Friday, August 17, 2012

The Grandview in Poughkeepsie: Anita + Joe

Bright pinks, vibrant blues, and rich metallics. These are the colors chosen by the bride and groom to help celebrate their day. They were a perfect representation of the rich culture and traditions carried out in the ceremony and reception.

Anita and Joe were married at St. James Orthodox Church in Poughkeepsie, NY. Their Syrian Orthodox service consisted of two parts: The blessing of the rings and the blessing of the crowns. The priest placed a gold ring on the right hands’ of the bride and groom. The crowns (chains with crosses) were then placed on their heads. During the second half of the service the groom tied a “Minnu” around the bride’s neck. A Minnu is a heart shaped pendant hung by string. This custom symbolizes the groom’s acceptance of the bride as his own. Afterwards the bride draped a beautiful, ornate cloth called a “Manthrakodi” over her head. This custom represents chastity and devotion to her husband. At the end of the service the priest united the bride and groom’s right hand and declared them husband and wife.

Their reception was held at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY. They provided a trolley that took us to a marina that overlooks the Hudson River. When we returned, Anita changed into a Saree that she partied the night away in. I don’t know if it was the bright colors, the bride and groom, or all of the inviting people I met at this wedding, but it all felt warm and loving to me. I appreciated the opportunity to experience the depth and beauty of this culture.