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Dalia & Greg


Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

I love Dalia’s wedding graduate post for a million reasons. It doesn’t look like every other wedding in the blog-o-sphere (And thank goodness!), it speaks directly to the issue of finding a way to throw a wedding that is true to your core values as a couple (which is why I started this blog in the first place). Plus, she has wise words to say about religious compromises, and about the fact that your wedding is never going to sum up everything that you are. Because you will keep on changing and growing, together, and as a pair… and that is just as it should be.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

To start off, my husband’s father grew up in Cap-Haitian in Haiti, and attended the same school that my great grand-father ran from his house.  He has clear memories of being taught by my grandfather in the classroom. When many middle-class Haitians fled to Francophone African countries such as the Congo during the Duvalier dictatorship, some of his relatives  made their way to Cote D’Ivoire, as did one of my aunts. They are still very close friends.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Now for some people, this may sound a little too close for comfort. But this revelation early in our relationship had the opposite effect on me- it gave us a lot to bond over very quickly, and made me feel more grounded in my heritage (I am of Congolese and Haitian descent and a product of dictatorship and exile, as well as several generations of educators). But in the end, what makes our relationship special is that we are two very different people who both insist on not following traditions blindly.  We both like to do things our own way, orthodox or not, which is one of many reasons that my husband is the perfect man for me.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

When we decided to get married during a trip to the Berkshires almost four years  after we met, my anxiety over having a wedding began to kick in. We were in a much more financially precarious position than when we started out, and I felt all of my over the top wedding fantasies becoming more and more out of reach. Meanwhile, my poor fiance really just wanted to get married with minimum fuss, but also deeply cared about what his mother thought. So, we were prepared to have a smaller wedding in St. Thomas- but quickly nixed the idea because it put too much financial pressure on family members who we really, really wanted to be there. Plus, some of our elderly non-negotiable guests had health issues that would make this impossible.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Instead, we focused on having a family-focused wedding in Long Island that didn’t feel generic, spoke to our core values as a couple, and wouldn’t break the bank (hint: I bought my Pronovias gown pre-owned). I’m glad we did because even though our families sometimes stressed me out, seeing pictures of my great-aunt on my father’s side along with my grandmother and my maternal aunts who made it all the way from Belgium to be there always makes me feel strong and rooted. My mother passed away from breast cancer eight years before and the same disease claimed one of my closest aunts only four years later. What I went through made me want to gather my family and closest friends for a joyous occasion rather than a funeral, and I was willing to foot the bill to do it (within reason, of course).

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Figuring Out The Ceremony

There were other issues too- such as, would we have a traditional Bakongo wedding beforehand? (The groom is supposed to petition the bride’s maternal uncle, pay a predetermined dowry to the family, and buy them all gifts. They, in return, must cook all the food and host the party.) I just couldn’t imagine how that would work, seeing as how my husband’s family is not familiar and wouldn’t have been comfortable with it. And I wasn’t sure if it really fit me either. Okay, so I let that go and mourned that a little.  Catholic wedding ceremony? This gave me a long pause. I have not been a practicing Catholic for many years and have considered myself an adherent to Creation Spirituality, which has Christian roots but is more of a spiritual outlook than a religion. My husband grew up Catholic as well, but doesn’t really practice either.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

In the end, we decided to go with a Unitarian minister who we felt a strong connection to and created a ceremony that stuck to our theme of bringing our complicated families together. We decided that we didn’t want to say anything that we didn’t personally believe and that if we are one day led to be Catholics again, maybe we’ll renew our vows with the church one day.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

The ceremony really helped me to finally let go of a lot of the wedding stress that I had created for myself. We had an ancestral libation that really spoke to the both of us- it focused on welcoming the ancestors we could and could not name into the sacredness of our union, but also emphasized the living souls who were present and those who couldn’t make it.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Then we had members of our respective families say ‘We do’ to our union. Even though it was different and not really Christian, most of my family members absolutely loved it. Then we had our personal vows, some of which we said together. Standing across from my groom, it really clicked. Of course, I still felt nervous and a little bit awkward, but my husband totally did everything he could to put me at ease, including cracking a small joke here and there and getting a few laughs from the crowd. And from me! It made me appreciate him all the more.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

