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“18th-Century French Neoclassicism Decadence With a Punk Rock Overlay” Led This Destination Wedding’s Aesthetic

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Monika Frias

|Planning by 

Matthew Oliver

Alexis Graham Kirk, a senior director of marketing at Luxottica, and Taylor Michael Pile, a lead inventor at ?What If! Innovation, both grew up in New Albany, Ohio, but “were on different planets,” Lexie describes. Taylor was starting a rock band with his history teacher, while Lexie was captaining the track team and excelling in academics. After college, Lexie and Taylor’s moms, who knew their kids were both single and in New York City, devised a plan for the two to go on a date. The date started a great friendship that slow burned its way to a romantic relationship.

After 10 years together, Taylor asked Lexie’s brothers and best friend, Alex, to help him propose at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Taylor’s reservation at The Bowery Hotel might’ve thrown her off on the location of the proposal, but as they passed signs for Tarrytown, she started getting an idea of their final destination. Once on-site, he dropped down to one knee, and after saying, “Yes!” her family and friends surprised the couple to celebrate the milestone moment together.

Lexie had always envisioned a wedding inspired by Sofia Coppola’s film, Marie Antoinette. “Aesthetically, we knew we wanted a backdrop of 18th-century French Neoclassicism decadence with a punk rock overlay,” the bride says of her wedding’s design. To bring their vision to life, the couple hired out the Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé in the Loire Valley of France, and the wonderful planning team of Matthew Oliver took care of every detail. Meticulous Ink and Cristina Robles set the tone for the weekend with a beautiful invitation suite and consistent and thematic branding materials.

The day was also designed to defy conventional wedding traditions. The wedding processional songs were string quartet versions of songs by Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Beastie Boys. The first dance was replaced by a mosh pit to Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name.” And a sabering ceremony, timed to a firework display with Arcade Fire songs, was done in place of a cake cutting.

While the vibe was filled with abundance and exuberance, it was also about remembrance. Lexie’s mother, who helped set them up, passed away from ovarian cancer just before Taylor proposed. She was also an avid Francophile, inspiring the trip across the world. Her presence was noted through a “Manifesto For Living” that guided her life—which was printed and stationed at each event throughout the wedding weekend—”The Barbara,” a coupe glass of Champagne mixed with rosé Champagne and liqueur de rose, and even the wedding rings, which had her name engraved on the inside. Lexie’s bouquet was also tied together with material from her mother’s own wedding dress.

“Volume, tulle, fantasy” was Lexie’s brief for her wedding weekend wardrobe. For the welcome party feast, she opted for a black Carolina Herrera high-low dress from the Spring 2022 collection with Anabela Chan yellow diamond earrings. Beauty was expertly handled by a glam team of Kasun and Rika Bitton from Modern Beauties. Taylor complemented her in a silver brocade tuxedo by J. Mueser with Christian Louboutin shoes.

The next day, Lexie put on her custom bubblegum pink tulle dress by Nicole + Felicia with Anabela Chan pink diamond earrings. “While I was originally allergic to the idea of wearing white, a friend recommended that I have one white moment but not for the ceremony, for the European dinner reception,” Lexie says. For her second look, she looked to Sandra Mansour for a custom creation that was more fitted with flowing sleeves and floral embroidery and styled it with the Botticelli pearl earrings by Sophie Billie Brahe and Jimmy Choos.

For her final look of the day that allowed more dancing, Lexie picked a high-low pink Monique Lhuillier dress from the Fall 2022 collection. She paired the Instagram-favorite design with a nature-inspired headpiece, brought to life by florist Amie Bone Flowers. “A floral headpiece had entered my mind—Jean Shrimpton in Vogue January 1965, Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Richard Burton, the famed YSL Laetitia Casta runway moment, to name a few.”

On August 27, 2022, the ceremony was set up near the lake, among the gardens and orchards. Lexie walked with her father and brothers down the aisle, and Taylor’s father, Stephen, led the service. “We exchanged promises to one another—to never settle for mediocrity, to live a shared life of ‘and’ rather than ‘or,’ and to consistently show ourselves and others empathy,” Lexie shares. “After almost 10 years together, marriage was a very conscious decision to recommit, in front of our community, our love for each other. While I was standing in front of someone I know so intimately, I felt that the auspiciousness of our life together just beginning.”

After exchanging vows and sharing a first kiss, the newlyweds joined their guests for cocktail hour in the garden. Everyone found their seats for dinner via individual oil paintings of themselves in 18th-century French attire. In front of the château, a tablescape fit for a queen was displayed with candelabras, florals, and tulle. Heartwarming speeches were given by Lexie’s father, Lexie’s co-man of honor, and Taylor’s co-best man. This was followed by a fabulous four-course French meal, prepared by Chef Maxime. 

After the delicious dinner, Taylor sabered a magnum of Lexie’s mother’s favorite rosé Champagne, Billecart-Salmon, and let it flow over the coupe tower. The saber was engraved with Lexie’s mother’s college nickname, “Vissers,” on it. Then, fireworks erupted, timed to “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” by Arcade Fire and “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones—the latter being a song Lexie’s mother would often sing to her while growing up.

Once the sky darkened again, Lexie yelled, “Let’s party!” and everyone followed her to the ballroom, where dessert towers, wig stations, a custom bar, and two stages were waiting. The party raged on until 4:00 a.m. with a band led by Emily Aston, who is currently in Hadestown on Broadway, and German indie dance rockers, Digitalism. To close the night, about 10 people jumped on stage to sing Arcade Fire’s “No Cars Go,” Taylor and Lexie’s favorite song.

On Sunday, Lexie got her Giambattista Valli moment with a strawberry pink, tiered dress from the Spring 2022 assortment. Taylor deviated from his darker wardrobe and selected a custom light blue linen suit by  J. Mueser to say goodbye to loved ones.