Wedding weekend

This weekend I went to the wedding of one of my childhood friends, Rachel. We've known each other since 5th grade, when our parents first dragged us along to that Asian  party where all the kids were relegated to the basement. We spent that night eating, playing cards, Mafia, charades, the Sock Game, pushing each other off the couches, and laughing the night away. I still remember that night more than 12 years ago, because it was the start of a friendship that now feels more like family. We would see each other every holiday season, with Thanksgiving at their house and New Year's Eve at my house, adding/subtracting some new kids every year, but up until college, it was always the core group of my sister and I, Rachel, and our friend Andy J. After we all went to our respective colleges, our group sort of fragmented, but we would still see Rachel almost every year at Thanksgiving, which I now always associate with her house and catching up with her again.

When she wasn't at her house for Thanksgiving, she was at her then boyfriend Robert's house, and last year she and Robert got engaged! My family and I had the privileged of attending her beautiful wedding in Long Island yesterday and I could not be happier for my childhood friend who's a married woman! When I saw the gold band on her finger yesterday, I had to pinch myself that this girl that I grew up with is now married. But such is life, right? This was actually my first ever wedding, and I get the feeling I'm going to be spoiled for every wedding I attend afterwards. Not only was it my first wedding, it was my first Jewish wedding, which now I realize is very different from a traditional (aka everything I've seen on TV) Christian wedding. No exchanging of vows, no "you may now kiss the bride," no "I now pronounce you man and wife!" But nonetheless, it was obvious there was so much love between the bride and groom. I only hope I can be so lucky to find someone like they've found each other.

After the ceremony, there was cocktail hour with heavy hour d'oeuvres (including Peking Duck, assorted stir fries, sushi, egg rolls, spare ribs, bao zi, jiao zi, all sorts of Asian goodies) before we all proceeded into the banquet hall for the reception, which was absolutely gorgeous. Sky high autumnal colored centerpieces decorated the tables with floating flowers and candles surrounding them. Once we found our tables, we were ushered to the dance floor, where the party started right away! I had expected a formal dinner first followed by dancing, but I think this was a really good idea in that they staggered the dancing and three courses so we weren't stuffed to the brim by the time it was time to get on the dance floor (even though I was already stuffed from appetizers, oops). Surprisingly, they started out with the traditional Jewish dances (the Horah) and the whole lifting of the bride and groom on the chairs, which was a blast! Throughout the whole night, I had SO much fun, even though I knew like, 5% of the people there (I only knew a couple family friends there, the rest of the guests were mainly the bride and groom's extended family and their friends from Yale). I literally I can't imagine how fun a wedding would be with people I actually knew!

Here are some pics from my phone. My dad finally bought a fancy DSLR camera, so there are better pics from him, but these are all I have now.

 Driving past NYC on the way there

 Waiting for Rachel to walk down the aisle

These centerpieces probably cost a gazillion dollars each

With the beautiful bride! So much love.

After the wedding, JJ and I couldn't help fantasizing about our own weddings (our parents were like, can you just have a combined wedding plz?), but Rachel's wedding has done nothing but to build up our expectations for future weddings and spoil us for life :) All in all, I had such a fun weekend venturing into the world of weddings and celebrating such a happy occasion. I know Rachel and Robert will have a happy life ahead of them (even though I will miss her at all of our family gatherings). Mazel tov!


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