Jon Bon Jovi's Elopement: Still Married 35 Years Later

Bon Jovi Reflects on Spontaneous Vegas Elopement After 35 Years

by Zain ul Abedin
Jon Bon Jovi's Elopement: Still Married 35 Years Later
© Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Iconic rocker Jon Bon Jovi delves into a reflective journey through his life and enduring legacy in the highly anticipated Hulu docuseries 'Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story,' slated to stream on Friday, April 26th.

As the celebrated frontman of Bon Jovi, the 62-year-old artist revisits a pivotal moment in his personal history - the impromptu elopement with his longtime love, Dorothea Bongiovi, just ahead of their forthcoming wedding anniversary.

Jon and Dorothea exchanged vows in April 1989, a poignant moment occurring five years after Bon Jovi catapulted to stardom with the breakout single "Runaway." Despite the whirlwind success surrounding albums like "Slippery When Wet" and "New Jersey," Jon vividly recalls the spontaneous decision to tie the knot during a tour stop in Los Angeles.

"It was a moment of spontaneity," Jon reminisces. "We were in Los Angeles, the band on the road for the New Jersey tour. I looked out the window, and there was a billboard of us staring back. I turned to my girlfriend, my fiancée at the time, and said, 'Let's go to Vegas, now.'

And off we went." Their Vegas escapade resulted in a swift union, with a taxi driver serving as their witness. However, the news of their elopement reverberated shockwaves through their inner circle, prompting Jon to reflect on societal expectations versus personal fulfillment.

Enduring Love and Philanthropy

"It's a shame because it should have been a beautiful moment," Jon laments. "But afterward, people tried to diminish it. Until I realized, why are we living our lives for anyone else? And 35 years later, we're still married." Their enduring bond has weathered storms and celebrated triumphs, including the joy of raising four children and establishing the JBJ Soul Foundation in 2006, a philanthropic endeavor dedicated to providing housing and meals to those in need.

Throughout Jon's storied career, Dorothea has remained a steadfast source of support, particularly during his recent vocal cord challenges that threatened his musical journey. Undeterred, Jon underwent surgery to address vocal cord issues, emerging with a renewed perspective on life and happiness.

"For me, joy is something you work at," Jon reflects. "It's about embracing the day, not punching it in the face. And that sentiment echoes in my upcoming album, 'Forever'—a reminder of the enduring power of love, loyalty, and the pursuit of genuine happiness."