Something Old, Something New: How To Plan A Wedding If It's Not Your First
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Rupert Murdoch got married on Friday. He's, you know, kind of an expert at this, right? It is his fourth marriage, to be exact. The media mogul wed actress and former supermodel Jerry Hall in a civil ceremony in London. As we said, it is his fourth. Technically though for her, her first, if you don't count her Balinese wedding with Mick Jagger, which actually wasn't registered and was deemed null and void by a London judge, but pretty binding by the culture writ large. But the whole thing made us wonder - whether it's your first, second, or seventh wedding, how big can you go? So we asked wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli. He's with us now on the line. Bryan, thanks for being with us.
BRYAN RAFANELLI: Thank you.
MARTIN: How you ever planned a fourth wedding before?
RAFANELLI: Actually, Rachel, as a matter of fact, this morning I did a site visit for a fourth wedding.
MARTIN: Oh, really? (Laughter) Just today?
RAFANELLI: (Laughter) Yes.
MARTIN: So what's different about planning a fourth wedding as opposed to planning a first wedding?
RAFANELLI: Well, look, I think probably what's different for the groom in this case is that he's done it four times. I think it's always about the couple. So if it's the bride's first wedding, you know, then it's a first wedding. It's the first time. But if it's, you know, if it's a second or third or fourth, then you have something to compare it to.
MARTIN: OK, so just for the heck of it, let's put out a hypothetical where both people in the couple have been married before - maybe twice, maybe four times. Have you ever done anything like that?
RAFANELLI: Yes, I have. And I will tell you it's really interesting to me. As much as I think that they sort of suppress idea of oh, this doesn't necessarily have to be a big celebration, you still kind of go for that.
MARTIN: Do you get to ask for presents?
MARTIN: Now we're into the etiquette part of it.
RAFANELLI: (Laughter) I think that's really tricky. I think the etiquette part of sort of being proper is that the guest wants to give a present, so I think you need to take care of that very quickly. So I imagine that on your fourth wedding, you probably have enough stuff, so you're going to say no to that. But you may have a really wonderful favorite charity, which I think is always a great go-to whether you're getting married for the fourth time or the first time. So I really think that's the easiest way to take care of the gifts.
MARTIN: What's your view on toasts?
RAFANELLI: Look, I think toasts, like any celebration, is what makes that celebration real. It brings soul into the room, the family stories.
MARTIN: Doesn't that invite some drama? What if your, you know, drunk uncle gets up and says well, we all remember when we were here eight years ago. That didn't work.
RAFANELLI: (Laughter) Well, see, that's why you hire a wedding planner.
RAFANELLI: And you point to the uncle across the room and you say, see that guy? I want you to keep eyes on that guy (laughter).
MARTIN: No mic for that guy. No mic.
RAFANELLI: We're all about control, Rachel.
MARTIN: Do you have a description of what the perfect second or seventh wedding would look like? Something that maybe you get to do - not that you shouldn't do, but something you get to do at a second or seventh wedding that maybe is a little bit not appropriate at a first wedding?
RAFANELLI: Well, by the fourth wedding, it should be all about comfort.
MARTIN: Are you talking about, like, wearing Crocs to your wedding? Like...
RAFANELLI: (Laughter) Right. Well, actually, you could wear high tops and nobody will see them as long as the dress is long. And so you can get away with that, of course. You know, really what I'm talking about is a dress that you can really move in and feel great in. And I think that's the license you get after doing this a couple times, that you're just a smarter person. Now my friend, Allison Williams, who - we just did her wedding - she had pockets in her wedding dress, which I just loved. I mean, when I saw her, you know, slide her hands in her pocket, I thought oh, that's a smart bride. Now that was not a fourth wedding. (Laughter) That was a first wedding. But, you know, she got it right.
MARTIN: Yeah. Wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli. Thanks so much for talking with us, Bryan.
RAFANELLI: You're welcome, Rachel. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.