Ivana Trump will get a flashy send-off in New York City on Wednesday, as friends and family gather at the St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church to celebrate her life.
Trump — who passed away at the age of 73 Thursday from injuries sustained during a fall — was all about glamor, according to R. Couri Hay, society columnist who knew Trump for more than 40 years. Hay tells PEOPLE that her funeral will honor that dazzling legacy.
“We are really grateful to the family, especially her children, for arranging this big, glamorous send-off with all of her friends,” Hay says. “This would have been what she wanted.”
The invite-only service will occur steps from Trump’s longtime Upper East Side residence Wednesday afternoon, in an “old-school” and “beautiful” church. Hay says that many of her closest friends and family will be there.
“People are flying in from all over the world,” Hay says, noting that guests are traveling from places like Saint-Tropez and Paris on “relatively short notice.”
Rather than bring flowers, the Trump family has kindly requested that funeral guests make a donation to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a Florida-based nonprofit organization aiming to minimize dog homelessness.
At least one other news outlet headlined the funeral story this way: Ivana Trump’s Funeral to be Held at Andy Warhol’s Favourite New York Church.
For the curious: St. Vincent Ferrer is a stunning, huge parish church run by the Dominicans. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and (according to Wikipedia) has been the site of funerals for a number of well-known New Yorkers, including Geraldine Ferraro, Betty White, Ed Sullivan and Dorothy Kilgallen.
UPDATE: Some questions were raised earlier Tuesday about Ivana’s religion, and whether she was Catholic.
The parish office confirmed with CNA that Trump was Catholic, although would not comment on whether she was a regular Mass-goer.
The Czech-American socialite and businesswoman did not reveal much about her faith life to the public. A 2017 profile from The New Yorker said, “Ivana was born in 1949 in what was then Czechoslovakia, to Catholic parents who refused to join the Communist Party.”
Ivana Trump was married four times; her second marriage, to the former president, was presided over by Norman Vincent Peale at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. Her children were raised Presbyterian, but her daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner. (One Jewish newspaper mused about whether Ivana could sit shiva for her non-Jewish mother.)