Sunday, December 17, 2017

Indian Wells California --- The Wedding, part four

Roger here... At this point I need to say a few things that are in my heart.  Watching Robyn and Atul wed was the joy of my life.  Having friends and family with us was so very special.  Cementing a bond with our new family was life-changing.

On a deeper level, the four days of celebration epitomized what I believe all human interactions should be.  People from four continents were in attendance.  Humor, silliness and enjoyment was prevalent. Smiles were contagious.  Religions that were so different were discovered to be so very much the same.  The various hues of skin, though all beautiful, were insignificant to everyone.  There were actors, comedians, producers, doctors, scientists, engineers, business owners, retirees, a professional singer, dancers, college students, high school upper classmen, a high school freshman, and many others.  We were all together.  We were all happy.  We were all one.  

Saturday Afternoon...

The Hindu celebration seemed to end too soon.  After the ceremony, everyone was treated to a delicious Indian lunch.  Then it was professional picture taking time.  The pictures from the Hindu ceremony were first, then a break to change clothes before pictures of the wedding party and family were taken before the American ceremony began (while the light was still good -- it gets dark very early this time of year on the West Coast).  We have not seen the professional pictures yet, but we do have the pictures that we and our friends took.

Our granddaughter, Kaia.

Kaia, Amanda, Dianne, Roger

Our daughter, Amanda, bridesmaid in the American ceremony.

Our Beautiful Daughter, Amanda

Amanda and Kaia --- mother and daughter

Roger and Robyn,  father of the bride with the bride

Dianne, mother of the bride

Saturday Late Afternoon --- The American Ceremony...

Dianne is on her way to her trip down the aisle.  As with the Hindu ceremony, due to the fact that we were actively involved, we were not able to take  pictures.  However, our friends helped us out with a few.

Atul's father, Dr. Singh, walks down the aisle in the picture below.  We know Atul's mother was there in spirit.

The photo below shows Deanna and Atul.  The groomsmen were off to the left, out of the photo  range :-(.  Deanna was the officiant for the wedding.  She was one of Robyn's close friends during their years of comedy performances in Chicago.  Needless to say, the light-heartedness of the Hindu ceremony transferred to the American ceremony due to Deanna and Robyn and Atul.

Rare somber expressions....

Maid of Honor, Linda, walks down the aisle.

The opening photo (with an additional view) is worth a second appearance at this point.  From the moment Robyn was born I had waited to walk my daughter down the aisle.

Giving Robyn's hand to Atul.

The best man, Ken, is standing to the far right.

Saturday Evening --- Party Time!

This is the setting for the post-ceremony cocktail hour, before the reception began.  The bartenders at the open bars and servers with hors d'oeuvres were ready to go.

The life-sized cutout of Robyn and Atul made a second appearance at the pre-reception cocktail party.

Actually, the life-size cutout of Robyn and Atul made its appearance throughout the four days; at the welcome party, around the fire pits during the week...
...even at the reception, where at one point it was hoisted by the crowd and danced with.
At the pre-reception cocktail hour, we again reunited with Robyn's old friends and Atul's friends and family.  Then we moved inside for the dinner and reception.  

Let's start with photos of our friends and family...

Sister-in-law (Pam), brother (Dick), Nephew (Matt)

Leslie and Charles (Dianne's cousin)

Jay and Nancy (the friends who introduced Dianne and I to each other)  We were in each others' weddings in 1972.  They've known Robyn all her life.

Kaia, Roger, Dianne - (Amanda was sitting at the bridal party table.)

The reception itself was one delight after another.

There were a series of excellent toasts, beginning with Dr. Singh (father of the groom), then Mimi (sister of the groom),  Ken (best man), Linda (maid of honor), Inesh (nephew of the groom), and myself.

Atul's sister, Rashmi, who is a professional singer/songwriter in New York City, performed an original song for Robyn and Atul.  It was so beautiful.

Atul's niece, Simran, is trained in classical Indian dance.  She and a friend performed a Bollywood dance.  Wow.

Amazingly, Robyn and Atul's friends found the time to practice a flash mob dance for Robyn.  The surprises never seemed to end.

Here's a different angle and portion of the flash mob dance:

Flash Mob Dance on Instagram

I had the first dance with Robyn.

Atul cut in, as expected.

And then the real dancing began!!!!!!!!

Here's a very cute close-up of Atul and Robyn on the dance floor --  Click here: Cute Robyn/Atul Dance from Instagram (taken by Lee, a groomsman).
Soon everyone at the reception, young and old,  rushed the dance floor, dancing to the continuous high-energy music. (Dianne here:  The songs morphed one into the next, with no slow songs, no breaks, so there was high-energy dancing the whole evening.   I know of several who never left the dance floor!)  Dianne and I do not have pictures, because we were in the middle of it.  In fact, we were having so much fun that we did not even think to take pictures.  Thanks go to all those who sent us the movies and pictures that we forgot to take.  

If you want to see additional photos, check out Instagram at #RobynAndAtul

At one point, Robyn and Atul took a break to go to the other end of the reception room to feed each other wedding cake.  There was a dessert table for the guests, but most were too busy dancing to stop for dessert!

A photo booth was set up in a corner of the room for people to use props and take photos of themselves.  Here's a sample of Robyn and her friends clowning in the photo booth (borrowed from Instagram -- the bride is in the center of the center strip):

Before leaving the party we have a few more pictures:

The dancing bridesmaids
--- Amanda and Abby.

Dianne, Mimi, and Scott enjoying the show.  

Mimi and Scott welcomed us into their home last April in Cleveland for Atul's mother's funeral.  It was a sad time, but it was also the beginning of a life-long friendship.

Before everyone rushed the dance floor, Simran, Kaia, and Inesh danced along the side of the floor.  More new friendships.

As an aside, we learned that Kaia is a great dancer, as is her cousin, Matt.  They had so much fun.  

During the reception, Atul and his college friends took a break to pose for a "Hook 'Em Horns" Texas Longhorn photo. (Borrowed from Instagram)
Front Row Left is Lee, next to him is Vikas; second row second from right is Ken,
(The three Groomsmen)
Atul is in the middle of it all!
Dianne and I stayed until the official reception ended and the younger generation headed for the resort bar.  We went back to the villa to crash.  

Sunday Morning....

We took Amanda and Kaia back to the airport very early, before returning to enjoy more food --- a delicious farewell brunch on the second-floor terrace.  

Things were starting to slow down.  More in the next post.

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