The day we got married seven years ago, the October sky was clear and light and cold, thin watery clouds like veins floating up high. Outside, goosebumps; inside, butterflies. It was, in short, a beautiful day.
I walked down an aisle of sorts in a farm barn lit by fairy-lights to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and when they asked “Who give the bride away?” my mother stood, her eyes damp, in lieu of my father long gone. I wore a lehenga, burnt orange like the gilded leaves turning on the trees, a bronze veil made heavy with gold brocade tugging at my hair, and then I realised halfway that I’d forgotten my wedding bouquet somewhere. He wore a princely sherwani in cream and he stood for me, waiting in the distance as though upon a shore. Later, we ate croissants to tide us over before lunch and then my sister-in-law and cousins held his shoes ransom for fun. We toured the tables. We stopped to be with our friends. We played a Spotify playlist alternating a little Bollywood with John Legend, Quincy Jones and Lou Rawls. A friend of a friend baked us a naked wedding cake; a tower of simple Victoria sponges, edged with roses and raspberries.
But what do I remember the most? The two of us, whispering to each other at the top table, "Do you think it's okay if we leave?" and as we ran to our little bug of a car, the pointy pins that had bothered me all day, digging through my heavy veil into my hair and my scalp, finally began to loosen, and it was only later that I realised they had scattered everywhere.