humari shaadi kahani (1)

Imran and I married on September 24, 2010.
We had a courthouse wedding. His sister and friend S came and my sister and her soon to be husband (although they didn’t know it then, they would decide to marry at their respective courthouse a week later) also came. I think that there are pics on facebook. Check out my facebook page because I have a hard time inserting pictures and such into my blog. This is why it probably looks kind of plain, etc. I am not sure which pic is which, so I will wait for others to post them for me and hopefully, they will label them also. But, sorry pics don’t accompany this post.
(note: if/when I ever go to Pakistan, I think that I am going to have to HIRE someone just to take pics) [smile].

First, I had to lay to rest some dreams. I must admit that I am a dreamer. I already think about what will happen when I go to Pakistan. I conjure up many different situations in my mind. Although, I know that these are purely hypothetical and most definitely in my fantasy. I just think too much.
My dream wedding begins on a clear warm day. We marry in a church where I found a commited clergy to officiate. The Nikka is right before the wedding in a mosque of his choosing. My father and family goes to the mosque and we have Muslim friends, also. The horse and carriage will pick us up at the mosque and take us to the church. Now, we have incorporated the white horse concept into our own wedding. OK, that sounds extravagant. But, we have to get from one place to another and I am trying to incorporate both traditions into one ceremony. Why not. It is my dream, after all. (smile)
Sure, why not mendi? I think that the others in my bridal party will actually like it and it will feel festive: even if I can’t see the colors. And, hey, I want one of those drums … … (Can’t remember off the top of my head the name of the drum) that the women play. The music and decorations are a tasteful blend of American and Pakistani. Maybe: a tabla player as percussion to some piano selections or selections from both a brass quartet as well as a bansuri. It is not a huge wedding, but our friends and family are there. I like the roses and Jasmine and other flowers from Pakistan blended with lillies and American flowers. I am not a “color person,” but Dominika or someone would help me coordinate. I have succeeded in finding a modest American dress with a Pakistani veil. I (WE) pronounce our vows in both English and Urdu. (I have already written my vows). We have a reception with Pakistani food and American food.
I never did like the separation of the bride and the groom’s relatives. So, all would sit and eat together.
We pass out favors of small cloth bags: (one side with an American flag and the other has an embroidered Pakistani flag on it). The small bags have a drawstring and inside is a blend of Pakistani nuts and candy and American candy. Each bag will have supari and dark chocolate.
OK, dark chocolate is not “American,” But, it is my favorite. And, the bag should remind people of Imran and I. I don’t necessarily like supari. I thought about the chilli millies. But, I found that I like shahi Maywa and kabli maywa and thought about stuffed dates. And, we could put print “humari shaadi kahani,”(or something similar) on one side and the braille embroidered equivalent on the other.
I do like to take pictures, just as mementos and to show others. The ceremony and reception will be video taped. This is just in case his family can’t come. This is a sketch with different variations, as I think of them.
Back to reality:
there are so many challenges. Finding clergy to do the ceremony posed a huge problem. Then, we weren’t sure where to have the ceremony. Maybe we should have it at a nutral place: instead of at a church. Besides, many churches have a bit of a problem with marrying a Muslim to a Christian.
Then, there was the issue of money! Should we spend so much on a wedding ceremony, or should we save for us to go to Pakistan to meet his family. Well, with all of this: besides the fact that there were still those who weren’t supportive, the stress was immense. it is very difficult to blend two cultures. His family is not here. My family still has reservations. Friends still have reservations as well. Actually, the only ones who are a bit more understanding were his Muslim friends who are in wisconsin.
In the end, I love Imran and he me. We knew that we wanted to be together. He has a job here (so, even if I don’t) we can still pay the bills. It made no sense for him to rent an apartment for six months until we figured things out. With transportation and the difficulties from moving from one place to another, etc; it was just less stressful and easier to have the courthouse wedding now. We could still, if we both wanted, have a ceremony later: when family and others were 1. around and 2. more accepting. And, it would give us some time to plan a “waleema,” where we might just take a trip to Chicago or Milwaukee. I enjoyed our small courthouse wedding. My sister and her (now) husband came and was there for me. Hina and S was also there. Hina and S stayed the weekend. I dressed in the outfit that Imran bought me. I made him dress nicely in American clothes. If I had the bangles, I would have worn them. They were given to me a bit later from a dear friend as a wedding gift. But, I did find a necklace and looked quite nice in my outfit. Imran and I filled out lots of forms. We talked about it and I decided to change my name. It will be difficult for my family to get use to: but my last name is now “Ahmed.” The good news is now I am an “A.”
It took us four hours to actually get married. I thought beforehand and could not think of one thing to do that would make it a bit more special. Well, I thought of saying somethings in Urdu to him, during the ceremony. Actually, truth be told, I practiced over and over. But, I am more shy than ever to speak it especially in front of others such as his sister and S. I was afraid to get something wrong. In hindsight, I should have. In any case, the judge was almost bubly. She did help us relax and also feel special. We were the sixth couple to marry. We spent five hours at the courthouse before being pronounced “man and Wife.” We spent another hour and a half enjoying company and a meal.
My sister had to get back to her own family, so we ate at “golden Chorale,” My sister’s husband was our driver since Imran, Hina, S and I are all blind. Actually, her husband is blind in one eye. He was playing with a stick, when he was small and the stick pierced his eye. He has an artificial eye. He has normal sight in the other eye, so he can drive with no problem.
Anyway, we ate where everyone could find their favorites. From Hina’s favorite of fried fish to Nikki’s meatloaf; everyone enjoyed themselves. Then, we went home and could finally say that we are husband and wife. We felt at peace knowing that now we are together as close as two can be.
Imran and I didn’t really have a honeymoon. The next day, he had to work at the vision expo and we all (Hina, Imran, S and I) went after a breakfast of potatoes and eggs. We also had an unpleasant experience with Open door (Paratransit) when they had record of my ride scheduling, but not Imran’s. This would be the first of many challenges with paratransit. Soon, we were all on our way.
We are talking about having a ceremony in June or July. We would like to find a way to blend our cultures together in a ceremony. Hopefully DJ will be able to get leave from Japan and Imran’s family will come, also. Although, I do realize that there will be lots of stress in the planning. And, honestly, that “stress” and “feeling green with fear,” and the reality that I was alone in the planning; was one of the reasons that I opted for the courthouse wedding. But, his parents might come and it would be nice to have a bit of a ceremony/celebration…. …. Hmmm, who can help me plan a small intercultural wedding on a very tight budget? (which will include taking and posting pics)

