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One Marriage, Two Ceremonies

One Marriage, Two Ceremonies

By Alicia K. Gonzales ’09

Tying the knot in Hindu tradition in Half Moon Bay Photo by Angie Silvy
First came love, then came marriages—in Hindu and Catholic rites on consecutive days.

One by the sea, one nestled in the Valley. In the first ceremony, June 19, the groom arrived at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, on horseback. The next day it was white dress and black tie, candles and bells in the Mission Church. So it went during the back-to-back Hindu and Catholic weddings of Natasha Nanda M.A. ’11 and Nickhil Bhave.

Natasha is a special-education teacher in Millbrae, and Nickhil is a senior product manager for a division of Amazon in Santa Cruz.

Theirs is a love stretching across cultures and continents. Both of them are of full or partial Indian ancestry but were born in the United States. They met in March 2011 at a fundraising event hosted by the Spinsters of San Francisco, a women’s social and philanthropic organization. The courtship continued while Nickhil attended graduate school in Michigan. He proposed on Valentine’s Day 2014 atop Cherry Hill in New York City’s Central Park. 

Keeping their extended families in mind, the couple decided to hold both Hindu and Catholic weddings. Because Natasha was baptized Catholic, the couple was able to wed in the Church after completing the necessary marriage preparation. Both her father’s and Nickhil’s families are Hindu.

On June 19, a Hindu priest led the marriage ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton on cliffs overlooking the Pacific. The wedding began with the formal arrivals of the groom on horseback and the bride beneath a Hindu canopy of flower garlands. It concluded with guests adorning the couple in hundreds of flower petals. 

The next day President Michael Engh, S.J., M.Div. ’82 performed the Catholic wedding ceremony at the Mission Church. Natasha’s sister Anjuli Nanda ’14 served as maid of honor. Parents Kapil Nanda, an SCU trustee, and Margaret Nanda became close friends with Fr. Engh while serving on the Board of Fellows. 

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