Morning Maharanis! We’re excited to share Amaira and Suleman’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi fusion wedding film with you all today. The cinematic masterpiece was captured by NST Pictures, and Amaira looked every inch a leading lady in her gorgeously designed red lehenga and golden jewels. We were impressed to note that Amaira took on planning and design duties herself in conjunction with Dee Weddings, and together, they did such a fabulous job! We had to hear some wedding advice from this talented Maharani, and the first thing she stressed was, “GET A PLANNER!” She also added, “The other piece of advice I would give is to be prepared for things to go wrong and try to take it in stride. At the end of the day, you're getting to celebrate your marriage and that's what it is really about. It's a blessing, treat it like one and soak it all in!” This bride is such a perfectionist, and Raja Suleman isn’t far behind. We are such fans of his cerulean sherwani emblazoned with tons of embroidery. Wyld NYC provided stunning floral arrangements, including a jaw dropping floral wall that would make Kim and Kanye green with envy! This couple is not only creative and lovely, but thoughtful as well. We were touched by Amaira and Suleman’s decision to donate to the Islamic Relief USA - Aid to Syria in lieu of typical wedding favors. The celebration was filled with oodles of special details, so watch the film below, and peruse the full gallery of photographs by Sharif Karim of Karim Photo. And for even more behind the scenes scoop, scroll on for our informative interview with Maharani Amaira!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Suleman and I met online in the summer of 2014. I'd been on OKCupid for quite some time, and was ready to call it quits. I had logged on to deactivate my profile when I came across his message. It was a simple hello, but enough to catch my attention. I went onto his profile and the moment I got a look at his picture, I remember instantly thinking, "He looks like he could be my husband!" and promptly freaking myself out at the thought of that. I knew the moment I saw his photo that I was going to marry him, as absolutely insane as that sounds. We exchanged numbers and talked almost daily, but waited nearly a month and half to meet each other as it was Ramadan and we were trying to be respectful, hah. Even on our first date, I couldn't really get a good read on him and kept trying to keep my "secret" to myself and tried to act like I was totally cool and not positive that I was going to marry him. I found out later that he thought I was totally goofy, but sweet and figured my awkwardness was a part of my charm. In short, I knew immediately, and spent three months waiting for reality to catch up to him!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I got two bridal lenghas because I am the luckiest, most spoiled girl in the world! My in-laws gifted me a beautiful lengha choli, and my parents flew to India (!!!) to get me my other outfit from my favorite designer, Sabayasachi! I initially was dead set on a cream outfit with a red top, and gold detailing based off an outfit I had seen from Monika Jassal. But the more I shopped, the more hesitant I became, as it was so hard to find cream, or hard to envision what a piece might look like in cream. My ceremony outfit, the lengha choli, I bought in New York, from Sitara Boutique (shout out to Nitu!). I loved this outfit and chose it because it was a happy marriage of a Pakistani based style (as a nod to my new family), and my style. My reception outfit was a beautiful cherry red Sabayaschi number that made me feel like a queen! I felt incredible in that outfit, and my husband clearly thought so, too! His eyes lit up the moment he saw me. He looked dapper, too. His sherwani was from Ziggi Studios in the UK, and he was dead set on that shade of blue and I ended up choosing red to contrast his outfit. I know it's usually the other way around, haha, but his sherwani was incredible!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Apart from the obvious, which is getting to plan a wedding with my husband, the most enjoyable part was all of the time I got to spend with my family, extended and immediate and the time I got to spend with my in-laws as well. I loved that there was always something on the calendar for me and that my whole family was around to help. We saw each other nearly every weekend and everyone made it known that their help was available to me in any way that they could.
I would say the other enjoyable part was my meeting Deepti Jotwani of Dee Weddings and getting to work with her on my wedding. I had managed to maintain my sanity through month four of the planning process, but with just six weeks left to go for my wedding, I told my husband I desperately needed a planner to tie everything together. I found myself obsessing over every last detail and wondering how I would manage so many vendors and guests, and also try to enjoy the day I'd planned for so long. We came across Deepti, who was just a breath of fresh air. She immediately put me at ease, and helped me finalize details for my wedding and ensure that everything ran smoothly. Not only that, but we are also close friends now, so certainly an unexpected, but welcome surprise.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I heard a lot of people say that it was the best wedding they'd ever been to. That comment really gets me every single time, because I know the level of intense and crazy planning and attention to detail that went into planning it. One comment though, that I hear more than anything, is how much people loved our ceremony. Muslim nikkahs often get treated as an afterthought, usually being done in private behind closed doors. People tend to come for the reception, eat, and leave. I knew I didn't want my wedding to be anything like that. I worked closely with my imam to ensure that he understood exactly what I wanted. We did an American style ceremony, if you could call it that, with a Muslim nikkah thrown into the mix. I got to walk down the aisle, I had our bridesmaids and groomsmen at our side, our imam gave a beautiful sermon on marriage and Islam, and I noticed many people tearing. Exactly what I hoped for, haha! I also remember people loving the actual songs I chose during the ceremony, it was pop themed, and true to us as a couple, haha. I walked down the aisle to Taylor Swift in violins, true to our proposal and myself. We walked out to "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry. It was lighthearted and fun and I loved every moment of it.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I don't think I have one particular moment that stands out. That entire day feels like a beautifully curated movie, haha, just totally immortalized in my mind. I think though, that the most special part for me was my family and bridal party coming in early to help me and spend time with us as we got ready. Everyone was excited and happy, and it's something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
GET A PLANNER! I can't stress this enough. I knew even when we started planning that I needed one, but Suleman insisted we could do it ourselves and save the money. To his point, I'm glad that I did so much myself, it was rewarding to be able to really produce this labor of love and see it come to life. BUT, I ended up getting Dee Weddings to coordinate my day anyway, I remember thinking if only I had hired her sooner, she would have saved me all the headache and probably saved me some money along the way, too. Even if you think you can't afford it, look into a Day-Of coordinator, or a partial planner. Most planners tend to do all three and would be more than willing to have the conversation with you, so don't hesitate to ask!
The other piece of advice I would give is that be prepared for things to go wrong and try to take it in stride. At the end of the day, you're getting to celebrate your marriage and that's what it is really about. It's a blessing, treat it like one and soak it all in!
Thank you Amaira! We hope you all have a wonderful day!