Bermuda as a destination wedding venue – popular and magical but not the stereotypical multi cultural, multi religious place. But so it was for me and a couple I married last year. They met in New York at a salsa dancing studio. He an athletic looking Filipino man working in an IT firm and she a Russian beauty-first generation in this country. They felt that fate brought them together even though they came from different parts of the world.
From the time the plane touched down in Bermuda until my return I felt welcomed and part of the two families who opened their hearts to me. The couple in the service itself extended gratitude to their respective parents who brought them to the U.S. and sacrificed so they would have a better life.
The morning of the ceremony they took me down to the deck overlooking the water to preview the wedding site. How amazing it all was. Pink sands on the beach, a beautiful wooden deck jutting out into the ocean where black volcanic rocks were constantly being worn down by the azure water. My opening line of the ceremony was “welcome to paradise.”
In addition to the Jewish wedding service the groom introduced a Fliplino wedding custom. A yugal- or decorative cord is placed upon the shoulders of the bride and groom by their parents shaped or looped to form a figure eight. That shape signifies infinite fidelity and love.
At the end of the service the groom broke the glass- all shouted Mazel Tov and the Filipino equivalent which is Mabuhay.
At the reception the small group of couples who had made the trip continued the multicultural theme- there were Japanese , Pakastani, Russian, Hispanic, Indian and children of all colors and ages, some of the beautiful I have ever seen. All of us danced the night away and were treated to a dance recital by two of their amazingly talented friends. Would that the world could be as open and connected as we all were that weekend.