The Irresistible Spectatorship of Sofia Richie’s Wedding

Richie's recent nuptials completely took over the internet. But why?

Sofia Richie is newly married! Have you heard? Just kidding — of course you have. In fact, you probably know more about it than you thought you needed to.

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Whether you sought it out or not, over the past few days, your social media feed was likely inundated with what has been appropriately deemed 2023’s “royal wedding.” At a multi-day event in the South of France, 24-year-old Sofia Richie (daughter of Lionel Richie) married music exec Elliot Grainge (son of Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Graing). It was a celebration of over-the-top opulence, as one might expect from the children of the rich and famous.

With a splashy Vogue feature and over 133 million views on TikTok, the event quickly morphed into a viral viewing party, met with internet-wide gawking and critical commentary. During a time when “quiet luxury” is top of mind, this sheer display of chic excess served the exact opposite energy. Nothing about it was under-the-radar or pared down, and that’s what made it so watchable.

The guest list? Hollywood royalty like Paris Hilton, Cameron Diaz, and Nicole Richie. The venue? The five-star Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes (where one of the “cheaper” rooms reportedly goes for USD $2,300 a night) that the newlyweds rented out in its entirety. The wedding dress? A rotation of three custom Chanel dresses, inspired by the house’s iconic archives. With each new detail revealed, the world could not seem to look away. And it’s not hard to see why.

These days, we’re increasingly in an era of toned-down accessorizing, indiscernible designer clothes and muted minimalist aesthetics. The trending ethos behind “recession core” is about hiding signs of money during a time when many are struggling financially. Conversely, this highly publicized, luxurious fête was served up to the world on a silver platter, and there’s something oddly refreshing about that.

Let’s revisit the situational buzzword: royal weddings. We are a culture obsessed with them because they offer a glimpse into an indulgent, seemingly perfect lifestyle that is completely unattainable — and not even real for those living in it. As such, one of the most alluring things about royal weddings is the mystique; the separation. Sure, there are swirling rumours and leaked insider tips. But the world witnesses the nuptials as the final performance of a meticulously choreographed production. With all the same extravagance, the Sofia Richie wedding eschewed this formula. Despite being distinctly out of reach for the everyday person, it felt oddly accessible. For that, we have TikTok to thank.

The 24-four-year-old bride — now formally Sofia Richie Grainge — debuted her account in the days leading up to tying the knot. A series of GRWM (“get ready with me”) videos show her in a cozy white robe — shiny slicked-back hair; impeccably dewy skin — as she does her makeup. When dressing for various wedding-related events, she confers with her virtual audience about sunglasses options and last-minute hair styling changes in real time. She even posted a behind-the-scenes look at the actual wedding with a day-in-the-life style vlog. In the midst of the affair’s undeniable opulence, this side of things made it all feel very…chill. Almost as if the fairytale was not painstakingly pre-planned, but actually au naturel.

Then there are her outfits, which offered an expensive and elegant “old money” vibe. Case in point: The aforementioned trio of Chanel pieces comprised a hand-beaded number for the rehearsal dinner, a lace-embroidered halter gown for the ceremony, and for the after-party, a recreation of a Chanel Fall 1993 mini-dress.

In the days surrounding the official wedding festivities, Richie sported a fringed look from Khaite, a striped maxi from Proenza Schouler, and a pristine two-piece set from Australian label Posse. This rotation of luxurious vacation wear has even prompted speculations of a “shift in how celebrities dress,” leading to more modest, refined pieces that fit this moneyed aesthetic.

Publicized destination celebrity weddings are nothing new (just ask Kourtney Kardashian). But with outfit confessionals, behind-the-scenes details, and an overall air of being casual while completely blowing up the internet, Richie’s wedding has elevated her to “It” girl status, or at the very least, the world’s new favourite nepo baby. Above all, the internet-breaking hype surrounding her weekend in France marks an unprecedented level of access to celebrity weddings.

Which star will tie the knot next and be elevated to Richie’s new status? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: the world will be expecting a front row ticket.