Welcome back, dolls! You're about to witness one of the most adorable Maharanis we've ever seen celebrate her South Asian fusion wedding in Long Island — and I can't stress enough the fact that she is uber adorable! The fabulous folks from Royal Charms planned and designed our Indo-Guyanese bride's amazing affair at the Hyatt Regency Long Island, and JAS Motion has shot and edited this fantastic little film for her and the Raja of her dreams, Nash. You'll get a peek as the happy couple gets ready for their big day, Maharani Elizabeth rocking the most sensational white wedding gown for one ceremony, and a red and gold lengha for the other. We heard that the talented, A.S. Nagpal Photography, was on hand to photograph the event, and we can only imagine how those portraits turned out! From start to finish, Elizabeth is a breathtaking bride, her hair and makeup by Bridal Rang by Samiha, fantastically flawless. We love her traditional mehndi design by Henna by Rubia, and the unique ring bearer that made an appearance at her and Nash's white wedding. The post-ceremony soirée that followed was an unforgettably energetic affair catered by World Fair Marina, featuring a wedding cake by Cakes by Stefania that was as divinely decadent as can be. Team Magnum DJ'd the evening's festivities, and Maharani Elizabeth dazzled in her Oleg Cassini gown. Check it out!
Maharani Elizabeth, on how she met the Raja of her dreams, Raja Nash:
"Nash and I were close friends for years. We spoke every day, and he was the only person who could ever turn a horrible day completely around. He lived in Connecticut, where he worked at Yale University Hospital, and I was always in New York. After years, I finally agreed to give things a shot and was his date for his cousin's wedding. This wedding coincidentally took place over the weekend of Hurricane Sandy. Thus, I ended up being stormed in with him at his family's home in New York for nearly three days. It was the longest date ever.
I always knew that he was the "one," as even in our friendship he has never hidden his feelings for me. The defining moment, however, took place before we began dating. One winter, I had injured my right foot (tendinitis) and was in excruciating pain. Nash left the hospital early (on a Monday!) and drove from Connecticut to New York to properly wrap and position my foot. Who wouldn't want to be his wife?"
On her Raja's memorable marriage proposal:
"Nash proposed to me on my 23rd birthday, on August 24th, 2013, in front of all of my friends and family. When I was admitted to NYU Law School earlier that year, Nash got a job transfer from Connecticut to New York. I didn't realize that he decided to move back to New York because he was ready to get married. I later saw his farewell card from his former co-workers--all of them congratulating him and wishing him the best for his proposal. After cutting my birthday cake, my mother and my mother-in-law brought out a banner that read, "Liz, will you marry me?" They held it upside down."
On shopping for her dream wedding lenghas:
"For my nikaah ceremony, I wore a silk red lengha with champagne gold dubke paneled embroidery and champagne crystals. I bought it from a small designer boutique in Queens called Pashmina, owned by the fliest Bangladeshi aunties anyone could ever dream of meeting. I chose my lengha on my first day shopping for an outfit. I had spent months on Pinterest and on myriad South Asian bridal websites, thus long solidifying what I knew I wanted in a lengha.
My mother chose my gown for my reception. It is customary in Indo-Guyanese weddings for religious ceremonies to incorporate our Indian heritage, while our receptions illustrate the Anglo influence of being a former British territory, with our white gowns and formal bridal parties. My grandmother chose my mother's wedding dress, so we wanted to keep that tradition. Luckily, my mother has fantastic taste (she worked in the fashion industry for many years before becoming a school principal) and I absolutely adored my gown--an Oleg Cassini one-shoulder A-line gown."
On her most memorable wedding moment:
"The most magical moment of my wedding was when my husband danced Ginuwine's "Pony," just for me, at our wedding reception. Everyone was in disbelief at how well he could move, especially my granny, who laughed until she cried. I mean, isn't that the moment every girl dreams of? An absolute fairy tale. Disney meets Magic Mike. The very stuff of romance!"
On her hair and makeup:
"I hired Samiha Alam of Bridal Rang by Samiha to do my hair and makeup for both the nikkah and the reception. Samiha was a champ in terms of actualizing the simple, yet elegant, look that I wanted for both nights. She didn't pile on foundation or change my look until I no longer recognizable. Rather, she made me look like the best version of myself. For the nikkah, I had golden lids and winged eyeliner that extended to a corner, coupled with a strong contour and a nude lip. It was perfect for the Mughal Queen look that I was aiming for. For the reception, she opened up my hair with soft waves, smoked out my eyes, and gave me a playful pink lip. I only needed one touch up that entire night."
On the support of family and friends:
"The support of our family and friends was absolutely humbling. My mother, father and in-laws helped us every step of the way and, ultimately, the wedding would not have been what it was without them. Our friends also made our wedding the grand party that it was--decorating my home with flowers for the mehendi, performing dances for our haldi, and bringing amazing energy to both our nikkah and our reception--our friends and family made our wedding a beautiful celebration with only positive vibes.
I think that many couples get sucked into having to invite every aunty and uncle they've ever known to their weddings, which can not only get painfully expensive, but can directly affect the atmosphere of your special day. Nash and I only invited our nearest and dearest, which was still close to 300 people. Because we limited ourselves, however, every single person at our wedding was someone who knew us personally, adored us, and wouldn't be anywhere else than celebrating our union. To illustrate the difference this makes: When it came time to remove my garter, I realized that I forgot to wear one as soon as I sat on my chair in the middle of the dance floor, all eyes on me. When I realized that I wasn't wearing one, I ran out of the hall so my wedding planner could fix the situation, which she did by creating a makeshift garter with some of the decor materials she had. This would have been a horrifying moment if we had a million people we didn't know very well at our wedding as I would be so embarrassed about making a mistake like that in front of virtual strangers. Instead, my guests laughed it off as they knew right away, "That's so Liz, of course she forgot it!" It was no big deal. If it's true that your tribe attracts your vibe, then I'm happy about the tribe that we had surrounding us."
Additional thoughts from the bride:
"This was an Indo-Guyanese wedding. While we have retained many traditions from our Indian heritage, our culture is also largely one of an overarching Caribbean heritage. A very unique fusion that we live effortlessly every day. A huge part of this unique culture is our music. Our DJ (Dj Speed-e of Team Magnum DJs) kept everyone on their feet the entire night with Bollywood, soca, and reggae tunes, plus a sprinkling of U.S. top 40 hits. He was crucial to the process of properly executing the joy that is an Indo-Guyanese wedding."