What Mattered: Favorite Moments

We snuck away to a nearby beach to take pictures after the ceremony, just the two of us. A man playing Teddy Pendergrass from his Jeep turned up the volume when he spied us taking photos on the beach, so at one point we were dancing while the sun set.  It was lovely to have that time for  just the two of us, even though I had been worried about sacrificing time with guests at the cocktail hour.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Other favorites? Dancing with my dad to Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds,’ the whole crowd dancing  and singing in unison to Billie Jean.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Last but not least -when my sister sang a Congolese wedding song called ‘Yamba Ngai’ towards the end.  She had memorized it completely and sang it with such passion. She had people singing along, cheering, and dancing. It was the best wedding gift anyone could have ever given me.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

What I Learned

Looking back, the most important thing I wish I had realized during planning is that some people are just going to be negative. Period. About anything you choose to do. So if you are compromising something important make sure you are doing it for yourself too. After my wedding, a few people felt free to say the DJ was horrible. I’m not going to lie- this sucked, but it  taught me how to be the best guest ever, wedding or otherwise: offering to help when I can, no mindless criticism, and dancing anyway when I think the music might be hokey.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

I also wish that I realized that weddings can’t ever capture the sum total of a multi-faceted person or couple. Because the thing is, no matter how much you think your wedding will reflect you, in the end it can’t. Because we are always changing and evolving, and it’s scary if we don’t. So, it doesn’t really matter whether or not my wedding had a Paris theme, it only matters that my interest in strengthening my French has been reinvigorated.  If I’m still alive and can take the train to Harlem to purchase African fabric, who cares that I didn’t have time to find a seamstress to make cute but elegant African dresses for the reception? My married life affords me the luxury of tackling these fun projects one at a time.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

What Really Mattered

On a deeper level, what really mattered was the look on my grandmother’s and aunts’ faces when we gave away our bouquets. My maternal aunts putting my mother’s locket around my neck before the wedding. Seeing my cousin-in-laws’ photos of themselves with their mother smiling and dancing, months before she perished in the Haitian earthquake. The sneaking suspicion that our blessed dead were alive with us as my father held up his glass in a toast in remembrance of them.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

And of course, what really matters is embarking on this new adventure of marriage with my husband.

Dalia & Greg | A Practical Wedding

Photos By: Jacqueline Catanzaro, plus friends Tiffany & Naomi

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  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    1. I LOVE YOUR DOG. He* (or she?) looks like a total mushball, and I just want to give him a hug and let him give me a big slobbery kiss. He looks like that kind of dog.
    (Don’t mind me – I react toward dogs and puppies the way most women my age react toward babies.)

    2. I wanted my cousin (who’s dress budget was a lot higher than mine) to get that exact Pronovias dress, so I could live vicariously through her, but she ultimately decided on another dress.

    3. We decided that we didn’t want to say anything that we didn’t personally believe and that if we are one day led to be Catholics again, maybe we’ll renew our vows with the church one day. – we made a similar decision with our ceremony.

    • http://oversized-cliches.blogspot.com Zan

      Irisira – I’m in your dog reaction club. I think there are more of us out there than you might suspect.

    • meg

      Oh! Not her dog! Dog they met on the beach.

      • http://eclpse.livejournal.com Kimberly

        Even better!

        • http://meaghantothemax.wordpress.com Meaghan

          Amazing! Now I’m going to walk my dog so much around popular wedding-photo spots this summer in the hopes of him photo-bombing people’s wedding pictures!

          • http://voyajer79@wordpress.com Dalia

            Yes, we met the dog on the beach with his owner. I believe his name is Czar and he is a retired dog model and actor. I thought he was so gorgeous and elegant. Of couse, I could never fit a dog like that into my apartment. I think.

      • http://oversized-cliches.blogspot.com Zan

        Yeah! Totally even better!

      • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

        AWESOME. I love that he posed for pictures with you guys! Too cute. :)

        Oh, and you’d be surprised how well large dogs fit in small apartments (so long as there is a nearby park for them to run around in, that is). :)

    • http://www.suncentered.com Jenny

      I react the same way!! My boyfriend and I are going to have puppies instead of babies.

  • Emmy

    Oh gosh. What and inspirational, and beautiful person Dalia is.
    I especially like the point that if you can’t include something in your wedding that you’d really like to, you can come round to reallising that you can included it some other part of your future instead.
    My absolute favourite picture is the one with the cake. She’s giving him the ulitmate “oh-no-you-don’t!” look, whilst he’s looking SO about-to-be-bad!

    • http://made-of-sun.blogspot.com/ Trisha

      I was thinking the same thing about the cake. It made me smile. I’m sure it’s similar to the look I had on my face when I was about to be fed the cake.

    • http://eclpse.livejournal.com Kimberly

      Hahaha — same here . . . the “don’t even think about it” look. Love it.

      • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

        The cake photo was my fav too! Priceless :-)

    • Veronica

      The cake photo stuck out to me, too. It captures so much personality and really illustrates who they are (at least, as far as I can tell from the graduate post!)

  • A-L

    My father is Haitian, and 3 of my siblings were born in Haiti, so I automatically felt a certain kinship with this wedding grad post. There were so many things that I loved: the ancestral libation, realizing that your wedding will not reflect everything about you, and acknowledging future opportunities to do things that didn’t happen at your wedding. The two of you looked great, happy, (and I love the Great Dane) and felicitations!

    • http://www.linseykitchens.com Linsey

      Oh, tell more about these ancestral libations…they sound amazing!

  • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty

    This is so interesting. I love Dalia’s take on making your wedding meaningful. It’s so refreshing to see a wedding that is truly different from, as Meg said, “every other wedding in the blogoshpere” – and not different in an “ooh, I wore a short dress instead of a long one” kind of way, but in a totally AWESOME way.

    I feel like the word “personal” gets used a lot in talking about weddings, but this brings home how personal doesn’t mean adopting a colour scheme or a wedding theme that you like – it means actually focusing on the things that *matter to you*. I mean, I like pink, but it doesn’t matter to me the way that honouring relatives who are no longer with us matters.

    Lovely post.

  • http://www.arunnerslife.wordpress.com Mara Simon

    I almost never comment on APW but I’m a long (long, long)-time reader and for some reason, this post moved me more than almost anything else I’ve read…Such a beautiful couple with beautiful and important words to say about weddings and marriage…Thank you for sharing!

  • Hypothetical Sarah

    “I also wish that I realized that weddings can’t ever capture the sum total of a multi-faceted person or couple. Because the thing is, no matter how much you think your wedding will reflect you, in the end it can’t. Because we are always changing and evolving, and it’s scary if we don’t.”

    Oh yes. One of the reasons why I love reading APW is because it forces me to think about where we’ve been, what we’ve done, the decisions we’ve made, and where we’re going. Mostly I’ve realized how, in some ways, the boy and I are very different people than we were when we got engaged 14 months ago — and that we’ll be even more different at our wedding 14 months from now (halfway! wooo!). The wedding will reflect (parts of) us because planning it has become a part of our story and has had a hand in shaping us, as we shape it. But it won’t define us — it can’t.

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      Also, your passing references to the Berkshires and Long Island have made me a bit homesick.

      • http://oversized-cliches.blogspot.com Zan

        Hey internet friend – don’t be homesick! Come to the Capital Region Book Club Meeting, we are going to be but MINUTES from the Berkshires!

        If you don’t live close enough to come on up then we’ll set aside a cinnamon roll for you — symbolically of course. I can’t promise we won’t eat it after the meeting.

        • Hypothetical Sarah

          I’d love to! But there’s a bit of an ocean in the way, as grad school has brought me over to the UK.

          • http://oversized-cliches.blogspot.com Zan

            d’oh! We’ll set aside the bun in any case. And some peanut butter. As I recall from when I was in school in the UK, you can’t find american style peanut butter anywhere!

