The Tragic Optimist

On weddings and marriage…


My brother got married last Saturday, to an amazing woman, in a wonderful wedding. His wife’s family is from India, so the ceremony was a combined Hindu/Lutheran one.

I spent much of the time worried about how Zoe would deal – with the plane ride, with the food, with the messed up schedule, with all the people, with all the parties, etc. Turns out I needn’t have worried. At almost every event, we would show up and within minutes, someone would take Zoe from me and she’d be passed from person to person – loving every minute of it.

(no, I’m not sure who is holding my baby here).

This was especially great at the Mehndi party – where the women all had our hands decorated with henna. You have to leave the henna on for a couple of hours to get it to stay – and the longer you leave it, the darker it gets.

I only had my right hand decorated, so I could still pick up Zoe if need be, but having lots of people willing to help with Zoe made things much easier.

As I said, the wedding was spectacular. It started with the Bharaat procession, where the groom processes to the wedding amidst music and dancing with friends and family. Traditionally, the groom is supposed to ride a horse or elephant, but my brother wanted to dance instead. Personally, I think everyone should dance to their wedding with friends and family.

The ceremony was long – 2 1/2 hours, but it somehow didn’t seem as long. Probably because it was broken up with the bride leaving to change into a new sari in the middle, and also because I felt totally fine getting up and walking around, and even leaving a few times with Zoe when she got restless.

Zoe stayed up until 10 pm the first two nights of the weekend because there were so many fun people to play with, and music to dance to, and new things to see. Unfortunately, the late nights meant that she crashed a couple times on the day of the wedding. Including having a meltdown while I was giving a toast to the couple at the reception. But she still did so much better that I had dared to hope for. And I’m glad we thought to bring her stroller, we just let her nap in there, which worked very well.

Lunchtime nap

This is at the reception, shortly before she had her meltdown.

Just a couple more pictures, because I feel like showing off…

Zoe and I in our outfits, both from India. It took two women to tie me into the sari. I’ll need to learn to get into it myself because I really want to wear it again someday.

As much as I loved wearing the sari, it was hard to keep it on correctly with a nearly 1-year-old constantly pulling at the skirt, so I changed for the evening reception. Zoe stayed in her cute little outfit.

The newlyweds, Carl and Roopa



(warning, a schmoopy post about my marriage is ahead)

Today is Chris and my (mine and Chris’s, Chris’s and mine, stupid grammar) 7th wedding anniversary. We had his parents take Zoe for the early afternoon, and had a lovely time going out and just being together.

The past seven years have been good ones. I mean we’ve definitely had our share of difficulties: my going to grad school, both of us dealing with really bad times at work, job changes, infertility, the first year of parenting. I certainly could have done without some of those difficulties (the infertility and bad job stuff, that is. The first year of parenting has not been easy, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world), but there isn’t anyone I would rather have faced them with. And we know now how much stronger we are together. I know that Chris has seen me at my bitterest, when I’m irrationally angry at the world, and he still loves me. I’ve seen Chris horribly frustrated and cynical, but I still love him. And that’s a good thing to know.

My toast at Carl and Roopa’s wedding was:

“May you look back on today [your wedding day] with fondness, remembering how happy and in love you were. But may you not remember today as your happiest day, or the day you were most in love. Rather, as you look back on this day, may you marvel at how much happier and how much more in love you are now.”

It’s true for Chris and I, I hope the same is true for Carl and Roopa.



  1. Hindu & Lutheran, love mixes up some of the strangest of combinations sometimes 🙂

    My fiance & I will be getting married in August, both of us are “white” people. However, we both have a love for various cultures around the world, despite wanting to incorporate some of that into the weddings, it just won’t happen because we’d be forcing one cultures ways into the culture we inherited as white Americans.

    While minorities may be oppressed in this country sometimes, they need to know that there’s a lot of white people who admire all the ways and history they hold dear.

  2. That’s an amazing story! The photos are so beautiful (I’m glad you posted so many). Have you been to Colorblind Cupid’s blog? They talk about Hindu weddings and intercultural marriages and they would be so glad to meet you and read this post.


  1. Favorite Posts Meme « The Tragic Optimist

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