My friends Alex and Sup tied the knot today in the amazing chapel at Pembroke College, Oxford. It was a lot of first for me: it was the first wedding I've been to where I was a "primary" guest, i.e. the bride and groom were personal friends rather than extended family or friends of family. It's also the first time I've been to a wedding in Britain -- lots of new etiquette involving what to wear and buying gifts -- and the first time I've been genuinely moved by the service, not to mention the first time most of the guests were my own age: yikes, I'm now in the Marrying Years.
Probably because of all of the preceding firsts, it was also the first wedding where I've thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout. The ceremony itself was an excellently-managed mingling of Christian and Hindu tradition, presided over by both a priest and a guru. Having been to a hindu wedding before, I was throughly impressed to see the hindu portions of the ceremony compressed to less than an hour, even if it did involve the guru speed-reading through various prayers.
The dinner and reception were an experience I won't forget in a hurry: in a 17th-century hall built by King James I and featuring portraits of Queen Anne and other assorted royalty, we had dinner on three huge tables, Harry Potter-style, and then they were all magicked away and we danced on the ancient flagstones, to a mixture of pop from the 50s to the 2000s, intermingled with bhangra and bollywood tunes. There were even dance-offs.
Congratulations, guys, and thanks for the invite :-)