Back in 2005, I had an arranged-love marriage. We did the whole 3 day Jewelry-food-makeup-million guests thing. and I was a delighted 22-year-old, madly in love and so happy to be having my dream wedding.My husband however was less than pleased.
He has been raised outside India so a lot of the customs and rituals didn’t hold the same allure for him. Plus, he felt the whole thing was more about the elders and Pandits than the two of us.
Last year, we were in Las Vegas for a week, with our two kids. One morning, I’m fixing breakfast in my yoga pants, when there’s a knock on the hotel room door. I open the door to see a large man dressed exactly like Michael Jackson (yes that Michael Jackson). Obviously some manner of performer and this being Vegas, I shrug and tell him he’s probably got the wrong room.
He looks me up and down (my Yoga pants and crazy hair) and asks in a curiously soft voice, “Mrs. Raman?”
I nod, surprised.
“Well, this is exactly the right room then!” With that, he pushes past me and
starts setting up flowers and candles on the breakfast table.
10 minutes and lots of humming later, he’s finished. A beautiful little floral arrangement with rose candles lit in
aesthetically pleasing rows. The kids are curious ( “Is it your birthday, Amma?” and “Wow, can I blow the candles, Amma?”) I’m confused, but enjoy the bizarreness of the whole thing. Michael Jackson looks over at me and gesticulates wildly.
Understanding dawns. I quickly put on some lipstick and run a brush through my hair. Change from Yoga pants to Fancier Yoga pants. When I come out, the kids are sitting on the couch, agog and breathless.
And next to Mr. Jackson, stands my husband, wearing his best shirt and holding a small bouquet of roses. He’s planned this to a T and looks proud as a peach. Dropping to one knee, he brings out a beautiful ring. This amazes my daughter and in her excitement announces she needs to pee.
We resume the ceremony 5 minutes later. I wipe big tears away, while Mr.Jackson sings us a love song. My husband reads out his vows along with a beautiful Native American Poem about love and commitment. The kids hug my feet, and someone trips over and falls. I don’t know what to say because my heart is so full.
Mr.Jackson asks me if I, Pavi Raman take the tall and wonderful Mr.Raghav Raman to be my husband.
Standing there surrounded by my little family, in a room that faintly smells of Pancakes and Jam, I finally find words.
“Yes. Yes, I do,”.
to answer your question, I did have a wedding on a shoestring Budget.
Minimal makeup (one coat of Smashbox
Lipstick+ one line of Kohl), 3 guests (kids + Mr. Jackson) and I got married again to the Love of My Life.
And this time, it was just Perfect.
|Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash|