- Selling Sunset‘s Christine Quinn married her tech millionaire beau Christian Richard in a Gothic Winter Wonderland-themed ceremony in December 2019.
- The million-dollar wedding is featured in the finale of Selling Sunset‘s third season, though Christine expressed her dismay about how little was depicted.
- Below, event planner Lisa Lafferty shares the wedding’s hidden details and behind-the-scenes secrets that Selling Sunset didn’t show with OprahMag.com.
Black swans. Falling snow. Gilded thrones. Bleeding cakes. Horse-drawn carriages. Fog rising from the ground. Are we describing the beginning of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, or Christine Quinn of Selling Sunset‘s wedding? The distinction isn’t clear—and it’s not supposed to be. “She wanted theatrics,” Lisa Lafferty, Christine’s wedding planner, tells OprahMag.com.
The third season of Netflix’s Selling Sunset culminates at Christine’s wedding to her tech millionaire beau, Christian Richard. The couple was married in December 2019, before a crowd of about 130 white-clad guests, according to Lafferty—including Christine’s colleagues at the Oppenheim Group, a luxury real estate agency in L.A.
The wedding becomes a backdrop for the hallmarks of a Selling Sunset episode: Gorgeous interiors, workplace banter, and low-grade drama. While waiting for Christine to arrive, Jason Oppenheim jokes about the swans being drugged. After the ceremony, agents Davina Potratz and Chrishell Stause spar while discussing the details of Chrishell’s divorce.
In focusing on the cast’s interactions, though, Selling Sunset overlooks some of the wedding’s more elaborate details, like ever-shifting LED walls, four-foot-tall gargoyle ice sculptures, and a macabre art installation for cocktail hour. “It was just hands sticking out of a wall wearing Swarovski gloves, handing out onyx-tinted champagne. It was odd, but artistic,” Lafferty says. “Something edgy when you walk in.”
Quinn herself wishes Selling Sunset had shown more of the wedding, and less of the drama. “I understand they wanted to get certain storylines in there, but this was actually my day. This was my day, and I was just disappointed in the way it was perceived on camera and translated, unfortunately. I’m not going to lie, I was crying when I watched it. I was like, ‘This is not my wedding, this is not my wedding,'” she told People.
The entire extravaganza was put together in a stunningly short two-month span. Lafferty previously worked with Christine for her engagement party, seen in season 2, and Selling Sunset‘s launch party. Given their collaboration, she counts herself a member of “Team Christine,” those who root for Christine—despite her occasional villain edit. “[Selling Sunset] depicts her a little bit as a villain. I think she just likes to speak her mind and she doesn’t tolerate any BS. Sometimes the truth hurts and she’s not afraid to tell you,” she says.
Speaking to OprahMag.com, Lafferty gives us the inside scoop on the event, from its cost to whether or not Christine actually had the coronavirus during the ceremony, as she claims. Stay tuned for never-before-seen wedding photos, too.
The wedding had no budget, and cost over a million dollars.
A wedding this extravagant doesn’t come cheap (and neither does Christine’s show-stopping engagement ring). Luckily, Lafferty says, there was no monetary cap placed on manifesting Christine’s wildest dreams. “She said, ‘The budget’s love.’ They were very generous with their budget,” Lafferty recalls.
Altogether, the price tag was astronomical. “It was absolutely over a million dollar wedding,” Lafferty says. “We did everything custom and couture for her, because her style is kind of wild. We were able to take risks.”
Christine designed her own black couture wedding dresses.
In her feathered black gown, Christine wasn’t your typical bride—and that was every bit her intention. “She wanted to be different,” Lafferty tells us. “She’s always stood out. She wanted to be an individual, and not go to the standard white wedding dress.”
At first, the two-month time crunch, combined with Christine’s insistence on a black gown, made designers turn her down. “Designers like Vera Wang said, ‘That’s not going to happen,” Lafferty recalls. “There’s no way you can get this kind of dress made in two month.” Ultimately, Christine worked with designer Galia Lahav to design two black gowns.
The cake appeared to bleed when the couple cut into it.
