After eleven years of dating and two children, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and fashion designer Chloé Mendel squash tradition with an enchanting affair on their Highland Park estate
Photography by DANIELLE SIMONE
Words by CAROLINE CAGNEY
First kiss as husband and wife.
“I don’t even think we ever went on a first date,” says Maison Atia designer Chloé Mendel of the organic evolution of her relationship with her husband, Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan. The couple initially met as friends, and after eleven years of dating — and two children — Corgan proposed to Mendel on her 30th birthday at their home in Highland Park, Illinois, in September 2022.
One year later, amid fields of prairie grass, 100 of the couple’s nearest and dearest gathered for a ceremony led by friend and local mayor Nancy Rotering, while their children stood as witnesses. As cocktail hour concluded, guests were led down a path through a vegetable garden that brought them to the reception tent where they enjoyed a candlelit feast among fragrant roses, while Joel Patterson played jazz tunes. “We wanted the evening to feel like a 1930s affair, as though Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were going to dinner,” explains Mendel of their vision. To make the day even more special, the couple wore couture looks by House of Gilles, which is designed by Chloé’s father, Gilles Mendel of fashion house J. Mendel. From the silver micro-beading on the bride’s pleated lace gown to the embroidered illustration of their family inside Corgan’s tuxedo jacket, no detail was overlooked.
Following dinner, Jimmy Chamberlin, Frank Catalano, and Garson played a set of standards, and the groom — who is gearing up for his 2024 summer tour with Green Day — performed his classic “Tonight, Tonight” and George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Late-night revelers danced to ’80s music and played poker, while in true storybook fashion, children, wrapped in blankets, slept in the pumpkin patch under twinkling lights. “It was like a fairy tale,” says Mendel.
The tablescape reflected Billy’s love for fine china.
PHOTO: Masato Onoda.
The groom performs at the after-party.
Makeup: Bridal By Aga
Hair: Jerome Lordet
Flowers: Kehoe Designs
Rings: Graziela Gems
Catering: RPM Events
Cake: Petal and Moon Pastry
Stationery: Martha Nippert
Event Production: Nora Events
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2023/2024 issue of C Weddings.
See the story in our digital edition