On August 20th, Roger and I made our way to City Island, a spot we hadn't been to since way back when we lived in Harlem, for the wedding of Jess and Madhu, who you may remember from our trip to India.
Although the weather had been sweltering in the weeks leading up to the wedding, that weekend, the heat finally broke a bit, and we were able to enjoy the gorgeous views from the ceremony site at the Harlem Yacht Club. It's difficult to make out, but the beautiful couple came in on a boat, and walked down the dock, instead of down the aisle!
I wore one of the outfits I bought in India, which was even prettier than I remembered, and resolved to always wear pants to weddings from now on.
The ceremony was beautiful, and combined Buddhist prayers with Indian traditions. I don't know if I've ever said this before, but I actually haven't been a big fan of writing your own vows. However, Jess and Madhu's vows really changed my mind on that. They were so beautiful and personal, and clearly showed how deeply in love they are. It was an incredibly moving ceremony, and one I'm so honored to have been a part of.
The party afterward was a blast. I loved seeing Jess's family, including her mom and grandmother, neither of whom I'd seen since high school. It was so lovely to see them and hear what they've been up to, since when we were children, they were like a second family to me.
Jess's brother, Philip, was the hit of the evening, and I asked if we could hire him out for futhre weddings! Phil was just a little kid when we were all hanging out, and although we definitely did our fair share of tormenting him, I was so thrilled to talk to him and hear what an incredible person he has become. He reminded me that when I first started driving Jessie to school, we also took Philip to middle school (something I'd completely forgotten), and he told me that on the first day of middle school, Jess told me to drop him off at the high school and make him walk the quarter-mile or so to the other school, terrifying him on his first day at a new school. I was pretty horrified that he remembered this, but apparently I swooped in and rescued him, saying we should drop him off at the front door, and dropping him there. You can't imagine my relief that the story ended that way and not with, "And I just wanted to tell you I've thought you were a huge bitch ever since the day you abandoned me in the MHS parking lot!" Hahaha.
Everyone gave really fantastic speeches. They were all by turns funny, poignant, and meaningful—everything a wedding speech should be. I especially loved the moment when Madhu's friend said she wanted to pass on the best wedding advice she'd ever heard: "Your wife is always right."
Jess and Madhu served appetizers, homebrewed beer, and delicious wedding cake, and I think scaling back on the food was a really wonderful idea. It got everyone dancing right away, and made me realize that dinner at weddings is often a bit of a distraction. I've had amazing meals at weddings, of course, but what I'm really there for is seeing the couple in love and dancing! This wedding was full of both of those things, and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to.
Jess and Madhu, being able to connect with you in India and at this wedding brought me so much happiness, and seeing the joy you bring to each other was the most wonderful part of this wedding. Thank you so much for inviting Roger and I to celebrate with you. It's a day I'll never forget.