Last night, in honor of Father’s Day, I found myself watching the movie, Father of the Bride; not the Steve Martin version but the original 1950 version starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. It is the story of a father who realizes that he is losing his daughter when she announces she is getting married. The moment Elizabeth Taylor appeared in her wedding dress, I sighed. She looked so beautiful in that dress of lace and what was it – satin? And it came to me that I have always had a love affair with wedding dresses. When I was four years old, I wanted more than anything to be a bride for Halloween. And my mother obliged – I remember feeling so excited in my wedding dress. The only problem was that I lived in an apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens, and trick-or-treating meant schlepping up and down several flights of stairs. By the end of the evening I had ripped-through the bottom of the dress. That was not a happy memory for me, but my love of wedding dresses still runs deep. I am a romantic so that makes sense, but I think it is the dress itself: the white, the special fabrics, the elegance. It could also be about what the dress represents – beautiful promises of what is to come.
Another dress. Another auction. She was not a princess. She was a mega singer – and one of the best in the world. She married at a time when her voice was everywhere on the radio. But this singer and this wedding will always be much more personal to me. Because the singer was Whitney Houston – and she was my next door neighbor. While the world was listening to her on the radio, I was listening to her from my backyard, recording music from her own studio. No one could ever know what hearing that stunning voice meant to me. When my parents were invited to her wedding, my heart started singing. I will always remember my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, unapologetically situating ourselves at the entrance to her house, watching the cars enter and waving and talking to the guests – until the sun went down.