Little girls don’t grow up fantasizing about getting married in dresses that aren’t white. But designers sure want them to, judging by the latest round of bridal fashion shows that recently concluded in New York and boasted more colored wedding dresses than ever. Non-white bridal gowns have been shown on the runways every season for years, but it’s always hard to tell if these dresses actually have any traction in the market or if they’re just a wedding dress designer’s way of evading having to show another white dress. (I’ve always wondered if all the bridal industry’s names for white — eggshell, ivory, cream, silk white — were merely a reaction to white fatigue.) Keep reading »
Last month, my boyfriend Patrick and I drank a bottle of Jim Beam at the lake and decided to get married. When we peeled our faces off a sticky, half-deflated air mattress the next morning, we asked ourselves two questions: first, did we still want to get married, and second, how about some Taco Bell? Yes to both, thank you.
Eventually the time came for parental phone calls, and mine were excited and curious: where would our wedding be? When? Several minutes into the call, I heard my mom muse, almost absent-mindedly, “Andrea Hislastname ….” She didn’t ask if I would be changing my last name; she simply said what she believed my new name would be, just to see how it rolled off her tongue.
Patrick’s family did ask about changing my name, at least. And I told them: no, I’m not changing my name. For that matter, neither is Patrick. Of course, most folks would never think to ask if a guy might change his name upon marriage. It’s just not done in this country — and once I learned why, I became more sure than ever that I would never be anyone but Andrea Grimes. Keep reading »
What would you do if you wound up single on what was to be one of the most special days of your life—your wedding day? My friend Desiree did something remarkable and revolutionary: instead of hiding away, she marched boldly into a proud new future, and in the process became an inspiration to me and, hopefully, some of you as well.
On a recent Sunday, when I would have been attending her wedding to a man, I stood on Bow Bridge in Central Park and witnessed Desiree get married—to herself. A circle of her friends surrounded her while her cousin officiated, reciting vows she had written for herself, which included the lines, “I will make my happiness a priority and forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I will trust myself and stand within the power of my own strength. I will love myself forever more, through good and bad, thick and thin, and for exactly who I am today. I promise I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than what my heart and soul desire.”
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Not so long ago, my wife and I were talking to a recently-divorced friend of ours. She’s younger than we are, in her early thirties, and as far as she’s concerned, she’s never tying the knot again. Not because of an objection to the institution, but because she’s convinced that most men marry for one reason: they want to be taken care of emotionally.
“I got tired of thinking about someone else’s needs all the time,” our friend said. “I’m prepared to take care of a baby. But I don’t want my first-born to be my second child.” When she heard that, my wife turned to me and gave me a grin. She knows my history.
In three previous marriages and a handful of other long-term relationships (I haven’t been single for long since I was 16), I found myself—like so many men—taking on the parts of the “naughty boy” and the “helpless child.” Time and again, I turned wives and girlfriends into mother-figures, and the result was inevitably disastrous. Keep reading »