Taylor Swift Did the Funniest Thing Possible by Going to a Wedding in New Jersey
“It’s like having a friend with very specific allergies,” the New Zealand singer elaborated in a 2017 interview. “There are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do.”
What she meant by this, of course, is that it’s impossible to go out in public with Swift without being mobbed by hundreds of screaming fans eager to get a glimpse of her. Lorde’s observation—still resonant, six years later—was in full effect this past weekend, in a particularly amusing setting: a small beach town in New Jersey.
Swift—along with fellow celebs Channing Tatum, Zoë Kravitz, Lana Del Rey, and Cara Delevingne—descended upon the township of Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, over the weekend to attend the nuptials of Jack Antonoff, Swift’s longtime producer (and a native New Jerseyan), and actress Margaret Qualley.
To put it plainly, minor chaos ensued. When word got out on Friday that Swift was present at The Black Whale for Antonoff and Qualley’s rehearsal dinner, swarms of Swifties showed up outside the restaurant, chanting Taylor’s name. It got so packed that the police were on hand for crowd control.
“We met with Taylor’s security people a few days before the event and went over a plan, and told them what we were gonna do,” Beach Haven police chief James Markoski told The Daily Beast on Monday. “We had met with security probably a week or two before the event, so we knew what was happening.”
By the time the Saturday evening ceremony rolled around, the paparazzi were prepared. They captured Swift, wearing a blue lace dress, striding between two New Jersey venues—Parker’s Garage & Oyster Saloon for the ceremony, and Bird and Betty’s for the reception—with a wine glass in hand, casually evoking the many infamous shots of Rihanna leaving restaurants with her wine.
But unlike Rihanna, whose favored haunts are predictable celebrity enclaves, Swift has yet again found a way to summon middle-class American tropes (N.J. weddings), rarified hyper-stardom (omnipresent bodyguards), and Basic Girl Culture (drinking wine with her besties) all at once. The fact that this all happened in New Jersey, a place that, like Swift herself, is so often derided as corny and is often thought of as “lesser-than,” was just the cherry on top.
She could have skipped the Jersey Shore festivities and spared her comrades the hoopla, but Swift would never do that, screaming crowds be damned. She saw the opportunity to do the funniest thing possible—go to an event in a sleepy New Jersey beach town as one of the most famous women alive—and she seized it.
“They shut the whole street down,” one local, made grumpy by Swift’s presence because she disrupted a local deep sea-fishing competition, told Page Six. “We had to be escorted just to take a photo [with the fish].”
Meanwhile, social media spectators chastised the enthused Jersey Swifties for disrupting the Antonoff-Qualley nuptials. But Markoski, the police chief, told The Daily Beast that the crowd was respectful; he said zero arrests or tickets were issued, although one ambulance trip was taken by a young fan who had “a little bit of issue with heat.”
“Probably around 2:30 in the afternoon [on Saturday], some fans started showing up and standing on the corners, so we put out our cones and barricades out by three o’clock and told them, you know, these are the areas you guys can be in,” Markoski said. “They all were very respectful of those boundaries we gave them. Nobody tried to go past the boundaries, and nobody interrupted with the wedding in any way.”
According to The Daily Mail, Swift and Delevingne danced the night away at Bird and Betty’s until 1:20 a.m, just like so many NJ wedding guests that have come before them, and will come after. The Daily Beast reached out to the venue for comment, but did not immediately hear back. If we had to guess, we’d say a lot of non-disclosure agreements were signed leading up to the weekend. It’s Taylor Swift, after all, and who knows—maybe she was so inspired by her trip to the Garden State that her next album will include an ode to D’Jai’s Bar & Grille in Belmar.
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