When Monica Noel sat in for her now infamous interview with the New York Post she insisted that the Noels were just an ordinary family whose children grew up in a normal cottage. Rich? Not the Noels.
So what does a “not rich, normal Greenwich family” wedding look like?
On June 25, they were married in the early evening before 400 guests at Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich in a wedding that was European in spirit. The dark, gothic-style church was filled with piano music, big hats, bright colors and flowers that were inspired by everything from Impressionist paintings to Christian Lacroix gowns.
The bride wore a long ponytail and a sleeveless dress with a scooped back that was made by Lorenzo Riva, a Milan designer.
The 10 bridesmaids wore short dresses in different summer colors like watermelon-pink, lime green and the bright yellow of new tennis balls. They carried bouquets of hot pink, coral and saffron roses.
All around them, like shooting stars, ran five flower girls in white Monica Noel dresses and white fabric flower headbands.
For the reception at the nearby Round Hill Country Club, Dorothy Wako, a New York floral designer, planted a traditional English garden with the feel of a country cottage.
The garden was filled with rambling pink roses, wild sweet peas, lavender Canterbury bells and white peonies that were as soft looking as powder puffs and as big as melons.
“Ariane wanted to please all the senses with this wedding,” said Tierney Gifford Horne, a friend of the bride who is the fashion director at Mademoiselle magazine.
During dinner, guests sat at tables named after the couple’s favorite places — Geneva, Aspen, Klosters, Anguilla, Firenze, San Michele. At 1:30 A.M., after a night that included a song- and-dance toast by the bride’s four sisters, who called themselves the “Noel Supremes,” the couple drove off in an old classic yellow Buick convertible from the 1950′s.
“They went off for a three-week honeymoon,” said Alix Noel, a sister of the bride. “The first week is in the great barrier reef in Australia; the second week is a week of heli-skiing in New Zealand, and the third week they’ll spend in a remote bungalow on an island in Fiji. They’ll go scuba diving in Australia and skiing in New Zealand. They love the sporting life.”
My kids love the sporting life too and they grew up in a normal Greenwich household. Does this mean that I must spring for a few weeks of heli-skiing in New Zealand for each of them? Must I pay for ten bridesmaids, or would it be considered abnormal if I just paid the kids to elope?