Marriages in America, America does it!

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No matter what faith, culture or planet you come from, you become a part of the overall indefinable American culture, America does it to everyone!

I was in a wedding yesterday, a whole bunch of us on our table were talking about the traditional Muslim culture morphing into the American Culture.  Bride’s uncles and aunties flew in from India, and I guess they did not recognize the wedding process including the “Yes I do” part, which was completely different.  Nothing like it was done back home or even imaginable.

The Bride does not do a thing back home in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, not a thing.  In the US, it is common for the Bride to be in charge of wedding. She does it all – including seating, the sermons, the vows, the food and the entire process.  Parents literally become the guests and are usually instructed what to do and how to behave, which almost all parents obediently oblige.

I can never forget the wedding I officiated in Jacksonville, Florida – After the dinner, the bride led the dance and was dancing non-stop.  Her mother stood in the corner and was simply admiring her daughter’s independence and freedom, what a smile she had.  I regret not taking the picture of her for her own memories.  She had all the Mamta (mother’s wholesome love) on her face.

In another wedding, the Bride and the groom ran off the canopy right after the rings were exchanged but before I could declare them husband and wife… we had to bring them back and go through the full ceremony. That remains memorable!

All my fatherness was pulled together and perhaps reflected on my face when my daughter got married… she looked so beautiful and was just hard to believe my little girl was so independent.

I wish more and more people of different faiths and cultures are invited to each other’s weddings – there is so much to enjoy in so many different ways.  I am blessed to be an interfaith Wedding Officiant and I cherish the experiences.  In every wedding that I have officiated, the bride is in charge and is very creative with the words and we added the “hand ceremony” during which Neil Diamond’s “hands, such a hand, reaching out and touching me….. Sweet Caroline” was played. Each wedding is uniquely different, but yet very American, definable as the land of the free.

Mike Ghouse
All about Mike at

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