Here’s How Celebs Pull Off Those Super-Secret Weddings

A lot of lying and a lot of $$$!
Here’s How Celebs Pull Off Those Super-Secret Weddings
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CosmoBy Cosmo -

A famous person can’t even get their teeth cleaned without the world knowing. Like, some people’s literal full-time jobs are to camp out in stars’ bushes and trail them during every latte run. And many times, that’s just fine with the celeb (hey, they worked hard to get famous). But when it comes to keeping the big moments—like getting hitched—private, they sometimes have to go to extremes.

Venues

The Secret
Picking a secure location is crucial. “Venues that have indoor spaces or can be tented to avoid the onslaught of drones are especially popular,” says Marcy Blum, an A-list-y events and wedding planner. “And of course, everyone there signs a non-disclosure agreement before we have any discussions at all.”

The Celebs

“Cameron Diaz was prepared for the hullabaloo surrounding her big day and had a tent covering the entire pathway from her home to the tent under which she married Benji Madden in 2015,” says Esther Lee, senior news editor at The Knot. When ­Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas married in India in late 2018, they reportedly went one step further and rented out the entire Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, adding another level of security.

The Price
Elaborate tenting = upward of $6,000. Renting out an entire locale (or, say, your own private island) can run ­anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars. Nickyanka’s venue set them back nearly $400,000 (thank god for all that Quantico money, right?).

Dress deets

The Secret
“As usual, we get any and all measurements that are necessary for the design,” says celeb gown designer Hayley Paige. “But I keep everything in my office or in a locked file on my computer, and I’m the only person who has access.”

The Celebs
Miley Cyrus celebrated her wedding to Liam Hemsworth in a made-to-order Vivienne Westwood ivory silk satin gown and  Sophie Turner wore a white jumpsuit at her impromptu Las Vegas wedding to Joe Jonas. But did they Insta-Story it? LOL, nope.

The Price
Miley’s cost $8,600. One of Paige’s custom gowns can run upward of $10,000, which includes home visits, fittings, and alterations. Air travel, rush shipping, and last-minute changes are extra.

Code names

The Secret
Some celebs use this popular trick with all vendors throughout the entire planning process. But Alejandra Poupel, a Paris-based event planner who once had a client called Flintstone, warns that quirky code names can be risky. “They can stick out like a sore thumb.…It just becomes way too obvious.” She now counsels celebs to go with generic ones like Smith so as not to arouse suspicion. Most anonymous (cough, extra) of all: Cake designer Ron Ben-Israel has occasionally had to bake for couples whose identities are concealed even from him. “Sometimes, you don’t get the client’s name, you only get a number,” he says.

The Celebs
Tons of stars already use go-to fake names for hotel and restaurant rezzies (e.g., Natalie Portman is “Laura Brown”). Molly Sims’ wedding and everything related to it was known as Operation Black Swan.

The Price
Free

Confusing the press (and guests)

The Secret
It’s not uncommon for a celebrity’s team to spill false details to the media, and sometimes even their own wedding guests, to create a diversion of sorts. “Typically, there will be a leaked location, let’s say a hotel or a wedding hall, and that would be a fake, and then there will be the actual location,” explains Ben-Israel. Some go as far as creating a deceptive online presence, says Lee. “If you find a celebrity wedding website, take in the details with caution. It’s not uncommon for VIPs to create sites with fake information to throw people off.”

The Celebs
A bait and switch was reportedly used by Jennifer Aniston when she married Justin Theroux at the pair’s Los Angeles home in 2015. The clever Friends alum apparently told all but a few guests that they would be at a fancy party for Justin’s ­birthday. (Paige says she once had a big ­client do similarly: “I ­actually had to make her two gowns: one black-tie evening dress and the other a proper wedding dress.”)

The Price
After trying to remember all the lies, a headache.

Phone sitch

The Secret
“We take everyone’s phones during setup, event, and teardown,” Poupel says of the wedding staffs, who are given walkie-talkies to communicate. The no-cell policy often extends to guests as well. “Almost always with a celebrity, we create an efficient phone-checking scenario and guests are asked to leave them at the door,” says Blum. Especially paranoid couples set up discreet metal detectors to make sure no one tries sneaking in with a camera. 

The Celebs
Serena Williams, Kate Mara, and Alison Brie all reportedly set strict no-phone policies on their big days.

The Price
Full-on metal detectors (complete with a security guard) are around $500 each. More discreet handheld versions can set clients back about $120 a pop.

Exit strategy

The Secret
The rise in drone activity is why Poupel always contacts nearby airports in advance of a wedding and asks them to close the surrounding air space for a brief period of time (usually about 30 minutes). “It’s not easy, but it’s doable,” she says, explaining she’s pulled it off in Italy and France by talking to air traffic controllers.

The Celebs
Guys, come on. No star is actually gonna admit to this one.

The Price
Surprisingly...free. Poupel just notes that the planning must be done in advance and says she’s typically asked to justify the importance of the highly covert maneuver. “Some locations are easier than others, but in the end, with a smile and patience,” she says, “it happens.”

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