It’s an age-old superstition that seeing your bride in her wedding dress before the big day is bad luck. I’m not particularly superstitious, but I figure with divorce rates being what they are, a little luck might not be the worst idea in the world.
Many straight couples are under pressure to adhere to these kinds of traditions. Plus, when a straight bride chooses her gown, she can reasonably assume that her groom is going to wear a suit or tuxedo that will complement just about any wedding dress. So, keeping wedding day wardrobes a secret probably is a no-brainer for a lot of heterosexual couples. Lesbian brides, on the other hand, have a lot more to consider when deciding whether to reveal their wedding garb before they walk down the aisle.
For starters, two brides often mean two dresses. So, lesbian brides-to-be may want to coordinate their outfits. What if the two brides emerge in nearly-identical white dresses? Who wants to marry her twin? Or, what if one woman shows up in a super-formal ball gown and the other chooses a jaunty LWD? While you don’t want to match, per se, I think it would be nice to at least look like you are attending the same event.
As thrilled as I was when Callie and Arizona tied the knot on prime time, I had to wonder who the hell picked out their outfits. Callie’s bedazzled over-the-top gown did not belong at the same wedding as Arizona’s more understated couture look. These TV brides had a whole wardrobe team helping them out, and they still got it all wrong – proof positive that lesbian brides may want to work together when choosing their wedding dresses.
There are many options for lesbian brides who choose to wear pants – from Ellen DeGeneres’ lovely white number with feminine touches like sheer billowy sleeves to more tailored masculine-inspired formal wear. But, even if just one (or zero) of you plans to wear a dress, you may still want to get on the same page because the chances that you’ll end up in the conventional and automatically coordinated wedding attire – one traditional white dress and one black tuxedo – are slimmer than for most heterosexual couples.
Of course, you and your fiancé can exchange enough information about what you’ll be wearing on the big day to make sure you won’t clash or match too much without actually showing your outfits to one another. But, lesbian couples face another dilemma that I’d hazard to guess is rarely an issue in heterosexual relationships: we are often one another’s most trusted fashion advisers.
I’ll admit that I don’t have close relationships with many heterosexual men who aren’t my blood relatives. But I do know straight guys aren’t exactly known for their obsession with fashion, and most are probably happy to opt out of wedding dress shopping. Yes, I know there are exceptions. I’ve seen several awkward episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, in which male fiancés accompany their brides-to-be to the dress shop and offer up opinions on empire waist versus fit and flare.
So yes, it is possible that a straight gal could rely on her man for fashion advice, but it’s more likely that a lesbian would consult her woman when it comes to style (and even more likely that a gay male couple would exchange fashion tips – but that’s for another column on another website).
Nikki and Jill Weiss-Goldstein, former cast members on The Real L Word, were one another’s chief fashion consultants for their lavish nuptials. The prissy pair painstakingly orchestrated every detail of their wedding. They even went dress shopping together and chose perfectly coordinated designer gowns. This did not, however, make them any less annoying or more bearable to watch on television. But mazel on the dresses, ladies!
Even though I am the one who wears the lipstick and reads the fashion magazines in my house, my girlfriend has a keen sense of style, an obsession with accessories and knows what looks good on me. In fact, just last weekend, she saved me from wearing a new trend in a way that was just plain wrong. (Thanks, honey!)
Make no mistake, we’re not a clothes-sharing, hair-braiding type of couple. My better half doesn’t have enough hair to braid and stopped wearing the frilly kinds of dresses I love back when she was about five. My girlfriend and I may be worlds apart on the butch/femme spectrum, but the fact remains that we are both women, and therefore, I believe, a bit more predisposed to have an interest in fashion and an opinion about what the other is wearing.
So, when the time comes to purchase what will arguably be the most important outfit of my life – my wedding dress – I can’t imagine not consulting my girlfriend. Sure, I have a cadre of qualified friends I could call on for bridal fashion consultation, and I will. But, at the end of the day, the person whose opinion matters most to me is the one who will (hopefully!) be standing at the other end when I walk down the aisle. And, being the control freak that I am, it would be difficult for me not to know what she’ll be wearing to our wedding, right down to her tie clip and socks.
On the other hand, it is not lost on me that many couples (straight and gay) wait until the wedding to show off their new duds for a reason other than superstition. There aren’t many happy surprises left in adult life, but seeing your true love looking stunning in her wedding gown (or tuxedo or feminine pantsuit) for the first time on your wedding day has got to be one of them. So, I get why people would want to keep their wedding clothing a secret to make their big day even more special.
I’m not sure which route I’ll choose when I get married. The traditional romantic in me wants to take my lover’s breath away when she sees me for the first time in my dress on our wedding day. But, at the same time, I don’t want to be walking down the aisle wondering if she’s secretly thinking, “That shade of ivory is all wrong with your skin tone.”
What do you think? Did you and your bride keep your wedding day attire a secret? Will you consult your lady when you choose your dress or suit?