08/14/2012 02:23 pm ET

Marriage Is Now A Luxury Good (Complete With Buyer's Remorse)

I am sometimes aghast at how much money I spent on my wedding dress. Four figures, more than I’d ever spent on any item of clothing before or since — enough, ten years on and one kid in, to cover one monthly mortgage payment, a family vacation to Cancun, six weeks of summer day camp, a high-end cooking range, a used car, or five years of swimming lessons. But, at the time, closer to 40 than to 30 and earning a good salary, I wanted what I wanted, which is to say a forties glam custom-made floor-length dress in upholstery-weight oyster-colored satin with a ruched waist, a plunging back, and a fishtail train. (pictured above) At a moment that, one might argue, most determined my future, it turns out I wasn’t thinking about the future (or at least the future cost of my present expenditures) at all.