    • Victoria

      This was absolutely my favorite line from any graduate post I have read. After reading posts and other blogs saying “just make it you” it had been really hard for me to decide how that was possible. I wanted to do it all and make it reflect every single part of us that I could, which was starting to stress me out. This really reminded me that making it us doesn’t have to mean it stands for us for the rest of our lives…we’ll evolve but still love our wedding.

  • Cass

    This wedding is just so lovely. I felt like I was a part of your day with you, too – and weddings always make me cry!
    What a nice way to start my day :)

  • clampers

    “My maternal aunts putting my mother’s locket around my neck before the wedding.”

    Thanks so much for making me sob like a little baby at work this morning. ;)

    Beautiful wedding and beautiful sentiments. I like your idea about “always evolving.” I think it’s important not to get caught up in how your wedding reflects your personality. Your personality is always changing (and like you said, it would be scary if it wasn’t), so don’t worry too much about whether your dress is “me” enough. It will probably change in a few years anyway!

  • Abby C.

    Oh my god, the decisions she struggled with when deciding where to hold her wedding are so, so relevant to what my fiance and I are going through right now. No matter where we hold the wedding, people we want to be there will not be there. So, we’re learning to manage expectations and let go of things we can’t change.

  • http://recessionistawedding.blogspot.com/ Mallory

    “So, it doesn’t really matter whether or not my wedding had a Paris theme, it only matters that my interest in strengthening my French has been reinvigorated. If I’m still alive and can take the train to Harlem to purchase African fabric, who cares that I didn’t have time to find a seamstress to make cute but elegant African dresses for the reception? My married life affords me the luxury of tackling these fun projects one at a time”

    Exactly! That’s just how I feel about everything. It’s so great to read about someone who made it through the whole planning process and came out on the other side with this attitude intact.

    Congrats!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    This is so beautiful it’s making my heart hurt–the words, pictures, all of it.

  • Courtney

    I’m crying–this wedding is so beautiful, and I love how Dalia and Greg found solutions that don’t feel like “compromises,” but really like choices that truly reflect who they are and respected and loved their families, too. It’s not always possible in life to achieve this balance, but it looks as though this couple did. The picture of Dalia lined up with important older women in her life (aunts?) is one of my FAVORITE pictures ever from this site and conveys in a single image such an awesome, strong, beautiful family.

  • http://oversized-cliches.blogspot.com Zan

    “some people are just going to be negative. Period. About anything you choose to do. So if you are compromising something important make sure you are doing it for yourself too.” This. A hundred times this. Actually, this is important and wise advice for life in general, not just weddings. I know that personally it has taken me a long time to get over my bafflement of, “Why do people suck so hard sometimes?!” to get to a place where I can shrug and go, “Man. People suck sometimes. Let’s dance!”

    Also – a ban on saying things you don’t truly believe? Yes.

    We had these two issues run together a bit since my family is Jewish/cultural-Catholic and his family is evangelical. There is no way everyone is going to be happy, all we can hope for is that in the end they are happy for us, regardless of the fact that Jesus isn’t invited and that there won’t be a Rabbi.

  • Esther

    LOVE this post

  • http://meaghantothemax.wordpress.com Meaghan

    First – GREAT DANE! I have one too, and they are the best.

    Secondly, this post was so wise. I especially like the point about being able to do all the things you didn’t fit into the wedding afterwards – that’s the point, isn’t it?

  • Stephanie

    I’ve been reading APW for a year and I never commented before. I absolutely loved this post. This post resonated with me because the wedding found a way to expressed their values. Also, I felt the need to comment as I am also Haitian and this is the first wedding post online (anywhere) I feel that I could relate to. I especially like the ceremony part. I grew up Catholic but I don’t practice. My bf (who is German) is not religious. Even though we are not engaged yet (but have plans to be married) I’m already worried about how to figure out the ceremony because deep down I don’t want to have a Catholic wedding and I know my parents will be disappointed and my mom will probably put up a fight. His parents will not have a problem since they are not religious. Also, I’m worried that my wedding may not have that core values balance especially with the two different cultures, his family being in Germany, part of my family in the US, Canada, Europe and Haiti.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Beck

