Pulse: People: Meet the New Mrs. Snider

Ed’s bride dishes on her wedding, her jewelry line, and — ready for this? — her ties to Michael Jackson

“You know, when you meet someone, it’s always when you least expect it,” says Christine Decroix Snider, the tall, elegant blonde from California who so enchanted Flyers/Sixers honcho Ed Snider that he married her six months after they first were seated next to each other at a June ’04 party. “We met at a friend’s house in California for dinner,” explains Decroix Snider, who was born in Belgium, and speaks with a Deneuve-esque French accent. She adds, “I wanted to cancel that night, but I said to myself, ‘Make an effort!’ And there he was.”  

In a private-jets-and-yachts tale that evokes Sidney Sheldon circa 1974, Decroix and Snider wed November 27th at Snider’s Montecito estate (next door to Oprah’s), with Sixers president Billy King and Snider’s number two, Peter Luukko, among the 180 guests. “It was just beautiful, with a lot of flowers,” says the bride, who was preparing to go out for her husband’s 72nd birthday lunch as we spoke. “Very intense, a lot of emotion, but not a big production.” The couple then floated around the Caribbean on a yacht for their honeymoon. “We pretty much sailed all the time,” says Decroix Snider. “We went from St. Maarten to St. Barths to St. Kitts, no makeup, no fancy clothes — we didn’t party, we just sailed and were together.”

But after Montecito and St. Barths, there’s … Philly. So far, Decroix Snider, 48, a jewelry designer, says, “I just love Philadelphia — it’s like Belgium, the people are down-to-earth, it’s more cultural.” She accompanied her husband to his son Sam’s October bar mitzvah at the Philly Westin, and in November the two went to a fund-raiser at the home of Dorothy and David Binswanger, the real estate executive. “Christine’s a very nice person,” says Billy King. “They make a great couple.” Decroix Snider now attends every Sixers game when the couple is in town — “I love the basketball, we win one game after another lately!” she says loyally — where Snider-watchers like her casual, jeans-clad vibe. “Very pretty — she looks a lot younger than 48,” says one. “Christine looks just like Ed’s former fiancée, Roseanne [Martin]!” She adds that the new bride’s diamond is appropriately “huge.”

“When someone tells me they don’t like jewelry, I wonder,” Decroix Snider says with a laugh. “Every woman on earth loves jewelry!” Her own designs include some in 18-karat gold and precious and ­semiprecious stones, and another, less expensive line of faux mega-rocks. “It’s a collection in silver and cubic zirconia,” she says. “I have it at a counter at [hair salon] Christophe in Beverly Hills, it sells like crazy.”

Decroix Snider was a singer with the Belgian girl-pop group the Lovelettes in the 1970s. (“That was 30 years ago, darling,” she says with a laugh.) She became friendly with Quincy Jones while living in Los Angeles, and, amazingly, translated Michael Jackson’s 1987 song “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” into French (“Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin de Nous”). “He’s a great person, a person people should meet before they talk about him,” she says of Jackson, who did not attend her recent wedding.

“I will be spending a lot of time in Philadelphia,” promises Decroix Snider. Meanwhile, Snider’s ex, Bliss restaurant owner Martin, has relocated her own chic blonde self up to New York City, where she is ensconced in Trump Tower. Jackie Collins couldn’t have wrapped it up any better.