Byline: Aileen Mehle
At least 500 of the creme de la creme, la crema de la crema, the whipped cream of the cream of the international set along with New York society’s glitterati (you know who you are) will descend en masse on La Romana in the Dominican Republic on Friday. Because birds of a feather flock together, those who don’t fly in on private planes will board a special chartered plane in New York (invited guests only), toting their finery and arriving just in time for lunch. (Perfect timing again, darlings).
If you divide the 500 guests, you will come out with 300 of the beautiful young (thank you, God) and 200 of the mostly beautiful not-so-young (they’ve got to live, too). Their destination is the luxurious resort of Casa de Campo, a waving-palm-filled jewel on the Caribbean. And the reason for all the excitement is a wonderful weekend celebrating the Saturday wedding of a fabulous young couple, lovely Emilia Fanjul and handsome Morgan Stanley investment banker Brian Pfeifler. Emilia is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Pepe Fanjul — he is the sugar tycoon with a capital T and the Fanjul family owns really far-flung Casa de Campo. How nice.
Besides getting married, you can do all sorts of things at Casa de Campo. You’ll be thrilled to hear you can golf, ride horses, play tennis, breeze around the resort in gas-powered carts, shoot clay pigeons, visit the magnificent new marina with its world-class shopping and dining, loll around the yacht club, go out deep-sea fishing or just hole up in your glamorous villa, all weekend wedding-related diversions laid on for the guests. There is also a lagniappe called a “body polish” available all day in your villa if being lavished with granulated walnuts and apricot oil makes you tingle all over. But all that pampering pales in comparison to the main event, the glamorous wedding, and the parties that go along with it.
The rehearsal dinner on Friday night is at Minitas, a private beach, and later there will be a big party right on the beach with tables set up on the sand. Terribly, terribly beachy, so bring pants or shorts, sandals or go barefoot. Save the beads and the preening and primping for the wedding. If you are still ready for more after all that, you can kick back at Genesis Nightclub in Altos de Chavon or go to La Cana Bar for meringue and salsa.
Carolina Herrera has designed Emilia’s wedding dress and it is said to be beautiful beyond compare. The Saturday ceremony will be held at seven in the evening at nearby St. Stanislaus Church on the Main Plaza in Altos de Chavon, the amazing replica of an authentic medieval village down to the last cobblestone. (Which is one reason why stilettos in Altos de Chavon are not for the smart). The reception after the ceremony is at Casa Grande, the great house on the Fanjul compound set in the middle of smaller guest villas, vast lawns and towering trees that stretch to the sea. The setting is spell-binding, and the cast will include such as Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Shelby Bryan. Catch me, I’m falling. And this is just the trailer.
You should know that such brilliant showfolk as Julie Christie, Sarah Polley and Helen Mirren, part of the cast in the soon due flick, “No Such Thing” (it takes a look at instant gratification and sensationalism), are mad about Iceland. Yes, Iceland. That’s where most of the movie was shot and Christie and Polley especially — speaking of instant gratification — fell in love with the place.
Christie says, “Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, full of wonder, with dangers, surprises and magic. The weather changes about 20 times a day, one minute you’re bathed in sunshine and the next caught in a dangerous gale+.The most important thing is that it’s a civilized place and I love it. People seem to have maintained a way of living that manages to protect them — they’re strong.” Thank you, Julie. Maybe it’s yanking up all those fish.
Polley became fast friends with the Icelandic women who were part of the movie’s crew and calls them “the strongest, most confident, insane, greatest group of young women I’ve ever seen in my life. There’s something much more socially progressive in their environment. I think every young woman should come to Iceland for a year and learn how to cope with the world.” Thank you, Sarah. But frankly, a lot of them are really busy until after the Fanjul wedding, OK?