This year saw no shortage of A-list nuptials. There was not one, but two royal weddings, both of which felt like a fairytale moment come to life. Just as storybook-worthy were the stars who tied the knot amid a host of over-the-top ceremonies around the world, including 2 Chainz and Kesha Ward’s wedding at the former Versace Mansion and Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s weeklong extravaganza in New Delhi and Jodhpur, India. Others chose more understated affairs, like Emily Ratajkowski, who had a low-key ceremony at City Hall in New York, and Mandy Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow who both hosted weddings in their very own backyards in Pasadena and East Hampton, respectively.
Below, a recap of all the need-to-know celebrity wedding details to take with you into 2019.
WHO: Emily Ratajkowski and Sebastian Bear-McClard
WHERE: New York City Hall
WHEN: February 23, 2018
After just a few weeks of dating, Emily Ratajkowski and filmmaker Sebastian Bear-McClard made it official with a City Hall ceremony in New York. The bride wore an orange Zara pantsuit and a floppy hat with a black netted veil. “I never loved the idea of white for a wedding because I’m not a pure woman,” she later told Vanity Fair. “I’m a woman with a lot of character and experience and life. I also just love the idea of a suit, especially at City Hall, because it’s like you’re taking care of business. I really wanted to wear red actually, initially . . . and then I just love mustard yellow, and I found that suit and just knew that it was the one.”
Nobody—not even EmRata’s 21 million followers—saw it coming, which she explained was precisely the point. “It felt very ‘heist movie,’ because all of my girlfriends were in suits, too, and I wasn’t wearing white, so I kept passing the bouquet of flowers to them, like, ‘Decoy, decoy!’” After exchanging vows, the couple was able to enjoy a few hours of bliss, before Ratajkowski’s publicist texted saying that news of the nuptials was about to break, prompting the social media–savvy model to take to Instagram Stories to tease out the wedding details.
WHO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
WHAT: Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller
WHERE: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
WHEN: May 19, 2018
On May 19, an American actress married the prince of England at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Over 100,000 people took in the festivities in the tiny town of Windsor and an estimated 29.2 million people tuned in from around the world. The royal wedding had all of the pomp and circumstance you’d imagine, plus a few unexpected twists. The bride wore a custom wedding gown designed by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy with a bateau neckline, three-quarter-length sleeves, and noticeably stripped free of embellishments. Her 16-foot-long wedding veil, on the other hand, was decidedly more grand, as it had been hand embroidered with the flowers of the British Commonwealth. Markle also wore the Queen Mary Filigree tiara and carried a small bouquet of white flowers that included Forget-Me-Nots, scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, plus a few buds that Prince Harry himself handpicked from the couple’s garden the morning of the wedding.
Markle was accompanied for the first part of her journey to the Windsor Castle by her mother, Doria Ragland, who was dressed in a mint green suit by Oscar de la Renta, presumably made to coordinate with HRH The Queen’s lime-green suiting. Markle ascended the steps alone, save for her bridesmaids and page boys, and began her walk down the aisle unaccompanied, in a remarkable break from tradition. As she entered the quire, the bride was joined by Prince Charles, who walked her the remainder of the way to the altar. Prince George and Princess Charlotte served as page boy and bridesmaid, respectively. The girls wore white Givenchy frocks, Aquazzura Mary Janes, and flower crowns, while the boys were decked out in miniature versions of the groom’s Blues and Royals uniform.
There were 600 guests, including members of the public, and no shortage of bold-faced names—Serena Williams, Amal and George Clooney, Priyanka Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, David and Victoria Beckham, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews—who arrived in their best fascinators and regalia. In one of the most talked-about moments, Reverend Michael Bruce Curry delivered an impassioned 13-minute sermon about the power of love with themes of politics, social justice, civil rights, and quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. The Kingdom Choir and Karen Gibson performed a rendition of “Stand by Me,” and as the couple exited the chapel, the Civil Rights era ballad “This Little Light of Mine,” played in the background.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds began a two-mile carriage procession around Windsor before attending an afternoon reception at St. George’s Hall, hosted by the Queen. Royal family friend Elton John performed a medley of songs, including “Tiny Dancer” and “Circle of Life.” Mere hours later, the couple hopped into a vintage-inspired light blue electric Jaguar-E Type Zero to drive to a more intimate 200-person reception at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles. Markle, now The Duchess of Sussex, wore a halter dress by Stella McCartney (while Princess Harry sported a tux that made him look like 007) just as she flashed an aquamarine ring that once belonged to Princess Diana. The newlyweds shared their first dance to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston, a surprisingly upbeat choice for any couple, and James Corden became the unofficial MC for the night. Actor Idris Elba even took over DJ duty at one point, while an extraordinary fireworks display provided the big finish.
