Folks Sure Do Have Strong Opinions About Kennedy Weddings

killed my fiance with cheap wedding invitationsWhen a man gets married, one says, “Congratulations!” When a woman gets married, one says, “Best wishes!” And when a Kennedy gets married, one says, “Don’t get into a small plane with him, no matter HOW good a pilot he says he is. Learn how to swim !!! don’t cross any bridges.” That, at least, is how randos on Facebook react. Sarcasm! The digital equivalent of throwing rice.

As perhaps you saw this weekend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has married Cheryl Hines. It is not the first time at the rodeo for either member of the couple. RFK Jr. has been married twice before and has six children; Cheryl has been married once and has a daughter. Even outlets like TMZ have been uncharacteristically restrained in regards to the couple, wishing the newlyweds happiness without unpacking and flinging around all the baggage the bride and groom brought with them to Hyannisport.

Well-known rich families in America seem to bring out the strong opinions in many of us, and no dynasty more so than the fabulously wealthy, famously unlucky Kennedy clan. (A Roosevelt recently married without any fuss.) The family seems to be a magnet for the problems of affluenza: drugs, alcohol, women, accidents, accidents involving women, drugs, and alcohol, and inadvisable moves into the political arena. Is how you feel about the Kennedys indicative of how you feel about wealth in general? Or are they too unusual to serve as a crucible?

Here are some of the other details about this wedding that are making Internet commenters bonkers:

  • It’s a “speedbump” wedding: they were both still with their spouses when they met and even, in his case, it seems, when they started dating
  • They were introduced to each other (as friends!?!) by Larry David, Cheryl’s TV-husband for a time (“in another universe I feel like I’m actually married to Larry and we exist as a couple“).
  • Entertainment, meet politics
  • Hollywood, meet New England
  • Conor Kennedy, RFK’s second son who is best known for dating Taylor Swift, told a reporter Friday he was ‘pretty happy’ for his father’s wedding.”
  • Until this year, when they got engaged, Cheryl was one of 43 “suspected mistresses” stored in RFK Jr’s cell phone under “G” for “goomah.” Supposedly. Wouldn’t G for Girlfriend be more logical? He wasn’t Italian.
  • That diary 
  • His last wife committed suicide, which is tragic and awful and maybe had something to do with That Diary and all of the above too
  • He’s an anti-vaxxer, and that is actually the detail that makes me go, “Cheryl, what are you thinking?”
  • But maybe she’s a secret Scientologist in addition to / instead of a Catholic, in which case, God bless.


Here’s a representative screenshot of the FB reaction. (I don’t know any of these commenters personally.) (Thank God.)

kennedy wedding reaction screenshot


11 Comments / Post A Comment

andnowlights (#2,902)

Ugh, the Kennedys. I think previous generations think about them a lot more (especially in terms of “Camelot” and JFK and Jackie) both in terms of relevancy or with a sense of fondness. Largely, I just think of them as white trash who apparently have money? I’ve never actually looked into why they have money, but apparently they do.

@andnowlights “White trash” is a bit strong and maybe a bit mean? (Like, as a term for anyone, not just/specifically for the Kennedys.) But this PBS page has a delightful history of how Joe Kennedy Sr. made his money: “Kennedy’s business ventures included banking, stock trading, producing movies and selling liquor.”

andnowlights (#2,902)

@Ester Bloom That probably was a bit harsh of me. I apologize! Very few things about American culture baffle me as much as the fascination with the Kennedy’s (except maybe people who obsess over the British monarchy?). It was a little over the top of me to use that term, admittedly.

shannowhamo (#845)

@andnowlights I mean, the reason for fascination is pretty clear- they keep dying dramatically, and some of them were handsome. People have become cultural icons for much less!

City_Dater (#565)

How delightful that a number of people apparently believe that Cheryl Hines was actually married to Larry David. Tribute to her acting ability, and epic reading comprehension fail…

ThatJenn (#916)

I tried to google “speedbump wedding” but I didn’t get anything useful… is that a real term that people use? (I know you defined it as the fact that they were both with their spouses – I was trying to figure out if that was the full definition or just an explanation of why this term applied and it had a more general use.)

Anyway, always curious about phrases like that – both a general interest and a personal one in that particular term.

@ThatJenn Ha! Maybe I made it up? It means the kind of Vows section write-up where other people were speedbumps on the road to married happiness for the bride & groom.

ThatJenn (#916)

@Ester Bloom Ahh, that makes sense (whether or not you made it up)! Also it is personally satisfying in a completely immature way to imagine my ex-husband as a speedbump.

Lily Rowan (#70)

Seriously, though — don’t marry anti-vaxxers! You just encourage them.

@Lily Rowan Maybe especially don’t breed with them.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@Ester Bloom Good call.

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