Vogue Weddings Are Back and They Are Delicious
Suspend your distrust of capitalism, and enter this world of highly prescribed elegance.
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Remember how at the beginning of the pandemic, the media was like, Celebrities are odiously oblivious to their privilege and excess! While retail employees suffer, they’re quarantining in mansions! With POOLS! “Imagine” viral video architect Gal Gadot is perhaps single-handedly responsible for this obvious narrative gaining traction in the think piece column space of the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. The ensuing cultural era brought unusual scrutiny to the lives of the famous and rich, who didn’t seem to so much endure the horrors of COVID-19 as much as simply wait for it to be less gross to be so blatantly lucky / rich / glamorous on Instagram again. Awkward! Also awkward for the media outlets that shamelessly chased clicks by documenting these people’s every banal move, from walking to their cars to breathing.
Unfortunately, one of the internet’s most vital content verticals felt a real sting from the wealthy retreating into their comfortable home lives like Homer Simpson walking backwards into a bush: Vogue Weddings. Here, we might momentarily forget about things like the baked-in unfairness of capitalism and the unattainable American dream as we gawk at the beautiful and privileged indulging in romance, happiness, grooming, and spending money. And I’m pleased to report that at this stage of COVID, with people doing wild pre-pandemic stuff like undertaking air travel without face masks, the Vogue Weddings vertical is now back to peak ostentation. I can’t look away.
Vogue Weddings is not just about the Haves and the Have Nots, but something more specific — the Vogues and the Vogue Nots. Here, taste arbitrating flourishes without trying to disguise itself as something else. The point is to delineate those among mere mortals worthy of having the most important parties of their lives featured in Vogue. The bride is the main subject, her taste exploited for our collective awe and judgment. (I would really like the grooms to be interviewed for these stories. What would they say? “I wanted to do Paperless Post, but my wife told me Vogue can’t photograph that.”) And the bride always wants to make the event unique, even though — let’s be honest — a wedding that’s eligible to be featured in Vogue can only ever be so unique.
So, who are the Chosen Ones? There seems to be a pent-up flood of slideshows lately and as a millennial raised on Disney Princess propaganda, I’m not complaining. The Vogue Weddings section has long been the place where celebrities and socialites seem perfectly comfortable with oversharing, which explains the deliciously sizable photo dump of each event. Devoted Vogue Weddings readers know to take careful note of each and every caption, even if a wedding story goes 40 to 100 (yes) photos deep. For it is here, in small type, where some of the most crucial information is buried. Let’s peruse a few recent standouts.
Celebrity fashion darling Chloë Sevigny’s wedding was held after a two-year postponement in her hometown of Darien, Connecticut.
What made it unique? Despite not seeming a very “Connecticut” sort of person, she always wanted a Connecticut wedding. But in an “I left Connecticut and now I’m going to fuck it up” kind of way. (Vogue called it “elegant emo.”) She always knew she wanted to have her reception at a certain park: “I hung out there as a kid, doing acid and being a wild child.”
How about the clothes? She hired her usual stylist Haley Wollens to dress her: “She was like, ‘Yes, but I have to do the whole thing. Bridesmaids, everything.’ It was so much work.” (Vogue added, “For shoes, they pulled a million Manolos.”) Her dress was by buzzy Diesel designer Glenn Martens:
“Serendipitously, he was doing Gaultier Couture this season, so we were like ‘Wow, maybe there’s going to be something there,” Chloë says. They fell in love with Look 8, a sheer ruffled number. “It was a godsend that they were willing to make me the dress.”
OK, how about an overshare? Sevigny, recalling early passionate days with her groom: “That was the night Vanja was conceived.”
Hit me with something from the captions because I’m not reading all 44. Forty-four is nothing. But here you go:
“One of my bridesmaids Lizzie Bugatos designed the swan ice sculpture with chains attached that was symbolic of our love,” the bride [Sevigny] explains.
Captions also reveal that one of Sevigny’s 130 guests was Purple magazine editor Olivier Zahm; that one of the bridesmaids was Natasha Lyonne; and that the “sculptural cake by Aimee France, aka Yungkombucha, was reminiscent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
Next, I present Alexandra Kyle, who got married in France near Monet’s house.
Wait, who? Kyle is an actress and writer who probably needs ad blocker: “Instagram and Pinterest figured out pretty quickly that I was planning a wedding, and I couldn’t go online without being overwhelmed by ads and wedding photos.”
What made her wedding unique? Kyle got married in Giverny, France, where you’ll find Claude Monet’s house. She found her own personal lily pad in this proverbial pond in the form of a venue originally built in the thirteenth century that looks, in the very best way, like a dwelling for gnomes. After the ceremony, she and her husband went to Monet’s to take photos. She told Vogue, “It was fun having our wedding photos somewhere we’d never been before; you really see our reactions to the art and space, entering our new chapter together with wonder and awe.” But later, in caption 31 of 65, in which she and her husband appear to be Monet’s dining room, she said: “Did I like it here? Can’t remember.” (Look, ginning up captions for 65 photos is a boring and thankless task.)
What other gems can you find for me in those captions? Well, Kyle’s husband, TV and film producer Jon Cohen, sounds like a good man — one who actually, like, helped with with stuff:
Inspired by the colors of Monet’s house, I found vintage Oscar de la Renta fabric to use as custom dinner napkins, which also served as ideal place settings. Jacob and I spent a year crafting them together. He cut the fabric into perfect squares and hemmed the edges, and I taught myself embroidery so that I could hand-stitch each one of our 80 guests’ names on them.
Third, let’s look at Elizabeth Roseberry. Vogue didn’t put her name in the headline but if it sounds familiar that’s because she’s the sister of Schiaparelli designer Daniel Roseberry.
What made this one unique? If you were wondering what it takes to be featured in Vogue Weddings as a freelance graphic designer marrying a software engineer, it appears that being the sister of one of the world’s buzziest couturiers will do it. Liz had posted some adorable, widely viewed TikToks about her brother making her dress, and Vogue swept in to deliver exclusive reporting on the Austin, Texas event.
OK, that’s honestly so sweet. Tell me more about this dress. Liz explained:
“Dan and I grew up on Audrey Hepburn movies and simultaneously thought of her wedding dress in Funny Face! During this stage Dan showed me some embroidery examples from the iconic skeleton dress and I told him, ‘Dan, I want you to know I would be so down to rock a skeleton wedding dress,’ and then the ideas really started flowing.”
He also surprised her with some awesome Schiaparelli toe shoes.
Now that you’re warmed up, let’s get into a couple of mega weddings. Starting with famous Hollywood agent and Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel and Sarah Staudinger’s in St. Tropez, a three-day blowout disguised as a casual, “no biggie” reason to stay in France a few days after the Cannes Film Festival.
Awesome, this sounds spendy. Tell me about day one. The first day was “a recreation of the couple’s first date” at the restaurant Senequier in St. Tropez, where the bride’s dad lives. “It couldn’t have been more iconic,” said Staudinger, the glamorous woman behind the fashion label Staud. Staud dresses were a feature of each wedding event and I say more power to her. (Hate the game, not the player, and all that.)
Maybe I should read all 86 captions. Definitely. In the first, Staudinger said, “We watched our friends arrive in the marina for our first dinner of the weekend. It brought back so many memories.” Like, memories of her and her man traveling places by boat? The way they do with Elon Musk, whom Ari personally recently hosed off on the back deck?
Don’t spoil this with reminders of a shirtless Elon Musk. How about day two? Staudinger and Emmanuel arrived to Gigi’s Beach Club “by Mini Moke — our favorite way to travel in Saint-Tropez.” (A Mini Moke is a smallish squat car, sort of like if a Jeep had corgi proportions.) Her clothes for this pool party alone required two fittings and a special trip:
For this event, Staud looked to Alaïa to make a statement. She went to Paris to meet with the brand, where they brought out a roll of lace fabric in the perfect shade of ivory. They ultimately used it to make a two-piece ensemble.
