sister Solange, her Destiny’s Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and the couple’s friend Gwyneth Paltrow.

The wedding buzz began when the couple went to get a marriage license at a village hall in Scarsdale, N.Y., on Tuesday.

DJ Cassidy, a favorite of Jay-Z, was hired to spin. “Cassidy mentioned a week ago that he was really excited for the Jay Z and Beyoncé’s wedding party to happen,” says another source.

Early Friday morning, workers erected a white tent atop the building in Tribeca, where Jay-Z owns a penthouse apartment. Not long after, an SUV carrying what seemed to be AV equipment arrived, followed by deliveries of party rentals and flowers.

A source tells PEOPLE that Amy’s Orchids was hired to provide 50,000 to 60,000 white orchid blooms from Thailand for a “big party.” At the apartment, waiters were seen practicing their service.

 

A couple since 2002, Jay-Z, 38, and Knowles, 26, always kept quiet about their relationship, even as they were photographed together on romantic holidays around the world.

Still, marriage seemed to be in the cards – eventually. “I never pictured myself as a bride,” she told Cosmopolitan in January 2006, “but after my sister’s wedding, I did start thinking about what kind of wedding I’d want. I don’t think I want a big one.”

source: people.com 

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