Real wedding: Sayumi + Boulos part 1

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Nicole from SOTA Dzine sent me this gorgeous wedding recently that I’m excited to share with you…this is just part 1!  Sayumi was nice enough to share some background into the day…more pics and details at 1pm.
Our lives intersected fatefully in Philadelphia on October 22, 2005 where we were both completing our Ph.D.s at UPenn: Boulos was studying Theoretical Computer Science and Sayumi was researching her dissertation in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. May be it was the alphabetical proximity – Jordan is usually the country that is listed right after Japan, their flags flying next to each other in the wind at Rockefeller Center. Computer Science after Comparative Literature. Whatever the case, each of us in our own way were tracking down alphabets and languages, looking for something. Admittedly, we are an unlikely pairing, like the edamame-hummus sandwich we once ate at Mange Tout organic cafe in New London, the town in which Sayumi currently works as Assistant Professor of Asian Studies. But we have kindred souls linked through ESP foodie stomachs. Is it any surprise that we first met at a sushi-dinner party thrown by mutual friends, a gathering to which we were over-determined to attend? For our wedding, we selected a restaurant (http://www.icirestaurant.com/) that shared the same love of healthy, fresh, locally-grown, ecologically-sustainable seasonal food made with love. We knew that everything they cooked up would be absolutely divine, and with rare wines hand-selected by the owner to go with the meal, how could one go wrong?

What links us beyond the food we share are our core values, molded from the experience of growing up deracinated (Sayumi as a Buddhist Japanese girl living in the Bible Belt of Alabama; Boulos as a Christian-Palestinian in Muslim Jordan, and then in post 9/11 USA). Despite having been raised in different religious traditions (Sayumi eventually converted to the Orthodox Church in 2008) and despite the difficulty of enduring a long-distance relationship for the bulk of our courtship (our jobs had separated us over nine hundred miles for two years) we knew we just couldn’t let each other go. We wanted our wedding to reflect our multi-cultural mix as well as our overcoming of distances, and guests travelled from Jordan, Japan, Switzerland and Australia to celebrate with us. We chose cranes as our leitmotif – according to Japanese tradition, cranes are migratory birds that symbolize longevity and are said to fly with their mates for life. We were married on a drizzly Sunday on February 22, 2009 at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn, and celebrated with a reception dinner at Ici Restaurant near Fort Greene Park. We had been planning to hold a large 300-person wedding at the Dead Sea in Jordan in May, but unforeseen family circumstances spurred us to switch gears and opt for an intimate 40-person pre-Lenten affair right here in Brooklyn where we have been living the last couple of years, and where we got engaged. We had to pull off a wedding in NYC in less than six weeks! We owe it to our friends, each of whom chipped in in some way, for making the day what it was.

[images by SOTA Dzine]

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