Lost in the shuffle of automatic posting is the reason that we went to North Carolina in the first place, the wedding of our friends Nirav and Sarah. Nirav was one of the first few people that Chelsea and I met on our interview weekend at Cornell, and he ended up being one of our longest and closest friends too. Naturally, when such a good person tells you they are pretty serious about someone, we were super excited to meet her too. Many co-dinner dates with them and activities on the town later, we became pretty close and were honored that they wanted us to be part of their wedding festivities. This was the reason for our visa stress, but one that proved to be worth it. We flew in a few days early to take part in some other activities before the big day.
Activity 1: the bachelorette party (above). Sarah had an unfortunate falling out with one of the girls that was supposed to be in the wedding, so Chelsea basically took over the planning of the bachelorette party. It’s not an easy task for someone who lives in a country 5 time zones away to plan a party in a city she has never been to with women she has never met, but Chels managed. It certainly looks like the girls had fun. And as a bonus, this wine bar had one of my favorite Michigan(!) beers, Bells Two-Hearted Ale, on tap which I promptly treated myself to. After all, we were on vacation.
Activity 2: Mendhi party. One of the coolest aspects of this wedding was the mixing of cultures and the sharing of traditions Sarah and Nirav managed to incorporate. In this case, the mendhi party was a pre-wedding celebration, where the bride and many women in the wedding had patterns drawn on their skin with henna, a temporary skin dye. Pictured above are Chelsea’s hands.
All of the bridesmaids had similar patterns on their hands, and the bride had the most elaborate patterns. We were also told that the henna artist usually incorporates the groom’s initials in the pattern on the bride, and on their wedding night he is supposed to find the initials. If he isn’t successful – cold shower for him. Can you find NA on her hands?
Being with all of our Ithaca friends again, we almost forgot that we were down in the South. That is until Sarah and Nirav’s neighbor brought over a gift for the father of the bride – moonshine in a mason jar. Pictured above is Nirav’s cousin Manish getting a good taste of grandpa’s old cough medicine. It actually wasn’t too bad, I’ve had worse.
Activity 3: Flowers and other general wedding decorations. Sarah’s dad Joe has a background in design, so he helped design quite a bit of wedding accessories and decorations. Of course the bride had her own choice in things, so above is the workshop where she put together the flower pieces on the fly. She also had some good hired help from across the pond – we helped with a bunch of stuff, it was pretty easy after going through it all with our wedding.
I took this picture at the wedding rehearsal. Unfortunately we didn’t remember our camera for the wedding day, but if you click on the link at the beginning of the post you can find links to Sarah and Nirav’s Flickr account with all sorts of pictures from people that were in attendance. And I encourage you to check out their photographer’s blog here. He has an excellent creative eye, and some awesome gear to match.
So congratulations to Sarah and Nirav, we wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.