      I was in a similar situation: my parents Catholic, me not so much anymore, he and his family not at all religious. Like Dalia, we opted for a Unitarian minister. We discussed our beliefs and values and he crafted a really wonderful ceremony that reflected us and our values, i.e. he talked about family, and love, and commitment, but didn’t mention God by name once (as one guest pointed out with a smile). Would my parents have prefered a Catholic wedding? Maybe. But 1. It wasn’t their wedding, 2. They know that my husband and I are not Catholic and they couldn’t expect us to have a wedding ceremony that was out of touch with our beliefs, and 3. I think my mom was happy that there was some religious element to it even though the ceremony itself was much more secular (we’d thought about having a friend do the ceremony and she wasn’t so cool with that idea).

      In short, I really recommend finding a Unitarian minister to do the ceremony if you have misgivings about the religion in which you were raised but still want some religion or spirituality in the ceremony. I think they are also very helpful with ideas about how to bring different cultural traditions into a ceremony.

  • Marchelle

    Beautiful. All of it.

  • Mallory

    Oh my gosh… that black and white picture of you at the alter… could you BE any more beautiful?!?!?!

    • Class of 1980

      She is GORGEOUS.

    • Chantelle

      This is entirely superficial of me, besides the fablous post I was repeatedly struck by the abundance of beautiful women in your family. Damn you have great genes! Gorgeous :)

  • RachelC

    What an incredible wedding. It was especially important for me to read about how you don’t have to squeeze every little quirk of both of us into the wedding – because it’s not possible. Dalia is so wise – we will continue to grow and change over time and the organic way that the wedding happens will be right over all, even if I don’t represent every interest or love I’ve ever had there. Thank you. Also – GREAT DANE. Also, the emphasis on family and those who’ve come before the two who are getting married is so important in our wedding – we’re having a big dedication in our ceremony – and I absolutely adored that about this wedding. Thank you thank you for this!!

  • http://suburbaliciousliving.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    I skimmed the pictures first, and thought that this is one of the most beautiful wedding grad posts I’ve ever seen. And then I read the line about your aunts putting your mom’s locket around your neck, and totally started to cry. Thank you for such a wise and thoughtful post.

    Also- DOG!!!

  • kris

    So gorgeous! And so great to see a couple that looks like me and reflects my diverse world. I appreciate that APW makes room for multiple voices and experiences. I also love that this post gave me a lot of food for thought. Especially in terms of integrating all the various cultures you and your partner represent in a wedding. My guy’s family is West African and I want to make sure his Ghanaian and my own black American background is represented. I love the idea of doing libations! Such a quiet but powerful way to give a nod to your heritage and ancestors. I have to admit I already have starry-eyed dreams about getting some fabulous wax print outfit made and finding a crew of West African drummers/dancer. But maybe libations and a song would be just as awesome (and a lot cheaper).

  • Tiffany In Houston

    I have to say that I am absolutely ecstatic that is a wedding that shows a black woman and a black man getting married. Not an interracial marriage (which is delightful by the way and I love to see those weddings featured as well on APW) but 2 black people getting married. I am one of those wives as well. The statistics say black folks are not getting married but WE are.

    I know many of you won’t understand how strongly I feel about this and that’s OK.

    But I am glad this couple is featured today. I might reconsider and submit my own wedding.

    • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

      I believe that there are definitely people of every race and background getting married; it’s just up to them (all of us) to make sure our own weddings are represented. Send ‘er in! I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

    • meg

      Yeah, why aren’t you submitting your own wedding grad post? I regularly bemoan the lack of black and hispanic couples on the site (lets just say I grew up as a minority, being white, so it doesn’t reflect my personal experience at ALL), but I just don’t get sent the weddings. And I KNOW I have the readers. So, there is nothing I can do if I don’t get the weddings sent in. So, seriously, be the change, yeah?

      • Murdock

        I would LOVE to see a greater variety of cultures and races on APW! Please send them to Team Practical for our viewing pleasure.

    • Rasheeda

      I agree totally…I have mixed nephews and godchildren and the unions that brought them together are divine… however I agree 110% with you. It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain but it’s visceral when you see it. I literally had to scratch at my eyes this morning when I saw the picture- I couldnt believe it- it was BEAUTIFUL ( it didn’t hurt that Dalia and Greg look like models) !! My reverend (who moved to Texas so if you are looking she is PHENOMENAL) said to me awhile back “Black people are getting married by the truck loads” ,the true problem is that a lot of us feel our stories don’t deserve the recognition. So a HUGE THANK YOU is due to Dalia to having “ordinary courage” to believe enough in your story to share it with the world…It. Is.Worth.It.

  • Jordan

    Wow, what a beautiful post. I actually cried reading it… and felt moved enough to comment (for the first time ever–eek!) As someone who tends to go a little crazy thinking about how our wedding should be the perfect reflection of my fiance and I as a couple (even though a tiny part of me knows better), it’s utterly fantastic to read the words “a wedding can’t ever capture the sum total of a multifaceted person or couple.” Thank you. As much as I try to tell myself this, it’s much nicer to hear it from someone else.

  • Brandy

    “Looking back, the most important thing I wish I had realized during planning is that some people are just going to be negative. Period. About anything you choose to do. So if you are compromising something important make sure you are doing it for yourself too…but it taught me how to be the best guest ever, wedding or otherwise: offering to help when I can, no mindless criticism, and dancing anyway when I think the music might be hokey.”

    This is so true and extends so far beyond wedding planning. Like you, what I’ve taken from it is to be the better guest, the better friend, and remember that an individual’s choices are their own and we’re not always privy to what thoughts or factors go into that decision.

    Great wedding grad post, I love that you did it your way. :) Congratulations and best wishes to the both of you!

  • http://www.alexanddevon.com Devon

    I loved this:

    “I also wish that I realized that weddings can’t ever capture the sum total of a multi-faceted person or couple. Because the thing is, no matter how much you think your wedding will reflect you, in the end it can’t.”

    That says it beautifully, in my opinion. I find myself so stressed that my wedding won’t be “authentic” or “us” – but it will be, if only authentic to the time period in which we planned the party. Such a great sentiment to keep in mind.

    Beautiful post, really. I was misty there at the end, with the locket and cousins-in-law. Very inspiring.

    And your dress is kickas*

    • Muister

      Yes! That quote really stuck out to me too! I feel like there’s so much pressure (mostly coming from myself) to make my wedding a perfect reflection of exactly who I am and who I want to be (and my fiance too) and it’s impossible and totally not the point. It’s so good to hear other people say it!

  • Faith

    “some people are just going to be negative. Period. About anything you choose to do. So if you are compromising something important make sure you are doing it for yourself too.”

    yeah. that’s all that needs to be said.

  • Class of 1980

    My goodness, Dalia! You were a beautiful bride. Your new husband with the great smile and the dog aren’t bad either. ;) That dress fit you to perfection and your guests were snappy dressers. Mission accomplished.

    And sometimes Unitarian ministers are the answer to everything. ;)

    • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

      I was raised Unitarian Universalist, was married by a UU minister, and am enrolling in theological school to become a minister, so I have to say, your comment about Unitarian ministers made me smile. :)

      • Class of 1980

        Well, I WISH I was brought up UU, and should I remarry, I WILL have a UU minister.

        • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

          It was a pretty great upbringing. I learned about every religion you could think of, we visited other churches when we were in middle school, and I got the most comprehensive sexual education on the planet. And I have the most phenomenal, powerful community of people supporting me. It’s a great way to be raised.

          UU ministers are that wonderful middle ground for weddings– more gravitas and spiritual connection than a judge or justice of the peace, and usually very flexible for people who aren’t in a current faith community, need an inter-faith ceremony, are gay, or want to respect marriage equality. Basically, UU ministers are pretty badass. We should have some be APW vendors.

  • Ophelia

    This is my favorite wedding graduate post. The couple’s family histories are so complex and intertwined. The resulting wedding was beautiful, as I am sure the marriage will be, too.

