(Today is the fourth anniversary of my self-wedding. I’ll have more to say about that later, but for now, here’s the post I made right after the event.)
I wasn’t sure how to write about this past weekend’s big event – there are so many angles I could take. I figured I would start with the practical: the ceremony itself.
In true Spiritual Nomad style, when I decided to wed myself, I borrowed elements of a variety of matrimonial traditions to create the ceremony. I wanted the overall theme to be what I called “Punjabi Meltdown,” but since I’m not an actual Hindu I didn’t feel the need (or have the resources) to have a multi-day wedding with hours of complicated ritual. Instead, I meshed together the parts of Eastern and Western ceremonies that I liked and I think came up with something meaningful and fun.
My two best friends in the entire universe, S1ren and Laurie, presided over the evening – S1ren led the ceremony itself (this is after she sewed my wedding outfit, being the badass seamstrix she is), and Laurie acted as a sort of wedding coordinator since she’s had a traditional wedding and knew how to keep me from stressing out. She also gave an absolutely gorgeous blessing during the ceremony, and believe you me, I felt blessed!
In addition to the fantastic red salwar kameez S1ren made me, I wore beautiful mendhi designs on my hands and feet courtesy of my friend Antares, whose skill with a henna cone is un-freaking-believable. I had on ankle bells, about sixty billion bracelets, and even makeup – no kidding!
We started by giving each attendee a candle and leading them into a circle, set to Loreena McKennitt’s “Kecharitome.” The room was lit mostly by candles, and we’d set up a central altar at the head of the room, draped with fabric and decked with an enormous vase of Texas flowers in bright colors. After everyone had found a seat, the music changed to my version of a wedding march: “Nothing Else Matters” by Apocalyptica.
That’s right, Metallica on cello.
S1ren gave a brief welcome, and I followed suit, then went into my vows. In a Hindu wedding, the bride and groom must take seven steps together, each one with a pledge to fulfill certain responsibilities in the marriage. I did the same, and with each step made a vow to myself (I’ll post those separately since they’re a bit long). When I reached the altar again, we did the ring “exchange,” in which S1ren had me repeat after her:
With this ring, I commit myself to the fullness of my own life, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as this Earthwalk shall last.
Then, as they do in the Hindi ceremony, I applied red powder to my hairline; this is usually done by the groom, to symbolize the bride’s becoming a wife. Naturally since I was both bride and groom I did it to myself.
After that, Laurie gave her prayer and blessing, and I heard an awful lot of sniffling in the audience. Then, I gave each attendee a bindi; this isn’t traditional, but I felt like a small gesture of my appreciation was important, and I wanted everyone to know they were a part of my tribe.
Plus I wanted to poke everyone in the Third Eye.
At that point S1ren announced me a “fully committed woman” and (to my giggling surprise) dumped rose petals over my head.
Then we partied! We delighted in sangria, chocolate chai cupcakes, and all manner of tasty foodstuffs brought by the guests. Once the wine had been flowing a while all the women got up and danced, showing off their Bollywood stylings. It’s not every wedding where you get to do the “feed the chickens” move to P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass.”
(And in the case of myself and my dear friend Lorrie, did something of an interpretive dance in hilarious Bollywood fashion recapping our trip to the Pacific Northwest last year. Ask me to see the moves for “oh look, we’re lost again” and “look at all the people in hoodies!” sometime.)
It was an amazing night. I’m forever grateful to the people who helped make it happen, and especially to my Laurie and S1ren, who are the living embodiment of grace – they swoop in, make things beautiful, and give love without question…and even clean up after. I am one hell of a blessed woman.
Not to mention I have an awesome wife.Become my patron for exclusive online content and read new stories before anyone else!