How Cross-Cultural Love Can Succeed
On August 23rd, 2015, love won. On that day, I married the man of my dreams. After over two years of fighting for love and acceptance, Seth and I had finally arrived to the most important day of our lives thus far. Due to our challenging journey, our wedding day didn’t just celebrate our love, but also the idea that love always wins. There were times over the last few years when I genuinely feared that Seth and I would never be able to make it. However, we remained patient, kind and hopeful…. and we made it. A lot of you are familiar with our story from my YouTube channel and my last piece for The Gang, where I shared our story in greater detail. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, be sure to click here: My Story
Anyway, on our big day, we wanted to really represent the fusion of two cultures coming together. We decided together that having a traditional American ceremony followed by a traditional Bangladeshi reception would be absolutely beautiful, and it was.
I had never imagined myself wearing an American wedding dress in my entire life. So, when Seth and I decided to go the traditional American route for the ceremony, I felt completely clueless in regards to everything – from cut, color, fit, style, price range, you name it! During my bridal dress appointment, I was bombarded with questions regarding every tiny detail and I was so embarrassed at the fact that I was so unprepared. However, things have a mysteriously beautiful way of working out as I fell in love with the first dress I tried on.
I tried on a handful of dresses afterwards but nothing felt as magical and fairytale-esque as the crisp white, tulle ballgown I tried on at the very beginning of my appointment. When I saw myself in the mirror, I glanced over at my mom and we both instantly burst into tears. How insane is that? Needless to say, this was THE dress but I walked away from it after being encouraged by my bridesmaids to keep searching. I knew they meant well, but even weeks after that appointment, my mom and I still could not stop raving about the dress. So I bought it, and everyone loved it.
In terms of my traditional Bengali gown for the reception, that process took much longer and I had the most amazing experience working intimately with designer, Sushma Reddy in India who created custom gowns for my entire wedding weekend, as well as the bridesmaids saris, jewelry, decor and more. I was fortunate enough to work with Sushma Reddy, who brought my childhood dreams to life. My wedding was filled with colorful dresses, sparkling jewelry and glamorous decor and she played a fundamental role in that.
Now, Seth’s experience with his wedding attire was so unbelievably easy and fun! For the ceremony, he wore a gorgeous Vera Wang tuxedo and during the reception, he stepped out in the most beautiful, traditional sherwani. The most heartwarming part is the fact that his entire reception outfit was purchased and selected by my father, who carried Seth’s headwear by hand throughout his 22 hour travel from Bangladesh to America, just days before our wedding. My father, who once forbade me from seeing Seth was now treating my husband like his own son. It just goes to show that miracles do happen, hearts can change and hope is a powerful force.
Another aspect that Seth and I placed a lot of our time and effort into was the decor and entertainment. It was so important for me to bring my dream wedding to life. So, we DIY’ed many things for the wedding, included a beautiful candy station, lit dozens of candles and illuminated the ballroom with soft pink uplighting. The ceremony area was decorated with touches of white organza and gold sparkles while the reception brought in all of the color. It was everything I could have ever wanted and more. One of the most special parts was when Seth and my siblings performed choreographed dance numbers to some of my favorite Bollywood songs and made one of my biggest and cheesiest dreams come true.
Lastly, the most magical part of our wedding was having our closest friends and family by our side. From an incredible line up of bridesmaids and groomsmen to an intimate guest list filled with people who have been with us from the start of our journey together, our wedding was bursting with love. We danced, sang, cried, prayed and rejoiced in love, for love and because of love.
On August 23rd, 2015, our love won. I know yours will, too.