Three dresses, two castles and 175 guests. Welcome to Amanda Hearst and Joachim Rønning’s nuptials
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
Photography by JEAN-PIERRE UYS
“I grew up going to Hearst Castle quite a bit. … We would come for Thanksgiving or Easter,” says Amanda Hearst of the gilded family retreat-slash-national landmark that her great-grandfather, media mogul William Randolph Hearst, built between 1919 and 1947. It just so happened that it was at a castle of a decidedly different ilk, Chateau Marmont, where Amanda met director Joachim Rønning (who called the Chateau his L.A. home for a number of years, and whose film credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Kon-Tiki). So when it came time to plan their wedding, they had the very Dickensian idea of a modern fairy tale that would include both regal settings. She says, “We called it a tale of two castles.”
The pair organized the summer weekend from London, where Joachim was filming Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. “We wanted people to feel like they were going to a party at someone’s house,” Amanda says. Following a daytime party at the iconic Neptune Pool, guests were invited to a Norwegian-themed welcome dinner — in honor of Joachim’s heritage — that took place in a Scandi-style converted barn on the grounds, complete with a friendly reindeer from a neighboring farm and long Viking-style tables.
“We wanted people to feel like they were going to a party at someone’s house”
On the day of the wedding, a private ceremony for family was held at one of the castle’s intimate guesthouses. As friends arrived, they were guided through the estate by Spanish guitarists to a vista overlooking the sun setting over the Pacific. Dinner was served on the castle’s main terrace before guests made their way to a Moroccan-style party tent filled with hundreds of antique lanterns and exotic plants.
Amanda, who is deeply committed to sustainability through her eco-fashion company, Maison de Mode, made every effort to minimize the weekend’s footprint. There was virtually no plastic used; all the flowers were repurposed and donated to a local charity; invitations were printed on recycled paper; and, naturally, Amanda’s wardrobe was highly considered. Her childhood friend Nicky Hilton Rothschild made the introduction to Fernando Garcia, Oscar de la Renta’s co-creative director.
“Fernando made my dress with textiles from other gowns so that everything was upcycled,” Amanda says. “Even the boning was taken from another gown.” Her other frocks — a couture Viktor & Rolf dress for the first night, a Galvan silk dress for dancing and a Giambattista Valli couture dress for her getaway look — were all borrowed. “It was about telling the story of the ways you can dress sustainably for a wedding. Borrowing is one way. If you are having something made, talk to the designer about upcycling or recycling, or use natural textiles like silk.”
“We called it a tale of two castles”
The morning after the reception, a caravan of all 175 guests departed for Los Angeles, where a final wedding event took place at the Chateau Marmont. Amanda donned another upcycled Oscar de la Renta look, a Bardot-style dress she sums up as “much more modern, fun and sexy.”
After cocktails in the penthouse and a vegan feast in the garden, the dance party in the poolside bungalow commenced with Amanda’s childhood friend Paris Hilton behind the DJ booth — putting a Hollywood spin on a storybook California weekend. “[Joachim and I] both have our own unique histories [in California], and it is where we met and fell in love,” says Amanda, who moved to L.A. from her native New York shortly after the wedding. “Now it is where we are building our life together.”
AMANDA AND JOACHIM’S WEDDING
DRESSES Oscar de la Renta, Viktor & Rolf, Galvan, Giambattista Valli • PLANNERS Alison Mazzola, David Monn • RENTALS Bright Event Rentals • STATIONERY The Printery • FLOWERS Adornments Flowers & Finery, Mayesh, Eufloria Flowers • MUSIC Jaxson Williams & Friends, Drywater Band, Paris Hilton • CATERING New West Catering, Babe Farms, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro • CAKE Charm City Cakes West
Feature image: AMANDA HEARST (wearing OSCAR DE LA RENTA) and JOACHIM RØNNING (in a tuxedo by THE HUNTSMAN) descend the stairs leading to HEARST CASTLE’s iconic Neptune Pool.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of C Weddings.