Our special day.

“We are so different, yet the same,” says Icelyn, who comes from a Jamaican/Nigerian ethnicity. Her wife Sita is of Indian/Trinidadian heritage. “We are different in our practising religions of Christianity and Hinduism,” says Sita. “Though we come from different backgrounds and upbringings we both had a love of music and a passion for our own management professions.”

“It took many years until we got to the point of deciding to go on a journey together which led to our marriage in August of 2013,” says Ice. “We wanted to be very traditional in our nuptials, which was very difficult for same-sex weddings, even in New York City.” In a city known for its diversity and the passing of gay marriage legislation, the couple thought it would be simpler to get married traditionally within their cultures. “We were very wrong and challenged to the very end,” admits Sita.

Hindu weddings are traditionally several days long with many different rituals, explains Sita. “We had family and friends coming from all over the world to attend our wedding, so to accommodate everyone we decided to combine our two wedding ceremonies into one day.  This was going to be very complicated to accomplish two full weddings in one day!”

The couple were met with challenges every single step of the way.  With so many gay marriages happening in NYC, they didn’t expect the obstacles ahead of them.

“The most difficult was getting the officiants to marry us,” says Ice. “We needed to find a Baptist minister and a Hindu pundit. After much Googling, we could not find these specific types of officiants. Every Baptist church/minister we approached turned us down or the board of the church would not approve.  A friend recommended us to a Baptist church in Brooklyn that has a large gay following.  The church stated that gays were allowed to worship, as they don’t turn anyone away, but they don’t believe in performing same-sex marriages.”

Months went by, and they were still told no so many times by Hindu pundits and Baptist pastors that they thought the wedding wouldn’t go on.  Less than 30 days before the wedding, a pundit referred by a close friend agreed to their Hindu wedding.  “My mother being there every step of the way supporting me helped with the pundit agreeing to perform our ceremony,” says Sita. “We had to then go with a non-denominational minister for the Christian ceremony. Icelyn was never able to get any Baptist minister to agree to marry us.”

By sharing their story the couple hopes to inspire and encourage other mixed couples to plan their wedding with their minds, eyes, and hearts open.