May 27 in a multicultural outdoor ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City. Rabbi Patrice Heller and Hindu scholar Kiran Desai co-officiated. A reception for 250 followed.
On move-in day at Princeton University in 1998. The freshmen were both unloading outside Forbes College and discovered they had a mutual friend, Vikas' roommate. "It was great that we started out as friends," Vikas says. "I thought she was a lot of fun. She's incredibly smart and caring." Regular late-night chats turned into tennis matches and basketball games. They had a first date in February 1999, at a Blues Traveler concert on campus.
June 21, 2005, while vacationing in the Bahamas (Lauren had recently finished her medical-school boards). As they walked together along the water's edge in Nassau, Vikas got down on one knee. Lauren's reaction: "Oh my gosh, this isn't happening!"
9 to 5
Lauren, 26, of Abington, graduated from Harvard Medical School in June. She recently began her internship in internal medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Vikas, also 26, of the Netherlands, is a Harvard Law School graduate and a litigation attorney in New York.
Making a home
Lauren and Vikas live in New York.
To "Refuge (When It's Cold Outside)," by John Legend.
Doing it their way
The festivities began on the eve of the wedding, when a more intimate group gathered for an Indian celebration at the Palace of Asia in Cherry Hill. Lauren wore a heavily embroidered, floor-length lengha with a chunni, or scarf, draped around her. Her family also donned Indian attire. The Khanna family taught the others traditional dances while dhols (drums) played.
In the hotel's outdoor garden, a decorated canopy did double duty as huppah and mandap. Deborah and Byron Dolnick walked their daughter, in beaded satin Kenneth Poole, down the aisle for the Jewish/Hindu ceremony. After the processional, the bride and groom, their parents and family members exchanged flower garlands. The couple made four circles around a candle (representing the divine fire) resting in a glass bowl, a Hindu ritual (called mangal pheras) that represents attaining the four goals of life. The blessing over the wine incorporated Lauren's bat mitzvah cup and a cup given to Vikas by his grandmother on his first birthday. Eight aunts from both sides stood at the canopy to bless the couple.
Inside the Grand Ballroom, Carl Alan Creations fashioned high and low floral arrangements in shades of pinks and oranges. With numerous vegetarians in attendance, Lauren and Vikas included an entree option of red curry stew with rice and baby bok choy. It proved popular with carnivores, too: More than 50 guests ordered it. A DJ spun bhangra tunes, and the newlyweds were hoisted aloft on chairs for the hora.
Instead of registering, Lauren and Vikas created a charitable foundation to improve health care and education in the U.S. and abroad. Creating a foundation, Lauren says, "has always been a dream of ours."
Not a dry eye
"Vikas unexpectedly teared up during his older brother Rohit's speech," the bride says.
During the ceremony, the glass, resting on wet ground, refused to break on Vikas' first try.
"We really involved our families heavily in the process. It made it more special for all of us."
Nine days on Kauai and the Big Island.