clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How Not to Keep a Wedding Low Key: Publish It in Vanity Fair

Photo by Christopher Oth
Photo by Christopher Oth

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Obviously you know whose wedding we're talking about. It's the wedding that won't go away. The over-the-top Big Sur redwoods nuptials of Sean Parker and Alexandra Lenas. The one Parker told us and so many others they wanted to keep low key all along. In response to this post, for which we had requested a comment from Parker but didn't receive before publication, he wrote the following while on his honeymoon:

There are two photos attached. You may have seen these photos already. They put in perspective the amount of dressing of the forest that we actually did. They have not be subjected to garish filters and image manipulation that the Gawker image was. You will see that the "altar" area was the only part of the redwood trees that was adorned with flowers. We did this, obviously, to create an "altar" like setting without actually building a physical altar or putting anything in front of the old growth tree which would block the view of that tree. Since we didn't want to build a traditional altar, we needed to figure out some way to set apart the alter from the rest of the forest. That's why the bottom of the tree was wreathed in flowers. But you'll note that as you pull back from the perspective of that photo you realize that the floral touches were limited to that one small area.. They didn't go crawling up the trunk of the tree at the Gawker photo suggests. These were massive trees, so the flowers are dwarfed by the size and scale of the trees. It's all relative. In the background you will note that there are Celtic arches adorned with flowers (these were based on drawings we did in partnership with the wood craftsmen and designers inspired by early celtic symbology), and to the right of the tree there is a celtic cross, but these aren't that prominent or visible to the audience as they're set somewhat behind the large redwood tree. That photo that Gawker posted looks atrociously bad and I suspect it was selected for that reason and that reason alone. Out of the entire wedding site, this one particular area was the most densely embellished with flowers so it's easy to pick on, but it's not really representative of the whole wedding experience.

He went on to explain he was only willing to send these two photo because: "... our goal from the outset was to keep the wedding a personal, private, and intimate as possible, (and) running a bunch of photos just exacerbates an already out of control situation."

Yet today, Vanity Fair has a 32-image gallery of the wedding. Yet Sting performed at the wedding, yet Lord of the Rings costume designer Ngila Dickson created outfits for all 364 guests, yet dining chairs were covered with fur, yet a bed covered with a bear pelt sat in the middle of the reception. Yet a national magazine reporter was invited to cover the wedding.


Photo by Christopher Oth

If a lavish wedding with Olivia Munn and bunnies and leather-bound stories of your relationship is your dream, wonderful! But don't balk when media outlets want to cover the event, and they don't spin it as low key. Check out the Vanity Fair gallery for all the medieval madness.
· How a Silicon Valley Billionaire Gets Married [Racked SF]
· How a Silicon Valley Billionaire Decorates a Wedding [Racked SF]
· Forget the Environment; The Costumes! [Racked SF]