Thanks to all who commented on the Provenza gown. It’s the most likely winner for sure, at this point. But I feel the need to say something in response to the second most often repeated comment (after “beautiful dress, I love it!” and thank you, I agree).

A surprising number of people expressed concern that, by posting pictures of my potential wedding gown on Teh Interwebs, I ran the risk that & might see it. On me. Which, according to relevant superstition, would cause us no end of bad juju.

Guys? He was there at the bridal salon with me. He was the one who took those pictures.

Uniquely among men with whom I’ve ever tarried, & is truly my partner in all things. There’s no way I’d want to pick out my wedding gown without him being involved in the decision, nor, indeed, any way I could imagine excluding him from the process. (His sister Katherine, who serves both as &’s fashion guru and as one of my bridesmaids, no doubt has just dashed to the vomitorium at the thought of & helping me shop for something to wear.)

As for the deviation from premarital social norms, & is good at that. He proposed to me, not down on one knee with a diamond in hand, but standing in the center of the labyrinth with a silver ring in his pocket. He’d be just as comfortable with a handfasting at a blacksmith’s forge as he would with a high church Episcopalian sacrament. In fact, he’s the one who suggested both. He’s a guy who does things his own way.

Frankly, he had me at “guy who does things.” It is unspeakably blissful, so refreshing, such a delicious relief to be paired with a man — an actual heterosexual male homo sapiens — who doesn’t need to be led like a horse to water, but who purely and simply does for himself. I am no great planner, but in my previous partnership, if I didn’t make the effort myself, nothing would ever get done. No longer. & is magical, brimming with ideas and energy, an active planner who reliably follows through and actually makes things happen.

For example: today is Valentine’s Day. I’d have been happy with a card or some chocolates, maybe a nice dinner. & made me stuffed pancakes for breakfast, took me out to Avenue Q at the Warner, and then, over the fabulous prix-fixe at Restaurant Nora, produced my *actual* gift (to which the rest of this was just lead-in): onstage seats for Yo-Yo Ma at Strathmore next month. And this was for Valentine’s Day. You should see him at Christmas.

He has taken such an extraordinary lead in the wedding planning — getting our venues and photographer contracted, setting up tastings with caterers, emailing me a dozen different ideas for table decorations — that promotional mailings have begun to arrive at our door, addressed in his name, with the salutation “Dear Stylish Bride.” I’m not sure which is the greater irony: the looks on these folks’ faces when they realize that & is actually the groom, or the pervasive societal emphasis on Bridezilla monomanically planning HER wedding, with HIM merely along for the ride.

Not us. I am naturally a superstitious type, but this is one jinx of which I am entirely unafraid. As I choose my wedding togs, you’d better believe I value the opinion of my stylish bride.