Source: Spartanburg Herald-Journal
On February 28, 2006 the Spartanburg Herald-Journal ran a feature article on the wedding of Monica and Sumit Patel. The Hindu Temple outside of Boiling Springs was bustling with activity Saturday morning in preparation for the wedding of Monica Patel and Sumit Patel. Monica's family and friends worked for several days to get everything ready for the big day... The first pre-wedding ritual was the Ganesh Puja. The ceremony begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Salutations are offered so that Ganesha can remove all obstacles during the couple's married life. Next comes the Hathak ritual to get rid of any other obstacles or problems... Finally [during the wedding ceremony later that day], the bride and the bridegroom faced each other, and the priest tied a piece of their garments into a knot, symbolizing the union. The bride and bridegroom placed garlands around each other and exchanged rings. Next, the nuptial fire, symbolizing the divine witness and the sanctifier of the sacrament, is installed and worshipped. The bride and the groom grasped each other's hands and prayed to God for blessings... Afterward, family members of the couple exchanged gifts to conclude the ceremony. A reception was held later that evening. As the couple departed, the crowd shed tears of joy and grief over the union."