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Nov 10, 2010

Post-Wedding Wrap-up!

Friends, the wedding is over!

I now have a beautiful sister-in-law, Prachee (who's totally bi-cultural, btw), an open invitation to Mumbai (Bombay) from Prachee's mother, and lingering symptoms from what I thought was caffeine and sugar withdrawal but turns out to have been a rather tenacious stomach flu.

You may recall that I spent most of last week in a state of mild-to-moderate nausea.  I ended up skipping Friday night's Bhangra dancing/Mehndi painting party.  (Mehndi are the henna tattoos the bride and some of her party wear.)  I was disappointed, but I knew I wouldn't make it through all three days in the state my stomach was in.

Saturday's Hindu ceremony was held in the basement of the beautiful Ganesh Temple in Flushing, Queens, and the women wore traditional saris.

Here's what Michael and I wore on Saturday.  Eek, mustard, not my color, especially with a GI bug.

Here are Rich and Prachee.

The rituals were completely mysterious to me but convincing, and mercifully brief (less than an hour), after which we had a delicious vegetarian Indian lunch -- well, everyone except me, who just sort of nibbled on anything I thought I could keep down. Not much.

On the subway home (no stretch limousine, alas) I saw a super-stylish young woman wearing GREAT shoes.

We were home before 3 pm and I spent the rest of the day (and succeeding night) in bed.

The following day was the Jewish wedding ceremony and a more formal reception, held at an intimate event space in the Decoration & Design Building near Bloomingdales, in Manhattan, with wonderful views north and east.  We had gorgeous weather both days, btw: sunny and seasonably cool.

Here's what I wore.   I was feeling so crummy; I just threw together stuff in my closet and hoped for the best.  It's not quite a suit, but close.

My brother wore the suit.

This is the rabbi.  Rabbi...Marcia.

Friends, I did not grow up in a religious family.  No temples, no bar mitzvahs, nada.  But for some reason my mother wanted to go full-on chuppah (the canopy the bride and groom stand under), rabbi, yarmulkes, blessings in Hebrew, with this wedding.  Please don't ask me why.  I guess as Tevye said in Fiddler on the Roof,  "Tradition!"

When you have no connection to a temple or a rabbi, you basically rent a rabbi.  And that's how we got Rabbi Marcia.  Marcia, whom my mother refers to as "the hippie rabbi," is a cross between Joni Mitchell and Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (Can I roller skate...?).

She was definitely hilarious, especially when she mispronounced Prachee (rhymes with Saatchi & Saatchi) AND our family's last name, Lappin (rhymes with flappin').

I'm not going to say anything except if I were a rent-a-rabbi, I would make sure I knew the names of the people I was marrying, but I'm that way.  In Marcia's defense, there was a lot going on.  And parenthetically, the Hindu priest screwed up the names too.  What is it with clergy people these days?

Marcia loved the wedding, our family, the food, everything.  In fact, though she kept saying she had to leave in twenty minutes, she stayed for the whole dinner.  I'm just relieved we didn't have to peel her off a bar stool and send her home in a cab.

To her credit, the actual ceremony was lovely and very moving.  And brief.  Kudos, Rabbi Marcia!

The food really was excellent -- though we all agreed the desserts failed to live up to the rest of meal, not so rare, I guess -- and I was able to eat a bit more than I had the day before.  I didn't vomit once that night.

And that's it.  Mother Sonia was happy, and that's really what it's all about, no?  Even more important, her friends loved it and were very impressed!

Michael's parents came too!

Now that the wedding is over I can -- hopefully -- get back on track.

Yesterday I made the red and black houndstooth shorts, and today I'll be making the long pants in the black and white double knit.  Saturday is the big photoshoot so if you're in town and would like to be in it, just let me know.

In closing, friends, how do you feel about big weddings?  Did you have one yourself?  Was it fun?  Were you blending two different cultures/religions?

Do you think Michael and I should have some sort of ceremony?  A lot of people at the wedding asked when we would, which was sweet of them.

If Marcia's available,who knows?!  (Actually, I do -- ix-nay.)

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I'd love to see you in a sari, Pierre! Thank you for posting, I've caught up on everything I've missed while on vacation and then I just couldn't get enough and started jonseing for your writings.

