SABRINA + BRIAN
We were told about each other by mutual friends and met up at a party at the Jane Hotel in November 2010 — we fell in love on the spot, but 10 days later Brian was leaving on a one-way ticket to India, so we took it all in cautiously.
While he was in India we talked on email and Skype almost every day. It was a long courtship, and when he returned to NYC six months later we moved in together. He proposed on our one year anniversary at the same place we met, the Jane, but this time we were in a room covered in rose petals.
We both knew we wanted to get married in India, as we wanted a spiritual ceremony. Both of us are Hare Krishnas so we were married at a hill there called Govardhan — one of the holiest pilgrimage sites of Vedic theology. The saints of that area, our guru and a lot of our Brahmin friends organized the ceremony.
It started at sunset with Brian arriving on a horse-drawn carriage with a procession of live Chennai musicians — it was wild. He was in a pink turban with plumes, holding a silver cane with a jewel-encrusted overcoat, and I was in a pink and gold sari with henna decoration painted all up my arms and legs, wearing silver ankle bells and barefoot.
All the vows and mantras were done in Sanskrit with the Brahmin priest translating into English for the guests. I made five promises to him and he made seven promises to me. He promised to take care of me and steer me clear of danger, and I promised to love him, stay healthy, and never go into the forest late at night. There was a fire ceremony that started at 11:30 p.m. and ended at 4 in the morning that affirmed our bond with each other and the heavenly planets.
It was a vegetarian wedding, with 15 different vendors making all kinds of food. Since it was a traditional Vedic ceremony, no meat, eggs, onions, garlic or alcohol were served. There were savory foods, breads, milk sweets and butter desserts shaped like watermelon slices. In the morning there was a blessing ceremony by the sun, after which we got into a car decorated with flowers and were sent off to begin our new life together.