First comes love, then comes marriage — and if you were a celebrity in 2019, then comes marriage again. By the numbers, that’s double the dresses, double the pictures, and roughly a few extra million in the budget to tie it all together. Without being the metaphorical rain on the (many) wedding days, I’m a little confused why Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner needed to say “I do” twice, when saying it once gets the job done just fine.
While one could say Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra inspired the year of multiple weddings (in December 2018, the newlyweds had a Hindu ceremony, a Mehendi, a Sangeet, a Christian vow exchange, a New Delhi reception, and a few more in Mumbai), a different Jonas kicked off the 2019 double wedding trend in May. Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner gathered a small group of celebs (like country musicians Dan + Shay and Priyanka Chopra) for an impromptu Las Vegas ceremony at A Little White Wedding Chapel on May 1 after the Billboard Music Awards ahead of their more traditional wedding in France on June 29. Both were prematurely ruined by the internet, with DJ pal Diplo literally live-streaming the Vegas affair on his Instagram and a guest accidentally revealing the private invitation for the French celebration.
That same month, Kloss and Kushner held their second wedding in Wyoming, eight months after their first wedding held in upstate New York. Kloss documented the latter on her YouTube channel, sharing footage from the ceremony and the making of her custom Dior gown.
The second wedding was a much more informal affair. Guests all dressed up for the prairie theme, donning cowboy hats and boho floral dresses.
Then there’s the Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber, who had an under-the-radar courthouse wedding in September 2018 before throwing an elaborate South Carolina bash a full year later with attendees like Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry.
Each of these events were all about expressing each couple’s love in all its forms: the fun side, the elegant side, and the spontaneous side. The point was romance, sure, but it felt like the public had been made to care about three too many over-the-top weddings, and for what? Clout? Clicks? Or just for court? According to Marcy Blum, who’s planned weddings for everyone from the Rockefeller family to LeBron James, it’s not actually that out of the ordinary.
“Our clients have been doing this for years and nobody comments on it until celebrities make a big deal about it,” she told Refinery29 over the phone. In fact, when broken down, it’s often for the latter.
“If you're getting married in Europe [and] you’re not European, then you have to get legally married in the U.S.,” Blum explained. “So in order to get legally married and you have to go to City Hall and it's kind of a dry experience. So people have started to say, ‘Well, let's do something, at least some sort of small celebration on the day and then we can have our enormous wedding party later.’”
There are other reasons like, in the case of Nick and Priyanka, a desire to accommodate different religions. But the reasoning behind double, or multiple, weddings is almost always logistical, no matter how last-minute Joe and Sophie’s Vegas wedding was booked (one week!). However, the motivation at the core of all this wedding day red tape is romance, and that’s why those who do do it tend to go all-out, masking the fact that their first wedding is, let’s face it, a clerical decision.
“I think people yearn for a sense of community and one night, one event, one day, one lunch does not give you that,” Blum continued, adding, “Everyone wants some connection and, “Let's just have a ceremony, have dinner, and go home” — It doesn't seem monumental for the act of marriage.”
But why now? It might all be a response to 2018 being the year of the hasty engagement. After just a few weeks together (the exact timeline has yet to be confirmed) Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande went from dating to betrothed, later ending their relationship for good that fall. Bieber and Baldwin had only rekindled their long-running on-again, off-again relationship for a month in summer 2018 before Baldwin was spotted wearing an engagement ring, and they had their courthouse wedding that September. After a year of celebrities treating engagements flippantly, it appears that the second round of future spouses decided to take marriage double-y seriously. It’s as if to say, “We mean it this time. We really mean it.”
Of course, these couples weren't the first people to get married twice. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen doubled up in 2009, George and Amal Clooney had two European weddings in 2014, and Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt had the best of both worlds with both a televised wedding and a private elopement in 2008. But never have we had this many high-profile double weddings in a row — especially not involving this younger generation of celebs.
Which perhaps makes sense when you realize that, love and devotion aside, there’s another plus for a celebrity taking two walks down the aisle: attention, or clout. These double married 2019 couples had their celebrations written up numerous times in publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and, of course, People. Justin Bieber’s and Joe Jonas’ weddings were among the top 10 most-searched ceremonies of this year, according to Google — but no number of weddings captured the public’s interest more than Jennifer Lawrence’s and Miranda Lambert’s, who snagged the second and first spot on the list, respectively. Both women had just one wedding apiece, and there aren’t even any photos of Lawrence’s. If multiple ceremonies are to be used as a tactic to drum up public interest, there are a few more kinks to work out before the world is entertained rather than, perhaps, exhausted.
But Blum stresses it’s not just celebrities who have the resources to get double-married — you, too, can have nuptial deja-vu.
“If you're getting married at the clergy person's office and then going out for lunch with six people just to mark that day as the day you legally, officially got married, and then your other wedding is 100 people, 200 people, it's completely different,” she explained. “One is $1,000. So it's not about throwing two big parties.”
Unless you’re Karlie Kloss and Josh Kushner, in which case, it kind of seems like it is.