La Dolce Vita: A Roman Wedding with an Indian Twist

Monday, July 31, 2017 | Rome, Italy

The man of the hour can enjoy two drinks at once if he damn well pleases.
I would go anywhere for Joe, and he knows it. That was surely all the more true when he told me he was getting married.

Hailing from the US east coast and living in North Africa—with friends scattered across the globe—I have certainly made some long journeys to celebrate nuptials in recent years. But this time around the trip was an easy local jaunt, since Joe and his wonderful bride Christianne decided to get hitched just across the way in Rome—an easy 2-hour flight from Algiers. Joe is a former roommate and among my closest friends from my Georgetown days, and he and Christianne had even made the effort two years earlier to come visit us in Algeria—getting themselves added to several Homeland Security watchlists in the process (sorry again, guys!)—so there was no way Nina and I were missing this one.

We organized with friends to rent an apartment along Via Giulia, a block from the Tiber, and spent a few days before and after the wedding festivities exploring the city. If we failed to eat every last bowl of pasta in Rome or make the bartenders weary of mixing Aperol Spritzes, it was surely not for lack of effort.

Rehearsal dinner
While Christianne's family is Italian-American, Joe's hail from southern India, so the weekend was filled with accents—both spoken and sartorial—from the subcontinent. The rehearsal dinner (candlelit, atop the Istituto Nazionale Di Studi Romani's grassy hillside overlooking all of Rome) already rivaled even the most lavish weddings I have attended. But the highs of the next day's ceremony (at the ornate Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli) and reception (in the hills outside town, at the medieval Castello di Tor Crescenza) somehow managed to outshine it. Spending those days and nights with old friends—some of whom I had hardly seen since our graduation a decade earlier—was a particular pleasure.

What followed in the days after—ambling off our hangovers in the cobblestone streets of Trastevere, happening upon a traveling expo of my favorite photographer's work, and setting off on a road trip across Tuscany—all that was surely special. But little can compare to celebrating two exceptionally generous and spirited people alongside so many other friends amid such stirringly beautiful surroundings.

Developing my film from the wedding weekend (held back in early May) took some time, but Rolleicord photos are finally here. Enjoy a selection below and the full album here.

Andy and Julia, Nina, Alex and Ryan.
Cedrone... Rob Cedrone.
Groom and groomsmen prepping
With my lovely lady
Alex and Ryan (the smiling woodsman from Gaza)
Rob's head, Raheem, Anita, Chase
Julia and Andy
Annabel and Beau
Natasha, Teressa, Shamin
Justin and Lulu
Amaan and Anjum
Rome details
Forest and Dai Wai
Irim and Mahmud
For more photos, see the full album here.

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