After Sofia Richie went viral for hosting the “wedding of the century,” TikTok users have carved out a place for anything bridal on the short-form video app.
While the wedding side of TikTok often includes advice videos and vlogs in preparation for the big day, every now and then, something transcends the niche.
This week, it is Madelaine Brockway and Jacob LaGrone’s wedding.
ICYMI, Madelaine has skyrocketed to viral fame after organising one of the most extravagant (and costly) weddings the internet has ever seen. While Madelaine is the daughter of the CEO of a chain of Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Florida, little is known about Jacob’s background.
Nevertheless, there has been extensive speculation over how much the nuptials cost, with many TikTok users believing it was around 59 million dollars.
The celebrations kicked off with an almost week-long bachelorette party at a five-star luxury resort in Utah. Madelaine shared professionally filmed content from her stay, where the bridal party dressed up for different themes each evening.
In videos shared on TikTok and Instagram, Madelaine started the week with a “Pretty In Pink” theme. The group gathered for a meal by the pool before dancing with a private DJ. The following evenings appeared to follow a similar pattern, with the bridal party enjoying dinners themed “Aliens Amongst Us” and “Golden Hour” on the second and third nights, respectively. The last night was a nod to Madelaine’s favourite holiday, with the theme being “Marie Antoinette’s Last Halloween.”
Following the bachelorette party, Madelaine travelled to Paris in preparation for the ceremony.
Five days before the wedding, the Chanel Haute Couture Suite hosted Madelaine and her friends for a private lunch and workshop, where they weaved pouches. The following day, Madelaine stayed overnight at the Palace of Versailles, reportedly through the Le Grand Contrôle Hotel.
Maroon 5 was the entertainment for the evening, where the couple had their first dance as the band performed.
“Madelaine walked down the aisle in a custom @Dior haute couture dress embroidered with Lily of the Valley, Maddie’s favourite flower, and a matching cathedral veil,” a post by @lakecomoweddings, the wedding planning service behind Madelaine’s wedding, reads.
Given that Madelaine was not a public figure on social media before her wedding, many internet users have found her rise to viral fame suspicious.
TikTok creator and former celebrity event planner @corabreilein claimed that there “is something weird about this situation.”
“Typically, with weddings like this, if you look at the bride and groom on Instagram, they’re almost always on private… unless they are trying to catapult themselves in high society,” Cora begins. “In my opinion, I think that is the strategy here. I think this girl saw Sofia Richie and Nicola Peltz and said I want that to be me.”
With this, Cora notes that something is “not adding up” with how Madelaine has publicised her wedding.
“I’ve done celebrity events many times over, and I will tell you this isn’t that unusual to see for celebrities because they are public figures. There are content exchanges, publication exchanges. Oftentimes, they are not paying for these lavish events,” the TikTok creator explains. “Whereas, in this situation, because she’s a private citizen, I think they [must have] paid for this whole thing. So a lot is not making sense to me… it feels weird.”
While some TikTok users rallied behind Madelaine and Jacob, criticising Cora for questioning the authenticity of their wedding, she expanded on her comments in a follow-up video.
After pointing to the possibility of brand deals and the amount of content produced from the wedding, Cora suggests that the bride planned an extravagant wedding as a launchpad for her influencer career.
“What is fascinating about this creator [Madelaine] in general is not that this girl is so wealthy, but that she is seemingly mainly using social media to catapult herself to become an influencer,” Cora says. “There is a very clear strategy behind this… they are slowly rolling out the content to create social engagement so people talk about it.”
Of course, trying to manufacture this sort of virality on social media is not unprecedented. Rachel Karten, a social media consultant and author of the Link in Bio newsletter, took to X last week to share how brands like Athenos Feta, have tried to create viral buzz.
In the X thread, Karten points out that several influencers have recently shared videos making an (allegedly) viral feta and butternut squash soup. She and many other internet users claim the recipe hasn’t popped up organically on their feeds. Instead, Karten notes the company has commissioned influencers to make the soup seem like a thing.
While it’s clear that brands and people have fabricated popularity and influence in the past, other internet users are not so sure that this is the case with Madelaine.
Trend forecaster and creator economist @meridithvaliandor pointed to a comment by Olivia Burrows Sutherland (Madelaine’s content strategist for the wedding), confirming that the event was not any sort of brand partnership for social media growth.
“[Olivia] was hired by one of the wedding vendors to help with the content…” Meridith says. “[Hiring a content strategiest] makes sense in this climate… wedding photographers aren’t going to cut it anymore, because the way we share our experience is through social [media].”
Given that significant life events have become “a way to broadcast our lives” online, Madelaine might not be attempting to kickstart an influencer career. Instead, she could simply be seeking a dynamic and modern way to share a milestone with the people in her life.
Though TikTok users remain unsure about Madelaine’s motives, it’s safe to say that many will continue to enjoy the content as she shares more from the wedding.
Madelaine did not immediately respond to Centennial World‘s request for comment.