    I'm sorry you weren't feeling well for your brother's wedding, I'm sure you would have preferred to participate more. :(

    Hugs and chicken soup,


  2. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures; I love your mom's jacket! Did you help her pick it out? As for a ceremony of your own-commitment should be defined within the confines of your own relationship. If you and Michael want a ceremony, you should have one. If not, then don't worry what other people want. Some of the happiest couples I know have never had a ceremony, or the piece of paper that sometimes acccompanies it. Good luck with finishing up the houndstooth project....

  3. Beautiful wedding pictures! I was married in the Catholic Church with the full mass and seven bridemaids and the fancy reception at the Mark Hopkins in San Francisco because that's what the parents wanted. I did not care. My advice to my own kids - if that's what you want, fine, but there are alternatives. To you, Peter, I say - if you want to get married and have a big party then do that, and if you don't, then don't. It's what makes you both happy that matters.

  4. What a beautiful wedding! Thank you for the pictures, you're new sister-in-law is just gorgeous! And you looked great considering how bad you were feeling.

    As for a ceremony for you and Michael... I say skip it and take a fabulous vacation. If y'all have never had a desire to have one then what's the point?

  5. Sounds like a FABULOUS event, with the requisite amount of drama and mishaps. And you looked handsome and stylish for both legs of the wedding. Feel better, Peter!

  6. So fun! I still fondly remember the one Indian wedding I've attended - such a treat for the eyes and all of the senses. Your brother and sister-in-law look very happy - Congratulations to them!

    We got married just over 5 years ago and it was perfect. Well, at least perfect for us. And anyone that says a morning wedding shouldn't include dancing at the reception is insane. They had to sweep us all off the dance floor at 4pm when everything was done. Hehehe. ;)

    Should you guys have a ceremony? I say yes if you want one and no if you don't. Although, my personal two cents, you and Michael seem like a truly lovely couple, one that is very much in love. I'm always down for a good party and me thinks that you two would throw one that is quite fabulous. Lastly, I know folks say that the ceremony doesn't mean anything, it's just a piece of paper, yada yada, but for us, that just wasn't true. Something intangible changed on that day and it made our relationship even deeper, for lack of a better word. It's a feeling that I would hope everyone is able to feel one day, you and Michael included. {{hugs}}

  7. What a beautiful couple and wedding! I love all the pictures. Too bad you were feeling under the weather. Then they could have peeled you off a bar stool and had a cab ride home. But then you'd have missed the girl's shoes....

    Mispronunciation of names happens. When my husband and I were married, his name, Brion, was pronounced Breeon. He sounded like some toxic gas!

    Careful of the wedding questions you ask...there are wounds that may have not healed. I come from the floral industry and dealt with many bride's and parents. Screaming disagreements in public are not pretty and it ALL comes out.

    Having a marriage ceremony and celebration is really up to you and Michael. But I say go for it! Whether it's at some exotic location, or in your home doesn't matter. Just make sure it's what the two of you want.

  8. Everything looks like it was so lovely. Congrats to your brother and his wife - she is beautiful, especially in her Indian garb! Clearly you set the bar high for good looking mates in the family. :) Your mother's jacket is great, she looks fabulous as well and so happy.

    Hope you're feeling better now!

  9. RE going off caffeine and sugar: you haven't discussed why you did that (it's a SEWING blog, after all), and if it eventually leaves you feeling better, that's great. But consider that moderate consumption of coffee has been shown to be healthy for many people (I've heard a doctor call coffee "the health drink"). And I think sugar has been wrongly demonized. It does cause tooth decay and it does add extra calories without any other nutrients, but unless it's replacing needed nutrients in your diet, there's really no reason you shouldn't ever have any. Not being able to indulge your sweet tooth occasionally would likely only lead to crankiness!

  10. In retrospect perhaps you should have gone off sugar first, then caffeine? I don't know. I don't eat sugar but I do drink coffee.

    The wedding pics were very enjoyable, and your mom looks so happy! And how nice that Michael's parents came too. Best wishes to the happy newly married couple!

    If you and Michael want a ceremony, then have one. If you don't, then don't. If it isn't time, then I think you will know yourselves when it is time. If you don't know if you want a ceremony, then perhaps it isn't the right time.

    Glad you are feeling better and sewing again.

