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May 23, 2004

The Wedding Section Precis


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As I ripped open my Times this morning, in haste, as I have ladies coming for luncheon, and much to cover beforehand, I was thrilled that the Section was featuring a gay union today, given the legalization of same sex marriage in Massachusetts this week.

Gay and lesbian couples can get really married now, as in tax advantages, rather than just civil unioned, as in Vermont. The opportunity may be short-lived, but there are mobs plunging through the window that has been opened by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Mitt Romney, the Mormon governor, has his underwear in a knot about this. But it seems that he is helpless to prevent the Nuptial Revolution. But I digress.

Shannon Gibbons and Dominique Simon are the featured couple. I don't know whether I ever mentioned this, but the photographer for "Vows", as the feature is known, is not one to give you a full-face shot of the bride and groom, for which you often find yourself longing (the triple goddess was an exception). There is often a vista, showing an expansive lawn, sprinkled with guests and the bride and groom will be seen as inch high figures a football field away. Another tantilizer is the shot from the back with a full view of the attending official, and the bride's poofy veil and shoulder blade. I think the photos are chosen specifically so as not to detract from the text.

In this case, the main shot (there is always a secondary shot too), is taken through the lattice that seems to be behind the bandstand. We see the artistically blurred lattice, the shoulder blade of what appears to be an attractive, blonde vocalist, an almost a profile of the guitarist (I think it's a guitar), and then the two and a half inch couple, backed by their guests in rapt attention on the lawn, framed by stately trees.

Oh, I thought as I refocused my eyes to get a closer look at the couple, one of them wore a wedding dress, and one of them wore a tuxedo. Then I realized that the featured couple is not gay. The groom is descended from a long line of restauranteurs and vintners from the Loire Valley, and just happens to have what is considered in the USofA, a girl's name. I must admit, I was disappointed in the Section, in the missing-an-important-historic-moment sense. This is not to say I was at all disappointed with the chosen couple, heterosexual though they are.

The bride, Shannon Gibbons, is a jazz vocalist an event organizer, and gourmand . She met Dominique Simon , in a moment of grave disappointment, having ordered foie gras ahead of time for her friend's birthday celebration, at Bouley Bakery , a TriBeCa restaurant where Mr. Simon was general manager. Mr. Simon, whose style we are told, has been satirized in the play , "Fully Committed" , was the sorry soul who announced to Ms. Gibbons "Alas, there is no foie gras".

She, undoubtedly as a result of organizing a few events, (though her snit was vaguely attributed here to her red hair), used her assertiveness training to it's full extent. Although he did not enjoy her persistance, Mr. Simon graciously apologized with a complimentary bottle of Reisling, sent down the street for some take-out foie gras, hid his irritation remarkably well, and eventually acquiesed to her charms.

Their differences, only hinted at, seem to be complementary. Mornings (still gracious, he brings her coffee in bed) are his favorite time of day because "nothing has gone wrong yet" -- (read either a tendency toward pessimism, or too many years in the restaurant business). He says "She's always thinking tomorrow is going to be a better day, that you can always do better. That's a very American spirit, something the French are not raised with."
(Read, she's more optimistic.)

Of course they both love food and cooking, and had a fabulous wedding feast at the New Jersey, English country manor owned by the same friends whose birthday was being celebrated when they first laid eyes on one another over the no-show foie gras. (Someone parse that sentence, please.) Baby lamb, wild salmon and prepared goose livers were served.

Elsewhere: Another first, a photograph of the bride and groom which could only be described as a little rumpled (for the Section, that is). This seems to be an indoor photo, with no wind blowing either. Ariana Speyer, editor of "Index" , board member of Downtown for Democracy and Patrick Sullivan the lead singer and guitarist of the Brooklyn-based honky tonk band, Oakley Hall , are grinning mischieviously into the camera. Reading along in the announcement, we find that they were married on a Wednesday, at the Brooklyn Municipal Building, by an officer of the Brooklyn Marriage Bureau. Later, a nondenominational ceremony was held at the Dreamaway Lodge, in Becket , Mass. Doncha love it?

Photo note: Notice the slight imperfection in the shadows, nay, the distinctly black spot. I could have spent my morning figuring out how to erase it with photoshop, but I thought it metaphorically significant. Besides I have ladies coming for lunch.

Posted by Dakota at May 23, 2004 07:24 AM