Every wedding is a beautiful and exciting blend of two individuals and two families. But not every wedding is also a blend of two religions and two cultures, which is just one of the reasons why I’ll always remember working with Sumit and Adam on a custom ketubah for their “Big, Gay Hin-Jew Wedding.” These two wonderful souls approached me last April about the possibility of commissioning a custom ketubah that captured Adam’s Jewish heritage, Sumit’s South Asian roots, and their shared love of traveling the world. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into that project!
Adam and Sumit were kind enough to share their thoughts on how we arrived at their final ketubah design below. But before we dive on in, I’m just going to leave this video here of their wedding day. It was shot by the uber-talented Live Picture Studios. (Warning: tissues necessary!)
All of these stunning photos are by Ajit Singh Photography and shared with permission.
So, without further ado, a mini-interview with Sumit and Adam!
We eventually landed on a Ketubah design that featured the Hebrew, Hindi and English for “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” surrounded by multiple references to your world travels. Why do these three languages and the pattern have significance to the two of you?
The languages represent our backgrounds. The Hebrew represents Adam’s Jewish background, the Hindi represents my South Asian background, and the English represents the bridge.
This ketubah is emblematic of the convergence of our two worlds. Adam is Jewish and I am Hindu. For us, this document was an opportunity to weave together our backgrounds and to recognize where we came from. As such, we had our grandmothers serve as witnesses on the ketubah. Surely, every time we will stop to admire our ketubah in our days ahead, we will never lose sight of where we came from.
Although having our grandmothers sign our ketubah was an unconventional move—so was our big, gay Hin-Jew wedding. Like the ketubah, which melds together our backgrounds, our wedding brought together our Jewish and South Asian traditions. We had two officiants—a cantor and a Hindu minister (both women!)—preside over our wedding. We had a band as well as a DJ, so we could dance to music we both grew up to—from classic rock for Adam to Bollywood for me. We requested guests to dress in Indian or Western cocktail attire. We wanted our wedding to be a canvass of the different colors and stripes of our lives.
Beyond a reflection of our backgrounds, the ketubah is a memento of our travels together. Adriana so beautifully helped us incorporate visual reminders from some of our most memorable trips together: The blue hues remind us of our time on the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini. The Islamic star pattern came directly from a table in Istanbul where we paused to have tea. The Mughal arch transports us back in time to our visit to the Taj Mahal in India. Finally, the gold outline brings us back home, where our New York City apartment décor features gold accents. These reminders of our travels were also on display at our wedding: our table numbers corresponded to framed postcards of cities we have visited together; the food stations were also a nod to some of our favorite world cuisines.
Most importantly, Adriana helped provide deeply meaningful language for our interfaith, same-sex ketubah. Our ketubah is a promise to hold on to our traditions, while respecting each other’s, and making room for new traditions together.
How was your experience commissioning custom artwork from me for your ketubah?
In the months leading up to our wedding, Adam and I visited nearby Judaica shops for ketubahs, but nothing resonated with us. As we flipped through the many options, nothing spoke to us. I am so glad I found Ink With Intent on Instagram. Adriana helped us create a deeply personal and meaningful ketubah—one that we will cherish for years to come.
Adriana was so professional, responsive, and wonderful. The saga that is wedding planning can be marked with a lot of stress. But Adriana brought a sense of calm into this part of our wedding planning. The whole process from start to finish—as our ideas became colorful reality—made for a truly enjoyable exercise. I would urge every couple embarking on marriage to consider Adriana for their ketubah or wedding certificate. Adriana: Thank you, शुक्रिया, תודה
Be right back, ugly crying over here.
Last winter, during the depths of Vermont’s shortest, darkest, and coldest days, I had the great pleasure to work with Annie and Michael on a custom wedding certificate featuring Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms. Needless to say, working on this special illustration was a very welcome break from the winter blues!
Recently, the newlyweds Annie and Michael were kind enough to send me some stunning photos of their special day. The pictures even included a shot of an incredible surprise flash mob coordinated by their friends! The couple was kind enough to let me share some photos here as well as answer a few questions about their experience working together on a custom wedding certificate. Thank you so much, Annie and Michael!
Photos by Lauren Bulbin.
Why do the Washington DC cherry blossoms and skyline have significance to the two of you?
Even after years of living in DC, Michael and I agree that we get a huge charge out of the first glimpse we catch of the skyline whenever we return to town from time “outside the Beltway.” It doesn’t matter if we’re driving or flying, it’s always fun to see these iconic buildings and memorials appear in the distance.
