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Marry In Style

Simon Doonan's Five Pointers to Betrothed Couples


1. Don't do a "Star Jones." Keep it simple. Keep it small -- dinky is better. Taking our cue from my parents -- who, after meeting in a soup kitchen at the end of the Second World War, became Betty and Terry Doonan only a few weeks later, repaired to an adjacent pub with their two witnesses afterwards -- we enlisted the support of my mother-in-law Cynthia Adler and my sister-in-law, Amy Adler. If this sounds grinchy and uncelebratory, look at it this way: the fewer people present, the less likely that one of them will get drunk, eat all the cake, throw a fit, turn out to be a terrorist, or The Ancient Mariner. There's safety in small numbers. It's a statistical thing.

2. Do it in San Francisco. San Francisco City Hall is glamorous, clean and chock-full of celebrating lesbians, many of whom seem to have butterflies tattoos on their calves. We dined at Chez Panisse then woke up early the following morning to drive to the paradisiacal Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur for a honeymoon weekend. My new mother-in-law had made the same trip back in the early 1960s, staying at an extant establishment named The Tickle Pink Inn, a great place for grammar-obsessed couples who can debate 'tickled' versus 'tickle.'

3. Do bring chums on the honeymoon. If, like my Jonny and me, you and your significant other have known each other for a while, your ability to enjoy endless t'te-'-t'te dinners may be limited. In addition to my new in-laws, two other couples-- Cuban fashion-royalty Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and gay newlyweds writer Ariel Levy and greenbuilder Amy Norquist -- tickled us pink on our Big Sur weekend.

4. Do bring along some kind of distraction -- a harmless stress displacer -- to prevent you from obsessing over the details of the wedding itself. This could take the form of a challenging book or a complicated piece of macram'.

5. If you are unsure about the person you are marrying, then honeymoon first. If you still want to get hitched when you get back then voila! Have at it!

Simon Doonan is the author of Eccentric Glamour, among other books including the forthcoming Gay Men Don't Get Fat (coming next spring).

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Simon Doonan