Picks and Pans Review: Vows
WEDDINGS OF THE NINETIES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
by Lois Smith Brady with photographs
by Edward Keating
Opening the Sunday New York Times, many readers skim—guiltily, secretly—past the world news and ignore the serious reviews until they’ve read Brady’s enchantingly gossipy account of some lucky couple’s wedding. Now this guilty pleasure is an open secret. Vows, a collection of these columns, with photos by Edward Keating, is an invitation to the astonishing range of nuptials that Brady has been crashing weekly for years.
Brady not only describes the ceremonies—their venues and decorations, what everyone wore, the music and the food—but ferrets out all the juicy details we really want to know: how the couple met and fell in love, what they do for a living, who proposed to whom, what their friends and family think of their hopes for marital bliss, how they’ve managed to combine the contents of two apartments.
The weddings range from the traditional (an arranged marriage consecrated by a Hindu priest; an Orthodox Jewish ceremony held under a canopy; a lawn wedding on Long Island outfitted by Ralph Lauren) to the fiercely unconventional (a reception in an airplane hangar; a seven-hour walking tour of New York City culminating in an exchange of vows on a subway train).
The columns read like short short stories—true romance stories, to be exact. Even those who resolutely don’t cry at weddings will be charmed and moved by this evidence of the infinitely various ways in which we celebrate love. (Morrow, $23)