I Got Married.
I guess she really is The Wife now, huh?
(That's me doing the dipping, and her laughing and desperately hoping my first act of marriage is not to drop her, on the roof of our reception space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.)
The wedding was last Saturday, and it was fabulous. There were friends. There was family. There were explosions of drama--exes meeting, crazy relatives being crazy, lost cabs, flowergirl fits, etc. There were freight elevator rides, walks along the Brooklyn waterfront, and a solid hour of silence and singing and me crying the entire. freaking. time.
Oh yeah. And there was cake.
The blue things: cupcakes from Crumbs. The orange things up front: sweets from Sukhadia's. The assorted things in bowls--chocolate covered raisins, Lindt truffles, etc. The white thing up front: a gluten-free buttercream-iced vanilla cake (I let her pick) from Mr. Ritts in Philadelphia, where our family is from.
The food decision that the Wife and I made that defined the entire wedding for us was the decision to have all the food be vegetarian and gluten free. As I talked about in my ontology of eating post, we both have very good, very different reasons for eating the way we do. I have a strong ethical conviction that eating meat is bad (and she shares it partially), and she has a strong ethical conviction that eating gluten is bad for her (and I share it totally, for her). So there wasn't any meat laying around, although there was some cheese, since I still eat it; there wasn't any gluten served except in the form of cupcakes for the guests. (A gluten-free wedding cake was just too darn expensive.)
The problem is that no one liked this decision but us. My mother-in-law kept asking what we would serve the guests who don't want to eat gluten-free. An aunt of mine let us know that, since we asked for dietary restrictions, several of my family members eat meat, "though they'd be OK with fish."
God forbid if they knew that we almost served vegan cupcakes. (We did get a dozen from 'Snice for our vegan guests, and almost used them for all the cupcakes...but the vanilla ones looked healthy, and we knew that would scare someone off.)
Before the wedding, I wrote out a little list of what I wanted our wedding food to be about, in declining order of importance. It went like this:
- Pleasure. I want the food to rock. I want it to be amazing. I want to eat so much my dress breaks from the strain of all of it. I want leftovers.
- Politics. I want to not kill any animals for my wedding. I want what we eat to be as sustainably sourced as possible. I want Long Island wine and upstate goat cheese.
- Convenience. I want not to have to deal with how it gets to the reception space. I want someone else to serve it so none of my bridesmaids have to.
- Making People With No Sense Of Taste Who Are Scared Of Food Happy.
And you know what? We did it, in declining order of importance. Most of the food came from Tiffinwallah, which is the newest branch of the masterpiece that is Chennai Garden. The wine came from Vintage New York, which only stocks local wines, and the flowers (though not the goat cheese, sadly) came from the Greenmarket. All of it got delivered, and we hired a staffing agency to serve it to us.
And we ordered a goddamn gluten-free vegetarian lasagna and a bunch of roasted potatoes from Fairway for everyone scared of food. Because I may be pissed, but I can't hate them entirely.
So we ate fantastically, and in celebration. I spilled curry on my dress and we have about a million bottles of Standing Stone Riesling and San Pelligrino and very decent $8 sparkling wine waiting for us at home. We danced with each other, with our fathers and mothers (and even one grandfather) and wore fabulous dresses and did I mention I cried?
And you know, I think we convinced our families in the end. At the rehersal dinner, my dad turned to me as he ate his spare ribs and said, "It was very nice of you to allow your guests to have meat tonight." And he meant it. (The best part? The Wife and I had just chosen the restaurant. Dad was footing the bill.)
This is how we teach our politics. We live joyfully in them. We bring our spirits prayerfully or powerfully or however we are moved, and we are models for how we live the world we want. You want to convince people gay weddings are not Teh Evil? You send them to one, where they can witness two people joining together and see what is there at the base of it. (And we got married using vows from the 17th century, 'promising with Divine Assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife.' Suck on that.) You want people to begin to eat a less dead-animal-filled diet? Fill them up on sukhi bhaji and grilled asparagus. You want to teach people how to party? Just party, man.
People keep saying things to us or our parents like, "It was the best wedding I've ever been to." "Now I really want to get married." "Quaker weddings are so amazing." Maybe they say this to all brides, I don't know. But I feel like this is a kernal of some change we have sent out into the universe, and I think I can watch it grow.
(All photos in this post copyright Closed Circle Photo. The photographer is not only a brilliant, brilliant lady, but a close personal friend AND my ex-girlfriend so don't touch her stuff. I mean it.)