Coperni Cofounders Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer Got Married on a Secluded Island in Greece

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Sébastien Meyer, the creative director and co-founder of Coperni, and Arnaud Vaillant, the brand’s CEO and co-founder, first got to know each other as classmates 13 years ago. Arnaud studied fashion business, while Sébastien majored in fashion design. “It was love at first sight personally and professionally,” Arnaud remembers. Both previously worked as designers for Courrèges before starting Coperni, which has become synonymous with a minimal, playfully subversive aesthetic and its well-known cult classic Swipe bag.

In August of 2018, Sébastien asked Arnaud to become his husband while they were on vacation in Hydra, Greece. “We fell in love with the island a few years ago, so it was natural for me to do it there,” he says. “It was very simple. In the morning, I had prepared breakfast for him and came with a Cartier box on the tray. Arnaud understood immediately.”

The wedding was scheduled for August 7, 2020 in Hydra, but ultimately, like so many other couples, they had to postpone due to the pandemic. The date, location, program, and guest list all remained the same—but the event was one year later. “The fact that we had to postpone it actually gave us more time to prepare it,” Arnaud says. “It was more time to enjoy it, and it created an excitement in us, especially after this difficult COVID year. The joy of gathering, of partying and celebrating love was unique.”

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The planning process was akin to organizing a fashion show, and the couple was involved in every aspect—from the invitations and the overall creative direction to the looks, location, music, and production. The ceremony, inspired by the films Plein Soleil and The Talented Mr. Ripley, took place on the secluded Kivotos Island, which guests reached by boat from Hydra port. “Planning was a lot of work, but worth it,” Arnaud says. “I like to joke that the ‘Arnaud Vaillant Wedding Agency’ orchestrated the entire wedding weekend. But, it was absolutely magical to see everything come to life.”

The morning of the wedding, Sébastien and Arnaud made a point of not seeing each other. “We liked the traditional way,” Arnaud says. Instead, they got ready separately with their witnesses and then walked all the steps down from the port of Hydra. “There is no transportation on the island, which makes it even more beautiful,” Arnaud explains. “No cars, no bikes, just the pleasure of walking.”

For the ceremony, Sébastien wore a vintage Helmut Lang suit in ivory linen with a Santangelo necklace and Celine moccasins. Meanwhile, Arnaud was in a complete Saint Laurent look—sailor style with a double-breasted striped wool jacket, a white linen shirt, beige chinos, a braided belt, and black moccasins.

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Guests—wearing white, cream, ivory, and pastel colors—met at the port where shuttles were organized take them to the tiny island. Sébastien and Arnaud arrived by taxi boats to the site, where benches and carpets were set up under sun umbrellas. “It was literally a rock in the middle of the sea with 360 degrees of water surrounding it,” Arnaud says. “It was very simple and pure.”

Bridesmaids and groomsmen processed down the aisle. Then witnesses—including best friends, brothers, and sisters followed. “Then our fathers walked hand in hand,” Arnaud says. “This was certainly the most beautiful part of the wedding. We are so happy and proud to see how our families are open, how they love each other, and how they support us.” 

Sébastien and Arnaud then met each other and both walked down the aisle with their mothers. Once the ceremony began, the speeches started—all very different, all emotional. “Everyone was basically crying,” Arnaud remembers. “The whole ceremony was a wave of love. And at the end, we exchanged our vows and got our rings.”

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The party that followed the ceremony was a black-tie affair. Sébastien wore a black Saint Laurent le smoking look and Arnaud was in Brioni. “We thought it was a bit cliché to be dressed the same way so we decided that one would wear black and the other white,” Arnaud says. “We still had matching bow ties and patent shoes from Saint Laurent.”

After the ceremony, the group went for lunch and then to rest before the party that evening. “Some friend came to our house for a coffee,” Arnaud says. “We took some time to play with our friends’ babies and children. [Now that it’s over,] we keep thinking about these beautiful memories and pictures that are engraved in our memories forever. It was a real achievement for both of us. After more than 12 years together, we felt fulfilled. We felt proud. We were overwhelmed with love, and we felt very grateful to all of the guests who traveled from afar.”

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