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Weddings: A New Beginning

by Catherine Bigelow

Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.
Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.

When artist and Ford model Ivy Love Getty, 27, married photographer Tobias Alexander Engel, 29, they celebrated in singular style. A British Invasion welcome party at the Palace of Fine Arts, with DJ Mark Ronson and headliner Earth, Wind & Fire, nodded to Engel’s London and Vienna upbringing. The next day’s casual chic (that’s head-to-toe Gucci, sweetie) picnic at the Presidio’s Log Cabin featured food trucks and vitamin B infusions. That evening, a rehearsal dinner unfurled at Michael and Lindsay Tusk’s Michelin-starred Quince.

The November 6 wedding had a quintessential San Francisco backdrop: City Hall’s Rotunda adorned in velvet drapery swags, urns of Ecuadorian roses and Persian carpets lining its grand marble staircase — all exquisitely designed by family friend Stanlee Gatti (assisted by Yvette Robbins and wedding organizer Jocelyn Arelt). The ceremony was officiated by another City icon and longtime Getty intimate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.
Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.

The three-day soiree — which, along with two weeks of pre-event prep, gave a boost to the local economy (employing more than 500 workers and utilizing multiple venues) — was dubbed by attendees as “The Wedding of the Century.” And yes, love in the time of COVID means the 500 guests — among them, Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, and actress Anya Taylor-Joy, who served as maid of honor — were fully vaxxed and masked.

Getty was escorted down the aisle by her proud grandfather, composer and philanthropist Gordon Getty, amid decor that echoed his wife, the late philanthropist and arts patron Ann Getty, whose museum-quality collections were infused with comfortable elegance in the Gold Coast manse where they raised their granddaughter and the reception was held. “No one entertained like Ann,” says Gatti.

Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.
Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.

John Galliano custom designed the bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. Getty’s ensemble comprised four layers of pale tulle topped by a sheath adorned with mirror fragments that patterned into such shapes as butterflies. Her 16-foot veil was hand-embroidered with walnuts (honoring her grandmother’s Wheatland ranch heritage) and guitars, a salute to her musician father, John Gilbert Getty (who, like Ann, passed away in 2020).

Ivy Getty’s grandmother was an early champion of Galliano’s avant-garde designs. “I never imagined I’d wear one of his gowns while dancing to the Spice Girls with Galliano at my reception,” she enthused to the Gazette. And the admiration is mutual: “I would never call her a muse; that’s too passive,” said the designer. “Ivy’s suggestions inspired me. She’s an artist in her own right.”

The bride, introduced to Galliano by her aunt, Vanessa Getty, added, “I hope to display the dress; I don’t believe in hoarding things of beauty. … The way it sparkles, I wish I could hang it like a disco ball. But we already have one in our living room.”

Photo courtesy of Jose Villa.

A great-granddaughter of oil baron J. Paul Getty, Ivy Getty attended The Hamlin School and Urban High School. She now inhabits a global stage between London and New York, where she and Engel reside with her teacup-size rescue Chihuahua mix, Blue. But she maintains close ties with her brood of Getty relatives and childhood friends, many of whom were in the wedding party. Even cousin Balthazar Getty, an actor and DJ, joyfully spun platters with her during the reception.

The newlyweds met in 2018 when she moved to London after graduation from Loyola Marymount University. They were introduced by another cousin, Julius Getty, a friend of Engel. In self-penned vows, Engel pledged, “Your belief in me, and in us, is the biggest gift of my life. This day symbolizes a new beginning of our journey together.” “But her warmth and graciousness live on in Ivy.”

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