This story first appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The good and bad news about apparel for gay weddings is there is no precedent, so there are a helluva lot of great choices. You can go formal like designer Narciso Rodriguez and Thomas Tolan, who got married June 22 in New York -- one in a black suit and skinny tie, the other in a white-suit version of same. You can go color-complementary as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi did in 2008: DeGeneres in a shirt, vest and trousers in pale pink-white and de Rossi in a pale-pink tulle gown, both by Zac Posen. Or you can go beachy like Michael Kors and Lance LePere, who donned jeans and T-shirts and went barefoot to exchange vows in Southampton in August 2011.
Designerwise, "you can't go wrong if you wear Gucci," says Christos Garkinos of Decades, who tied the knot with Brett Greenstein in 2012 in a pinstripe suit by the brand, pairing it with a forest-green shirt. Another popular label for grooms is Tom Ford. A Rodeo Drive store employee tells THR many grooms-to-be have purchased peak-lapel tuxes to wear for the ceremony then change into white dinner jackets for the reception. Makeup artist Scott Barnes married Frank Galasso in "a black Dsquared2 suit," says Barnes, "and Frank wore a three-piece Prada suit with a vest. This is how we dress all the time, so it's not like we won't wear these suits again." At the courthouse, Barnes observed gay couples midceremony in a range of styles: guys in True Religion jeans and T-shirts, women in sundresses. "Looks to me like anything goes," he says, "but isn't that true of straight weddings nowadays too?"
If grooms want to go classic, a great option that gives back is a formal black bow tie ($25, thetiebar.com) from Tie the Knot, a nonprofit advocacy organization founded by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita, who got married July 20 in NYC and personally design the items; proceeds benefit foundations that support marriage equality. For traditional brides, some of the best gowns are at Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Valentino, plus Paris 1900 (for gorgeous vintage), St. Pucchi, Claire Pettibone (Priscilla Chan married Mark Zuckerberg in one), JLM Couture, Mark Zunino and Lovely. Rodeo's Dolce & Gabbana boutique reports a run on white pantsuits by female couples (worn by one partner with the other donning, say, a white lace Dolce sheath). This shared one-designer approach celebrates individuality and union.
Of course, style maven Simon Doonan, who wore a Liberty floral shirt under a Thom Browne jacket when he married Jonathan Adler in 2008, believes gay weddings should be unconventional: "What's the point in being gay unless you can express idiosyncrasy? It is, however, a great excuse to splurge on a designer without feeling guilty."