Tabloid readers always been obsessed with celebrity weddings. We cooed over Brad and Jen, marveled at the excess of Star Jones and Al Reynolds, and imagined ourselves in that Italian castle with Katie Holmes and her couch-jumper, Tom Cruise.
We love weddings so much that we are always waiting for the next one. Right now the glossy magazines are full of rumors about Reese Witherspoon and her agent boyfriend Jim Toth. We have our fingers crossed for Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger. If we get bored, there’s always Brad and Angelina. Those two could marry any minute!
But, suddenly, celebs are catching on. They know we’re obsessed, and so their weddings have become the perfect publicity stunt. After all, a wedding is perhaps the only place celebs control every detail. They choose and sell the best pictures, they groom the guest list, and, to milk the moment, they keep us hanging on every detail of the planning.
Comedian Russell Brand proposed to singer Katy Perry last December. He was 34, she was 25, and they’d been dating for only four months. The whole thing could have made them both look skeezy. Instead, they worked the media and used their wedding plans to upgrade their celebrity status.
They knew that talking about their nuptials – and each other – would make them into a pop love story. So they’ve doled out details gradually.
In January, Katy confessed she’d read a story online about Russell shopping for a ring, and so ruined his “surprise” proposal. In February, she told Us Weekly they hadn’t ruled out eloping. In April, Katy’s pal Rihanna dished to radio host Ryan Seacrest that the wedding will be in India, and that she’s planning the bachelorette party. In May, Us Weekly ran a picture of the save-the-date card. It was in the shape of a henna-tattooed hand, and told guests to block off an entire week in October, and have their passports ready. Now Katy is showing off a new tattoo, the words “Anuugacchati Pravaha” (Sanskrit for “Go With The Flow”) on the inside of her right arm. Russell has the same ink.
In other words, this engagement has provided the pair with six months of public cuteness – and there are four more to come. Meanwhile, Katy has been voted Maxim’s hottest woman of 2010, she’s hosting the Teen Choice awards, and “California Gurls,” her collaboration with Snoop Dogg, is number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Russell, once known for his drug use and raunchy comedy, is suddenly being called a “famously reformed womanizer” and “more homebody than hedonist” by USA Today. Starring as a heroin addict in the summer comedy Get Him to the Greek, he has used the opportunity to speak seriously about his own recovery. (“I know what it’s like to withdraw from heroin,” he told an interviewer.)
And they aren’t the only celebs who know how to work a wedding. Jane Lynch’s modest nups brought an outpouring of good will for the already popular Glee star. Bethenny Frankel’s new wedding-themed reality show Bethenny Getting Married? drew 2 million viewers, making it the most watched premiere in Bravo history. Almost every week, OK! magazine runs a picture of Carrie Underwood with some maddeningly minor update about her wedding plans with Mike Fisher. (The latest: “Were still working on everything,” she says.)
The prospect of marriage has even made American gossips care about Prince William. In the past month, two covers of Star and one cover of OK! have been devoted to the British monarch’s wedding plans. And he and girlfriend Kate Middleton aren’t even (publicly) engaged.
So if you’re a celeb in need of an upgrade — if your most famous comedy is about shooting up, or your most famous song is about kissing a girl and liking it — consider getting hitched. It will make people love you. It will give you interesting things to say. And soon you’ll be ready for that other major positive press generator.
That’s right. Get ready to sell those baby pictures!