- Award Winner
What is the right thing to wear to a wedding? Women have been asking themselves this question for generations and, I suppose, coming up with many of the same answers as I have. Black and gray, the colors I usually wear, are obviously too somber. Red is a bad idea: too garish, too iconic—the whore instead of the virgin—and, as a saleswoman at Saks explained to me, one doesn’t want to draw attention away from the bride. But then I am the bride. Sort of.
For several months, admitting that detail filled me with a flickering dread. I knew what would inevitably follow: “Why aren’t you wearing white?” Eventually, I realized that, obviously, I could just tell Katie at Barneys or Jen at Chloé, “Because I prefer color.” But at first, I felt compelled to tell the whole mortifying truth: “Because it’s a gay wedding.” Or, if I couldn’t quite get those words out of my mouth: “Because it’s not a real wedding.”
A real wedding was not something I was raised to want. My parents were bohemians of a sort, and real weddings were like real jobs: square. As my mother has managed to mention on numerous occasions, she would have liked to elope, but to please her parents, there was a modest reception; she told them to do whatever they wanted and that she and my father would show up. When Amy and I announced that we intended to have a wedding—not a real wedding, of course, but something festive, something that expressed the scale of our glee—my mother’s response was less than gushing. “How can you ...