Rose Leslie and Kit Harington
WHO: Rose Leslie and Kit Harington
WHAT: Elie Saab
WHERE: Rayne Church in the village of Kirkton of Rayne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
WHEN: June 23, 2018
Rose Leslie and Kit Harington—who played on-screen lovers, Ygritte and Jon Snow, in HBO’s Game of Thrones—wed in Scotland. On hand to witness their fairytale happy ending were GoT castmates Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Jack Donnelly, to name a few. The bride chose an ivory Elie Saab gown with lace sleeves and a mermaid hem topped with a flower crown and veil, while the groom looked dapper in a morning suit. Guests showered the newlyweds with flower petal confetti as they left Rayne Church in the village of Kirkton of Rayne and hopped into a vintage Land Rover decorated with paper hearts, tin cans, and a sign that read “Just Married” on their way to the reception at nearby Wardhill Castle—a sprawling 12th-century estate, which Leslie’s family owns. Now that’s what we call a Westeros-worthy wedding!
Philip Schneider and Hilary Swank
WHO: Hilary Swank and Philip Schneider
WHAT: Elie Saab Couture
WHERE: The Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California
WHEN: August 18, 2018
The Oscar-winning actress wed social venture entrepreneur Philip Schneider in a romantic outdoor ceremony in the California redwoods. Surrounded by 20,000 acres of conservancy, the couple tied the knot beneath a family of 800-year-old trees. The bride wore an ethereal Elie Saab Couture confection spun from Chantilly lace, silk chiffon, and organza silk that took 150 hours to create—70 of which were focused solely on embroidery. “I wanted something romantic that felt as timeless as the redwood grove where we were to be married,” Swank told Vogue.com. “[Saab] delivered—designing something that far surpassed my greatest expectations. It was everything I imagined and more.”
The reception was just as magical, set in a rustic barn that is over 100 years old and illuminated with hundreds of globe string lights. Afterward, the newlyweds surprised guests with a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers–style tap dance choreographed to Moby’s “In My Heart.” Their costumes were created by none other than Maria Grazia Chiuri of Dior, while Christian Louboutin (a friend of Swank’s) designed the bride’s wedding and tap shoes.
WHO: Kesha Ward and 2 Chainz
WHAT: Gaila Lahav
WHERE: The Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami, Florida
WHEN: August 18, 2018
After rapper 2 Chainz proposed to longtime love Kesha Ward on the iconic steps of the Met Gala last May, it was only fitting that the couple’s wedding should be given the same red-carpet treatment. “Kesha got a custom Versace situation,” the rapper said. “And all of the cameras were on us!” Just as apropos, the couple chose Miami’s Villa Casa Casuarina, formerly known as the Versace Mansion, for their big day, staged in grand dramatic fashion with an A-list guest list that included Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, Timbaland, and Busta Rhymes. On 2 Chainz’s show Most Expensivest, where he shows viewers how the top 1-percent spend their cash, he interviewed a custom suit tailor in New York City named David Lance, whom he called on to design his tux for the big day. Ward chose a strapless wedding dress by Gaila Lahav. The ceremony took place on a glass covering atop the mansion’s famous pool before guests made their way to the Temple House for the reception, where a wedding cake by Cake Boss awaited them. Afterward, everyone hit the club.
Chiara Ferragni and Fedez
WHO: Chiara Ferragni and Federico Leonardo “Fedez” Lucia
WHERE: The Palazzo Ducezio and Dimora delle Balze in Noto, Sicily
WHEN: September 1, 2018
Chiara Ferragni, influencer and designer behind the popular fashion blog, The Blonde Salad, wed the Italian rapper, singer, and X Factor judge known as Fedez in a multiday extravaganza dubbed “the royal wedding of Italy.” Naturally, everything was splashed all over Instagram under the custom hashtag, #TheFerraganez, which even found its way onto the sides of the private Alitalia flights that the couple used to fly friends and family to Sicily for their wedding weekend. The pair exchanged vows in Noto with a civil ceremony in the Palazzo Ducezio, a grand building formerly used as the town hall. Then came an outdoor ceremony at Dimora delle Balze, a boutique hotel set in a restored 19th-century Masseria and 62 acres of gardens.
The bride wore not one but two haute couture Dior dresses designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri. The first was a high-necked, long-sleeved Grace Kelly–inspired style with a crocheted lace romper as the bodice and a wraparound tulle skirt on top. She then changed into a second Dior number for the reception, which was a lavish Coachella-inspired affair with a custom-made amusement park, fireworks, and a Ferris wheel. For those who didn’t receive an invite, fret not: Ferragni had a reality TV crew on hand to capture it all for an upcoming documentary about her life.
WHO: Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk
WHERE: Paltrow’s home in East Hampton, New York
WHEN: September 29, 2018
When the ultimate hostess (a.k.a. Gwyneth Paltrow) got hitched, wedding-watchers the world over couldn’t wait to see how the Goop founder and TV producer Brad Falchuk would tie the knot. Paltrow finally released her wedding photos, along with details about the very private nuptials, on Goop.com in November. The festivities kicked off with Paltrow celebrating her 46th birthday on Thursday night. The couple was joined by glamorous guests including Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr., and Steven Spielberg, who were reportedly encouraged to use the hashtag #TheFaltrows throughout the celebrations. (Spielberg was even spotted filming some of the festivities with a handheld camera.) On Friday, Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld hosted the rehearsal dinner at their home in East Hampton, and the next day, the couple’s ceremony went down at Paltrow’s.
