The Royal Wedding Gen-Z Influencers Dream of newsusface

When two nepo babies get married in Europe, we should all be paying attention, apparently.

Last weekend, Sofia Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie, got married in the south of France to a British music executive named Elliot Grainge, in what appears to be Gen Z’s royal wedding. That is, at least until Millie Bobby Brown and Jon Bon Jovi’s son walk down the aisle.

The couple said “I do” at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes on Saturday in front of illustrious guests, including her half-sister Nicole Richie and brother-in-law Joel Madden. Joel’s twin brother Benji and his wife Cameron Diaz were also in attendance. So, too, was notable family friend Paris Hilton.

Before the wedding happened, I’d seen a few tweets suggesting that Richie’s ceremony would be a pretty big deal. I’m aware that there are people, notably fashion lovers and Pinterest moms, who simply enjoy the pageantry of weddings, no matter who’s tying the knot. And yet, I didn’t expect to be inundated with a million photos of Richie in various Chanel dresses all over my Twitter and TikTok feeds. I’m still not sure if I should really care. However, from a PR standpoint, I’m impressed.

For those unfamiliar with the 24-year-old, Richie is a model, fashion designer, and influencer. She had wanted to be a singer but didn’t think she could live up to her dad’s success, according to a 2016 Complex profile. (Some nepo babies could benefit from this sort of hesitancy.) So now, she just takes a bunch of selfies in cream sweaters and tennis skirts, which, in my opinion, is the American dream.

You also may have seen Richie on her sister’s former VH1 faux-reality show Candidly Nicole. Other than that, she’s had a couple of major tabloid moments, like when she briefly dated Justin Bieber in 2016. A photo Bieber posted of Richie on Instagram caused a wave of backlash from envious fans and even a funny spat between the singer and his ex, Selena Gomez, in the comments section. The model also dated the much-older Scott Disick in 2017, which grossed out much of the internet—and, rightfully, her dad.

Now, Richie has ostensibly upgraded from the Kardashian hanger-on to Grainge, who owns the hip-hop label 10K Project. He’s actually more of a textbook nepo baby than Richie is, in that his father, Lucian Grainge, is the CEO of Universal Music Group (Grainge’s label is an independent subsidiary of Universal).

While he seems like a chiller dude than Disick, admittedly, some facts about this man are startling. A Page Six article explaining his existence notes that Grainge is “obsessed with Eminem.” (Gross.) The most jarring fact, though, is that he’s apparently responsible for the fever dream that was controversial rapper 6ix9ine, who he signed in 2017.

Grainge’s dubious relationship with hip-hop aside, everyone on TikTok seems to be rooting for this couple. TikToker @sheiscelestee said their wedding was “proof to not settle and find the love you deserve.” Another TikTok, showing a slideshow of Richie’s evolution over the years, called her “the definition of when your type isn’t your type anymore”—referring to her ex-flings, Bieber and Disick. Basically, everyone is happy that Richie went from dating two dudes who are publicly seen as jerks to a guy who may or may not be a jerk. We’ll just never find out because he keeps a low profile.

Mainly, though, everyone’s fawning over Richie’s supposedly “stealth wealth” wedding looks, even though she’s been very vocal about working with Chanel. In fact, Richie seemingly joined TikTok during her wedding weekend just to show off her expensive looks, which makes it even funnier that her style is being referred to on the internet as “quiet luxury.” Yet, everyone’s gagged that she seems to represent a more classy, refined type of wealth than people like the Kardashians.

Other TikTok videos call her a new “it” girl and praise her “glow-up.” This particular platform is typically hyperbolic about everything. However, I’m curious how much of TikTok’s newfound interest in Richie has to do with their ongoing hate campaign against Hailey Bieber. As I mentioned, many TikTokers are congratulating Richie for moving on from Justin Bieber. One video highlights the fact that she’s married to the son of Bieber’s boss, as the singer is signed to Universal. When one nepo baby influencer falls, another one rises, I guess.

From what I’ve witnessed during the Hailey Bieber-Selena Gomez fiasco, TikTok can be a slippery slope for a female celebrity. And for Richie, the parasocial relationships and weird psychoanalyzing of her marriage has already begun. Luckily, the model has kept a relatively private profile compared to other influencers of her stature. If she never posts a single TikTok again after her wedding, it will be the PR slay of the century.

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