You can have riches and restraint after all

When the rich and famous get married in the United States, expectations are high in terms of expenses. They’re low in terms of class. We presume a deal will be worked out with a gossip magazine for the first official photos. A reality TV special will probably air. And, a bridal designer’s name will be mentioned more than the mother-of-the-bride’s.

That’s why you have to applaud Priscilla Chan, newlywed wife of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. She recently tied the knot in a surprise ceremony in her backyard. In doing so, she proved money and fame – OK, mostly money - need not equal a $10 million spectacle good for 72 days of marriage.

Let’s count the ways Chan could never keep up, and by “keep up” I mean stoop low, with the Kardashians.

For starters, the ring. Zuckerberg took some flak from celebrity media outlets for the diminutive ruby he gave his bride. Photos of her dining with a friend ran next to headlines jabbing the billionaire for disregarding the ol’ three-months’ salary rule. Never mind it’s actually the ol’ two-months’ salary rule and that for him to keep with such a ridiculous guideline would mean putting a small island on her finger.

Also, the photos of Chan feature her sporting a makeupless, sneakered, jeans-and-T-shirt look. Vanity-wise, she comes off as high maintenance as AstroTurf. The chances a woman like that would be interested in a ring delivered via a Brinks security truck aren’t very high.

Silly Zuckerberg, going and getting his bride a ring perfectly suited to her style instead of one tailored to his net worth.

The couple showed just as much restraint with their guest list, keeping it to 100 loved ones. Anything less than 250 guests shows real audacity on the celebrity bride and groom’s part. It means the possibility of excluding such near and dear friends as their spray tan specialist, eyebrow artist and life coach. The nerve.

It’s no wonder a bride like Chan wouldn’t inconvenience herself by thinking about people like that. She certainly didn’t bother to think about Vera Wang’s feelings. How does she think Vera felt, learning that she couldn’t sweat over her sewing machine to produce yet another strapless wedding dress for yet another fussy bride? If money was an issue, I’m sure they could’ve worked out some kind of layaway deal.

Instead, Chan went with a made-to-order Claire Pettibone gown that retails for $4,700 – just one zero shy of filthy rich decency. Kim Kardashian wouldn’t touch a dress like that with Khloe Kardashian’s body.

That Chan wore one dress the whole night, rather than one for each hour of the wedding, is enough to make the entire Kardashian clan really wish they could still scowl. It’s a good thing they can still spit.

That’s what they probably did when they heard the Zuckerbergs let their guests eat chocolates instead of a six-foot-tall cake. If it isn’t big enough to feed Kanye West’s ego, it just isn’t a wedding cake.

Before her big day, Chan was already showing signs of not having a real celebrity wedding in her. First, she was with her now-husband nine years before sealing the deal. It probably involved some nonsense about wanting to finish med school and take a company public.

Second, she reportedly drew up a contract with her then boyfriend before agreeing to move to California to live with him. Kris Jenner’s first question here would be about royalties.

As the story goes, this contract required one date a week to ensure quality time. But it was quality time that didn’t involve a confessional on her own reality show.

If Chan has shown us anything in her trip to the altar it’s that she’s not cut out for this whole rich and famous thing. That might be why she’s doing a great job of being rich, not such a great job of being famous.

Contact columnist Xazmin Garza at or 702-383-0477.
Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.

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