During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vogue’s goal is to use our coverage to celebrate responsible wedding planning, feature a love story, and shed light on the questions engaged couples are now asking.
For those doing wedding planning, follow all applicable state and local laws, guidelines, and CDC recommendations to ensure safety and reduce the risk of contraction and transmission of COVID-19.
Singer, actress and model Caroline Vreeland – the granddaughter of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland – met Nicolas Rico, co-founder of the Mural Festival and the LNDMRK Agency, during Art Basel last year. “I was at a party with my friend Violet Chachki and we both agreed that Nico was the best looking man in the room,” recalls Caroline. “We waved him over here with a series of looks, and when he walked the dance floor I felt at peace.”
Since then, Caroline and Nico have not gone a day without speaking. Although it was early on in their relationship, she decided to take a leap of faith and go to Montreal on March 12 to visit Nico. That trip inevitably resulted in them being quarantined in Nico’s hometown for six months. “We definitely felt a bit guilty about having such a good time in quarantine,” reveals Caroline. “We kept pinching each other and thinking about how lucky we were to have all this time to get to know each other. I’ve spent the last decade traveling to work so it was the first time I’ve enjoyed being at home – cooking, gardening, and falling in love. “
Finally, a few days after Caroline’s 33rd birthday on her roof in Brooklyn, Nico suggested that both of them wore the de facto uniform during the pandemic: sweatpants. “It was perfect,” recalls Caroline. “Before he fell on one knee, he read a letter he had written that was a declaration of love, and I knew that with this man I would look into the future of my eternity.”
The two are still hoping for a major Tuscan wedding or vow renewal in the summer of 2022, but they also knew they wanted to officially get married sooner rather than later. “The world is so insecure [right now]and we come from two different countries as Nico is Canadian, ”says Caroline. “What we do in Italy will be an opportunity for our families and friends to meet, dance and celebrate together – but the wedding in New York was just for us.”
After everything that had happened in 2020, Caroline and Nico knew without a doubt that they just wanted to be together. “That was the most important thing,” she says. “So we put together an intimate ceremony within a few weeks so we didn’t have to face the potential challenge of being separated.”
At first, they assumed they would say “I’ll do” in a courthouse, but all government agencies were closed. “Of course, I had to put aside my sense of the dramatic – because if I had my Druthers, I would be swinging from the chandeliers in Versailles! – to reflect the gravity of the times we live in, ”explains Caroline.
The ceremony took place on December 7th in the penthouse of the Ludlow Hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with only 10 friends, followed by a small dinner. “We chose this date because it was the day we met the year before,” says Caroline. “We did all the planning ourselves and with the help of our friends. One of my favorite moments of the day was letting my friends arrange flowers, light the candles, pour the champagne, play the records, and take on the daunting task of steaming my dress! The fact that I didn’t have to worry about these details made me feel very cared for at that moment. “
Last summer, Caroline was lucky enough to meet Giambattista Valli. “We were very close – something I don’t usually find,” she says. “When I told him about our secret plans, he agreed to dress me and found that, although we hadn’t known each other for long, we immediately considered each other family.”
Messika made the couple’s wedding rings, and Baylee Zwart of Azlee, who Caroline went to high school with, helped Nico design the engagement ring of her dreams. For the ceremony, she added accessories to her favorite Imalinz pearls. In true rock star fashion, Nico wore a Kooples suit with Santoni shoes.
On the day of the wedding, Caroline’s sister Alexandra led her down the aisle. “I always knew that she would be the one to betray me because she was my soulmate and closest confidante,” says the bride. “The first thing I did when I came around the corner and saw Nico standing there was a big laugh. So much joy bubbled inside me and when I feel joyful I laugh. During the ceremony, I felt gratitude and unconditional love not only from my husband, but also from the friends and family who surround me. “
One of Caroline’s best friends, Luke Simcock, chaired the service and prepared a statement describing how the couple met and how their love grew. Alexandra read a touching poem that she wrote, then Nico’s business partner and best friend Yan read a piece that he had written. Caroline and Nico exchanged vows, rings, and finally the kiss. “We couldn’t stop laughing!” Says Caroline. “I think that was the best part – such pure unadulterated joy!”
“The time it took my friends and family to be with us during a global pandemic made me very grateful,” says Caroline. “This is not a time when it’s easy to travel or hang out with loved ones – but we could get tested, meet and do it safely.”
After the ceremony, the intimate group went to Alice in the West Village for dinner and dancing. “Because the dress was so big, I couldn’t leave the hotel and would never want to compromise such a gem,” says Caroline. “So I slipped into the only Alessandra Rich dress that I wanted to dance in and eat pasta in.” When Caroline morphed into her Alessandra Rich look, Nico took that as a cue to transform into a tuxedo shirt his late grandfather wore.
“Of course we still followed the pandemic rules [at the restaurant] So there were only 10 of us and we had to go home by 10pm, but it was still completely magical, ”says Caroline. Everyone walked around the table and took turns nudging the couple. After cutting the cake, throwing flowers and garter belts, the newlyweds had their first dance to their song “La Nuit est une Panthère” by Les Louanges.
“I felt at peace,” says Caroline. “I felt unconditionally seen, understood, protected and loved. I am grateful and ready to settle down and raise a family! I found a love that makes me feel free – it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever known. “