  11. I think your brother looks more like Michael than you. Odd? As for weddings, I've had two. The first cost $400, the second (24 years later) cost $700, including our room at the Stratosphere for the night. So no, I don't go for big weddings :-)

  12. We decided to get married a few months earlier than planned, and made it a secret, so we permitted our oracle, FedEx, to select our wedding date. The day our flower lei crowns were delivered from Honolulu, we went to the department of licensing! The clerk in jeans and ratty running shoes donned a black choir robe and escorted us to the "wedding room" complete with a cheery shower curtain, and hauled in a worker as a witness. We went all out, and got the "One Hundred Dollar" wedding package, which included the license, a commemorative ball point pen and a polaroid photo. Then we wore our wedding outfits and our flowery headbands for the rest of the day while we went and got foofoo fancy desserts and went back to work! A few days later we put on our crowns again and a photographer met us at a park and we got lots of photos.

  13. You poor thing - it sounds like you've felt miserable for too long. I hope you are feeling better soon.
    I bet your mom wanted to hold up her family' side of the event. Since there was so much involved with the Indian side, she went for more ceremony than she might have otherwise.

    I married in a simple ceremony almost 6 years ago and it was still really stressful. Therefore, my opinion is skip it. But no one could have told me that then, so my opinion is pretty limp.
    feel better!!

  14. Wonderful photos! Congrats to the new couple!

    You and your brother look like brothers, although I note he has less need for hats. ;-)

    My wedding was a full-on NY Italian wedding, except it was in Washington, D.C. because that's where we lived at the time. It's what I thought I wanted, having grown up with the full-on NY Italian grandmother to match. I wasn't the Bridezilla but she was (let me emphasize that!), and truthfully I wished we would've eloped, had the same honeymoon (to Rio) and pocketed all the money that was spent and then put it toward a house.

    Glad you're feeling better. :-)

  15. My mother arranged an officiant for my sister's memorial service and just about every possible personal reference to my sister was so dead wrong that it was almost funny, it was so horrible and ludicrous.

    These things happen, and maybe don't even matter that much, but, especially if the ceremony will be intimate, these little glitches are likely to be more obvious and sting a bit more. It would probably be worth some serious culling if it's likely to matter.

    If you and Michael do something, just be kind to yourselves and do exactly what YOU want.

    Mr. Noile and I loathe government intervention in our lives and were very pleased that we live in a Quaker state where we were allowed to marry ourselves -- literally -- with no officiant of any kind.

    Ten minutes in front of the fireplace, and then we and a few family members sat down to a lovely big meal. It was more than enough, and we were glad to escape so easily.

  16. My husband and I eloped and got married at Cocoa Beach, FL. Best. decision. ever.

  17. Mom’s jacket – FAB!

    Do I think you should have a ceremony? Absolutely! And a huge party afterwards, of course.

    I married a Jewish guy (something I *highly* recommend, by the way!). We eloped in August of 2003, and were married by the town clerk of Freeport, ME in an oceanside ceremony attended by two close friends. (His family still doesn’t know, so ix-nay on the elopmentway if you run into them.) Then we had a “religiously sensitive” ceremony for his family (he’s the first child to marry, so we couldn’t deprive them of a ceremony) the following January – held in my (UU) church on a Sunday, instead of Saturday; no chuppah, but we broke a glass and had yichud afterward. He is only nominally Jewish so I was the one trying to make his family comfortable, which I think they appreciated.

    Anyway, good to have you back and posting.

  18. Great pics, and not too much of a marathon (tho it probably felt like it in your Delicate condition).
    I say go for the commitment ceremony, unless you want to wait till it has legal status. We waited till Civil Unions were legal in NZ and ended up with 100 close friends and relatives at the local bridge hall. And you know what? It was fun, and even the staunchly religious old family friends came and were lovely. (I had put on their invitation that if they didn't feel comfortable coming to the ceremony they could just come for the food and dancing, but they rang to say they'd definitely be there for the ceremony, which was really nice). Even my 91 year old grandma made a plane trip to be there. Do it now, while your mums can still enjoy it!

    Warning: in my experience being 40 and HoMoSexual (as those TV preachers like to say) doesn't insulate one from the pressure to invite the whole extended fam-damily, including the people no one ever talks to but doesn't want to offend.

  19. I had a big wedding and really enjoyed it . . . but then everyone knows my mother enjoyed it more. But that's okay, 'cause my parents were paying. I would have been happy with much less hoopla and so would my husband. 21 years and counting -- it's been good times. Be careful about stomach flu symptoms that linger as it could be someting more serious. See a dr. if you are not seriously on the mend. But you still looked fabulous, no one would ever guess . . . MAZEL TOV to the happy couple and the whole family. Can't wait to see the sewing! I've finally posted a garment myself.

  20. I loved my wedding--it was all about getting the two far-flung families together, along with as many friends as could show.

