Deering proposed to me a few weeks before the pandemic started, in the back house at my mom’s—my sister’s old bedroom. The day he’d decided to pop the question, he got sick, delaying our engagement until the following day. Little did we know how this would be a portent of things to come.
As it did for all of us, two weeks quickly turned into two years. After a few false starts across 2020, reading the news and trying to anticipate a window when the virus would recede, we finally decided to get married on New Year’s Eve, 2021, in Los Angeles, our new home. We wanted a party. Somehow the idea of a traditional wedding seemed indulgent, part of an old way of doing things that no longer seemed to fit with our new reality. A New Year’s party took some of the weight off the wedding, and also gave a chance for everyone working from home and social distancing to come together to celebrate not only the marriage, but the hope for a better year and a return to normalcy (if there ever was such a thing). But 10 days before our date, for a variety of reasons, the Omicron surge near the top of that list, we were forced to cancel.
It was heartbreaking. But when the dust settled, we began planning again. I did the most L.A. thing ever and I spoke to a numerologist this time, better to not take any chances, and chose a quiet Saturday in April, swapping L.A. for New York, where Deering and I had met and lived for most of our relationship.
I’d played a bride many times as a model, so you’d think I’d have some idea about my dress. Like many girls, I dreamed of having a wedding, but once it came down to being a real bride, I had no idea about what kind of bride I wanted to be. My mother asked me to draw my dream dress. I knew I wanted a sleeve, something timeless but still modern. Something that could work in a church, but also a party on New Year’s Eve. As it turns out, it wasn’t a dream. It was a Saint Laurent dress by Anthony Vaccarello.
I knew I wanted to wear Paco the moment I met Julien Dossena at a party in a gym. I was wearing a silver Paco Rabanne jumpsuit that felt like it was made for me. We became friends, and I asked him if he would make me one for my wedding. He sent me a few options to try on, and, of course I fell in love with a gold-chain dress that was so heavy I needed three friends to help put it on. But I knew it was the one. I sent Julien a video and he agreed. He wound up cutting the weight in half, making two perfect dresses which my sister and I wore to the after-party.
David Rodgers set the stage for dinner. My family friend, Joseph Free, did the flowers, both of them perfectly capturing the spirit of the wedding. A small army of some of the most talented photographers working today, who I am lucky enough to also call family—Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Pamela Hanson, Jeff Henrikson—took pictures. Mariko Hirano did my make-up. I’ve worked with her for years. Yoichi Tomizawa did my hair. Until you’re a bride, it’s hard to imagine the nerves and the pressure you feel on the day, and I was so lucky to be surrounded by people I love and trust.
The ceremony and the dinner, the things we had considered dated and unimportant, turned out to be what made it feel special. Gathered in the Odeon, surrounded by our families and close friends, you learn what a wedding is really about, what we miss about pre-pandemic life. And when we finally got to the party, hosted by our friend James Haslam, everything that had come before made it all the more fun.
If anything, the long, strange road we took to get here was a lesson in going with the flow, in both not letting things stand in your way, but also in being flexible enough to take the curves and work with them, which in our case led us somewhere better than we had hoped. Sometimes life has a funny way of guiding you toward the right decision. Or maybe it’s all in how you look at it.