By Donna Freydkin and Arienne Thompson
Maybe the third time's the charm for Kim Kardashian.
After her first two marriages went belly up, Kardashian is now engaged to her boyfriend Kanye West, father of their infant daughter, North. He proposed on Monday in front of the Kardashian crew at AT&T Park in San Francisco by projecting a message on the stadium screen.
So much for those pleas for privacy, guys.
"She makes money by attracting this kind of attention. She doesn't have a skill. She doesn't sing, she doesn't perform, she doesn' t act; she just is a public person," says Merle Ginsberg, senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter. "So, the more public she becomes, the more money she makes.
But the lead-up to the "I do"s, as well as the ceremony itself, will be handled differently this time around, predict nuptial experts.
"Kanye seems to have found the person he can settle down and be himself with," says celebrity wedding guru Diann Valentine. "I think the wedding will be over the top and creative. But it's going to be private. It will be in another country. Kanye will spend an immense amount of money to keep it private."
And very carefully managed. The key word is control, with West likely to be meticulous in handling the details. But Kardashian isn't known for doing anything halfway, either. Her second wedding, to NBA player Kris Humphries, merited its own flashtacular E! special, and the demise of the relationship also played out on TV; they split 72 days after getting hitched.
So, how should West, who has never been hitched, and Kardashian, who married producer Damon Thomas in 2000 (they divorced in 2003), handle their nuptials this time around?
The registry: Among the items Humphries and Kardashian requested were a $6,500 Lalique Tourbillon vase and a $470 Cunill frame. Experts agree that this time, the couple should avoid registering, instead telling guests to donate to charity in lieu of gifts. It's her third wedding, and Kardashian doesn't need blenders or sheets or towels. And West's tastes are too specific for a generic registry at Macy's. "Anyone that prominent and wealthy that registers is a bit of a joke. My clients all register for philanthropic causes," says celebrity wedding planner Marcy Blum. "How much more crap do they need? They get it for free anyway."
The shower: Last time, the televised event was hosted by mom Kris Jenner, and the guest list included Demi Lovato, Serena Williams, Mel B and Brittny Gastineau. This time will likely be no exception, given that reality is the Kardashian family business and West has appeared on their show. "Kim lives her life on television, so she'll have to give something to the show. I predict it will be a co-ed family gathering," says Valentine. "It will be big." Or maybe, they should skip the party altogether. "They should not have another shower," says Blum. "Whatever roles they're playing at the moment, she's supposed to be a more maternal, less avaricious person, and having another shower after having had another wedding smacks of greed."
The ceremony: Anyone who owned a television in 2011 was aware of the massive, glitzy Los Angeles bash that cost millions, with Kardashian wearing white Vera Wang. But she's a mom now, and more mature. "The last wedding looked and sounded very teenage-poppy, really black and white and frilly and frou-frou. It was young and pop culture. This will be a lot more edgy and interesting," says Blum. "He's as much into fashion as she is. This wedding will have an older vibe with good music and interesting readings." The ceremony, says Valentine, will be big and will likely take place in Paris, away from the madness of the City of Angels. "Kanye has an affinity for it and he has a lot of friends in fashion," says Valentine.
What it won't be is small or private, predicts Ginsberg. "I don't think any elopement is going to happen. I think they're going to send out one of these invitations to many, many, many famous people that say, 'Keep this secret! Secret location. Secret, secret, secret!' and they're going to make sure it gets on the internet somehow. And they're going to invite the helicopters to come and crash (the wedding)."
The dress: No ruffles or poufs for Kardashian when she ties the knot with West, given her much higher fashion stakes these days. After all, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci is West's BFF. "I believe she'll wear something a lot more fashion forward and couture, as opposed to bride-y. That's her new persona," says Blum. "She reinvents herself. She's a new mother, and her fashion choices have morphed into things that are less obvious. I could see her wearing Alaia or Lanvin. I could see her wearing coral or fuchsia or pink. I don't think she should wear white."
But if she does, that's OK, too. "There's no protocol for color. It's what an individual is comfortable wearing. She has an amazing figure, and I see her in something very fitted," says Cristina DeMarco, vice president of the dress salon Bridal Reflections. "I think an off-white ivory would look amazing on her. She'll be fashion forward but still look like a bride."
The photos: Valentine predicts everything will take place in a private estate, or a castle, a la Madonna and Guy Ritchie. And only one or two photos will be shared with the public. "He's protective of her, and if they will release a picture, it will be for no money," says Valentine. "I don't see them being sold." Blum seconds that sentiment, given that the only two photos of their daughter North were posted for free on Instagram. "They didn't sell baby photos, (which) connotes that they're going in another direction," says Blum. "I wouldn't go so far as to say philanthropic but slightly less overtly materialistic."