Glitz, glamour, and style took center stage for Mariam and Wren’s festive South Asian wedding. And what better way to kick off their weekend of love than a festive Sangeet celebration? Maharani Mariam got dolled up by the beauty gurus from MUAH by SK and Fashion Face, and dressed to the nines in a shimmering gold and navy lehenga accessorized with a lovely hot pink dupatta. The bride donned a shiny maang tikka and glittering choker that channeled classic Bollywood glam. The incredible designers from Prashe Decor decked out the Chateau Cocomar venue in a plethora of rainbow hued adornments, including oodles of embroidered parasols that brought a whimsical touch to the event. The spacious room was totally transformed into a romantic haven with a colorful stage set up, bangle station, and jewel toned drapings. Mariam and Wren’s wedding was planned and designed by Design Weddings, and we are swooning over every precious detail. In our next post, we’ll cover the pristine, all-white ceremony details. In the meantime, enjoy all the beautiful snaps captured by Aventography in our full gallery. And make sure to scroll below for our exclusive Q&A with Mariam herself!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Mariam's Story: It was Friday night, April 11th, 2014 to be exact and I was in Houston visiting my parents. I heard about a spontaneous surprise party that was being thrown for a friend of mine, but I was sadly forgotten. So, like any normal girl would do, I got all dressed up and decided to crash! I thought, “if the birthday boy knew about this party I would have definitely been invited.” I headed over to Stanton City Bites and joined my friends. I knew everyone there except for this one particular guy who caught my eye. I was very curious to know who he was, so I whispered around the table to get some info. I continued the sticky eye for a bit until he caught me and I froze. He introduced himself in a suave way and proceeded to ask, “want to try some of these disgusting fries?” My heart skipped a beat. I had butterflies in my stomach the entire night and was so nervous to talk to him! All I could do was smile every time he spoke and looked in my direction. I never told anyone until now, but the funniest thing happened that night. After I left the party I texted my sister and playfully joked “I met a guy.” She asked, “who?” Sarcastically I responded “my future husband.” We both had a good laugh. That night Wren and I messaged each other for hours. Three and a half years later the joke was on us.
Wren's Story: I was invited to a friend’s birthday dinner at Stanton’s City Bites, a dive burger joint just North of downtown Houston. It was very low key, with a group of guys with whom I’d recently become close. Mid-dinner, three girls I’d never seen before joined our table. Ever the charmer, I offered them my chili fries (they were disgusting). The one in green was especially cute, but she was very quiet. After dinner, we all went to my friend’s rooftop near Washington Ave. to drink tea, smoke sheesha, and wax philosophic about this and that. Green shirt barely spoke, but she was effusive. And when she smiled, man… the moon must have wept in envy (here’s hoping I get some brownie points for that one). Before the night ended, green shirt gave me her handle for an iPhone trivia game and dared me to challenge her. For a girl so young, green shirt was not intimidated. She was crafty. I routinely beat her in Trivia. But in the end we fell in love and here we are. So I guess we both won.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Wren went above and beyond when it came to proposing. He and my family had been lying to me for months! In December of 2015 is when Wren began working on designing my engagement ring with Zameer Kassam. Zameer traveled to Houston and worked with Wren to design an engagement ring that encompassed our entire relationship. From the engraving on the inside of the ring to the number of diamonds that chased the band, each aspect of this ring held some very special memory between Wren and I.
After the ring has been designed and was ready to go, Wren casually mentions to me that one of his good friends from High School was getting married on September 10th, and we had to attend the wedding. He kept stressing about how nice the wedding will be and how I needed to get a new dress to wear. I started to get a little suspicious because this was the first time I had heard of this friend AND because Wren and I had attended numerous weddings in the past and he never asked me to get this dolled up. I knew he was planning something and so I started to play along. I’m not sure how obvious my playing along was because Wren was quick to ruin my joy. He created this wedding card which gave all the details about Neil’s wedding on September 10th at Houston’s nicest hotel, where everyone needed to be dressed in black tie. I was pretty disappointed when I saw that card and also felt dumb for thinking Wren was going to propose.
As the date got closer to “Neil’s wedding” a friend of mine who is a Make-up artist (Shreeda J. Tailor) reached out to me and asked if I could help her with a hair and make-up class she is teaching. She told me she needed me to be her model and that I would get a free makeover out of it. Like any girl would, I instantly said yes. She offered me 4-5 different dates to choose from and of those dates one happened to be September 10th, what a coincidence. She set the scene up so perfectly, yet I didn’t notice what was going on. I, of course, chose September 10th which was perfect for me because now I had someone to do my hair and make up for me for the wedding. After getting my hair and makeup done I headed over to Wren’s place so that we could ride together to the wedding. When I got to Wren’s place he looked sick. He kept running to the bathroom and even suggested that we stay home because he wasn’t feeling well. I had to convince Wren to go to this wedding because I spent so much time getting ready!
