For an actress who has reinvented herself as a lifestyle guru, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Gwyneth Paltrow’s wedding was a marketable moment.
The 46-year-old published not just photographs on Friday of the happy day, but a “sourcebook” of the team behind her wedding to Brad Falchuk, a film producer.
In the article on Goop, her website, now worth $250 million (Dh918.1 million), she told readers how they might recreate her special day in the Hamptons, from the dinner recipes down to the supplier of her servers’ aprons — should they be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on side plates, napkins and “ring pillows”.
Paltrow’s dress, a white lace creation embroidered with flowers, was by Valentino — no surprise, given that she and Falchuk, also 46, holidayed on his yacht off Capri last summer.
It is unclear whether Paltrow had to pay for the dress, but if she had, it would not have come cheap. The fashion house only makes a handful of couture wedding dresses a year — normally fewer than 30. “The most expensive dress I have ever heard of was a Valentino dress costing half a million pounds commissioned by a Russian bride,” said James Lord, founder and chief executive of the Quintessentially Atelier, a leading event manager, earlier this year.
The dress may have been priceless, but for Paltrow’s devotees, much of the rest of her day can certainly be bought.
Nymphenburg, the 260-year-old Munich-based company that custom-made the couple’s plates, does not provide price estimates on its website, but a US supplier is selling simple individual plates for $650. Some of the more elaborate designs are more than $2,000 per plate, enough to give any waiter the wobbles.
Zsuzsanna Nyul, who works from the Cotswolds, custom-produced the napkins; she takes commissions but a set of four, bought from a New York store, retail for $165.
Mud Australia, producer of her “serving pieces”, sells salad servers for A$75 (Dh198.6) a set.
Paltrow’s ring-bearing pillows are not currently for sale, but mini pillows from the Manhattan-based company sell for $120, while Fog Linen, provider of the servers’ aprons, sells its full aprons for $60 each.
“Took me a minute to get it together, but at long last, for those who have requested, a little look inside the best day of our lives,” Paltrow captioned a photo of herself and her husband, published also on Instagram.
Francis Mallmann, the Argentine chef who specialises in cooking over an open fire, had prepared the feast for the party the previous night — roasting meat, vegetables and, strangely, pineapple — all hanging over a campfire.
On the day itself, Mario Carbone, a celebrated Italian-American chef from New York, created the menu: whipped up crab with avocado, followed by scampi tortellini, then a choice of honey mustard duckling or prime rib with whipped potatoes, vegetable succotash and roasted duck fat potatoes on the side. Wedding cake and coffee or tea was served for dessert. On the cake, Paltrow explained to Goop: “A compromise: 45 personalised carrot cakes (bride’s choice) and 45 chocolate and vanilla cakes (groom’s choice).”
Paltrow has also been praised for speaking out about how her body is changing in her 40s as part of an effort to “rebrand” the social stigma around menopause.
She said changes she had made included tweaking her fitness routine recently to include more weightlifting, for building bone density. As part of her bid to “rebrand” the menopause, Paltrow has also launched a line of vitamin supplements called Madame Ovary, aimed at combating symptoms.
Dr Louise Newson, who runs a menopause clinic in Solihull, West Midlands, said: “Good for her. Every day I hear stories about women suffering, relationships breaking up, because of the impact of symptoms. When you know you’re in your perimenopause, it’s a good time to start managing those symptoms. It’s a really good time to take stock about your future health.”