The Lesbian Bride’s Handbook

Is white appropriate? What’s the right term for a groom who’s a woman? And what to say to her mother?

  1. 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 sor...

The complete text of “The Lesbian Bride’s Handbook” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on nymag.com.

Originally published in New York, April 2007

Great reading. Anywhere, any time

Subscribe to Byliner to finish this and thousands of other riveting stories for just $5.99 a month. Get started now with a 14 day FREE trial.

Join Today

Already a member? Sign in