Shereen and Don are one of the cutest couples to cross our screen. We absolutely love how the couple incorporated multiple cultures in their gorgeous wedding celebration for an ultimate Pashtun Fusion wedding. The series of events began with a festive pre-ceremony party. Suman Pai of Elegant Affairs outfitted the outdoor area of a gallant home with pops of colors and drapery. The pastel hues of the decor transformed the spacious quarters to mimic the inside of a genie’s lamp. It’s right about lunchtime here at Maharani Weddings and we are craving some authentic cuisine! Shereen brought on Istanbul Grill to dish out eats to her guests. With specialties such as red lentil soup and izgara kofte, we are looking for the nearest Mediterranean restaurant. Guests danced the night away against the dark skies as they began the preparation for the grand wedding and reception. Head into the gallery where Jeremy Minnerick Photography has captured all the moments of this special event. Customary Pashtun events are a sight to behold and bride Shereen unveils all the details on her event with a special overview on this unique celebration that you can read all about after you peruse through these images.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I was introduced to Don through a mutual friend. In 2013, I moved to Shanghai and didn't know anyone. A friend whom I had worked with at the University of Texas noticed on Facebook that I was now living in Shanghai. He sent me a message and said he could connect me with one of his friends whom he had worked with in Cambodia and was now living in Shanghai. That friend was Don. I said, "Sure, why not," and Don and I met up for a hot pot dinner. I think Don would agree that when we started traveling together that it was clear that we were perfect for each other. Little did we know back then that after several times hanging out at parties and grabbing dinner in Shanghai that we would end up madly in love, moving to Hong Kong and spending the rest of our lives together.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I didn't want anything dramatic because our actual relationship is more important to me than how he would propose, which I knew he eventually would because we had talk a lot about marriage. The weekend after I had officially submitted my master's thesis in the late summer of 2015, we went on a mini vacation to another island in Hong Kong and relaxed in a cute home on top of a hill. We were having drinks on the roof of house, soaking in the sun and the warm weather, when Don asked. It was intimate and casual and exactly how I would've wanted it.
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
I started off planning without a wedding planner. I had booked the venue (Aristide Events Center), caterer (Nora), florist/decorator (Elegant Affairs) and cake (Frosted Art) before I realized that this would be a major project that we would need help with. Thankfully, I found wedding planner Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas and she was the reason why our wedding was perfect and so much fun. Meredith was extremely professional from the time I met her to even days after the wedding. Meredith helped provide professional and realistic suggestions for services I would definitely need or could definitely go without. Unfortunately, a few of the vendors (namely Nora and Elegant Affairs) became unreliable and difficult to communicate with, especially just within the week of the wedding, which was very frustrating, but Meredith was a total pro and handled everything to make sure all went well. She was even able to help me find and book a rabab player to perform during the wedding ceremony. This was extremely difficult, as we found only 2 professional rabab players in the entire United States.
The day before the wedding, we had a smaller party at my parent's home in Mansfield and called it a mehndi to signify that we also wanted to uphold more traditional Pashtun traditions. Don, whose ancestors came from Ireland/Germany, was and has always been amazing at embracing everything that I teach him about my culture. His family was no different. I wore a fuchsia Pashtun dress that I had custom-made in Islamabad, Pakistan. Don's shalwar kameez was made in Peshawar, Pakistan, and his turban was custom-made for him in Parachinar, which is the village my family comes from. The turban is very special to us, as the design is unique in that region and was hand delivered from the village all the way to Islamabad so that my mom could pick it up and take it back to the US. The jewelry I wore, which included the headpiece, necklace, and earrings, are family heirlooms-they were my great grandmother's. For the event, Elegant Affairs set up an area on my parent's back porch where we had the ceremony and the DJ, Outspoken Entertainment, was set up for dancing later in the night. A large tent was also set up in the backyard for dinner. We had Istanbul Grill cater, who was very professional and would definitely contact for any future catering. The only issue we had with a vendor was with Alexander Tent Rental, who forgot to bring flooring for the tent even though it had been in our contract. But, all in all, the night was a lot of fun and a big success, and I say that because we had the police shut us down at 10 pm.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Working with my planner Meredith-her confidence and ability to handle so much made me feel a lot less stressed!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Dancing with my friends to specific songs that we used to dance to all the time. The private last dance with Don was equally memorable. The song we danced to, Somebody to Love Me by Mark Ronson, was a song Don introduced me to in Shanghai and that we listened to a lot thereafter.
For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details.
Mehndi colors were mint green and pink. We had lanterns line the walkways and jasmine garlands for guests as they entered the backyard.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Plan your wedding however you and your fiance want, not how others want it. There are no rules to what you should or should not do for your wedding. Let your personalities and your bond be what shines the most during the wedding.
Coming right up we have the fabulous wedding and reception with Asad of Outspoken Visions Entertainment on the turntables!