Sean Parker, the billionaire who helped found Napster and helped finance Facebook, is getting married in June. And he is throwing himself, apparently, "a wedding fit for a king." The event's venue, a luxury hotel in Big Sur, California, will include a custom-made fairyland-like setting with fake ruins, bridges, ponds, and a gated cottage -- not to mention a specially constructed dance floor and plants that are being shipped in to supplement the ones provided by nature. The wedding guests will wear costumes custom-made by Oscar-winning designer Ngila Dickson.
The whole thing will cost Parker, according to reports, about $9 million.
So Parker's wedding will be lavish, definitely. It will be weird, probably. It will be whimsical, hopefully. (Think The Wind in the Willows meets The Hobbit. Or, well, try to think of that.) And while there's something just a little bit gross, from the "that's a lot of money that could have gone to charity" perspective, about a $9 million wedding ... there's also something fittingly appropriate about it. Because, having no royalty in this country, we look to the famous and the super-rich and those who are both at the same time to give us the lavish wedding celebrations that republicanism has, for all its benefits, taken from us: We can't have Kate and Wills, so we satisfy ourselves with Angelina and Brad. And Jen and Justin. And Kim and that basketball player whose name also starts with a K. We might not always admit it, but the magazine sales and the E! Hollywood specials admit it on our behalf: We sort of want Sean Parker to have his crazy wedding. We sort of want him to build sets and make his guests wear custom-made suits and then unironically describe the vibe he's going for as "Victorian whimsy." We look to our celebrities to give us, as it were, "the wedding of our dreams." Or at least of our morbid curiosity.