Despite the fact that Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev had a long engagement—Chigvintsev popped the question in November of 2019—the couple didn't actually give themselves a great deal of time to plan the wedding. In the end, their intimate ceremony and reception in Paris, which took place on August 26, 2022, came together in four weeks. The duo appeared on Good Morning America today, January 25, 2023, to promote their new four-part E! series, Nikki Bella Says I Do!, and talked about the planning process and the big day itself.
"I thought it was a really good idea. I thought okay, you could totally plan a wedding in four weeks," Bella explains. "I thought you call up the caterer, or I don't know, the cake person. And you're like, okay, I just need it that date. Flowers. I was totally wrong! It's not easy!" Chigvintsev admits he wasn't sold on the idea of planning the entire celebration in a month, but knew that if his fiancé had her heart set on it, he'd be hard-pressed to change her mind. Plus, he was keenly aware of the fact that Nikki and her twin sister, Brie, could handle the hard work. "I tried to stay away from it because I know she has her sidekick, Brie, and they were going to figure it out. And to be honest, any answers I'm going to give them they'd still be like, 'Okay, cool, we're going to go this way."
Despite the fact that the bride took the leading on planning, it was actually Chigvintsev who dealt with more pre-nuptial stress. "I was actually not a bridezilla. He was a groomzilla!" Nikki laughs.
There were a few hiccups on the wedding day, including the fact that Chigvintsev's family wasn't able to witness it in person. "We tried everything [to get them to Paris], but it wasn't possible," he says. Instead, they were able to watch via Zoom. Another element that didn't go according to plan? Their son, Matteo, was supposed to serve as the ring bearer, but those plans fell through. "He never made it down the aisle," Nikki says. "He ended up throwing up all over his white suit and he didn't make it." Instead, the bride's brother handed the duo their rings and let him know that their son was sick but he was perfectly fine. "We made it through!"
But other things went perfectly according to plan. One element of the big day that was seamless was their first dance: Chigvintsev, a Dancing With the Stars pro, says that figure out their moves was "a lot of pressure," but he took it all in stride. Instead of trying to learn a complicated dance and remember all the steps, Bella let Chigvintsev do what he does best. "We ended up not doing anything with choreography. We winged it. Artem said he'd lead, I'd follow," she says. "It ended up being such a romantic first dance and so sexy."
In October of 2022, Bella appeared on the cover of our Wedding Fashion Issue, and she opened up about her relationship with Chigvintsev, finding her perfect wedding dress (or rather, dresses), and how empowering it is to dress the way you want on your big day. "It’s your day, no one else's," she said at the time. "If you want to wear black, or red, or pink, or whatever speaks to your soul, you have to do it because this is your moment. The worst thing would be to look back and think, ‘I wish I took that chance.’ It's your moment to go as big as you want, as sparkly as you want, as chic as you want, or as sexy as you want. You get to be you.”