Mark Guiducci 「Joseph Altuzarra and Seth Weissman’s Wedding at the Rainbow Room in New York City」

Posted on November 20, 2014
“The hora was another highlight of the evening! There was so much joy in the room, and everyone participated!”
Photo: Rebecca Walker & Angi Welsch for Ira Lippke Studios

While our federal government and more than 30 states now agree that a same-sex marriage is wholly equivalent to any other, the autumn nuptials of designer Joseph Altuzarra and his boyfriend, Seth Weissman, were evidence that things are still a bit different, at least in their case. Most bridegrooms, for instance, do not create mood boards for the hair and makeup of their “groomsmaids,” as Altuzarra calls them. Neither do most married-men-to-be outfit the wedding party in evening­wear of their own design, as Altuzarra did for Vanessa Traina Snow and Mélanie Huynh, who, respectively, wore a dress from his fall 2014 runway done in navy-blue panne velvet and the resort look in which Rosamund Pike appeared at the premiere of 「Gone Girl」. (Including Weissman’s own six groomsmaids, the event was virtually an Altuzarra retrospective.) Neither does the typical groom fret that a dear friend “is going to show up in leather shorts and a T-shirt,” an anxiety much relieved by the sight of groomsman Alexander Wang wearing a tuxedo on the big day (sans bow tie, of course).

In other ways, the nuptials were as traditional as could be. Inadvertently, theirs included something old (Seth’s grandfather’s pen, used to sign the marriage license), something new (a Saint Laurent bow tie that Altuzarra purchased that very morning after misplacing his own), something borrowed (Seth’s father’s studs and cuff links), and something blue (Seth’s midnight Tom Ford tuxedo). Even without a bride to speak of, there was still a critical dress moment. “We got ready at Joseph’s parents’ house in Tribeca,” Traina Snow remembers (Altuzarra says that his mother – and board chairman – served “chicken salad, so nobody fainted during the ceremony later”), “and Mélanie, Joseph, and I squirreled away into the bathroom so he could zip us up. Coming out together, it felt like the big dress reveal, and it felt like family.”

Perhaps the most classic component of the wedding, however, was its spectacular Manhattan setting: the newly reopened Rainbow Room, atop Rockefeller Center. “It felt both romantic and festive, very Frank Sinatra, very New York,” Altuzarra says, emphasizing that it’s the city where he and Weissman met nine years ago. “And we wanted to find a place that wasn’t too feminine.” As for the famed spinning dance floor, Altuzarra confirms that “there was plenty of revolving.”

But were there any Rainbow Room puns? Altuzarra’s brother, Charles, was the first to point out how aptly named the location was. A physicist who works on quantum photonics, Charles noted that rainbows are made by the deflection of sunlight through rain. “Alone, light is white and rain is just water,” Altuzarra explains. “But together they create a myriad of colors.” That’s a metaphor that knows no gender.

Author: Mark Guiducci/Date: November 20, 2014/Source: