Saturday, July 18, 2015

[The Life of Shaun #514] The Big Day

Wow, what an amazing day!  In my mind, I had pictured a little bureaucratic necessity followed by a party, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

The wedding festivities started two weeks before, when Sushil came over for our pre-wedding-moon, and to finish getting everything sorted for the fourth.  We had a quick two-night trip up to Edinburgh, to see a new UK city, and to visit my friend Tomek, who kept us well fed and wined.

Then it was back down to London to buy suits (Sushil's first!) and take care of the last bits and bobs.  The first guest to arrive was my cousin Jodi, who came from Florida on Wednesday for her first trip outside North America.  Thursday the New Yorkers started to make their presence known, then family and the continentals arrived on Friday, and finally Saturday, Fern, my friend from fifth grade, who left her husband and son in Texas for her first extra-North American adventure.

The ceremony was very intimate, just my family, plus best woman Mary and groom of honour Marco, at Camden Town Hall.  The ceremony was brief, about 15 minutes in all, but very lovely.  We chose from a set of texts the one that best captured our spirit, and it sat just right with all we were feeling that day.  We didn't want a big ceremony, but it was perfect having my family, Mary and Marco there to share it with us.

Sushil pinning on my boutonnière

Sushil with his about-to-be-family-in-law, outside Camden Town Hall

Finally!  My name in lights!

The wedding party

I will.

First a ring...

...then the signing...

...and it's done!

Then it was off in the searing London heat (no, seriously) to the Prospect of Whitby, a classic English pub from 1520 on the banks of the Thames in Wapping.  It's one of my favourite spots in London, and the first place I ever took Sushil in London.  Jan, Kimb'uh and Garrett had kindly arrived early to make sure everything was set up and to take the worry of any last-minute snags or questions off our shoulders, so we arrived into a budding party and white wine waiting for us.  As the day went on, more and more people arrived and we were swept up in a whirlwind of well wishes and joy.  The last of us stayed until closing time for the terrace level, when Sushil and I were whisked off to our surprise honeymoon suite at a luxury hotel in the City.

In retrospect it sounds silly, but I was really taken back by how much the day meant to me.  Of course I was excited about starting a life with Sushil, but the ceremony and the reception, surrounded by so many friends and family, with so much goodwill and love all around us, it really was an amazing start to matrimony; it just felt like starting off on the right foot, if that makes any sense.

On the way to the reception at the Prospect of Whitby, with an icepack on my neck

The Coley kids

The Coley men

In a rainbow of amazinators

And a sea of Cassians

Mary really outdid herself as best woman with a surprise toast by her and my sister, Lara...

...and even Russ (and Rachel and Aunt Judy) made an appearance by telecast.

Cutting the wedding cakes (black forest for Sushil, Nutella cheesecake for me), handmade by my friend Ian.  Basically what people have said about the day has been "I had a great time at your reception, oh my god that cheesecake was amazing!"

A half-Greek, an Indian, a Spaniard and an American walk into a bar...

Now Sushil has returned to Mumbai, and we're back to WhatsApp and Skype dates.  We're pretty much done amalgamating all the materials for his settlement visa application, so we'll be filing that this week.  It can take as short as three weeks to process, or as long as many months, but we're hoping Sushil will be back for Autumn.  We'll be alright - we've done this many times before.  But I'm very glad this will be the last time.

Shaun & Sushil

The happy couple  :-)

Shaun H. Coley ~ Kentish Town ~ Camden ~ London NW5 ~ UK ~

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