Offbeat Indian-Pakistani Muslim Wedding
Rida & Hazim
My favorite moment of the wedding…
My favorite moment of the wedding was the seconds right after our Nikkah ceremony when we just looked at each other and realized we made it. Everyone swarmed the stage to congratulate us and it was chaos and happiness, but those few seconds we shared were entirely ours to remember.
I enjoyed developing the overall design aesthetic for each event. We had a total of 14 wedding events, so it was important that each event captured something different.
I cried when...
I did not expect to be as emotional as I was. I cried sporadically throughout the main days, usually when I would see my mother tearing up because I just can't handle it when she cries.
My wedding style was...
My wedding style was very eccentric. It was tricky to find a middle ground between “looking bridal” and bringing a sense of modern stylishness and edge in a place where everyone opts for traditional. Especially with so many events, it was important to me to do something different each time. For example, I opted to wear blue lipstick for my mehndi, and did not wear traditional henna but instead had white henna with pearls applied on my hands.
It was most important that...
Learning from the mistakes of other brides, the most important thing for me was to thoroughly enjoy and live in the moment. That meant not stressing about the details, putting the phone away, and really spending time with family and friends.
Most valuable advice for future brides?
Focus on your vision and do not let your father’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s grandmother distract you from what you want to do. South Asian weddings are big productions with a lot of people playing different roles, but this is about you and your husband, so do not be afraid to say no.
About The Couple
How we met...
We met in 2010 by way of strange coincidences and mutual friends. We happened to be taking the same biology course in college. Lab partners turned into the best of friends.
Our first date...
He treated me to a molten lava chocolate cake after a rough day of exams. It was such a subtle gesture, but it told me everything I needed to know about how genuine he was.
When I knew he was the one...
I knew very early on that Hazim was “the one” when despite coming from totally different backgrounds, we understood each other in a way I had never been understood. I come from a modern Indian Muslim background, and he's from a more traditional Pakistani Muslim background but those differences have only provided opportunities to learn and grow and have never hindered us. Our relationship always felt right and despite the differences, our families loved and respected each other from the onset. When everything falls into place so easily, that's when you know.
Our proposal was intimate and elegant. Since we had been together for so long, and our families were so supportive, that “surprise” element was replaced by a quiet renewal of our commitment for this new chapter of our relationship. He proposed to me in one of my favorite areas of Dallas on our 3rd dating anniversary. No hidden photographer, no family or friends, just us in a moment we will never forget.
Marriage to us means...
A shared space of understanding, growth, love, and respect.
VISION: I really wanted an experience that no one had before. Not in terms of anything elaborate, but just unique in every facet. I wanted it all to be different.
PLANNING: I planned my wedding myself. I have experience in professional styling and event coordination (Dallas [Intuitive]), so I felt confident I could do this on my own. We had a long engagement, so time was on my side and with a little bit of organization and lots of patience, I was able to plan the wedding of my dreams. The key is to stay organized and keep coming back to your initial vision because your intuition is always right.
SHOPPING: Most of my shopping was done overseas since I took multiple trips to Bombay during the wedding time. I found shopping overseas gave me more opportunities to be creative and step out of the norm.
MUSIC: Music has been a huge part of my life and was therefore extremely important during the events. I opted for classical Indian instrumentals over the latest Bollywood shaadi hits, which brought an elegance to the wedding.
WHAT I WOULD DIFFERENT: I don't think I would have changed a thing. There were so many details I could have done differently, but ultimately I sacrificed the details for my own peace of mind. When everything finally starts happening, it’s important to seek out those small moments of peace and comfort to help you stay grounded.
TIPS: Prioritize early and stick to the hierarchy of what's important to you. There are so many details you can fuss over but ultimately no one will care which linen you have at the Sangeet, so take the time to live in the moment.
Our wedding was held over a week at various locations in Dallas, Texas at the end of November 2016:
Dua & Mayoon
It was such a beautiful affair with a room full of women I love and admire. The best part of the event was having my grandmother fly in from India and attend the event.
THEME & DECOR: Mystic floral theme using a pastel color palette and garden florals. The focal point was centered around my seating which was set up in front of a warm fireplace to provide a cozy and intimate feel to the event. Decor by Prashe Decor.
RIDA'S OUTFIT: I went from a voluminous pastel anarkali for the Dua to a sheer yellow and pale pink delicate cape outfit for the Mayoon. I also wore a woodland fresh floral boho crown and matching fresh floral bracelets. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
Sangeet & Mehndi
This was one of my favorite events because it allowed me to be totally creative and whimsical. We had lots of street food including fresh puris being made at the event. My favorite part was the sheer excitement and energy from everyone there. We danced literally all night!
THEME & DECOR: Eclectic theme using jewel tone colors of cobalt blue, emerald green, royal purple and black and funky white stripes with hints of gold. The stage had a black and white stripe fabric backdrop with an emerald green royal couch and jewel-toned lanterns. The tables had colorful matkas with daandiya giveaways. The entire venue had an Alice in Wonderland theme with art on the walls and a LED tunnel. All decor by Prashe Decor.
RIDA'S OUTFIT: I wanted to to be very dramatic and unique so I wore a custom cobalt blue raw silk high-low anarkali I designed with heavy zardozi work and a long train. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
JEWELRY: Sourced by Dallas [Intuitive].
HAIR & MAKEUP: Ms Painted Lady. I wore blue lipstick and a half top-knot for an edgy look.
HENNA ARTIST: White henna with pearls by Henna by Khadija Ahmed.
HAZIM'S OUTFIT: He wore a white fitted shalwar kameez with a cobalt blue vest. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
What I loved about the Shaadi was how it was so different from the other events and had a romantic warmth that captured everyone. We had a beautiful Nikkah ceremony in front of all our guests, delicious food and desserts, a viola player for the musical program, and a romantic send-off. Every detail was perfect and it was like watching a movie you’ve been creating in your head for months. The best part was how relaxed everyone was, it felt right.
THEME & DECOR: Rustic Italian Romance theme with gold, cream, and emerald green colors. The stage was entirely vintage using big rustic doors and moss walls with candles. I especially wanted warm natural lighting and hints of greenery against gold tones. The tables had personalized candles as giveaways. All decor by Prashe Decor.
RIDA'S OUTFIT: I knew from the beginning I would not wear a traditional red and was immediately drawn to wearing a gold lehenga I had custom made in India. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
JEWELRY: I complemented the gold outfit emerald green jewelry sourced by Dallas [Intuitive].
HAIR & MAKEUP: Ms Painted Lady.
HAZIM'S OUTFIT: He wore a cream custom made sherwani with an emerald green velvet shawl to complement my ensemble. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
BRIDAL PARTY: My bridal party consisted of 16 of my closest girlfriends and family. While I did not want them to match, they wore similar neutral colored suits and sarees. I gave them matching gold tikkas.
The Valima was very laid back and the perfect way to end our wedding week. The speeches by his groomsmen were hilarious especially when his boys conducted a football game in the middle of the event. There was a lot of love in that room.
THEME & DECOR: Modern and contemporary with fuschia, navy, and silver. By contrast to the other events, the decor for the Valima was drastically different - bold and modern, which I loved. All decor by Prashe Decor.
RIDA'S OUTFIT: I wore a custom fuschia lehenga custom made in India. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].
JEWELRY: I wore traditional Mughal style jewelry sourced by Dallas [Intuitive].
HAIR & MAKEUP: Ms Painted Lady.
HAZIM'S OUTFIT: A navy tuxedo. Outfit sourced and styled by Dallas [Intuitive].