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10 Responses to “humari shaadi kahani (1)”

  1. Sara Says:

    If only you knew someone nearby who had recently had a South Asian/American wedding experience. (smile) We’re supposed to take a few days off before our prelims exam (which is Jan 7 and is ruling my life now), and Anish will be away at a conference then, so maybe I could come down for a day the second week of January and we can start wedding planning?

    I loved my courthouse wedding. Our courthouse is beautiful, especially at night, and towers over most of downtown…when I see it in all its glory, it warms my heart and gives me a sense of peace and satisfaction in a way that nothing of our “big, fat, Indian wedding” does.

  2. jamily5 Says:

    That sounds great! Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. Sure, I have read books. But, We don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on the wedding, either. So, I am just at a loss. And, the thing about our courthouse wedding is that it was personal! It was “US” I was peaceful, content and happy and I could feel that he was, also! But, we would like to share our ceremony with others, as well. I don’t like to be on display. But, I do want to celebrate our matrimony. The only thing I have done is: start a guest list. (smile) Please! I could certainly use the help!

  3. Sara Says:

    Sounds like a plan! I’ll be ready to take a break and debrief from a break of family travel and studying!

  4. Ajnabi Says:

    Ohhh, I absolutely love all your wedding ideas. I definitely vote for chilli milli instead of supari because its not very healthy. Also stuffed dates sound divine with maywa filing, Yum!!!!.

    Is there a link to your facebook page? I would love to see your courthouse wedding photos.

    Thanks,
    Ajnabi

    • jamily5 Says:

      Hi, I thought that the link to my facebook page is…. … on my profile???? At least, I thought so. But, I will look for the photos. Imran had to scan them in. but, he does not know which is which. OOOOO, stuffed dates with shahi mewa or Kabli mewa or almonds or cashews (hey, mine and Imran’s favorites together) or …… dark chocolate, or something sounds wonderful. And, I mean good juicey dates. Once, after a Ramadan Imran let me taste soft dates; I was hooked. Most dates I have tasted were either dunked in too much sugar to have the real “date taste,” or a bit on the hard side.

  5. Sara Says:

    Mmmm…all the wedding planning power that was resisted during my own South Asian wedding process can be unleashed on yours!!! MWAHAHAHA…oh, I mean, teehee. (smile)

    I tried to find your courthouse wedding pictures on your Facebook page, but could not!

    • jamily5 Says:

      Actually, that excites me more than anything. Like I said: I don’t know where to begin or how to get it done. So, I am a willing participant in the scheme. (smile)

  6. luckyfatima Says:

    wow, somehow i missed this post. many many congrats! God bless u!

    • jamily5 Says:

      Hi LuckyFatima, you are bosy, I don’t expect you to run to look at my blog. (smile) But, thanks much!!! Jan

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