Went to a family wedding recently, my side…the wacky Pakistanis…and oh boy how weddings have changed!!!

Decided I’d been the Prodigal Daughter/niece/Cousin whatever for too long, and thought, what the heck, and me and hubby went.

The biggest issues I had to deal with my daughters’ weddings were mostly Islamic stuff: separation of the sexes, how to word the invitation, stuff like that.

By the third daughter’s wedding, I think we really knew what we were doing and people, on the whole were pleased.

At least that’s what the feedback was. (But who knows what they said in their cars on the way home!)

No booze–of course!

Some music. Women dancing. Men sitting and talking.

Good food and LOTS of it!

An excuse to get dolled up.

In general a good time!

This wedding was fun too, but for completely different reasons.

I hadn’t been among some of my extended family members, literally, for twenty years.

A number of people rushed up to me exclaiming my nickname, and hugging me, like I’d been long lost.

And after they pulled back and I got a better look at their faces, and I still didn’t recognize them, I didn’t think it was rude of me to ask them honestly, “Who are you?”

I asked it with an upwards inflection at the end, it certainly softened the rudeness of the inquiry.

They just laughed and told me, and then I tried to reconcile the mental picture I had with the completely different entity standing in front of me.


And it’s so funny. Intuitively you do know that people grow up, but if the last time you saw someone was when they were eight or nine, with buck teeth and pony tails, and now you see them as a fully grown woman, wearing make up and a sari…it’s just a big jolt.

There was an Imam/marriage officer at the wedding party to perform the nikah, and an emcee with slicked back hair, chiseled facial hair, brandishing the microphone with great pomp and ceremony.

The Bollywood music BOOM-BOOMED as he first announced the entrance of baraat–the boy’s family. I was part of this group. They’d called us back out to the lobby so we could assemble and then we had to march back in and seat ourselves at the ‘reserved’ tables.

The music was so loud, I pressed my fingers into my ears to avoid damaging the fine hairs on my cochlea that ‘evaporate’ (sort of) from too much noise pollution.

But that was to be expected.

You’ve got to have Bollywood music at a Pakistani wedding! Sheesh!

So after all us groom’s family marched in and seated ourselves, it was the bride’s family’s turn to go back out into the lobby and assemble themselves.

In the meantime we, in the hall, waited.

And waited.

And waited.

With Bollywood music still booming, but not so loudly.

And finally, about forty-five minutes later, and a bit ANTI-CLIMACTICALLY the bride’s family was announced and they marched in.

Then came the groom’s best men.

And the emcee announced them as if they were WRESTLERS! “Here comes SO-AND-SO, 6 foot 2 and weighing in at 165 pounds! The other groom’s man was a bit shorter–5′ 5” and 135.

I just thought it was strange.

And then the groom himself, including his STATS!

Then the bride (without any STATS) who settled herself into a silly little pavilion with curtains of red tule in the middle of the hall. Remnants of a tradition where the bride was unseen and cloistered from the groom and they actually met for the first time on the wedding day.

Ridiculous in this day and age and especially with the easel outside which had intimate shots of the two of them together!!! THEY’D OBVIOUSLY ALREADY MET AND SEEN EACH OTHER!

And then later, after nikah ceremony was done and the two were officially married, when the groom, with great ceremony went to collect his wife from the red-tule curtained pavillion they played, of all things, SHANIA TWAIN’s From This Moment song!



How incongruous! And yet…kind of cute.

So let’s see…this new Muslim wedding consisted of Bollywood, Wrestling and Shania Twain!

All I can do is borrow from the Yiddish tradition and say:

OY VEY!!!!