Last month on Sunday, October 17, Rubina and Shaun were married in Middletown, CT preceded by small, intimate gatherings of the immediate family, the bridal party and some out of town guests on earlier days. Sheena was the maid of honor and Shaun's sister Shannon was another of the bridesmaids. The wedding and celebrations which were largely planned by Shaun and Rubina went very well.
Here was something interesting. Our first preference for the wedding was for a Saturday, but with the Saturdays booked in the venue of our choice we had settled on a Sunday. It turned out for the best. After the cold and rain on Friday and a chilly Saturday, the weather improved dramatically and the sun came out to make for a great wedding day.
Rubina and Shaun in their wedding planning did an excellent job of fusing American and Indian traditions. For example, they combined the Indian / Hindu rituals of circling a sacred fire seven times (with an explanation of its significance in English) with more typical American ceremonies and reciting of vows. They also wisely kept focus on the primary objective of everyone attending having a good time, rather than getting the proceedings just right. That all the ceremonies went off smoothly and well was icing on the cake.
One major difference between typical Indian weddings back home and ones in the US is in the size and composition of the guest list. In India the invitee list is much larger and includes people who are close to the parents, even if they don't know the bridal couple too well. But in the US as in our case those invited and attending with few exceptions were close to the couple, with the invitations going out from them rather than from the parents. This distinction can probably help non-Americans understand why the Obama's were not invited to Chelsea Clinton's wedding.
We as Rubina's parents are happy that Rubina and Shaun are so right for each other. Shaun is a wonderful, caring person with a warm and close knit family that Rubina (and we) immensely enjoy being around.
The couple went for a short but enjoyable honeymoon to New Orleans as they had to return to attend another wedding in Shaun's family the following week. They're settling down well since, and plan to go on a second phase of their honeymoon trip next year.
Here are some bridal party pictures of the mehndi (henna hand painting) celebration on October 15 and the wedding on October 17.