planning an intercultural wedding — with hardly no money

Planning a gori/desi wedding (with virtually no money)
We have decided that the wedding ceremony will be the 12th of June. This is on a saturday.
ok, this is difficult.
Neither of us are well off when it comes to money. I feel a bit shy and embarrassed about this because since my children are grown and I am the older (older than a college student) I am suppose to be economically stable and all of that. With no job for quite sometime and such things, I am not.
So, here is what there will not be:
1. a ring
2. an elaborate dress
3. two different ceremonies: we will have to merge them into one
4. kissing the bride and dancing is out. He would just feel too uncomfortable doing any of these things.
And, his parents will not be there.
So, what can we do?
Well, 1st, I really want to learn to say my commitments in two languages.
The difficult part about this is:
I write lots.
Can’t you tell?
I have fifteen commitments.
I wrote them well in advance of Imran and I getting together because I knew what I would commit to when I got married again.
We have revised them a bit, but even that is not enough.
Hmmm, I think that I will have a separate blog entry for my commitments.
If I am technologically savvy enough, I will try to post that link.
But, I want to learn to say them in Urdu.
And, I want to video tape the wedding.
And, I will wear the Pakistani dress in the wedding. Of course, if I can find one that fits and that we both like. I want to infuse some Pakistan into the wedding.
I could wear those glass bracelets. I like their sound and while I am not able to see the intricate designs (I’ll have to get some neutral pairs) if I can feel the designs on them, it would even be better.
Oh, my wrist is large — large by Pakistani standards and probably American standards.
We will have to see about it.
I’ve thought about the food and hope that I can get someone to cator or something.
For the Pakistani part: Pakoras, samosas, chicken tikkah (wish we could do that chicken Tandoori also) Chicken biryani (his favorite dish) and desserts such as Jalebi (my favorite) Gulab Jaman (probably spelled wrong) and Kofta. I would love to have some mint cucumber salad and fresh Pakistani mangos. But, that “fresh Pakistani mango” thing will not happen and so I will have to forego anything like that.
Hey, we could toast with Mango lassi, how fun would that be? My family is a smoked pork kind of family with greenbean caserole, etc.
I’d like to have baklavah, but that is neither Pakistani or American — we might see if I can have it anyway.

Imran and I talked about having a cake and saving the top layer. He says that it is a stupid tradition and he won’t eat the top layer on our first anniversary. But, Dominika has developed a desire for baking, so we will have a cake.
I suppose since neither of us can see the Henna, it is not as important to us.
But, Dominika has this friend/boyfriend who does “Body art.” Now, of course, no tattoos, but I wonder if he could draw those intricate designs. Hmmm, I never did like tattoos, but maybe we could use his artistic nature, Afterall. you know what, unfortunately, I have children who enjoy the tattoo parlor. I am not proud of it, but it is there choice. I bet Dominika would enjoy discovering henna!

Music is important to me though. It would be nice to find a desi flautist to play at the wedding and play American songs with a desi flavor and Desi songs with an american twist. But, if we can’t afford a ring, what makes me think that I can afford a flautist?
Jackie wants to sing at our wedding and we have to find a selection that we both like.
One of the problems is that Jackie is definitely an alto and Imran prefers women singers who are sopranos — So glad that I am.
I wonder why there are no women tabla players and bansuri players.
If anyone knows of women who play these instruments, let me know.
I can’t invite them to my wedding or anything, but I can rejoyce that there are women who enjoy the instruments so much that they have aspired to learn them as well.
I must admit that I am a bit nervous about the merging of cultures thing. My family is just not into cultural merging — if you will. Ok, the one who is more willing is Nikki.
This is my younger sister.
I believe that I can say it on here because even if she looked at my blog, she could agree with what I am saying here — at least most of it.
There are many times when Nikki and I don’t share the same opinions when it comes to ethics, morals and our lifestyle. Yet, for all of her bad habits etc, she is the most accepting of both Imran and this wedding. Granted, she is also accepting of partying, weed smoking, homosexuality, tattoos/piercings, premarrital sex, etc. But, it is nice to know that you have the support from someone and she is not afraid to interact with others from another culture. She wants to know more about different cultures and embraces different customs.
She would not hesitate to steal Imran’s shoes and demand some money.
(especially if it is expected of him to give some — hey, she is liking this Pakistani stuff more and more).
If I were a good sister: I would get her some real pan with some tobacco in it.
She does not chew, but she would try and she is already adicted to cigarettes.
LaTroi, who (much to my shagrin) chews might like Pan, but I don’t want to encourage tabacco consumption.

I am in the process of moving. This means that I am packing and moving to Indianapolis after living in this house for about seventeen years. I am moving because I want to find work and there is just not any to be found in this small town. This means that I am moving and also trying to plan for a wedding.
Dominika will help and her and Nikki are excited. DJ, LaTroi and Kyler still have mixed feelings about it.
Our first thought was to have the Nikka before the wedding celebration. The Nikka is the Muslim ceremony which consists of some readings from the Quran, an accepting of each other and signatures of witnesses. We would quietly go and perform the ceremony and then on to the traditional wedding ceremony.
Then, we would have an American reception. The next day, if possible, we could have the waleema. This is like a “next day reception” at the groom’s house. I was thinking that for the favors, we could give everyone, a small bell to ring as we exit and a small bag of nuts/dates&chocolate. The bag could be printed with Pakistani designs and such. It could be sealed by a drawstring and serve as a small memento. I don’t like Bubbles because I can’t see them and I think that it is stupid to throw food. Thus, rice is out. Bells will be a wonderful choice. These are just my first thoughts and I will keep posting as things develop.

The other concern is about money. We have very little of it. We are not jet-setting attorneys or doctors or high class business people. We will just have to make due. Progress will follow.


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