John and Caitlin's day of celebrating their love for each other and their lifelong commitment couldn't have been more personal or enjoyable. Following the rehearsal Friday evening, there was a traditional Indian celebration thrown by John's family to welcome Caitlin and their family as their own. This involved a lot of color and traditions of gift-giving, sandlewood, dancing, music, eating and henna. Saturday morning, Caitlin's bridesmaids got dressed with the help of many women from John's family - tying the bright red and gold saris just perfectly. The bride got ready, sparkling with the jewelry from her grandmother and other relatives, slipping into her delicate lace gown and her white TOMs shoes. John and Caitlin took photos together (but didn't see each other, keeping in tradition) outside of the church, not far from the spot where John proposed to his princess.
The ceremony evoked laughter and tears, even from myself as I watched a dear childhood friend marry her best friend. Before the vows and sand ceremony, John did what many grooms wish they could do: serenade his bride. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place! Leaving the church, the new couple headed to the reception, their entrance starting their first dance - a choreographed ballroom number - and then a pasta bar. There was fun and mingling to be had amongst balloon art, speeches, and music. After the reception wrapped up, the wedding party cruised around Sioux Falls for a few fun photo opportunities to celebrate, including Falls Park. Congratulations, John & Caitlin! I wish you all the best.