Every so often we get a submission to Real Weddings from the couples themselves, and with Mariana and Bob’s wedding, I really don’t think anyone explains their day better than them. So, in the words of Mariana:
“Bob and I spent a long time talking about why it was important to get married. We knew a long time ago that we were committed to each other; it didn’t seem necessary to have a wedding for us to know that. . . We decided that the wedding was really about community – sharing our relationship and our commitment with our family and friends. This may not be an earth-shattering revelation, but it really changed the way we approached the wedding. The pressure was not on to make the day the most important day in our lives, but, instead, we tried to make it a time to tell the story of us to our loved ones and to give them a really fun time.
We had the wedding at UCLA, where we are both social psychologists and where we first met. For our decorations, we brought in the help of a wonderfully artistic friend who designed all the printables (invitations, placecards, our guestbook tree, the table numbers). We also designed and made our own centerpieces out of paper flowers (made with the help of my grandmother). The photographer was a friend of mine I’ve known since I was 11 years old. It was important to us that there was something of us in every part of the wedding. We didn’t want a beautiful but generic event but something that was deeply personal in every facet.
However, I think the most unique part of our wedding was the ceremony. We had a mutual friend, Greg, act as the emcee. He interviewed us beforehand and wrote a beautiful introduction for us. He first talked about how we first met. Then, I walked into the ceremony with my parents. Greg then talked a little bit about me and my family. Then, Bob walked in with his dad and our dog, Cooper. Greg then talked about Bob and his family. Then we sat down and Greg introduced the question that framed our ceremony: “why get married?” We then had people talk about three perspectives on the question that are personally relevant to us: a psychological perspective (given by a world-renowned and delightfully funny relationship psychologist named Ben Karney), a Jewish perspective (given by our friend and another psychologist), and a Catholic perspective (given by my grandmother and cousin). Once they had given their perspectives, we would give our own perspectives on the question in the form of our vows to each other. However, Greg had a surprise for me – he sang a song entitled, “Marry Me, Mari” in which he tried to convince me to marry him instead of Bob. The song was pre-approved by Bob, and it was wonderful and hilarious.
The wedding was wonderful – it was so much fun, relaxed, casual in a lot of ways, yet so deeply meaningful. We had several people come up to us and say that it was the best, most personal wedding they’d ever been to. That meant a lot – we had achieved our goal.”
Location: Covell Commons at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Catering: Covell Commons at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Photographer: Michael Santini
DJ: Dub Gypsy
Dress: Moni Rose
Cake: A Sweet Design
Cake Toppers: Itty Bitty Wood Shoppe
Jewelry: Limon Bijoux
I love this! There are all sorts of reasons couples choose to get married, but this story speaks directly to my personal experience. Our wedding too were community focused. Thanks a million for sharing your experience!