The pair said their vows before just 70 friends and family. Paltrow looked every inch the picture-perfect bride in a lace Valentino dress with a Swiss dot pattern throughout and a cathedral-length wedding veil as she made her way up the painted white wooden aisle that had been lined with hurricane lanterns. Guests enjoyed a dinner by chef Mario Carbone while seated around two long wooden tables decorated with votive candles and white- and wine-colored flowers. Then, Paltrow changed into a Stella McCartney jumpsuit for dancing.
WHO: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
WHAT: Peter Pilotto
WHERE: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
WHEN: October 12, 2018
In the second royal wedding of the year, Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in front of some 850 guests, including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Demi Moore, Liv Tyler, and Cara Delevingne. The bride wore an elegant off-the-shoulder dress by British design duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vo, which featured a low back that revealed a scar from a scoliosis surgery that she underwent at age 12. She topped it off with the Queen’s Emerald Kokoshnik tiara, which went perfectly with the couple’s cool wedding colors (and, of course, the bride’s green eyes). Prince George and Princess Charlotte reprised their roles from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding as page boy and bridesmaid. But what really stole the show was the couple’s decadent wedding cake. Like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who served an elderflower and lemon cake, the couple forwent the traditional iced fruit cake in favor of a five-tiered, autumnal-inspired red velvet and chocolate cake. The confection was whipped up by London-based baker Sophie Cabot, who decorated it with sugar ivy—a sweet nod to Eugenie and Jack’s new home, Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace.
For their black-tie party at the bride’s father’s residence, the Royal Lodge, the bride changed into a blush-colored dress by Zac Posen punctuated by diamond and emerald drop earrings, and a diamond hairpiece borrowed from the Queen. While Casamigos tequila flowed and a gourmet pizza truck fed guests, Robbie Williams reportedly “jumped on stage” for a surprise performance of his greatest hits. The next day, the couple threw a fun festival-themed party, complete with a Ferris wheel, carnival games, and a carousel that featured the names of guests on several of the merry-go-round animals.
WHO: Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner
WHERE: An undisclosed location in upstate New York
WHEN: October 18, 2018
Supermodel Karlie Kloss and longtime love, Joshua Kushner, tied the knot in a surprise wedding ceremony one Thursday afternoon in October, just three months after announcing their engagement. The bride wore a long-sleeved lace dress and veil, both custom made for her by Dior. Less than 80 guests attended the intimate nuptials; according to People, the couple will also host a larger wedding party with friends and family in the spring. Meanwhile, the newlyweds are currently on their honeymoon in South Africa, where they are enjoying themselves on safari.
WHO: Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith
WHERE: Moore’s home in Pasadena, California
WHEN: November 18, 2018
Giving new meaning to “blushing bride,” Mandy Moore wed Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith in a blush pink Rodarte gown with a layered tulle skirt and a matching pink veil. The sunset ceremony took place in Moore’s backyard in front of about 50 friends and family members, including This Is Us co-stars Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, and Sterling K. Brown as well as Wilmer Valderrama and Minka Kelly. There were beautifully patterned rugs and feather flower arrangements decorating the boho-chic scene, and nearly everything was colored in Moore’s signature shade of pink. Afterward, guests came together at The Fig House in Highland Park, where there was a reception with food and whiskey stations. The icing on top of the proverbial cake? Moore’s new husband surprised her with a performance on stage with his band.
WHO: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas
WHAT: Ralph Lauren
WHERE: The Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, India
WHEN: December 1, 2018
Last, but far from least, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra closed out 2019 with one of the most extravagant celebrity weddings in recent memory. “People will need vacations after this wedding,” Chopra joked in her Vogue cover story, published in the lead-up to the big day. Indeed, the week-long festivities began with a Hindu puja ceremony, which spiritually honored the couple’s forthcoming nuptials, at Chopra’s family’s home in Mumbai. Next came the couple’s Sangeet, held at the majestic Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodphur, where each side of the family performed elaborate Bollywood-style music and dance numbers, replete with choreography and costumes, allowing Nick to reunite with his brothers Joe and Kevin for a Jonas Bros. reunion.
The following day, the couple staged the first of two weddings—a Western ceremony that incorporated Jonas’s Christian upbringing, as officiated by the groom’s father, Kevin Jonas Sr., who is a former ordained minister—at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. Ralph Lauren dressed both families, with Chopra in a stunning gown, featuring mother of pearl paillettes and Swarovski crystals that took 1,826 hours to complete, finished with a 75-foot tulle veil. On Sunday, the couple did it all over again, exchanging vows for the second time, with a lavish Hindi ceremony at the palace to honor Chopra’s heritage. The bride wore a custom red lehenga (a full ankle-length skirt) by Sabyasachi as she awaited the arrival of the groom, who rode in on a white horse. The couple then jetted to Delhi, where they hosted an additional wedding reception for guests. The celebration concluded with a Bidaai, a bridal ritual where Chopra’s family blessed her life with Jonas. Of the blended religious customs and traditions, Chopra wrote on Instagram: “One of the most special things that our relationship has given us is a merging of families who love and respect each other’s faiths and cultures. And so planning our wedding with an amalgamation of both was so, so amazing.”