We arrived to the St.Regis hotel and were greeted by someone at the front desk who handed us our seating cards. The seating cards showed Wren and I sitting at different tables! Wren’s seat was Table 5 seat 9 (which I later discovered was to represent 5/9/2014 the date Wren and I met) and my Seating card said “Mrs. Mariam Table 9 seat 10” (which represented September 10th the date we got engaged). I didn’t really pay much attention to these cards because I started to worry about how Wren was feeling. I saw that he was breaking a sweat and was getting concerned. The receptionist at the front desk walked us up to the ballroom and pointed us in the direction of the wedding. I walked in front of Wren and opened the ballroom doors. The second the ballroom doors opened I was welcomed with 1,000 candles lit all around the room and a video playing of Wren and I. I burst in tears because I finally realized what was going on.
Wren created a video of me growing up and of him growing up and then when our paths crossed. The video showed all the great moments we’ve shared together and concluded with messages from my family. Wren always had this fear that when he proposes to me I’ll say no because I’ll tell him he needs to ask my dad first. So Wren went ahead and made a video of each person in my family (including me 2 year old niece) encouraging me to say yes to Wren, After the video was over Wren got down on one knee and proposed to me. Before he even finished his sentence I said Yes!!
We ended the night by celebrating with family and friends who surprised me in another ballroom of the hotel. That night was one that I will never forget!
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.
When I first began planning my wedding I made a bad decision when it came to choosing a wedding planner. I had heard good things about this particular planner and the first few meetings I had with her went well which is what compelled me to higher her. Unfortunately, she began creating more stress for me which made the wedding planning process a dread. I didn’t realize how unprofessional this planner could be when it came to dealing with vendors. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Desi-gn Wedding Planning who helped me turn my whole wedding experience around! I would highly recommend brides to get a wedding planner, but make sure you do your homework beforehand!
When it came to choosing hair and make-up, décor, wedding themes and bridal outfits, my best friend was Pinterest. Since I was in high school I used to Pin wedding outfits that I could see myself wearing and décor ideas that stood out to me.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I traveled to Pakistan to find the perfect Bridal outfit. Before going on my trip however, I narrowed down my search to certain designers who had more modern designs. I wanted to stay away from the traditional red and wear a gown instead of a lengha. I was immediately drawn to Tena Durrani’s style and her use of Swarovski Crystals! The dress I bought was called Chartreuse Envy and I worked directly with Tena to make this dress bespoke. If you’ve noticed, Tena Durrani’s logo is of a humming bird. When I told Tena that I was marrying Wren (Wren is type of bird), she suggested that I have a designed bird on my sleeves. I thought this was very cool because my wedding dress had a piece attributed to my husband.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the wedding process was food tasting and cake tasting! This part was so fun because we got to try all the desserts our hearts desired – did I mention Wren and I absolutely love dessert? This was also a tough decision for us because we would love everything we tried! This is why we had a 7 Tier cake with 6 different flavors!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think our guests loved how unique our wedding was and all the effort we took in making everyone feel included. From the outdoor games to the singing and dancing on the sangeet night followed by the acrobat performace, fireworks and helicopter exit - all our guests were blown away. We wanted everyone to remember our wedding and how much fun they had in their experience.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There was a very special moment during my wedding which constantly replays in my head. This was the moment when my husband sat me down in the middle of the dance floor and sang a song that he wrote for me. It was like the 500 guests behind me disappeared and it was just him and I enjoying this moment together.
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.
For our Sangeet, we had an all-day event. We started the morning off with our ceremony in a beautiful gazebo at Chateau Cocomar. We kept this ceremony as simple with all white décor to create a very modest feel. We then transitioned to the Sangeet by adding tons of color, music, and games. While I was away getting ready for the Sangeet, guests enjoyed outdoor games and food stations that were set up around the fountain. We wanted to help guests pass the time from the ceremony to the Sangeet and made sure to have a lot of fun games around so no one would get bored.The sangeet started with a big dance party that began in the driveway of the venue and made its way to the stage. We wanted to get the crowd pumped for a long night of dancing and entertainment.
The next day was out reception which was a black tie event. We kept things very formal this day but still had a lot of elements of surprise. We started the night off outdoors with a string quartet. Once guests made their way inside they were greeting by an acrobat dancer who performed while guests made their way to their seats. We started the reception with a video Wren and I made explaining who we truly are- this gave the guests a good laugh before we made our grand entrance. Finally, as the night came to an end we asked all the guests to meet us outside for a final goodbye. We surprised our guests by having a firework show and then exited on a helicopter.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Some words of wisdom from my wedding experience:
First, make sure you find the right wedding planner. You want to make sure that the wedding planner you hire is able to execute all your crazy ideas like having a firework show while you exit on a helicopter. Second, enjoy the wedding planning process! You’re going to miss it once it’s all over! Third, enjoy your wedding day! Your months of planning will feel like they went by in minutes! Try to take it all in and capture all the memories!
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