So enough with talking about the wedding! Since I've dragged you all along with me in all of my wedding worries for the past year--to register for a food mill or not to register for a food mill--that is just one of a million burning questions! (LAWD!) I figure it's only fair to let you see how it all turned out. It truly was as people told me it would be...all worth it in the end. A beautiful night that I will never forget.
We had a Jewish wedding ceremony on Thursday October 24th at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, where Drew's parents and grandparents were married, and where both he and his brother were Bar Mitzvah'd. It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony with only our closest friends and family as witnesses, in a grand and beautiful room which only underscored how our marriage was not just about the two of us, but about something much bigger--a joining of families, communities and traditions. The next night, we were married AGAIN ( What can I say? The man liked it, and put multiple rings on it! Ya heaaaard me? Up top!) in a mix of Jewish, Western and Persian traditions. The wedding party danced down the aisle to none other than my ultimate fave, Michael Jackson, where I'm told that one of the groomsmen did an incredible split in the center of the aisle and bounced back to standing. Not to be outshined, my sister and the best man did an incredible robot. Folks were clapping, laughing, and the party was started. I walked in to a little ditty by none other than the ultimate R&B diva herself, Mariah Carey. It was pretty epic. I'm told there's video somewhere.
We then did some Jewish prayers, circled each other as is also the Jewish custom, said our vows and then went to sit at the Persian Wedding Table or Sofreh. The Sofreh comes from Iran's Zoroastrian roots, established in the country over a thousand years ago, and has changed little despite the advent of other religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) in the country today. Each item symbolizes something different that the couple hopes for in their marriage. Incense to ward off the evil eye and protect the couple, a book of ancient Persian love poems (some couples opt for a Koran or other meaningful book), eggs to encourage fertility, bread to ensure prosperity, pastries and honey to ensure a sweet life are among many other objects displayed. My family in Iran scrambled far and wide to find all the items I needed and somehow get them to me in Philadelphia in a logistical effort that would have made UPS proud, and for which I will be forever grateful. One that culminated in a surprise courier--my grandmother--who helped to raise me, whom I hadn't seen in 5 years since she returned to Iran, whom I was devastated wouldn't be at my wedding. She made the multi-continental journey alone with 10 suitcases at 88 years old. The first of many wedding gifts bestowed upon me by my incomprehensibly wonderful human of a groom. (Now I've SEEN the video of that surprise reunion, and I challenge anyone not to cry watching it.)
Then, in my favorite part of the ceremony, in keeping with tradition, we invited the married women in our lives--the ones whose marriages we admire--to hold a canopy over our heads (much like a chuppah). Each woman, in turn rubbed two cones of sugar together over us, sprinkling their happy marriage energy and good love juju in a shower of sugar and sweetness on our heads to give us some light and positivity as we begin our own foray into marriage in line behind them. Finally, we were pelted with Persian candied rice, hugged and kissed all our loved ones and the partay started. One that was full of loud singing, dancing and nonstop group hugs.
Thank you for being with me week after week this year, as I waxed philosophical on all things Lithe and love and marriage. I am grateful for all your encouragement and kind comments over the past 2.5 years of Sayeh's Living Lithe. I look forward to continuing to chronicle every other chapter in my life--in all our lives--with you as they come.
See you in class!