Hilary Swank got married over the weekend in a redwood forest preserve

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Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank deserves some sort of award for keeping her recent wedding ceremony a secret. The 44-year-old married social media venture entrepreneur Philip Schneider, her boyfriend of two years, over the weekend in the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California. Vogue reported the story and featured all of the details and envy-inducing photos from the ceremony and reception.

With the preserve’s massive redwoods serving as the backdrop, the couple were wed in front of family and friends. Mariska Hargitay was the maid of honor. Hilary’s father, Stephen, for whom she took a three-year break from acting to care for after he had a lung transplant, walked her down the aisle. The couple’s rescue dog, Kai, was the ring bearer and Philip’s father was his best man. The setting for the ceremony was chosen because her father is unable to fly.

When it came to the dress, Hilary recruited designer Elie Saab to create a gown as breathtaking as the ceremony’s gorgeous natural setting. The gown was made of Chantilly lace, silk chiffon, and organza silk and took a team of seven people 150 hours to create. Of the gown, Hilary told Vogue, “I wanted something romantic that felt as timeless as the redwood grove where we were to be married, and he delivered—designing something that far surpassed my greatest expectations. It was everything I imagined and more.” She wore a 19-foot-long tulle veil and gorgeous silver Christian Louboutin heels with ribbon straps.

After the ceremony, the couple donned matching denim jackets emblazoned with a bird and “Philary 8.18.18.” (since when did this become a trend? I blame Kaley Cuoco) and headed to their reception, which was held in a rustic barn. During the reception, Hilary and Philip performed a special Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers-inspired dance to the Moby song, “In My Heart”. For the routine, Hilary changed into a dress by Maria Grazia Chiuri of Dior and custom-made Louboutin tap shoes. Yes, she had designer tap shoes.

All in all, it certainly looked like a fairy tale wedding, and Hilary couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome, telling Vogue, “It was timeless. There is just no other way to describe it. I was overwhelmed with such gratitude and thanks to be marrying the man of my dreams and to see all the people we love together in the middle of such a profound setting. It was truly a dream come true.” As far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. I admired her when she put her family first and cared for her ailing father and I’m glad he was there to make her day even more memorable.

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31 Responses to “Hilary Swank got married over the weekend in a redwood forest preserve”

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  1. Anastasia says:

    Her shoes were to DIE for. And I love the backdrop of the ancient trees. How perfect.

  2. Erinn says:

    I’ve had massive levels of pain and migraines over the last couple of days, and our 18 year old (hyperthyroid) cat has been sick/upset since we went to the city two weeks ago and her schedule got out of wack. She’s been peeing outside her litter box- something she never did before we left. I’m exhausted and sore, and just super emotional right now because I’m trying to make a ‘good’ call on whether we should be considering euthanasia or if it’s not time yet. But damn if this didn’t give me happy tears:

    “Hilary’s father, Stephen, for whom she took a three-year break from acting to care for after he had a lung transplant, walked her down the aisle. The couple’s rescue dog, Kai, was the ring bearer and Philip’s father was his best man. The setting for the ceremony was chosen because her father is unable to fly.”

    I’m an emotional wreck, but it’s just so sweet. And what a stunning place to get married. I needed a sappy, happy story today and this did the trick.

    • sa says:

      Hang in there. It’s so hard with pets, because there’s a limit to what we can know about what they’re feeling. I lost my cat to Cancer nearly 2 years ago and I’m still racked with guilt and uncertainty about every decision I made.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m so sorry you’re going through that. I went through something similar myself last year. All I can say is, you’ll know when it’s time, and whatever you do, it will be done out of love.

  3. Skylark says:

    Beautiful, all of it.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Vegan, glutton free, chocolate cake.


    I take my cake very seriously and just….no.

    • Wilder says:

      Your comment made me laugh out loud. I’m all for desserts that are vegan and gluten-free, but I too take my cakes very seriously, and I really hope there was a regular, butter-filled chocolate cake option. :-)

    • Erinn says:

      Gluten free brownies though – those things are AMAZING. My husband was on an elimination diet for a few months about 6 or 7 years ago. And he did the gluten free thing for a bit at his doctors suggestion. I managed to find a gluten free brownie mix – and I honestly wish I could remember the brand because I want to get it again. They were SO dense and fudgey and tasty.

