I'm writing a book. It is called:
The Wedding Photographer's Handbook
(handbooks in literature are all the rage.)
There will be cheeky little swallows on the cover.
You can break all the brides down by the kind of fucking dress they wear, it’s unbelievable:
1. SHEATH bride: Sheaths appear smooth-talking, thoughtful and innocuous at first, but turn high-maintenance when the pressure is on. Sheaths often have very involved parents with money. Sheaths wear straight, tasteful gowns and put gardenias in their hair. They have those little net-type veils that are trying to be chic and traditional without saying “I’m wearing a veil.” But they’re wearing a veil. They met their husband in grad school.
2. A-LINE bride: What you see is what you get. A-lines don’t try too hard or think their wedding is the one moment in life to show what their very essence is about. They allow the bridesmaids to dress themselves, and get married in someone’s backyard, at a camp, or in Vermont.
3. COCKTAIL bride: Hey, I’m a cocktail bride, I’m doing things a little differently than normal! We might only have appetizers at my wedding! I might wear black! I have a pug and he is my groomsman.
4. PRINCESS bride: Fussy, naïve. Not a particularly refined sense of style or design. Glitter spray, over-whip-creamed getaway car, impractical cheap heels. No backup dancing slippers. Princess couples favor a hotel venue and always have matching bridesmaids and drunk, red-faced groomsmen, usually a lot of them. NCAA basketball fans. Groom’s cake more often than not takes the shape of a State School mascot. Michigan/Wisconsin/Chapel Hill.
5. MERMAID: Aggressively stylized. Confusing choices are made, generally in the form of a Country Club venue and a black shirt for the groom. Naturally, a mermaid style dress for the bride. This in itself takes a tremendous level of self-regard and bravery about one’s bottom.
So what about you? What type would you be? A combination Sheath and A-line?
No kind, because I can’t locate a suitable mate.
My book will have anecdotes:
Meatloaf cried at his daughter’s wedding. He stood to her side at the top of the aisle in rimless glasses with a pink Alstroemeria in his button hole, and allowed tears to stream down his face while the vows were recited. They were hippie vows. Rich hippies getting married, moneyed by her father’s strange taste and proclamations about love, and what he will and won’t do for it.
I was at that wedding. Standing in the back, appearing to belong, slipping grilled marigolds and peaches that resembled tiny golden nuggets off of trays that floated past, bound for the mouths of the beautiful and the vegan and the lumpy, cloying uncles that no wedding escapes.
Weddings comprise much of my work life. But I’m not going to go into it yet. You don’t know enough about me, you’ll judge. Admit it: you hear “weddings” and you hear “vocation,” and you want to make a judgement. I’ll decide first what you think of me, and you can decide after that. I’m not a florist, for crying out loud.
(Meatloaf did not tell me, when I asked, what it is he will not do for love. He just looked over my head and quietly removed a flute of rosé from the passing vintage silver platter before turning away; gentle in his reproach.)
Meatloaf’s daughter was married in The Hudson Valley*.
*The Hudson Valley is convenient to New Jersey, Connecticut, and of course New York. Its picturesque landscape delights the bride who considers herself “a simple country girl at heart.”