Last June, Aneesa Sen and Melinda Hauffman took their vows in East Boothbay, Maine.
Now, the whole world can see their ceremony, as part of a special broadcast by the Smithsonian Channel called ”My Big Bollywood Wedding,” which aired on June 10 and will repeat throughout the week.
The couple, who live in Norwood, got married after a two-year relationship. Sen said it was a ”carpe diem” moment, and they felt they had to grab it.
”When you know, you know,” she said of her feelings for Hauffman. Both work as teachers.
The ceremony took place over three days, a tradition with Indian weddings. This included a party with the family on Friday, a henna ceremony on Saturday, and the wedding itself on Sunday, June 26, 2016, the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage. In India, homosexuality is still considered a crime, and punishable by up to life in prison, a law passed when the country was part of the British colonies.
Sen said she and Hauffman decided on East Boothbay after a vacation there. She described the coastal town as very laid-back and ”chill.”
”It was magical,” she said. ”We fell more in love with each other there.”
The ceremony was officiated by a friend of theirs, and included Indian traditions such as the exchanging the flower garlands sent from Sen’s home country, as well as a blessing from their elders. Sen said they had wanted to include the observers, and so the officiant had them face each direction and ask those in attendance if they would be a part of their lives, to which they all said, ”we will.”
Sen said the filmmaker behind the program knew her father, a journalist in India. She said the family was happy to be a part of the show, and they didn’t need to make any changes to their plans for the ceremony.
”I think we sat up a little straighter,” she said with a laugh.
”My Big Bollywood Wedding” features three couples of varying Indian backgrounds, and their own unique weddings. Sen said that for the show, they and their families were interviewed, and the crew followed them as they made their way through the various wedding preparations, including picking out the flowers and what they would wear. Sen said she hasn’t seen it yet, but her class was very excited to watch it.
”People really enjoyed it,” she said.
The two met while teaching at a New Jersey Catholic school for girls. Sen said the administration knew of her sexual orientation, but once she announced she was getting married, the two were asked to leave. Sen said she was upset by the decision, but that she’s working in a much better school, and that it all happened for a reason. Today, Sen teaches at a school in Cambridge and her wife will be moving from a Providence school to one in Massachusetts.
”It was very difficult,” she said. ”It was not because I’m a bad teacher. It was something in my personal life which should have no impact [on teaching].”
Sen said that falling for Hauffman was a gradual thing, and started with their first kiss. She said they have a lot in common, though joked that television shows isn’t one of them. It was Sen who proposed to Hauffman. She said that traditionally, one family would make the proposition to the other on behalf of the couple, but this is something that has changed in recent years.
”Communication is key to keeping it going,” she said. ”It’s a lifetime’s work, it’s always a process.”Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk/green-prom-dress | http://www.marieprom.co.uk/plus-size-prom-dresses