I am just now, alighting on terra firma again. Amanda Hearst and Joachim Rønning’s wedding was a fairy tale. It was, in fact, entitled “A Tale of Two Castles” the first being the Chateau Marmont where they met three years ago, and where the weekend would have its grand finale; and the second, her family’s Hearst Castle where the wedding took place.
Every element of the weekend was perfect, not surprising with Alison Mazzola and event designer David Monn at the helm. In true Hearst style, grandeur was mixed with down home fun.
Unlike many weddings, the crowd was small, largely Amanda and Joachim’s oldest friends and family, and in their American, family home with its own storied history.
There were seal walks, horseback riding, reindeers and Norwegian inspired food and drink. Then, after the private ceremony there was magic under the stars — as the most beautiful bride and groom emerged to a bedazzled group of loving witnesses. All was made teary-er by the groom’s serenade to his bride.
After their Cinderella first dance, and an elegant dinner, we moved down to the Moroccan lounge by the Neptune Pool and danced too, in their starry wake.
We left San Simeon to return to L.A. but the magic was far from over. Returning to the Chateau Marmont, Amanda and Joachim gathered a much larger group, to top off the celebration. My timing was excellent as I reached the terrace before the elevators gave out — much like the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyworld — though these were quickly repaired.
Down the long corridor we went, lined with pictures of the impossibly beautiful and photogenic couple, to the terrace overlooking West Hollywood. Amanda arrived in her fifth and last signature white frock, still the gossamer bride, but now Mrs. Joachim Rønning.
To remind, Joachim is the accomplished Norwegian director (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Kon-Tiki” and the upcoming “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”), and Amanda is co-founder of Maison de Mode, the sustainable fashion retailer and co-founder of Finn2finn, the animal welfare organization. No grass grows under their feet.
After glam fans, including Maye Musk, Minnie Mortimer and Stephen Gaghan, many Bush’s — Lauren and David Lauren, Ashley and new hubby Juilan le Fevre, and mom Sharon, Jerry and Linda Bruckheimer, Ann Barish, Robert, Justine, James and Natalie Bloomingdale, Wendy Stark, the Hiltons: Kathy, Rick, Paris and Nicky, Fran Drescher, President of Hearst Corp Steve Swartz and his wife, Tina, Vicki Hearst, Patricia Hearst and Jamie Figg, Tony and Paula Peck, Gina Hearst Randt and George Farias, Paulina Porubcanova and Amanda’s brother Randy, fresh from walking his sister down the aisle.
We travelled back down on the now smoothly running elevators to a tucked away patio, filled with long tables amongst the palm trees and under hundreds of sparkling lights. We dined on LA’s favorite Italian restaurant — Jon and Vinny’s pizzas, salads and sweets, then the second wedding cake, created in the image of a stack of film reels.
And while we thought Amanda couldn’t be more adored, her toast in her new language, Norwegian, brought down the house.
A celebration this joyous was tough to end. And so we moved into yet another lounge to make our last toasts and dance to Amanda’s childhood friend, Paris Hilton’s legendary DJ-ing, with an assist from sis Nicky and rockin’ Mom, Kathy.
Here’s to A Tale of Two Castles and the enchanted couple within!