      I admire those who can do the vegan thing, but I just can’t get there. My favorite coffee shop sells what I’m pretty sure are vegan cupcakes. The cake part is good. Amazing, homemade kind of taste, similar to cake my gram makes. But the frosting was so disappointing. There’s probably better ones out there that are vegan or whatever – but this one is just way heavy on what I assume is coconut oil. And I’m a HUGE sucker for frosting. But I couldn’t order one again. It just made my tongue feel coated and gross. Texture is the main issue for me – but the flavor didn’t make up for it.

    • Miss M says:

      I am a bit late to the thread. But I make a Nutella cake (gluten free) that is to die for.

  5. Sayrah says:

    That is a gorgeous setting for a ceremony. She looked beautiful and her groom is super hot. I didn’t know she was bffs with Mariska though. I love both of them.

  6. Esmom says:

    Wow, amazing. I love the kiddos, they look like little forest fairies/sprites. And the tap shoes on both were adorable. She looks good. And he’s kinda hot. Wishing them well.

  7. Maya says:


  8. Starkiller says:

    Did she invite any dictators?

  9. Sam says:

    Love the setting.Ellie Saab’s wedding are dresses are nice but they all look the same to me

  10. Sarah says:

    It looked lovely. i’m glad her dad was able to see her get married. Beautiful gown, beautiful bride. And I didn’t know she was such close firends with Emily Rossum and Mariska Hargitay!

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    THIS…to me…was truly the definition of a “Fairytale Wedding”!!!!!

  12. Amelie says:

    I didn’t even know she was dating someone! She’s so low key and you hardly hear about her. I wish her and her new husband all the happiness in the world! Such a romantic wedding. Getting your wedding pictures in front of redwood trees sounds divine. Her dress is so pretty and I loved the reception venue.

    But the gluten free vegan chocolate cake made me laugh. I’d have to have gluten free at my wedding because my sister has Celiac’s (so unlike people who just eliminate gluten from their diet because they are “intolerant” or what have you, she has a serious allergy and will spend several hours vomiting in the bathroom if she accidentally ingests it) but sorry to my vegan friends (and I actually have quite a few) I’m not catering to that. Vegetarian option, sure, but no vegan!

  13. Tina says:

    I have no idea what a “social media venture entrepreneur” is, but the wedding looks beautiful and they look very happy. I envy them their access to top tennis tickets, as well.

  14. smcollins says:

    Awe, I’m so happy for her! It all looked and sounded very beautiful and romantic. I hope she makes a big return to acting, she really is a force to be reckoned with (both of her Oscars were so well-deserved). On a side note: Damn! Her husband is hot!

  15. mismom says:

    I was just reminded of the episode of The Office where the entire episode was centered around the debate whether Hillary Swank was hot or not hot.

    Kevin: “She’s a monster”.

    She was a beautiful bride. Beautiful wedding.

    But gluten free vegan chocolate cake? I would be mad because I go to weddings FOR THE CAKE!

  16. Spike says:

    Erinn – If you haven’t done so make an appointment with your vet ASAP to evaluate her kidneys. At this point you want to rule it out. I’ve dealt with kitties with kidney problems (because they are always kitties to me).

    Part of the kidney problem was them urinating in odd places. When my cat Bob was very sick he peed all over my shirt on my birthday. I had 2 male & 2 female kitties with this condition. If it is discovered they will switch your cat to a food for this condition. You will also need to have regular testing. It can be treated & managed. You will work it out 😼

  17. girl_ninja says:

    How lovely! It seems like many if us she’d been looking for love fie a long time. Glad she’s found her person.

    • smcollins says:

      I thought her & Chad Lowe were a really cute couple but unfortunately his addiction issues took its toll on their marriage (I believe he’s been sober for years now so that’s good). I’m glad she’s found love again, though.

  18. Mar says:

    I saw her in person here in Miami at a restaurant, she was really pretty and sweet in person which actually shocked me.

  19. MoonTheLoon says:

    Interesting to read this news, I was just watching “P.S. I Love You” last night. Congrats to Hilary and Phil. May they have many years and every happiness!

  20. lucy2 says:

    What a gorgeous wedding – the gown, the setting, the reception, all of it. My favorite photo was the flower girls though, so cute!

  21. IMUCU says:

    I got married in a redwood forest too, not too far from there in Santa Cruz, Ca. It’s so beautiful and one of my favorite places!

  22. dlc says:

    If you got married in a forest, wouldn’t that be really buggy? Mosquitos love me, and it would be awkward to have to wear OFF in your wedding gown!