All hail, Queen Ariana. The American singer has reportedly circumvented the expectations of her public and gone and got married to her fiancé, Dalton Gomez. At home, in private. With just 20 guests.
What a move! It’s a baller move fit for a princess – which is apt, because in getting married in the way that she chose to do so, in a “tiny and intimate” ceremony at her home in California, Grande has given every Disney denouement out there a run for its money.
Contrary to the pressures often placed at the alter of celebrity, she didn’t wait for the end of the pandemic to go all-out with a glossy magazine spread featuring seven bridesmaids, tiny dogs in matching outfits and a banquet feast; but instead, according to her representative, simply “got married”.
“It was tiny and intimate — less than 20 people,” the representative confirmed to People. “The room was so happy and full of love. The couple and both families couldn’t be happier.”
And I, too, couldn’t be happier! I mean it – even though, truth be told, I don’t know if I could name a single one of Grande’s five number-one debuts, and I don’t own any of her albums, and I might even struggle to pick her out of a line-up against a plethora of other, similarly beautiful, similarly talented and successful young performers, but I am genuinely, truly over the moon to see such a simple demonstration of romance.
Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? She may be an A-lister, she may be the “most followed woman on Instagram since 2019” (thank you, Wikipedia), but she’s also just a 27-year-old woman marrying the man she loves: Dalton Gomez, 25, a luxury real estate agent she’s been dating for little over a year. The pair got engaged at Christmas.
I’m moved by the lack of public pomp and circumstance, because it captures the essence of 2021 so perfectly. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the value of those we love. Being restricted to just 30 guests at important rituals such as weddings and funerals – while no doubt hard and painful – has also forced us all to dial down the nature of “display”. Rather than stressing over pointless bags of sugared almond wedding favours, we’ve been forced to focus on what – and who – really matters.
Grande could have waited until lockdown restrictions were fully over; she could have deployed a team of make-up artists, dress designers and photographers; she could have made sure the entire event was live-streamed or splashed across the front pages of the highest-bidding glossy magazine. But, no. Ariana chose love – and that’s what weddings are really all about.
We’ve become used to weddings being eyewateringly expensive; somehow shrug off the fact that in 2018, the average cost of getting married in the UK was as much as £32,000. We allow ourselves to get distracted by the “order of the day” – the table settings, the bridesmaids, the flowers, the order of service, the speeches, those pointless bows tied on the backs of chairs – meaning that we are in danger of forgetting what it’s really all about.
I’ve written before about how I believe the institution of marriage needs a dramatic overhaul – but in a way, Ariana is contributing to that. She’s sticking two fingers up at the idea that celebrities don’t have a right to a private life; that everything they do – from love to divorce to giving birth – should be ogled and analysed, dissected, pulled apart, published and criticised.
At the end of the day, she may be a beautiful, young, rich and talented performer; but (to ape the words of one of the best classic romcoms in town): she’s just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. And there’s not much more romantic than that.
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