Beyond this, we’re both really familiar with some of the most recognizable buildings (the Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson Memorials; the White House; the Capitol) from running miles and miles around the city over the course of the last several years. In fact, Annie’s morning runs to work take her right down Capitol Hill, and Michael’s lunchtime jaunts have him looping both the White House and Washington Monument. You’d think we’d lose the sense of wonder that seeing these things for the first time inspires, but we haven’t yet.
Finally, we had an early spring wedding. A late season blizzard blanketed the city in snow just a few days before we tied the knot, and yet, the cherry blossoms persisted.
In what other ways was Washington, DC incorporated into your wedding theme?
Michael has lived in Washington, DC since 2012; Annie, since 2015. The city has been the backdrop to our entire relationship, and we knew that we wanted our friends and families to experience our version of the city for our wedding. In fact, all of our wedding weekend events took place within walking distance from our home. We started the weekend with hosting our guests at a favorite local bar, Tunnicliffe’s Tavern, and kicked off the big day with a Wedding Day 5K for all of our guests along the Anacostia River. (Participation prizes? Plastic tumblers with the skyline sketched on the side.) We got ready at home, together, and took a short stroll over to Eastern Market, where we held both our ceremony and our reception.
Annie’s cousin designed the programs, which reflected the skyline/cherry blossom theme that Adriana’s wedding certificate set, and the skyline outline also showed up on our seating chart and online invitations. We used different Carlos Carmona Medina postcards, inspired by DC neighborhoods in place of traditional table numbers—and even commissioned him to do one of Eastern Market with us dancing in the background to use for our thank you notes. The band from DC’s famous New Vegas Lounge played the reception, and even the liquor stocked at the bar was (mostly) of DC origin.
How was your experience commissioning custom artwork from Ink with Intent for your wedding certificate?
We found Adriana through A Practical Wedding, and loved the idea of (1) working with her to create unique artwork to commemorate our wedding, and (2) asking our loved ones to sign their names as as they witnessed our commitment to one another—particularly because we self-officiated the ceremony! (Another special way of incorporating DC into the event: Serving as our own officiants, as permitted by a law on the books in DC, as well as in a few other states.)
We emailed Adriana about 5 months before the wedding to set up a 30 minute Facetime consult, during which we had a good time getting to know one another, heard a little bit about her story, and told her a lot about ours. Going into the call, we weren’t entirely clear on what art we hoped she’d create—there was a moment when it looked like the Blue Ridge Mountains might carry the day—but Adriana was able to listen to us and describe how she could design an image that met our goals of being place-specific as well as not too far removed from the natural world. We loved the idea, and also loved the no-commitment sketch she shared within the following two weeks (as promised)! We ended up signing a contract in mid-December, and had the certificate in plenty of time for our March wedding.
When it came time to figuring out logistics, Adriana and her team shared some very useful suggestions, right down to best gel pens to use for signing. I’d say we’d love to work with her again, but as neither of us ever foresees the need for another wedding, we’ll be content with the beautiful art we have.
Thank you, Annie and Michael! It was a joy to work with you on such a special project.
Now that I’m a mom of a very joyful, opinionated, busy toddler, holidays have taken on a whole new meaning. Maybe that’s one of the top perks of having a kid? What used to be a season dominated by “to buy” lists and over-packed social calendars has now become a season of magic and wonder once again. My toddler certainly doesn’t care whether I’ve remembered to order the holiday cards. But string up some new decorations, fry potato pancakes, and sing new songs? She’s ALL in. It’s pretty incredible to get to experience the holidays again from a kiddo’s point of view.
This marks the first year my daughter will get to participate in celebrating Hanukkah, and I couldn’t be more excited. And so, when I stumbled upon a brand new online shop, Peace Love Light, my jaw hit the floor. Here was all the contemporary, Pinterest-worthy Hanukkah decor I’d ever wanted, but didn’t know existed! My brand new menorah is now on its way to me, as well as some of these garlands that I can’t wait to hang around the house.
The shop owner, Amanda, and I got to chatting on Instagram, and she was kind enough to let me share a few of my favorite items here on my blog. A big thank you to Amanda for the permission and for curating such a delightful shop of Hanukkah-inspired home items 🙂
And don’t miss their Hanukkah Sale, going on right now in their online shop 🙂 10% off orders over $50!