Why Priscilla Chan Is Like The Kate Middleton Of Silicon Valley

Time for some wedding dress analysis!

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg wed his longtime partner Priscilla Chan in a secret wedding everyone thought was going to be a graduation party. Why, how dressed down all their guests must have been. Awkward! The wedding photo is appropriately stiff. Either they’re not quite sure if this is the happiest day of their lives, or they’re already feeling extremely strange about how over-analyzed this photo will inevitably be. So, what DO the clothes mean, anyway?

Zuckerberg’s signature fashion item, of course, is The Hoodie, which he wore to what was previously the biggest day of his life, Facebook’s IPO. Many jokes will be cracked about how he finally wore a suit for this (which is more modern than a tux nowadays, so I’ll defend him on that point), but hello tech world — this is a wedding! So no one really cares about what the groom wore — it’s all about the bride, Priscilla: the Kate Middleton of Silicon Valley.

Like Kate, Priscilla married one of the most fascinating public figures of our time. She wore lace. And like Kate, she managed to do what few brides these days do, which is, get married in something that isn’t completely dated and horrible-looking. In fact, news anchor hair aside, she looks quite modern for a bride. The dress is neither too revealing nor dowdy; the lace overlay is a pleasing accent; and the veil actually looks like it belongs there. We can’t even see her ring! Which, whether intended or not, is an awesome bride move, since most marrying women want to shove their rocks in the face of anyone with working eyes. Zuckerberg is said to have designed her ruby engagement ring himself — another parallell to the Duchess of Cambridge, whose sapphire engagement ring also contains an unconventional stone.

Also, Priscilla’s not wearing any diamonds or flashy jewelry, which she certainly could wear a lot of if she wanted to. Kate Middleton, fearful of being too flashy at her wedding in the down economy, opted for a dainty crown and barely noticeable jewelry. Both Kate and Priscilla could be the picture of spendiness — and in a way, they are — but ultimately, they’re not.

Of course the biggest difference between Kate and Priscilla is that Priscilla will most certainly fade into her married life without becoming some sort of fashion icon. No one will go on to obsess over how she tried on two shirts at Banana Republic and then took a walk in the park — Z O M G — wearing some shoes. And her wedding dress was indicative of that: the wedding was just one day in the many, many days that make up her life, not her entire life. A lot of overbearing brides could learn a thing or two from her.

HANDOUT / Reuters

Chan and Zuckerberg in Shanghai on March 27, 2012. STRINGER/CHINA / Reuters

Update: Chan’s gown is by designer Claire Pettibone, according to Red Carpet Fashion Awards. It’s available exclusively at wedding dress boutique Kleinfeld’s.

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