My first novel,
The Wedding Beat
, was loosely based on my experience as a single Jewish guy writing the Vows wedding column at The New York Times.(“Always the wedding columnist and never the groom,” is how the New York Observer described me.) There are a lot of things I learned that didn’t make it into the book, and here are a few of them:
1. MEN ARE ALSO FROM VENUS
Beneath the stubble and the SportsCenter addiction, most men are as confused, vulnerable, and romantic as women when it comes to falling in love.
I’m not sure where people got the idea that romance is primarily a female thing. When it comes to grand romantic gestures, from sweeping someone away for a weekend in Paris to getting down on one knee on a white sand beach, there’s usually a guy involved.
2. A RECEPTION IS A RECEPTION IS A RECEPTION
If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding party, trust me when I say no one will remember the color of the napkins.
Every wedding ceremony has a personal element unique to the bond of the two people getting married, but receptions tend to blend together. Some are fancier. Some are quirkier. But once the jackets are off and the guests are boogying down on the dance floor, the Rockefellers don’t look much different from the Rubinsteins. And I can say that with assurance because I covered two Rockefeller weddings—and one of them married a Rubinstein.
3. THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ATTENDING A WEDDING AND WORKING AT ONE
The New York Times has a strict policy about accepting anything that could be construed as a gift. So when I go to a wedding I don’t eat. I don’t drink. Bill Cunningham, the iconic Times photographer (and the subject of the documentary film
Bill Cunningham New York
) has said he doesn’t even accept water.
Working at a party is precisely that. Working. Watching other people enjoy a gourmet meal is a fat-free and frisson-free experience. As an added bonus, when guests see me with a pen and pad in my hand, they often mistake me for a waiter and give me their drink orders.