If anyone knows how to put on a wedding for the history books, it’s David and Victoria Beckham. Cast your mind back to their 1999 nuptials and you might recall the grand Irish castle setting, the Vera Wang bridal gown, the his’n’hers purple reception looks, the diamond-studded tiara and the thrones – oh, those thrones. It was the stuff of a WAG royalty fantasy, setting a blingtastic bar which few have come close to since.
It was a marriage of its time, and now that Brooklyn (who was a sweet four-month-old bouncing baby, decked out in cream tailoring to match his Dad, at David and Victoria’s ceremony) is engaged to American actress Nicola Peltz, thoughts are undoubtedly turning to how this opportunity to reimagine Brand Beckham for the 2020s might be harnessed.
The clues that this will be no understated, private affair come via this weekend’s announcement; an artfully casual yet meticulously coordinated shot of the happy couple, taken by Brooklyn’s little sister Harper, posing in the Cotswolds countryside. The bride-to-be wears a diaphanous frilled sunshine yellow dress from her future mother-in-law’s fashion label (mostly sold out, but now reduced to £725 in the Net-a-Porter sale) with her emerald-cut solitaire diamond ring (‘get the look’ emails are already pouring into my inbox) clad hand placed lovingly on the cheek of her betrothed, himself outfitted in a sleek navy suit, made a bit more casual via a crisp white t-shirt.
This ‘official’ shot was topped up by behind-the-scenes pictures from Victoria of the happy couple with her parents, Jackie and Tony, while Brooklyn and Nicola both contributed Instagram pictures of themselves riding a motorbike, Nicola having donned Brooklyn’s khaki knit.
Brooklyn and Nicola’s engagement news, which comes around eight months into their relationship, raises some important fashion questions; Will Victoria design her daughter-in-law-to-be’s dress? Will Harper be bridesmaid? How will David and Victoria style out the first of their four children’s own weddings, with grandparenthood now on the horizon (‘I promise to be the best husband and the best daddy one day,’ Brooklyn captioned his announcement)? Can this wedding define celebrity culture for a generation in the same way that his parents’ did 20 years ago?
To the first two, probably. Victoria has form in high stakes bridal design after creating a chic, simple column gown for her friend Eva Longoria’s 2016 wedding, though it’s never been a mainstay of her business. With most high profile nuptials now multi-event occasions, there could be a scope for a classically tailored VB dress or jumpsuit in the mix, with another label chosen for the main ceremony. Brooklyn and Nicola are already friends of the Saint Laurent brand after sitting on the front row at the house’s last show in February (I wasn’t sat far away, and can confirm they seemed very much in love which is impressive given the chaotic hubbub of a show setting). So that’s a possibility, as is Burberry, given that the family are long-term friends of the brand. It’s no secret that the Victoria Beckham brand is not in the rudest health, so a Gen Z wedding gown moment may offer a much-needed boost.
Brooklyn’s nine-year-old sister has undertaken bridesmaid duties at least once before, at the wedding of Victoria’s brother Christian in December 2017 for which she wore a pretty tiered white dress. The couple are bound to include her in proceedings, so could this be another opportunity for Victoria to turn her hand to children’s occassionwear? Or might one of Harper’s favourite childrenswear labels get the commission? She already has a penchant for Gucci, Bonpoint and Stella McCartney Kids.
After the ostentation of their own wedding, David and Victoria’s attendance at other high profile ceremonies over the years is a tracker of their ever-evolving aesthetic. In 2005, Victoria was in her post-pop, pre-fashion and peak WAG mode, which shows in the look she chose for Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s civil partnership ceremony in Windsor; she’s dripping in diamonds, with a crystal-embellished flip phone and gem scattered red dress, for good sparkle measure. A fur stole, voluminous blonde hair extensions and a not-so-subtle tan all add to the ‘Alexis Carrington of the noughties’ vibe.
By the time the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton came along in 2011, the couple were beginning to subscribe to the ‘less is more’ school of style thought. I say beginning, because Victoria accessorised her loose navy dress (she was heavily pregnant with Harper at the time) with six-inch Louboutin heels. David, meanwhile, was dapper in a traditional morning suit, though his upturned collar and elaborate tie hinted at his sarong-loving instincts.
At Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s marriage in 2018, the sleekover was complete. The designer formerly known as Posh Spice chose navy once again, this time a contemporary yet ladylike keyhole-detail style adding a pop of colour via red heels while David modelled a sharp suit designed by Kim Jones, creative director of Dior Homme. The following year, David and Victoria relaxed their minimalist colour palette a little for Sergio Ramos’ Madrid-based celebrations; he wore navy, she a chain-print tea dress, previously sported by the Duchess of Sussex, with fuchsia heels.
As mother and father of the groom, David and Victoria will have a starring role at Brooklyn and Nicola’s wedding (slated to take place next summer) so prepare for impeccably of-the-moment looks which emphasise their ongoing relevance and consciousness of what’s chic and what’s not – I’d wager there will be no purple satin in sight. Could Victoria even blast all ‘mother-of’ expectation and look to tailoring instead of a dress?
As for Brooklyn and Nicola, fascination levels are definitely high. As an aspiring photographer and actress respectively, their careers are perhaps not yet at the point where their work is the main point of the public’s interest in them. But as any Gen Z-er with an ounce of social media nous knows, the right online presence can be career enough. And with the original modern masters of family image shaping to learn from, they are perfectly placed to launch themselves as Brand Beckham 2.0.