Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeFashionWhy I Wore a T-Shirt and Sneakers on My Wedding Day

Why I Wore a T-Shirt and Sneakers on My Wedding Day

I thought buying a wedding dress would go something like this: I would walk into a dress shop, armed with respectable undergarments, and know exactly what I was looking for. I would emerge from the dressing room wearing something that appeared tailor-made for my body; no need for those clamps that dangle off me like I’m the world’s most expensive bag of half-eaten potato chips. I would stand on my little stage, and soak in the single biggest life event on my horizon.

That was a lie.

The night my partner and I decided to get married, we were hunched over a laptop, working on my visa application. I’m American, he’s Australian, and we were moving to Sydney in a few months’ time. We were staring down all the layers of overturned topsoil that come with uprooting our entire lives and relocating across the world. We were sure of each other, but also wanted something to help tie us together amid the deluge of immigration forms.

My parents got married at Manhattan City Hall decades prior, when, as my father puts it, my mother demanded they marry before they had a second baby out of wedlock. I come from this lineage, of love first and paperwork second. My wedding would be no different.

The two of us threw on the phrase “fiancé” as if we were running out the door with one arm still dangling out of our jackets. We decided to tie the knot on a Monday afternoon, a little over two months out. Eight weeks was just enough time for our relatives to insist that us eloping without them was off the table. We would get married at City Hall then walk the Brooklyn Bridge, just as my parents had done, and celebrate afterwards with pizza and beer. We ordered pies from all of our favorite New York pizzerias, called our loved ones, and marriage got added to our packing list.

Weddings seem to have a way of financially pitting our present against our future. With two big life events packed so close together, “now” and “later” felt even more at odds. Whatever I bought today was immediately headed for a cardboard box I was paying for tomorrow. I wanted whatever I bought for this wedding to be a carry-on item. But none of the packable dresses I ordered online felt quite right. “I wish I could just wear a T-shirt,” I texted my friend as I headed out the door to return yet another round of failed attempts.



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