The pool party itself was a vision of Vogue-approved hedonism. Emily Ratajkowski reclining on poolside upholstered furniture in a floor-length lace dress. Leopard swimwear. Fringed umbrellas. Focaccia that Staudinger decided to have festooned with custom olive-and-tomato “floral decorations.”
I’m guessing Vogue didn’t report who ate the focaccia, so tell me about the wedding itself. The third day was the wedding. Staudinger, being terribly cool, did — to incredible effect — the whole minimalist “I’m so effortless” bride thing that actually requires enormous effort. Like, maybe this is just an average day of clothes for her, but she started her morning in, Vogue reported, “a Chanel tuxedo dress and shorts paired with Havianas, then changed into a cream La Perla slip and robe to get ready, before putting on her wedding dress.” Her simple ceremony look included diamond stud earrings made custom for that day. She carried just a small bouquet of only white flowers: “The genius Thierry Boutemy made six different bouquets for me to choose from. We both agreed that without question, Lily of the Valley was the way to go.” And she wore, of course, custom Staud, a minimalist, sexy drop waist, low back, spaghetti strap affair.
What was supposed to be unique about this one, in addition to her earrings? Well the location, for one:
“We didn’t want to do it at a chateau,” [Staudinger] says. “We didn’t want to be so wedding-y.” They eventually found their location—a private residence at L’Estagnet—through people they knew on the ground.
It was here where her groom wore sneakers and Larry David married them. The “no dress code dress code” — which you know actually stressed everyone out — meant some guests arrived in naked dresses and others in gowns, while many of the men didn’t seem to bother with ties.
And there’s no way the bride didn’t change at least once. Correct. When it came time to cut the cake and party, the bride changed into a custom beaded dress with a line drawing of her and her man on it along with “Staud <3 Ari.” A birthday cake with blue frosting ended up in a guest's face. And a four-foot disco ball dangled low enough over a pool that guests could fondle it. (Staudinger: “We didn't know it would turn into a pool party, but we're thankful it did.”) Guests were also invited to draw and write all over her wedding gown, which I guess makes about as much sense as storing it away for no reason.
As if that wedding could be topped, Vogue soon after followed it up with 98 (!) photos from Sophia Bush’s wedding, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
…Tulsa? You see, Bush isn’t just an actress:
“When I thought about that spotlight, my activist brain turned on,” Sophia says. “Global attention is a hell of a platform, and as someone who doesn’t love attention but does love collective activism, I knew that this could be an incredible moment to spin the privilege of attention. And so I looked at [my fiancé] Grant and said, ‘Honey. I think we should get married in Tulsa.’ He blinked. ‘Oklahoma?’ he asked. ‘Yup. Imagine what we could do if we turned our wedding into an event to showcase Tulsa: the Greenwood leaders we work with. The cultural renaissance happening there. Tech. Philanthropy. Civil rights justice. The art. The leadership. We could focus all of this attention and turn the spotlight on them.’”
Her groom, Grant Hughes, whom Vogue describes as an “entrepreneur and real estate investor” is from Oklahoma, and the two spent a lot of the pandemic in Tulsa.
Just to be clear, this is the same Oklahoma with the strictest abortion ban in the country. Yup.
So what made it Vogue? There was her floral wedding dress — custom-made (obviously) by Monique Lhuillier — which was lovely. And the pre-wedding dinner, held in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. And the wedding location, the Philbrook Museum of Art. Bush and Hughes did their first look beneath the piece untitled (a flag for John Lewis or a green screen placeholder for an America that is yet to be). Bush said:
“Real love and justice are deeply intertwined. And at the heart of both? Community. Our wedding is a love letter for us but also to our community and this larger community of Tulsa. This is the energy we wish to be intentional about, together.”
I now find myself thinking about Meghan Markle talking to Gloria Steinem about abortion in Vogue. Can you focus? I didn’t even get to the escort cards, each of which “was penned on seeded paper, so guests could take their cards home and plant them to grow some of the flowers seen at the wedding.”
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