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.
I'm Adriana Saipe, founder of Ink with Intent. I'm a full-time wedding illustrator who specializes in contemporary ketubahs and unique wedding certificates. Learn more.
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