Human Interest Woman with Down Syndrome Has Sweet Reaction When Asked to Be Maid of Honor in Brother's Wedding Brittany Garafola was also featured in a surprise birthday photo shoot put on by her model brother in 2017 By Jason Hahn Jason Hahn Jason Hahn is a Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter since 2017 and has interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 1, 2021 12:50 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Chris Garafola knew he had to have one very special guest at his wedding, even if he had to wait to make it happen. The model and his fiancée, Tatiana, agreed they wouldn't have their wedding ceremony until Chris's older sister, Brittany, received her COVID-19 vaccine. Brittany has Down syndrome, and Chris says her health was a "main priority" for the couple, even if they planned to only host a small event with immediate family and friends. But after a long wait, 35-year-old Brittany finally received her vaccination in March. That meant Chris and Tatiana could begin putting the ceremony's wheels in motion. On Sunday, the couple crossed an important thing off their to-do list — they asked Brittany to be Tatiana's maid of honor. The emotional moment was captured in a video posted on Chris's YouTube channel. Model Throws Surprise Birthday Photo Shoot for His Sister with Down Syndrome: 'Her Happiness Is My Happiness' "I wanted to give her the biggest hug and kiss! I was fighting back my own tears — it was such an emotional moment," 33-year-old Chris, who previously starred alongside Gisele Bündchen in a commercial for Falabella, tells PEOPLE of the moment. "Seeing how excited and moved she got, reinforced how much she truly loves us," he continues. "I don't know how I got this lucky having Brittany as my sister — I just love her so much." 26-Year-Old Hopes to Be First Woman with Down Syndrome in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue This isn't the first time Chris has made sure to remind his sister how important she is to him. In 2017, he threw a surprise birthday photo shoot for her after she mentioned she wanted to be a model, just like him. "For me, my purpose here is to make sure my sister has a good life, is protected and is healthy," he told PEOPLE at the time. "Her happiness is my happiness, and that has held true from when we were kids to today." Chris Garafola Now, Chris has "two best friends" in Brittany and 30-year-old Tatiana, and he wouldn't have it any other way. "It means the absolute world to me. She's been my best friend since day one and even once I'm married, it won't change," he tells PEOPLE of the importance of having Brittany at the April 2 wedding. "I'm just going to have two best friends now. The moment Tatiana and I started dating, I explained to her that Brittany and I would always be a package deal," Chris adds. "Luckily for me, she said that she wouldn't have it any other way — she loves Brittany with every fiber of her being, too."