Cynthia Nixon (J. R. Mankoff for Elle)
Nearly four months after saying "I do," newlywed Cynthia Nixon is spilling some secrets about what she describes as her "perfect" wedding day. Three years after becoming engaged, the "Sex and the City" star, 46, exchanged vows with education activist Christine Marinoni in New York City in May. The event was extra special for the couple — who have a son named Max — because they had publicly vowed that they would wait to marry until same-sex marriage was legal in New York state. Soon after the law was passed in summer 2011, Nixon started prepping for her big day.
"I never thought about my wedding dress growing up," Nixon admits to Elle. "Not once. I'm just not one of those girls. It has nothing to do with being gay — when I was with a man, I didn't fantasize about my wedding dress either. In fact, I've spent most of my life not wanting to get married. But once I finally decided to do it, I knew I wanted a beautiful dress for the occasion."
While Marinoni dealt with the majority of the wedding planning — "for which I am eternally grateful," says Nixon — the actress focused on her dress. Having worked with Carolina Herrera in the past, she didn't hesitate to turn to her once again. While meeting with the designer and her team, Nixon recalls telling them, "'Don't think of me as a bride. Think of me as a grown-up woman who needs a dress to get married in." But Herrera wasn't hearing of it. "She said, 'You need to get a dress with a capital D. So even if it's not poufy or white, there's a certain level of ceremony."
Newlyweds Nixon and Marinoni (FilmMagic)The color Nixon selected for her gown was green, which she describes as her "go-to" hue, perhaps because she played redheaded Miranda for so many years and the colors made for a flattering combination. Fitting for a Big Apple wedding, Nixon notes that the dress reminds her of an "art deco skyscraper." Another important detail — keeping the train short. "One of the lessons I've learned from years of wearing gowns to awards shows is that people are always stepping on your train," she shares. "This one had a train, but it was minimal enough that you could still walk and dance in it. I'm not a big dancer, but you have to dance at least a little bit at your wedding."
With the dress dilemma resolved, Nixon was able to shift her focus to another dilemma: her hair. At the time, Nixon, who has been quite a fixture on Broadway since her "Sex and the City" days ended, had shaved her head to play a professor with ovarian cancer in "Wit." Everyone seemed to have an opinion about the way Nixon should style her hair for the wedding — from her wife, who thought Nixon's bald head would be all people were talking about, to her mother, who suggested she wear a beaded cap similar to the one Whitney Houston wore when she married Bobby Brown in 1992. Ultimately she decided on a "silver-and-white ribbon wrapped twice around my head," which was suggested by the Herrera team, to which Nixon affixed some small Fred Leighton diamond love-birds.
Keeping with her non-traditional bridal style, Nixon didn't mind Marinoni seeing her dress before the ceremony. The actress actually texted her wife pictures from various fittings, telling Elle, "I won't say what she said to me about it — it's personal — but she said many, many nice things." On the big day itself, the women got ready together as their children — their son Max, 19 months, and Nixon's kids from her relationship with Danny Mozes, Samantha, 16, and Charles, 9 — waited nearby.
"I suppose I never thought about my wedding dress until I needed to, because that's the way I approach a lot of things, not just fashion," she says. "When I take on a project for work, I've learned it's better not to come in with a rigid idea of that role. You have to wait for all the elements to come together — cast, crew, director — before you can anticipate how to approach it. And in the case of my wedding, when it all came together, it was perfect."
For more on Nixon's special day, pick up the October issue of Elle.
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