  • Murdock

    I LOVED your wedding post Dalia! I feel as if you taught me something today. #1 – I learned more about your culture, if even for a brief moment. And I LOVE learning about other people’s traditions, cultures, etc.
    #2 – How much we should all cherish the females in our families. How do the generations ahead of us help and guide us, and how do we do the same for those that come after us?
    #3 – “I also wish that I realized that weddings can’t ever capture the sum total of a multi-faceted person or couple.” YES!!! Thank you for reminding me and teaching me that the way we felt on the day we got engaged and who we are then, won’t be the same versions of each other, or our couple, on the day we get married. This is a fantastic reminder for our day – to be grateful for all that we have been to each other up to that point, all we are to each other on that day, and what we will be to each other looking forward.

    And….I’d LOVE to see your wedding ceremony if you would mind sharing. Particularly more information on the “we do”. I love the idea that your family and friends are truly a part of the day. Maybe an email if you have time? THANK YOU!! emurdock@gmail.com

    Many many happy wishes to you and Greg!

  • Jillian

    Your dress is absolutely amazing!
    I also can’t decide between the first picture (with the dog) or the last picture of the two of you as my favorite. Both are so adorable.

    Thanks for sharing your wedding and it sounds like everything turned out for the best.
    Also:
    “Because the thing is, no matter how much you think your wedding will reflect you, in the end it can’t. Because we are always changing and evolving, and it’s scary if we don’t.”
    Every person getting married should memorize this quote.

  • Kathia

    Love your blog Dalia!! Very nice.

  • Joan

    I just want to echo the sentiment here that I LOVED this post. I especially appreciate how the values of family, culture, and spirituality came through so eloquently in how you wrote the post and how you crafted your entire wedding. I am really hoping that our wedding will be able to bring together these richly diverse elements as a start to a marriage that will also hopefully beautifully and honestly blend our identities. (As a side note….As a formerly Roman Catholic, aspiring Unitarian Universalist minister, I was so pleased that someone from the UU tradition was able to serve you well!) Thank you for sharing this lovely and inspiring post.

  • j9

    I’ve never read a post that has given me chills so many times and made me tear up. Thank you for opening your heart, Dalia.

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    I simply adore these wedding photos- the love, joy & happiness of the wedding day is so present in every one. & the post is quite wise. Congrats Dalia & Greg!

  • Laura

    This was a truly beautiful post – thanks to Dalia and Greg and the APW team!

  • Emily

    Wow. This is my favorite wedding grad post in a while! I love it! Dalia’s centered-ness in the face of lots of complexity really comes through and is an inspiration.

  • http://voyajer79@wordpress.com Dalia

    Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I’ve been inspired by a practical wedding for quite some time and now I’m loving the reclaiming wife posts so I thought I should share as well. Writing about the wedding process was quite therapeutic for me, because when you’re planning an event you don’t realize all the second guessing that can come before and after the wedding. But writing everything out made me very appreciative and focused on my marriage and the people who made our special day.

    • http://snippets.of.school.blogspot.com Brenna

      My favorite parts (the locket, not having to fit it all in) have already been mentioned, so I’ll just say thanks again for sharing. I like how you said that writing it made you appreciative. I haven’t written about our wedding in depth, but I’d bet it would make me feel the same way.

  • KT

    I adore this post! Thank you for sharing your beautiful self.

  • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

    Wow. Some of this is so totally how I felt about our wedding…
    Thank you. :) Perfect timing to finally have the space to come and read this immediately after I wrote a small blog post on what I would have changed – something I couldnt have written even 3 weeks ago, simply because I felt that pain of guests who were negative…
    And this:
    “weddings can’t ever capture the sum total of a multi-faceted person or couple. Because the thing is, no matter how much you think your wedding will reflect you, in the end it can’t”
    Exactly.

  • Emmy

    As a Haitian american I really appeciated reading this post. You guys look amazing! I really will take all your advice to heart. Congrats.

  • HaitianTECHY

    Beautiful pictures and wish you the best.