written by Dolly Marshall
What started out as a rainy day for a wedding could not hinder the vivid and intimate gathering of Nate and Vikram’s closest family and friends. A celebration of Indian customs and culture, this diverse same sex wedding may have been modest with production but huge with love! Get ready for a thrilling global experience!
How They Met
“Nate’s friends Manish and Jeff attended a performance of the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Choir. I was a soloist singing ‘Moonlight in Vermont,’ and Nate came up to me after the show and struck up a friendly conversation. A few weeks later, his friends set us up for drinks. That was in December 2009, ten years ago, and we have been together ever since!”
“After gay marriage became legal in the US, we had on-and-off conversations about marriage, but did not take any concrete steps right away. (Part of the reason was that Vikram’s family life back in India is a fairly conservative society that is just coming out of the cocoon in terms of gay rights.) My parents and sister had met Nate several times, and loved him, but I was not out to my extended family back in India; at least partly out of concern for the social impact it might have on my parents.
In September 2019, my parents were in London visiting my sister, and Nate planned a work trip with me to go seek their blessings. My sister had prepped them ahead of time, and they were very positive about this next step, and joyously gave their blessings. Nate flew back to Philadelphia and took me on a picnic to the garden behind Independence Hall. As the sun set, and the bells rang, Nate proposed, and I accepted in delight.”
“In order to protect my family, we wanted a discrete wedding. It was really quite simple – it took two hours for us to work out the details, and decide to go buy the sherwanis that we would wear.”
“We chose the event space in ‘Material Culture’ in north Philadelphia. The place itself is an antique furniture warehouse, but it’s better described as a museum of exquisite objects from India, Asia, and the Middle East. They have a wonderful space that can be decorated with any of the artifacts in stock. We decided to decorate it using Indian statuettes, cloths, and columns.”
“In honor of our family and childhood friends, we created an intimate experience. We sat in a circle, and each person offered some kind of blessing or poetic contribution, after which we shared our vows. Put another way, each person present made this moment possible. After the wedding, Vikram’s parents shared the news with extended family and gave their blessing to start sharing the photos publicly.”
“We both have the same moments: Walking into the circle of our loved ones as Tuck and Patti’s ‘Take my Breath Away’ played around us, and listening to each other’s vows.”
Wedding Planning Advice
“Authenticity should rule the day. Make your wedding true to your own tastes, wishes, and values.”
“From the moment we started to imagine our wedding, we wanted Kim Kunda to photograph it, because she, with her consummate skill, had already captured so many other important moments in our life together. For us, having her create these memories has been an incredible experience. To our utter delight, every vendor we worked with brought the same care and attention to making this day special. This was a further extension of the acceptance that we found everywhere we went. How the world has changed!”