So, Ravi and I got married six years ago today (July 15, 2006). Or maybe technically tomorrow due to the time difference (ceremony ended around 7:30pm EST, aka 7:30am Singapore time on July 16th).
We had a low key day as I’m still sick and Ravi is getting sick. So rather than talk about how we spent the day lethargically trying to keep our spawn alive, let’s relive a far prettier day (even if today is what marriage is actually about–that whole “sickness” of “in sickness and in health” vow).
We got married in Boston, in a western, secular ceremony. I actually edited/wrote a lot of the ceremony. We included stuff like our mutual love of Babylon 5 and West Wing, and in the more traditional part of the vows left out the word “obey.” Our friend Stephanie wrote a poem she read in honor of the day (which I’ll post another day–it’s printed in our programs and unlike my veil, I didn’t seem to bring one to Singapore), and our friend Ange took time out from planning her own wedding (2 weeks later) to do a reading from “For Good” from Wicked.
We talked at length about who we wanted as our attendants. We each had four, and we each went a little non-traditional. Usually the bride’s attendants are all female and the groom’s male. However, two of my attendants were male (my dear friends Curt and Frank), and one of Ravi’s was female (his cousin, D). It is also a little non-traditional that Ravi picked his dad to be his best man. But as Ravi said (and this is one of the reasons I love him), he couldn’t picture anyone else as his best man. They have such a wonderful relationship, and I love the moment that this picture caught between them.
This is not just my favorite photo of me in my wedding dress, but one of my favorite pictures of me, ever. This was taken in a random reception room the hotel let us borrow for 15 minutes before heading over to the wedding site (the former Gamble Mansion, which has since been turned into condos–sob).
Here I am, standing outside the double door entrance to the ballroom of the mansion. I will confess that there were several huge draws for us when it came to this location. First was the location–just steps away from The Boston Public Gardens (for formal photos after the ceremony), second was the balcony in the ballroom where we were presented formally for the first time as “Mr and Mrs” once everyone had sat down for dinner and from where flowers were tossed (I love a good bit of theatricality), and this, the double door entrance. Everyone else processed in from the entryway past the closed doors. Then the music changed, Curt and Frank opened the double doors and my mom and I walked the aisle. It was great fun.
Although at the moment this was taken, all I could think about was how nervous I was and that I really didn’t want to trip and fall on my face at my wedding.
Here you can see Ravi writing his toast for the reception minutes before the ceremony started. At some point he ended up going off the cuff as he ran out of time. This is also why neither of us actually successfully managed to memorize our vows, and had to cheat and use index cards.
Our videographer caught Ravi’s reaction to seeing me as a bride for the first time. I’m not super traditional, but I didn’t let Ravi see me in the dress (or know anything about the dress) before that moment. There’s this great moment where he sees me, his mouth falls open a very small bit and he nods approvingly.
We kissed a little too long, but what the hell, it was our wedding. It was this second kiss on the forehead from Ravi caught on camera though, that I love because it’s just so us.
After the ceremony, the officiant, Ravi and I, and our parents all went into a room with a piano where the officiant signed our marriage license, making it all legal. Then the wedding party started heading over to the Public Gardens. This was when one of the more memorable things happened–an ambulance and fire truck went past us and stopped in front of the wedding venue. One of the chef’s helpers had cut themselves and had to go to the hospital (I shared the story in more detail last year) for stitches, leaving the kitchen in trouble (and stressing out the chef to the point where he threw a plate of food at my photographer-I don’t mean that metaphorically).
ANYWAY–so, Public Garden. Giant shoot of everyone but the flower girl, who was totally over the whole posing thing by that point (and was a few months shy of her third birthday).
However, I tend to like candid shots more than the formal (although the formal ones are wonderful and serve a purpose as well), and this one of my veil attacking me in a gust of wind is among my favorite from the “formal” series.
As is this candid. I wish I knew what someone had said, but Steph, Ravi, myself and Ange certainly found it funny. Notice that the veil is gone, as I was out of patience with it by that point (which makes the fact that I have it here in Singapore all the more tragic, really).
Then came dinner. We lovingly picked out this gorgeous plate of food (the potato pear is so freaking cute–it’s like an arty tater tot!!!), and then pretty much ate none of it. However, while we were waiting to be presented, a waiter and waitress brought us chicken skewers that were un-freaking-believable, they were so good. We took all of the leftover ones back to the hotel with us after the wedding. Hint–you won’t eat your actual wedding dinner, so enjoy the tasting.
We went around the room greeting friends and family. I feel so sentimental that my next trip home is help celebrate the wedding of the woman I’m hugging here, one of my dearest friends (and my co-maid of honor) Kate.
I’ve always liked this shot of Curt and Love, who would join us on our Indian sojourn in December of 06-January 07. These days Love is serving in the Peace Corps and is stationed in Mongolia. Read her blog!
Then there were speeches. I told the story of how I knew Ravi just might be “the one.”
About 3 weeks into our relationship I had to have my wisdom teeth removed, and Kate took me there and back. About a week later, I had to go in for what was supposed to be a routine post-surgery check up. The problem was that unbeknownst to me, I had an infection that required immediate corrective action. As I’d been given gas, they couldn’t let me leave on my own. Kate, who I would normally call, was on a field trip and unreachable. My mom was over an hour away and at work. I sat there, scrolling and scrolling, trying to figure out who I could call. Lacking what felt like any better option, I called Ravi.
Ravi came and got me, drove me back to my apartment and put me to bed. He took my car keys, walked back to the dentist (about a mile) and drove my car back to my place. He went and filled my prescriptions, and came back with every cold or soft thing to eat that he could think of that I might like.
Which is when, dense as I might be, I started figuring out that hey, Ravi is a keeper.
Then there was cake. There were three cakes, actually, to make everyone’s dietary preferences happy. Then there was dancing, which I’m not going to show you. Suffice it to say we didn’t fall on our asses.
The other nods to Indian culture were that I’d gotten mendhi (fairly light for bridal mendhi, but I did full bridal mendhi in India proper), I wore a tikka (you can see it best in the first picture), we bowed to our elders to ask their blessing while going around the tables, and I did a greeting that a friend of the family had written out for me phonetically in Gujarati. I actually had wanted to do more, but Ravi wasn’t comfortable with it, as he is culturally very American.
From there, it was pretty informal. I danced with my friends for a while. While I was dancing, our photographer caught this wonderful candid of Ravi with his grandmother (who sadly passed away since). Everyone ate (make your own sundae bar–BEST IDEA EVER). There was champagne.
Looking back, sure I could get nitpicky and change some stuff. Mostly I’d like to go back in time about three weeks prior to the wedding and not have thrown my back out (and not need surgery three months post-wedding), so that I wasn’t experiencing the day through with the chemical aid from my friends vicodin and champagne (although it has led to years of ‘it didn’t count because I was drunk and high at the time’ jokes).
But in all honesty, it really was exactly what we wanted…a wonderful day shared with those we loved best, where we got to publicly say “I choose you.” I feel very lucky that in 2006, gay marriage was already legal in Massachusetts. I look forward to the day when it is legal in all 50 states, and throughout the world.
All the photos in this post were taken by the awesome Lori DeSantis