I think the fanciest wedding I have ever been to was also my first gay one. My friends Tom and Drew got married on a hilltop looking a valley in southern Sonoma, CA. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George was there, and I sat behind San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom during the ceremony. (He arrived late.)
Winter wedding cake from Brides.com.
It was spectacular. Once we got into the reception tent – which was actually three connected tents with different themes and lighting – my fiancé observed a striking detail. On the dancefloor, sitting on a thin wooden pedestal, was a beautiful, miniature, crimson pagoda.
It probably extended three feet into the air, and if you looked closely it had little rooms inside.
“What do you think that is?” he asked me.
“I think that’s the wedding cake.”
“No way,” he said “It has interiors.”
From Tambako’s Flickr.
When you start planning a wedding, you’ll quickly discover that people feel very comfortable letting you know exactly how they feel about your decisions. Particularly with regard to two things:
1) The size of your wedding.
2) Your honeymoon plans.
The first is the most annoying and least helpful. Perfectly polite friends who would never, ever be so rude as to reveal a reaction when you tell them what neighborhood you live in, or where you went to college, somehow feel perfectly comfortable going wide-eyed and gasping when you tell them that you plan to have 200 people to your wedding. You’d think you told them that you deliberately got pregnant with twins so you could abort one and keep “the skinnier one.” Their facial expressions make you feel like you’ve chosen a path of such extreme decadence that it borders on the improper.
I am on the far right here, ruining the synchronicity with my limp wrists.
So you’ve agreed to be in a flash mob at your friend’s wedding. What happens now?
Well, lots of things. It could go in a bunch of different directions. But as a veteran of multiple (2) wedding flash mobs, I can tell you one thing: It is not going to go the way you think it is.
Even though the people getting married almost always have a photographer hired, you can sometimes capture something special, which makes a great gift after the fact. I also generally shoot in black and white if the photos are at night, because otherwise I make everyone look shiny and yellow. I asked Justin Bishop, the staff photographer at Vanity Fair and VF.com about this, and he told me it’s because I don’t have enough light. Washing people out, it turns out, makes them look better. Anyway, here’s two of my best friends, Charlie and Kent, at their wedding at Frankie’s in Cobble Hill almost exactly a year ago.
I love gay wedding videos.
I cry at happy movies, not sad ones. The sappier, the better. For example, I feel like the Internet has come to a conflict over Love Actually, lately, but to me the perfect movie scene is the one where Colin Firth goes to Lisbon to find Aurelia, after having learned Portuguese so that he can propose to her. She responds in English, having learned it “just in cases.” And she says yes. Please watch:
And then I sob like I sobbed at the end of the musical The Color Purple, the first night my fiancé ever pretended he didn’t know me.