After a three-year-plus engagement, Jessica Simpson is expected to marry former pro football tight end Eric Johnson over the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. You can expect a lavish second go-around; this is a woman who has made tens of millions of dollars on clothing lines alone, including her popular shoe collection. We here at Yahoo! Celebrity have no idea which shoe she’ll be wearing this weekend — these, we hope — but we do have some intel, including the likely reason for the holiday weekend date; why her expected wedding venue is a risky choice; and the superstitions she'll likely avoid when it comes time to swap rings.
Why get married on a holiday weekend?
Because there's a slight, slight, ever so slight, chance you won't be paying attention, what with all the fireworks and barbecue and rousing songs of patriotism. Team Simpson likely hopes that you'll prefer a second helping of strawberry shortcake to scanning the Intertubes looking for news of her nuptials. There's also the hope that the press will be on vacation and therefore not converging on Simpson's wedding venue hoping for dish.
"It's going to minimize the media ripple effect," celebrity wedding planner Harmony Walton of the Bridal Bar explains. “In terms of online traffic, fewer eyes are going to see the stories.”
It’s the same philosophy practiced by, say, Julia Roberts, who married Danny Moder during an Independence-Day hoedown at her home in Taos. Did that stop folks like me from flying out to Taos to cover said wedding? No. But it was a fine effort by Roberts and I salute her for it.
Kaley Cuoco married on New Year's Eve. So did Will Smith and Jada Pinkett. Tom Cruise's doomed union to Katie Holmes began over a Thanksgiving holiday. And Dennis Quaid swapped vows with… someone other than Meg Ryan… on a July 4.
Then, of course, we have Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who just tied the knot over a Memorial Day break. And Simpson's sister, Ashlee, is gearing up to take the plunge with Evan Ross over Labor Day weekend.
Were they all seeking a lower media profile? Not necessarily.
"A lot of celebrities I've worked with are the mercy of shooting schedules," Walton points out. "If you're making a movie, chances are it will break for a holiday weekend. As far as sports stars, they have to get married in their off-season, too."
Why the Santa Barbara, California, area?
Simpson has been eyeballing the San Ysidro Ranch as a venue for — literally — years, and it's easy to see why: gorgeous landscaping (500 acres worth) and private cottages featuring Italian linens, stone fireplaces, Persian rugs, and plenty of privacy.
"A lot of celebrities have married there," Qalton says. "It's very, very rustic California chic, very on trend."
The ranch has only 41 cottages, however, leading me to suspect that this will not be the 200-guest, Kardashian-level blowout some media outlets are predicting. That isn't to say that Mindy Weiss, who planned Simpson's first wedding, will skimp on the details that make a celebrity bash a celebrity bash.
Wait. Simpson's using the same planner as her first wedding?!
By all indications, yes. And no, most brides don't do that.
"In terms of etiquette, most couples would work with different wedding professionals than they did the first time around," Walton says. However, she notes that, for her most recent go-around, Kim Kardashian reportedly turned to Sharon Sacks, who planned her Versailles-level wedding to Kris Humphries.
As for why a star might make such a choice, it probably comes down to trust.
[Related: Celeb Weddings of 2014]
Weiss has a reputation for tight lips ("She's a non-leaker," as Walton puts it) and making Simpson happy in the past. Simpson has collaborated with Weiss outside of her first wedding; her 2004 book I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding, includes insight from Weiss. And Weiss also planned both of Simpson's baby showers.
Isn't Simpson flirting with bad luck doing that?
If you believe in such superstitions, then, I guess. But choosing a ranch near tourism magnet Santa Barbara in the middle of a summer holiday weekend might be seen as a bigger risk.
"Santa Barbara is going to be much more populated than in a weekend in January," Walton notes. "It's going to be harder for her or her guests to hide on a holiday weekend."
Of course, there's a chance that Simpson has rented out the whole ranch in an effort to give her guests some privacy; the ranch's Stonehouse restaurant appears to be fully booked on the nights of July 4 and 5.
What gifts has she registered for?
If she's classy, none. It's bad etiquette to solicit gifts for a second wedding, and guests of a second wedding should feel no pressure to buy anything.
Will she wear white? Should she wear white?
Nobody cares anymore whether brides wear white for their second weddings. However, I hear that Simpson will likely eschew that traditional color — as well as some of the frills — this time around.
[Related: Celebs Who Ditched the White Wedding Dress]
"In general, you'd want to tone your dress down a little bit compared with what you wore the first time," Walton says. "Even Kim Kardashian's latest gown was more age appropriate. It didn't have the poofs, she didn't wear a tiara. It was lace instead of bling — more subdued."
How much is this costing Simpson?
Assuming that Simpson has shut down the ranch, "let's say half a million," at least, including perhaps $120,000 for the guest cottages and another $100,000 for food, beverages and other essentials for the weekend.
That's a lot of shoe sales, in case you're wondering.
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Leslie Gornstein is an entertainment writer and the host of the weekly Hollywood gossip podcast The Fame Fatale.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Jessica Simpson
- Kim Kardashian