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2012 December 28

Best of 2012: Bride and Seek

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Illustration courtesy Maya Ilyashov. Illustration courtesy Maya Ilyashov.
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(NEW YORK) The ceremony date is set for next year. The dress? Chosen. The menu? Solidified. The cake? Already ordered. But there’s one thing Sydney resident and bride-to-be Anita Chakraburtty is missing: the groom! BY MARIA DENARDO

How did you get the idea to plan a wedding without a groom?
Early last year, I went to an astrology lecture by Michele Finey, who’s the author of The Sacred Dance of Venus and Mars. At the end of the lecture, she mentioned that the next meeting of Venus and Mars in the sky happens on April 7, 2013, which is my birthday. That’s a significant astrological start of a female-male cycle. At the end of the lecture, I turned to my friend and said, ‘I’m going to get married on that day!’

Are you dating someone?
Not at the moment, but my astrological chart says things will start heating up this month.

What do you do when you’re not planning your wedding?
I worked in the pharmaceutical industry after I got my Master’s in chemistry. Then, I was head of risk at a bank. For the past six years, I’ve been an astrologer and a naturopath specializing in fertility.

What’s your astrological sign?
I’m an Aries with a Libra rising sign, so when I meet you, I’m very charming and chatty to lure you in with my bubbly Libra side. Then, I turn into the pushy, bossy Aries dictator!

Have you placed a newspaper ad for a groom?
Last year, I was actively internet dating. I’ve met some nice guys, but nobody I’d have a romantic liaison with. Then I started hassling all my friends about the single men at their office. I was quite bullish. But on New Year’s Day, I decided to let go, and trust that the universe will bring us together.

Do these men know that you’re planning your wedding?
No, I never put that on the profile. 

Have potential grooms contacted you after reading about your story?
Oh, yeah! From all over, like Serbia, Romania, Portugal, Turkey, and New Zealand. But $2,000 to fly to Portugal for a date isn’t realistic.

What’s your dating history?
It’s not like I’m this 42-year-old woman who’s never been kissed. I was in a relationship from the ages of 19 to 33. My last relationship lasted for eight years. He talked about marriage, but I was a commitment-phobe. This is the first time I’ve been on my own.

What are you looking for in a husband?
Spirituality, mostly. I’m only 5’3”, so I’d like him to be tall, 35 to 45, and British. British people have that quirky sense of humor that I have.

How long do you think you’ll be married to this mystery man?
I haven’t looked at the charts on purpose. It could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How far have you gotten in the whole planning process?
This wedding is going to be a super cheap, informal affair—only about 50 to 60 people. I’m getting married at the top of a hill where I meditate, throwing a barbeque on the beach, and my friend is making a dark chocolate chili cake. Everything is open in case he has other ideas.

Dress details, please!
I picked a red dress because I’m an Aries, but it’s not big and puffy. When my husband is chucking his underpants next to the laundry basket and driving me crazy, I’ll know it’s time to put on that red dress and go on a date night.

Do you think you’ll have wedding crashers?
Bound to! It’s on the beach, so I’m not going to have armed security guards with AK-47s to stop people from having burgers, but I can’t feed all of Sydney. My Calabrian mom and my Uncle Renzo are the only security I’m going to need.

Thoughts on the honeymoon?
I want two weeks in Japan and a week in Argentina. How amazing would it be to dance the tango with my husband?

How have your friends and family reacted?
I come from an analytical background where people don’t believe in magic, so they love me, but think this is all a load of sh*t. But you can manifest whatever you believe.

Has this affected your business?
Everywhere I go, people recognize me. Even some of my friends, who used to think it was bollocks, saw all the media attention I was getting, and started asking me for personal readings!

What if the groom doesn’t show?
Even if I stayed in my flat, didn’t shower or brush my teeth in a week, I’d still meet someone, because it’s written in my chart. Plus, it’ll be my birthday, so I’m going to have a massive party on that day anyway!  

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