September 2, 2014
(People magazine) (People magazine)

For such public people with international notoriety, actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did a masterful job of keeping their Aug. 23 wedding — the planning and its execution — secret until they were darned good and ready. In this day and age when the cloud can get hacked and strip the famous and the ordinary of their privacy,  that’s a miraculous feat.

Weddings are moments of public celebration. How large that public will be depends on the spouses-to-be. And if they’re Hollywood-related weddings, we have come to expect them to be over-the-top extravaganzas with endless hype and cashing-in. Not so with “Brangelina.” According to People magazine, their joyous day in France was attended by only 20 folks. Six of them were their children who were integral to every aspect of the big day, from decorating the dress to helping to write the vows. Hello! magazine got the world exclusive.

(Hello! Magazine) (Hello! Magazine)

The secrecy and subsequent surprise announcement is in keeping with how they’ve done things in the past. Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy in early 2013, but didn’t say anything to anyone until her May 2013 op-ed in the New York Times which detailed the painful steps she took to safeguard her own life appeared. “During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work,” she wrote. “But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience.”

We could all learn a thing or two from Jolie and Pitt. Their value of privacy over the “never take your eyes off me” preening of Hollywood, and the impulse to instantaneously over-share in today’s age of camera phones and social media, is worthy of admiration.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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