i do.

I got married on a Wednesday. In India. In a tiny little room, on a dusty little street, I stepped through a crowd of people, maneuvered my way around and over a cluster of mothers nursing their babies, kicked off my glittery sandals, sat on the floor in my bare feet and married Andrew.

As far as Wednesdays go, this one was pretty cool.

I love weddings. I love the buzz and the bling and all that weddings represent, the excitement, the hopes and dreams of two people setting forth on their lives together. I love the dancing and the speeches, the feast and gathering with friends and families. I’ve stood up with friends as a bridesmaid. I’ve read Bible passages and poems and even shared my own words at weddings. I have relished the opportunity to share space at the altar with friends as I’ve facilitated ceremonies celebrating their love. But my own wedding? I never really thought much about it. Getting married has never really been a thing for me. My little girl dreams weren’t of white gowns and wedding bells, but of jewel-toned, far-away places, windy roads, wandering and wondering.

A few months ago I was walking home from the vegetable market and was stopped dead in my tracks by a powerful feeling. It was a hot, hazy day; the street was bustling with cars and tuk-tuks and cows and people and motorcycles. Music poured out of a crackly speaker at the temple and my arms strained under the weight of the grocery bags.

The heat and the sound and the smell and the dust…I had dreamt of that very moment, of walking on that very street. And so it was months later on a hot, hazy day as I left the quiet bubble of my car to find myself surrounded by hundreds of people all in the same place for the same purpose. There, on another little road, in the heart of a city of 5 million people were guests and grooms and brides in bright colors adorned with flowers and jewels, just like me.

On that little road, this bride looked through the crazy crowd of brides and grooms and spotted her groom. He was looking for me, glowing amidst the sea of people. Andrew was waiting to marry me. We’d each been wandering and wondering around the world until we found each other. I broke into the biggest smile I have ever smiled and hurried through the throngs of people; I couldn’t wait to marry Andrew.

In our quest to keep it simple, we got married on our own. Our only witnesses were six amazing folks who helped us get here, settle here and thrive here. And while we missed our families and friends as we stepped out onto the road as husband and wife for the first time, we were met, instead, by India. By the colors and crowds and chaos that brought us together in the first place. Grooms clamored to shake Andrew’s hand. Brides peeked at me and smiled, touching my decorated hands gently with theirs.

We were tiny. We were larger than life.

Our intimate, hybrid Hindu/Western ceremony was one of hundreds of ceremonies that were held on that dusty street that auspicious day.

We circled the altar, hand in hand. We exchanged garlands and tied turmeric around each other’s wrists. We prayed. We offered gratitude to our parents, our brothers, our friends and to all those who support and love us. We sat next to each other and looked into each other’s eyes as we exchanged our vows. We kissed (much to the Brahmin priests delight!) and laughed and cried.

Our ceremony was one of thousands held in temples throughout Chennai that day, one of millions held in India. And while they may not all be love marriages, ours surely is…

Each day of my life has led me to this one. I am grateful for them all, but Wednesdays will forever be my favorite.

_MG_0107

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla Ten Eyck
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 07:30:20

    I felt like I was there with you on that dusty street, looking through the crowd, seeing your heart.
    sigh.
    I love Wednesdays!!!!! but I love you more
    xo

    Reply

  2. Heather
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 09:08:14

    This takes my breath away.

    You painted such a beautiful picture…I can honestly say, thanks for inviting me.

    Reply

  3. Tricia Reilly (Brauer)
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 09:22:23

    You have such a gift for telling your story as if we are all there right along with you.
    I have enjoyed each of your blogs, the roads that have led you to this one, and now I will toast to you and Andrew on the very next Wednesday.
    What an amazing love story!
    Congratulations!!

    Reply

  4. Kaye
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 09:44:19

    May you keep on wandering and wondering, but now as a couple. Beautifully written as always Susannah!

    Reply

  5. jjanuszewski
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 10:31:30

    Wow!

    Reply

  6. Kerry McVaney
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 13:26:58

    Well that just got me all mushy faced! I love it! I don’t know that I ever pictured how your wedding day would be, but if someone ten or even twenty years ago had handed me a multiple choice list with this as an option, the other options being a church wedding, a beach wedding or even a backyard wedding, this would have seemed the most “you” to me… I’m so happy for you and Andrew :)))

    Reply

  7. Susan
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 13:27:06

    I simply cannot imagine you getting married any other way! Just lovely!

    Reply

  8. Lakshmi
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 14:28:16

    Superb writeup! With your permission can I share it in my Facebook? Also I would love to translate this in Tamil. As you may know I am a columnist for a California based Tamil magazine. If you are up to it I can translate and we can send it to them. Recently I wrote about 5 different weddings in our family- Indian/ American combination. We are just coming back from a wedding in New York. Wishing you a happy and prosperous married life. Let everyday be Wednesday for you:-) Dr.V

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

  9. Uncle Pat
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 16:01:21

    Dear Susannah and Andrew,

    Your family and friends will always be ready to dance, eat and drink to celebrate your life. Auspicious moments, you have to honor them and grab them. But you already know that.

    As I have said, the power of weddings can to renew marriages; and so I offer an old poem, which stll renews.

    Uncle Pat
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I was married last Saturday

    To be wed,
    I built inipi

    Slender boughs
    I chose,
    lithesome, pliable

    And wove them
    together
    into a
    whole.

    We were wed in the womb
    of
    Grandmother Earth

    Born children, new and fresh.

    New Moon August, 1975

    Reply

  10. Aunt Molly
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 16:27:45

    Oh Susannah!! I’m sitting here at work very teary eyed and so happy for you both. May all your days be Wednesday’s!!! Got to meet this husband ! I love you!

    Reply

  11. Nicola Ranson
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 21:02:42

    This made me very happy an enabled me to be there for a very special moment with you, Andrew and India. Beautifully written with such love and tenderness. May I post it on FaceBook or do you prefer not?

    Reply

  12. ron ranson
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 21:09:02

    Wednesdays will not be just ordinary Wednesdays anymore. Thanks for posting.

    Reply

  13. Noah
    Feb 02, 2015 @ 14:01:42

    just beautiful – so happy for you both 🙂

    Reply

  14. Marilyn Rossetti
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 11:22:43

    One of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time – you have brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful for you both and how wonderful that you did find each other.

    Reply

  15. Liz Gruber
    Feb 04, 2015 @ 17:35:36

    Susanna, your message made me so happy for you. You have always been a golden girl, full of joy and life, with the happiest smiles I’ve ever seen. Beautiful, too. Hard times didn’t keep you down for long. I wish you and Andrew many adventures, much happiness, mucho laughs, and overflowing love. Liz

    Reply

  16. Nancy OConnor
    Feb 08, 2015 @ 02:43:02

    Thank you Susanna, for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I’m so very happy for you and your Andrew. I’m so happy your mom and Steve are with you now!
    All good wishes and happiness to you both!
    love from one of the “bad girls”
    Nancy

    Reply

  17. Trackback: We’re unique. Just like everyone else. | ransonnotes

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