    One of my brothers eloped, though--he was nearly 40 when he married and my sister-in-law was 35-ish. Both had grown up in the Miami area and were (are) well-known there, so when the 200th or so person told my brother that he/she hoped to be invited, they bailed. Just a few people at their wedding, including my mother and some long-time friends.

    so....each to their own!

  21. I hope you don't rush into things too fast since you have been sick and still weddings-active. Sounds like you already are going full steam ahead. So, don't forget to get your rest when you need it; even if you have to put ear-flapping dog in its own bedroom.

    Your mother not only looks enchantingly beautiful but that jacket is to die for! I may steal the detail on the collar.

    Congratulations to the new couple.

  22. Round here the combo is referred to as "Hin-jew"!!
    Though I am only half Jewish to begin with so we had less of the religious element, but we also did the combo Indian-American. Indian dancing and mother-in-law party two weeks before, and non-denominational American wedding at the Chapel at Rutgers University for the ceremony. We hadn't seen it all till they lifted my M-I-L and F-I-L in their chairs.
    We've always joked that we combined three cultures that favor food and guilt- Indian, Italian and Jewish. They're not as far apart as you would imagine...
    Too bad you're off the caffeine and sugar because I'm sure some chai would have fixed your innards right up (the real stuff doesn't taste like what they sell at Starbucks).
    Glad you're back. Andrea

  23. The wedding was lovely as are the couple.
    I am with Emory. I believe in moderation and not in eliminating any food group.

  24. It looks like it was super fun! I enjoy going to other peoples' weddings... maybe by the time I'm your brother's age I'll be able to afford the kind of wedding I'd *like*... until then I guess we'll just keep on living in sin. Hooray for "common law marriage" ;).

  25. What a gorgeous sister-in-law you have, that sari she is wearing in the last picture is stunning.

    Yes, I had a big Indian wedding, over 10 years ago. We tried to do it bi-cultural, but really it was mostly Indian (Muslim) and my husband (atheist Canadian) and his family (WASP) were confused as all heck. In retrospect, I wish I had done it smaller, but I was barely 24 years old, and pretty much did exactly what my parents wanted, since I thought it was disappointing to them enough that I was marrying a white-guy atheist.

    The mehndi ceremony consisted of me sitting still for 3 hours while the artist did my hands and feet, while everyone else ate and partied. The night after the mehndi we had a nice rehearsal dinner at my in-laws, the next night was the main wedding, in a mosque, followed by a reception in an Indian restaurant. If i ever get married again, I am eloping. On second though, I am not ever getting married again.

    If you decide to have a wedding, or a ceremony, or anything, do it on your own terms. Don't do it to make anyone happy, but each other of course. You two are adorable in your Indian suits, I think the colour looks great on you.

  26. hey just briefly stopped by after some time... congrats to your brother and his beautiful wife, i was thrilled to discover the new bi-cultural-Indian-inckuding family like mine!

  27. Peter, I recently read an article saying research has shown that Chicken Soup (aka Jewish Penicillin) is good for treating colds and flus. Get Michael to make a big pot :-)

    A Commitment Ceremony is something you should do only if you both want to ... maybe a special 10th anniversary thing?

  28. Congrats to the newlyweds! Also I hope you feel better soon!

  29. What a beautiful event, beautiful couple!Welcome back, I was beginning to get productive without you!

  30. Thank you so much for posting pictures of all the festivities! Lovely to see. And Michael is the spitting image of his mother isn't he? Both very good looking folks! And I too, LOVE your mother's jacket, specifically the neckline. Perhaps you could "borrow" it for a while and post some construction notes for us?

    Now to your health, in all seriousness, please take care of yourself. I have a friend who just spent in excess of a week in the hospital fighting/recovering from a gastrointestinal incident.

    Perhaps elimitating the acid in coffee may be a good thing for your tum-tum. In any case, I hope you soon feel better and have much vigor. It's such a shame you had to miss the henna tattooing and most of the fabulous food. It must have been torture, in more ways than one, being around all that deliciousness.

  31. Firstly, I do hope you are feeling better now? My husband and I got married in New York - at City Hall - it took about 20 minutes from start to finish. Your brother's wedding looks like it was a lot of fun - it's great to see the pictures of your lovely Mum having such a wonderful time. If you and Michael want to have a ceremony then you definitely should ...... but what will you wear?

  32. What a cute jacket your mom wore! Such a cool collar detail.


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