Paris In Love, the new series documenting Paris Hilton’s wedding preparation, begins with the heiress wearing her ubiquitous pink velour tracksuit, sitting cross-legged in a walk-in closet. She’s surrounded by glittering tiaras. “I just want to be a normal person,” she coos with longing, as we cut to paparazzi footage of flashbulbs and Hilton’s long legs getting in and out of cars.
But “normal people” don’t have extravagant, days-long nuptials, as Hilton is currently in the middle of. On Thursday she wed Carter Reum (pronounced REEM), a venture capitalist, longtime family friend, and all-around good sport who’s content to let Hilton have fun on her little TV series. He’s nothing like the “hungry tigers” or “models, actors, rock stars, trust fund babies, club rats, and douchebags” Hilton says she’s spent most of her life dating.
The pair wed at Hilton’s grandfather’s old Bel Air mansion—now owned by Google’s Eric Schmidt—surrounded by family, friends, and gigantic pink flowers arranged in their initials. Emma Roberts, Paula Abdul, and Rachel Zoe were all in attendance, as were Hilton’s mother Kathy and aunt Kyle Richards (who both star on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). Kim Kardashian, who cut her teeth as Hilton’s personal assistant back in the early aughts, was expected to attend, but so far has not been seen in paparazzi snaps of the arrivals.
The revelry continues into Friday, where Hilton will host a carnival on the Santa Monica Pier, and Saturday, which features a “black-tie soirée,” according to Page Six. Each day will be mined for content and will eventually show up in the docuseries, which is a dizzying mix of fantasy wedding porn and trauma dump. Hilton wants to show us her “authentic” self, to coin a phrase she says a lot in the first episode, all while her face is caked with layers of foundation.
Basically, watch this show if you enjoy hearing Paris Hilton say that it’s hard to be Paris Hilton—as she lounges in an ornate, baroque room filled with priceless art.
Part of Hilton’s star power (and why people are not ripping into her ostentatious I do’s like they did with oil heiress Ivy Love Getty’s San Francisco wedding earlier this week) is that she always seems in on the joke. She’ll stop an argument with her sister, Nicky, who accuses her of getting cold feet over lunch at a private social club, by telling her she’s “so beautiful” in her signature Valley Girl monotone. She gets into fights with her wedding dress designer, Fernando Garcia of Oscar de la Renta, about whether or not a spray tan will stain one of her many gowns.
When her fiancé (or, more likely, her producers) surprises her with a rack full of dresses to try on before a mystery date, she says she feels “like Pretty Woman, but not a hooker.” It’s the type of cheesy one-liner that only Hilton can deliver with serious aplomb.
Anyone who watched Hilton fall prey to the same misogynistic media that branded Britney Spears as white trash gone insane will feel genuinely happy that Hilton appears to have found her “forever,” as she called Reum on Instagram this week.
But there are limits to her redemption story. “Paris had it pretty good growing up,” Reum puts it in the first episode, extremely mildly. “She lived between the Waldorf in New York and Beverly Hills.” (She also experienced undeniable suffering, including the abuse she suffered in boarding school as detailed in 2020’s eye-opening documentary, This Is Paris.)
Hilton’s wealth was mined as comedy during The Simple Life era, but it’s harder to laugh about such things in 2021. A particularly enraging scene finds Kathy Hilton mad that Reum is using her “very hard to get” Hermés tray as a candle holder. Paris blames it on “the housekeepers,” in an exaggerated stage whisper, before a member of her staff shows up right behind her.
I hesitate to make a hero out of a venture capitalist, but Reum—who allegedly “hates” filming the series, according to some anonymously-sourced tabloid scoop—comes off as extremely enamored with his new bride. Much is made of Reum wanting to get to know “the real Paris,” as he calls her, not the “character” she’s developed through the years.
So if you’re feeling generous, watching Paris In Love might feel like seeing an old friend finally meet her soulmate after years of dating absolute scrubs. Or, as some joked after Vogue covered Ivy Getty’s opulent wedding, the series can also come off as a strong argument for a wealth tax.
When discussing her wedding dress, Hilton reveals that multiple designers came forward offering her “six figures” to wear one of their creations on her big day. It makes sense that the “famous for being famous” starlet who helped create the job title influencer could fetch that much in a deal. But it does not line up with the fact that most brides today are opting to downsize on their nuptials.
According to the American Wedding Study from Brides, 47 percent of readers said they plan to cut down on their guest lists.
“Microweddings,” once a COVID necessity, are still popular, even as capacity limits crawl back up to pre-pandemic levels. One wonders if the Big Wedding Industry is secretly funding Hilton’s extravaganza in an attempt to make lavish parties cool again.
Or maybe Hilton, like any old member of the super-rich, could just be a bit out-of-touch. Either way, she was very kind to invite us all to watch her say I Do, even if it’s just from the comfort of our couches.