Today's Pakistani wedding is self planned by the bride and I have to admit that I am extremely impressed! It takes a big feat to plan and star in your very own event and Erum's big celebration was one that is for the wedding books! We really love when brides give us the scoop on what they love the most about their husband and Erum gushed to Maharani Weddings as she talked about Nabeel. "I don't think it takes an instant second for anyone to know that "he is the one" It takes a series of conversations, meetings and many comfortable silences to come to that conclusion. For me, I saw that Nabeel was what he said he was. His words were always consistent with his actions. If we had disagreements, he always took time to explain his point of view and work with mine." The kick off began with the pre-festivities which included a sangeet and mehndi celebration at the residence of the bride and groom. The couple also enjoyed a night of eating and dancing that included a festive get together full to the brim with entertainment and numerous blessings for the couple. Erum worked with Afrin Designs who ensured the venue was fit for a Maharani. Get lost in all the love shared between Erum and Nabeel filmed by Aria Films right here and scroll below for more scoop from the main Maharani herself. We have the full gallery for you as well captured by High Dynamic.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I was introduced to Nabeel through my mother. I was in Wisconsin and he was doing his rotations in Baltimore. On the first day he called me to talk we ended up being on the phone till 5 in the morning talking about life and what it has offered us and where it is taking us. He has always been the one to cheer me up and extend the hand of friendship when I have been upset with him. The fact that he always volunteers to better things makes me want to change myself for him so I can strive to be that person that he wants me to be. There are many disagreements and compromises but the fact that he was always willing to stick with me and talk and work things out made him the "one" for me. You want your "one" to always be there with you in your good and bad days, with your good and bad traits. For me, he is the one.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It was 10 degrees on January 1st of 2016 when our friend (Waqas Aftab photography) convinced us that it is the perfect weather for an engagement shoot. We decided to go to Botanical Gardens in Chicago and spent 6 hours clicking pictures of various poses. On our way out, Waqas said one last picture in his favorite spot. So we walked a few minutes and came by hut-looking thing overlooking the sunset. That is where Nabeel went down on his knees and proposed me to become his wife.
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 have loved planning parties since I was a child. When it came to my wedding time I decided to plan my events myself. I made excel sheets of all the banquet halls. I have wonderful friends who went to each of the 28 banquet halls with me to discuss the event. My sisters helped with finding the perfect mehndi artist and decorated the house exactly how I had dreamt it to be. Nabeel came from Baltimore (where he was completing his medical rotations) quite frequently to meet vendors and discuss the events. My makeup for mehndi was done by Bushra Abbasi and Wedding/Reception was done by Saleha Abbasi. Both sisters were great to work with and gave the exact look I wanted for my events. I would like to give a special shout out to Afrin Designs for working so diligently on my decor. I met the girl over 50 times and changed my mind on her many more times than I met her. She kept her cool and worked hard to get me the theme that I wanted. I went with a very traditional royal indian theme for my wedding, a more classy, contemporary look for reception and a splash of vibrant colors for my mehndi. My mehndi was done at an outdoor location with a live cookout by Anmol. The banquet hall was all glass so the splash of colors that I wanted fit perfectly with the venue and matched with my outfit. I think everything came together so beautifully. I did my Sangeet/Mayoon at home with very close family and friends. I wanted to have an at-home event to give it a personal touch. My sisters and mom decorated the house in such a beautiful way, there was home made food cooked and all my uncles, aunts and cousins came together to sing and dance and just celebrate the beginning of my events. It was beautiful to start my wedding at home.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I always wanted the traditional chilli red for my wedding. I chose a lighter color to my reception just so I can have something light to wear on that day as opposed to the bright colors I had worn on the wedding. I went with a cream/yellow outfit with a purple border. The whole outfit was embroidered with the design that I selected at the store. I like intricate designs with stone work. I went to Pakistan with my mom and sisters and chose to go with PLK designs for both of my outfits. They do a wonderful job customizing outfits. I got all my 4 outfits for my events from them.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I LOVED planning my wedding with my sisters and aunts. We would sit late at night making guest lists, having pani-puri competitions, putting mehndi, singing and dancing, having singing competitions. My family was the amazing part of my planning process. I spent so much quality time with them and they did not let me rush my wedding. They helped me enjoy the process. My sisters were my backbone! I would not have done a lot of these things without them! My mom and dad were very supportive in anything I wanted to do. My dad went out of his way to give the wedding that I wanted. My cousins, aunts and uncles all hold a special place in my heart because each and every one of them had a part in making my wedding such a beautiful event.
I absolutely LOVED planning my live cookout for my mehndi. Anmol is amazing to work with. I wanted live jalebis, kashmiri tea, chicken tikkas and beef botis to be cooked live and served fresh to the guests. We worked with Danada house and got approval to do a cookout in the forest preserve next to the hall. The guests were able to enjoy the event and at the same time look through the glass of the hall and see their food being cooked. One of my great friends, Asad installed lights in the area where food was being cooked and Anmol brought a truck filled with tablecloths, grills, oil and even my cutlery for guests to start their event! To this day (2 years later) my guests tell me that the live cookout was one of the best food they had eaten at a wedding in Chicago.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The live cookout is still talked about. My guests loved the mehndi. The location was superb and exotic, the food was finger licking good and the dances my friends and family put out were the life of the party. The other most loved part of my wedding was my husband arriving on the horse dancing and walking between the aisle of fireworks to make his grand entrance. The whole banquet hall came out to see his performance and entry.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
My rukhsati time where I hugged my dad to say goodbye was an extremely emotional event. I remember after I hugged my dad and I was crying and lifted my head off his chest all my makeup stains were on his sherwani. That sight keeps replaying in my head. As my dad put my hand in Nabeel’s hand I remember him advising Nabeel to be a good husband. He almost would not let my hand go. That was a special moment that I will never forget.
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.
Before my wedding events, I had 3 dholkis and Sangeet/Mayoon all organized and hosted by my sisters and aunts. All the decor was done by hands with fresh flowers and lights. My whole house smelled of roses my whole wedding month. My sister decorated my room with flowers and lights. The Mayoon was so special and close to my heart because it was my bonding time with my closest family and friends while I celebrated my wedding.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
YES! Please do not get overwhelmed with the whole wedding preparations! There is a lot to do, I get it! But, try to enjoy the process. Love the planning part, laugh with family and friends on something that didn't go your way. Work out the kinks by discussions instead of tantrums. Take time to spend time with family and friends.
So beautiful! We're off to to enjoy the other ceremonies. Meet us there!