The dark clouds lifted, the rain stopped, and suddenly a double rainbow ringed the sky in France's château country. "Oh my gosh! It's a sign of something wonderful!" Katrina Markoff told her boyfriend, Jason Sher, not knowing that he had planned to propose during their French vacation and had a ring tucked in his pocket. A short time later, Jason got down on one knee and gave Katrina a ring with seven different-colored sapphires—the hues of the twin rainbows—circling an emerald-cut diamond. Each of the sapphires represents the color of one of the seven ancient Hindu chakras, spiritual and energy centers in the body and a central focus of yoga philosophy. "I'm a pretty bohemian type of girl," says Katrina. "I really love yoga and the chakras, and I introduced them to Jason."
At the couple's nuptials on September 17, 2005, in Fort Wayne, IN, Katrina and Jason presented the chakras—not to mention many other spiritual ingredients—to 350 wedding guests. The ceremony at the bride's family home and the reception at a nearby horse farm (orchestrated by Los Angeles event planner Clifford Miller of TFS Studio) was a panoply of brilliant colors; performance art by a Chicago group, the Redmoon Theater; cultural influences from Katrina's Macedonian heritage and Jason's Jewish background; plus other international touches. In this eclectic mix, the culinary constant was chocolate, lacing every hors d'oeuvre and running richly through the desserts (Katrina owns Vosges Haut-Chocolat; Jason is its director of operations).
The exotic event began with a magical mystery tour from the driveway of Katrina's family home through a wooded path to the ceremony site. Guests were invited to stop at seven different ritual sites, each emblazoned in one of the seven colors of the chakras: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, the signature hue of Vosges chocolate. At the final violet station, guests gathered for a multicultural ceremony. Overhead, brilliant moonlight bathed the couple. "I picked our wedding date based on the full moon," explains Katrina. "I am very connected to the lunar cycle."
Glowing on all fronts, the guests then rode trolleys to the farm, Covington Manor, for what Katrina calls a "gypsy garden soiree." The hors d'oeuvres, all created by the bride, included white-chocolate cups filled with coconut milk and steamed lobster atop white-chocolate corn cakes. For the feast, guests dined on grilled baby octopus, Lebanese beef-kefta kebabs, and Moroccan couscous baked in traditional tagines. The desserts included a seven-layer red velvet cake with white-chocolate cream-cheese filling. The festivities were equally intriguing, ranging from a Macedonian pig dance to a bread jig. At the end of the night, the couple slipped off to a sari-covered tent in the backyard of the house. There, they spent their wedding night on a bed of feathers and coyote pelts. On their pillows? Truffles, of course—exotic ones.
Vera Wang, verawang.com
Linda Campisano Millinery, lindacampisano.com
Clifford Miller of TFS Studio, tfsstudio.com
Redmoon Theater, redmoon.org
Vosges Haut-Chocolat, vosgeschocolate.com
Soho Letterpress, soholetterpress.com
Raj Tents, rajtents.com
Taste America Catering, tasteamerica.net