Thursday, January 26, 2012

Courage during Wedding Planning

Having a trans-cultural relationship definitely made our wedding planning easier. There were little expectations on how a Jain-American wedding should look. If my husband had married an Indian woman, I'm sure it would have taken more courage to "step outside the box." Since I am writing about courage this month this month, I thought I'd include a discussion on what bits of our wedding took some courage.

Things that Took Courage

1. No diamond ring. I've never wanted a diamond ring, so this one was easy. It wasn't so easy for my mother-in-law who was convinced that I didn't have one because my husband couldn't afford one. I was very happy with the simple amber ring I picked out a few weeks before he proposed. It was nice to have a ring to point to even if most people didn't "get" why it wasn't a diamond. After our wedding, I stopped wearing the amber ring because I love the simple, clean look of only wearing my silver band.

2. Unusual Setting. Indian weddings are ALWAYS in a hotel or a ballroom, so I know I know my husband and his parents were stepping outside their comfort zone by planning a wedding on my family's farm.

3. Our officiant was my mother. This one was pretty unusual for whatever type of wedding you attend. But in my family there is a tradition of family members acting as officiants (my parents got married by my uncle, my grandparents by either my great-grandfather or great-great-uncle....I can't remember).  I really wanted both our mothers to marry us. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment having our mothers (who brought us into this world) join us together in marriage. But my mother-in-law is not comfortable with public-speaking, so my mother graciously agreed to be the sole officiant.

4. I assembled and created our ceremony. The ceremony was the most important part of the wedding for me, so that is where I focused my energy. I wanted to capture both our personalities as individuals and as a couple, while also honoring my husband's religious tradition without being sacrilegious. It was tough but I am so proud of the end result.

5. My biological father wasn't invited. This was the toughest decision, I had to make. I figured if I invited him he wouldn't come anyway. But, I knew there was a very tiny chance he would and then it put a damper on the day for my step-father. Calling my father, afterwards, was really, really difficult and I know he was hurt. But, I don't regret my decision. Weddings are often full of tough decisions and accepting that reality is part of being a full-fledged adult.

6. We planned the wedding in 5 weeks. It took a lot of courage to say, "we can plan a meaningful, beautiful, joyful at-home wedding in 5 weeks" (especially in a culture that says you need at least a year to plan). The challenge forged our family into a much tighter unit. I've become a bit fan of short engagements now!

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