When planning the wedding, Christine was set on one detail: A cake that bled. “She was very adamant. That’s the one thing that she really wanted. A bloody cake,” Lafferty says. However, finding a baker willing to make such a wedding cake proved to be a challenge “Some bakers did not want to do anything to the sort of what we were trying to do,” Lafferty says.
The baker Julie Simon was willing to take the risk, creating a 55-inch, four-tier cake. The initials “C+C” were carved in the cake at the spot where it was cut—the spot where it appeared to bleed. “The bleeding was a strawberry balsamic. It was delicious,” Lafferty says.
Midway through the wedding, the space completely transformed.
Christine and Christian were married in a winter-themed cathedral, complete with falling snow and snow-capped trees. In an hour-and-a-half span, over 100 workers transformed the space from Winter Wonderland to grim fairy tale. The cathedral draping was switched to black chiffon; the chandeliers were switched to wrought iron; and the room was lit in red.
Altogether, the wedding was supposed to tell a story. “We liked the idea of ‘Til Death Do Us Part.’ They’re in love, so we wanted something whimsical. But we also wanted to turn it into her actual style—the gothic, edgy. We tried to tell a story of love. But it was also more of an interpretation of how they are as a couple in real life, and the things they love—dark sexiness,” Lafferty says.
No, the swans were not drugged.
In the show, Jason Oppenheim jokes about the swans being stoned. Lafferty ensures that is not the case—no swans were harmed in the making of this wedding. Instead, they were monitored by their handler (yes, that’s a job).
Originally, all four swans were meant to be separated in four pools. “They did not want to be separate. They kept jumping into the other swan’s pond. Eventually, we had to put them together,” Lafferty says. “It’s a love story. They wanted to be together.”
There are countless details not shown in Selling Sunset.
Below, Lafferty shared a few more of the over-the-top details with us.
- A string quartet played “Sweet but Psycho” by Ava Maxx as she walked down the aisle.
- Christine’s floral arrangement contained lilies of the valley, which are known to be poisonous if ingested.
- Christine and Christian sat on six-foot-tall, black-and-gold thrones at a sweetheart table.
- The party favors were breakable chocolate skulls containing a custom calligraphy note from the bride and groom: “Til death do us part.”
- Fireworks! Actual fireworks!
- The ice cubes contained black roses.
- The bride and groom entered to a faux thunderstorm complete with lightning and thunder effects, and matching LED panels.
- Stars twinkled on LED panels during the couple’s first dance.
Naturally, the wedding guests brought all the drama.
The drama of Selling Sunset‘s third season unfolds at Christine’s wedding—and reader, there is drama. Chrishell, still wounded from her sudden split from husband Justin Hartley (of This Is Us fame), is on-edge throughout the ceremony. Lafferty mentions that her team took pains to make Chrishell comfortable at the wedding, altering her hand-calligraphied name card at the last minute. “We cut [Hartley’s] last name out just so she wouldn’t have to sit there and see it,” Lafferty says.
Then, after Davina implies that Chrishell hasn’t presented the whole story of their divorce at cocktail hour, Chrishell abruptly leaves. “Everyone saw her storm off,” Lafferty says. “It was like, Wow, what’s going on? It was kind of unavoidable. I felt bad, but it was hard to ignore it.”
According to Lafferty, Christine stayed out of the unfolding drama. “Christine was on such an elevated level and enjoying herself with her family and her friends—living it up as this stunning bride. She wasn’t involved in any of the drama. She sat in this beautiful throne chair, above everybody,” Lafferty says.
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Had it not been for Selling Sunset, the wedding guest list may have looked different. When asked whether she would’ve invited her colleagues, Christine replied, “God no.”
Um…Christine might have had the coronavirus during the wedding.
There was just one damper on the party: The bride was feeling incredibly ill. Speaking to Goss.ie’s Goss Chats, Christine said that she had the coronavirus during the December ceremony that took place before COVID-19 became the pandemic we now know it is. “I was really, really sick on my wedding day. I actually had what I now know is corona,” Christine said.
Lafferty can’t confirm Christine’s diagnosis—but she can attest that Christine was suffering. “I don’t know if she had corona, but she was really sick. I ended up getting really sick right after her,” Lafferty says. “I would say that she probably did have it.”
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