There is something about South Asian weddings from Washington D.C. that makes us swoon with joy. It’s probably because of the historic venues, amazing vendors, and super stylish couples that we seem to encounter in weddings from this locale! Where do we even begin with Memona and Salman’s glamorous weekend? Elegant Events put together this classic celebration with a contemporary twist, and Akbar Sayed Photography left us wanting more after we saw their stellar photographs. The blissful summer ceremony was hosted at the Mellon Auditorium, an architectural wonder that was decorated lavishly by Shaloo Singh Dharma Events. It made for the perfect venue given the mix of modern sophistication and rich history. Memona was a stunner in an ornate red lehenga with swirling golden embroidery and a sweeping train. She completed her look with an exquisite choker set and headpiece. Malia Rafaie dolled her up with a dewy matte glow and styled her hair in a sleek updo that enhanced her radiance. What a beauty! She prepared to meet her beau for their first look before the ceremony and reception that featured musical ambiance by DJ Raj. Head to the full gallery by Akbar Sayed Photography for the full treasure chest of photos from this glam South Asian soiree. And make sure to scroll below for our exclusive interview with Maharani Memona.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met him on an online dating app recommended by one of my friends.
I knew he was "the one" the moment we started having deep, meaningful, intelligent conversations about life and our values. One of the things that really stood out to me about him was how much he valued his family.
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.
We were both actively involved in the whole process. I will admit, he definitely did a lot more than I could. His work schedule was more flexible than mine so he was able to attend all the meetings with the personnel involved with the Venue, Decor, and Entertainment.
Our reception venue with the historical, Mellon Auditorium, in Washington D.C. And our decor was done by the wonderful Shaloo with Dharma Events. Since our venue came with great architecture and decor, we focused on using lighting to highlight the magnificence of the auditorium. We both agreed on traditional and classy colors for the decor that would match our outfits. We were able to incorporate ivory, gold, and magenta as our main colors. We both wanted our family tables to be the highlight along with the stage, so we chose to have tons of flowers and floating candles for those table.
My hair and makeup was done by Malias Makeup Artistry, who was absolutely wonderful to work with.
The focus of all of our planning was for all our guests to have a memorable experience and to be able to enjoy themselves. We had our food catered by Grand Trunk of Washington D.C, which was amazing. We had mini sliders as one of our appetizers!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I actually had my mother-in-law design my wedding lengha. I didn't actually see the final product until a couple of days before the main event. In the traditional pakistani punjabi wedding, the in-laws usually provide the bridal lengha. My mother-in-law's wish was to design it herself. She asked me about my likes and dislikes. I wanted the traditional colors of red and gold. The rest I left up to her. She has a great sense of fashion/style so I had full faith in her. And it was absolutely beautiful.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part was deciding on the music and food. We both love dancing and food! So do our friends. We wanted our wedding to be a reunion for all of our friends who we both haven't seen for a number of years so our focus was on bringing music that would trigger memories of college days.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The guests loved the food, the venue, the music, and how well everything was organized and so prompt.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I think being on the dance floor with my husband surrounded by all our friends + family dancing and enjoying! Also the classic Rolls Royce (with the "just married" license plate) ride with my husband around Washington D.C at the end of the night and passerby's yelling "congratulations!"
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.
My friends did an absolutely incredible job organizing all the dance performances. They were so good! And I was definitely surprised by the flashmob.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Everything will come together perfectly on the actual day so don't worry so much! (This is what everyone kept telling me the entire and my Type A personality did not believe them, however everything did come together so beautifully).
Enjoy the wedding planning process and focus on what's most important to both of you!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I had a fairytale wedding thanks to my wonderful husband, my amazing friends, and our families.
Mehndi: our stage was traditional colorful Punjabi theme with a jhoola, hook lamps, and colorful umbrellas on hanging off the ceiling. The tables were all different colors with mink rikshas/dolls as center pieces. Our mehndi was very colorful and had a professional bhangra team performance. The decor was beautiful thanks to Dharma Events.
Wedding Cake: Provided by local Tiffany's Bakery in Falls Church VA with three different flavors: strawberry forest, vanilla, and chocolate moose.
We'll take you into the glam ceremony and reception next!