Good morning Maharanis! I hope you are ready for our filmy day of the week. Today, we will return to a lovely summer day in which Shaista & Umair commemorated their marriage. Ladies, I have to say this is one of the most captivating celebrations I have seen! It's the heart and energy you can sense just right away. L3 Event Services outdid themselves with the design for these lovebirds' wedding day. I adored so many details, but the first has to be the Mehndi art Henna by Rozisalim did for our Maharani. The grace of every piece made Shaista shine like the star she is! And not only was her attire breathtaking, but so was her prince charming, with a gorgeous sherwani and a luxurious tuxedo from Kamran Bespoke. They were reigning! I don't have enough words to describe the beauty of this gala. The Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa was the best choice our couple could make to have their revelry. The alluring sophistication this place provides is remarkable, and the decor The Event Designer brought was the perfect addition to it, filling the atmosphere with class and grace. The elegant bouquets looked glorious and thoroughly matched the couples' style. Indeed, all the guests were enamored with them. The fascinating adornment was not the only thing they enjoyed. The gastronomic delight, courtesy of Asmas Cuisine, was phenomenal! The lovebirds ensure everyone had the time of their lives with the Outspoken Visions Entertainment team in charge of keeping a cherry climate and a never-ending dance throughout the celebration. Their wedding will be engraved in Shaista & Umair's souls' for a lifetime, and they will be able to relive it all thanks to the work Hakim's Studio did to capture the essence of the grand day. Feeling pours through every second! You can catch a glimpse of their romance. Just click the play button below.

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Umair and Shaista met in Nashville on Dec. 30th, 2018. Umair had moved down to Nashville a few months before and was upset that his boss had made him stay back to work. Little did he know it was God's plan to keep him there to meet his future wife ;) Shaista was down in Birmingham for her friend’s wedding. Her siblings and some of their friends decided to do New Years together in Nashville. On Dec. 30 Umair was on Broadway watching the Titans game and met up with their mutual friend at Jason Aldean's. Shaista and her sisters had wrapped up the wedding festivities and got there a little later and met up with the rest of the crew there. Shaista went to say hi, and of course received a semi-cold response from Umair so she said bye. (P.S. if you know Umair you know about his RBF, and how sometimes it’s not very welcoming.)
So you ask, well how did they finally get together?
Shaista and Umair credit this to her sister and friend, but the long-story short version includes a random guy being too handsy, some yelling/schooling on feminism, and a big misunderstanding that brought Umair and Shaista close together. This led to some Vegas bombs and some oversharing (being a doctor means sometimes people aka Umair felt obligated to share and got a free consultation visit out of it). Also, can’t forget Umair’s untied shoe that kept bothering Shaista so she finally just tied it for him. Maybe that’s what tied them together for life.
After that Umair slid into Shaista's DM's literally!!! He found a way to be with her all weekend long. One of Shaista's favorite memories of the weekend is when they snuck away from the group with just her BFF (Namita) and BFF’s husband to the dance floor and Umair was trying to get her BFF’s husband to dance while Namita and Shaista just watched. (If you know the both of them you know how entertaining that scene would be).
Thinking this might be a New Year’s fling, Shaista flew back to Fort Worth and Umair is still upset he couldn't be the one to drop her to the airport to this day (How romantic!) However, Umair continued to keep in touch with Shaista through Facetimes, messages, etc., and the rest is history!
I don’t know if I know of a particular time when I thought Umair was the one. However, the one thing that comes to mind, is how easily and quickly Umair made his spot in my family. My little sister moved to Nashville 5 months into us dating, where he was living while I lived in Dallas. My mother would visit my baby sister there often and the 3 of them would hang out, play Open Rummy, board games, and eat dinner. It made us all feel safe knowing he was there, since she is the baby of the family and had never lived away from home prior to this. I loved how easily he got along with my family and that I didn’t need to be present for them all to hangout.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Umair had originally planned to propose in April 2020, but COVID struck and unfortunately his original grand plan including helicopters, 200-plus family and friends, and much more was brought to a halt. He didn't lose hope, and knew he wanted to make Shaista his wife soon, so he came up with another plan that was more intimate. Shaista the detective was a little too hard to surprise, but Umair still somehow managed to have some surprise elements. He proposed to her in Dallas, the city they would soon be making their home, with their closest family and friends around. They had purchased their first home during COVID and 2 weeks after closing was the big day! Shaista’s mom and baby sister were in town to help her get the house set up. A day before the proposal Shaista’s baby sister suggested they get their nails done (which was a little suspicious but her baby sister played it off well. Shaista’s BFF and middle sister had also said they can’t be there during July 4th weekend due to work so she got thrown off). The day - July 3rd - started with high tea since Shaista loves high tea so much. He sent her out with her mother and baby sister for tea, claiming he had work and couldn’t make it since it was a Friday. Afterwards, Raeesa (her baby sister) “forgot” something at home, so they all made a quick stop at the house. They didn’t even turn the car off and for some reason were convinced they all had to run into the house. The next thing you know the house is set up with beautiful memories of their journey together thus far. From the entrance of the house started a lovely dance full of surprising entrances and moments done by her sisters, BFF, brother in laws, and the moms. The dance ended with the road to the backyard where Umair was waiting all suited up in 100 degree Dallas weather with a few more surprises up his sleeve (literally, since Shaista had lost her dad 12 years ago he had a picture of Shai and her dad as his cufflinks and wore one of her dad’s old ties). He asked her after showing her a slide show with more of their memories and with her dream ring and she of course said YES!!!

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 took a couple months after the engagement to enjoy that period before we started wedding planning. It was an unpredictable time to start planning given COVID. We debated having a small wedding but both of us especially I had always wanted to get all my people from the different phases of life (high school, college, medical school, residency, work, etc.) under one roof. Anyways first thing was deciding location, which we both agreed on Hoover, Alabama as one that was my childhood town, my mom still lived there, it was close to Umair’s childhood town of Memphis, and most importantly it was the town where my father’s last memories were present. We toured a few different hotels there and when we both saw Renaissance Ross Bridge, we fell in love. It was what we envisioned - a wedding with a vacation. We initially booked a venue a couple minutes away for the sangeet since I wanted different vibes for the events, however we wanted desi food and the original venue was not cooperative. However, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason because we found our perfect Sangeet venue with everything we envisioned plus more at Soiree Event Gallery (just look at the pictures there and all the beautiful chandeliers that light up the room). Plus, they were very easy to work with which was an added bonus. That same weekend that we finalized our original venue (in September about 12 months before our wedding date), I took Umair to try Bayleaf as I loved the Indian fusion themed food and drinks (we served a paan Old fashion, and Mango-jito) which ended up being crowd favorites. After that we worked on photographer and Umair only wanted Hakims Studios. I was always a fan of their work, but after working with them would highly recommend them to anyone especially if you want your photos to be grand- looking and remind you of a Bollywood type event. We also booked our event planner L3 events about a year in advance. I had seen her and her team live in action previously and I loved how organized, fierce, young, and relatable she is. Next, on our list was picking reception food, we picked Pakistani food to be balance the Indian and Pakistani taste that both our families have. We sampled several different places but loved the food at Asma’s. I wanted some of the food items to be served with a twist, such as the falooda in a martini glass, and Imran from Asma’s helped us come up with fun ways to amp up the presentation. Everyone still talks about how delicious their food was.
About 9 months out from the wedding I started reaching out and even went did some hair and make-up trials. I initially wanted to go with someone local however traveling back and forth for hair and makeup trials wasn’t feasible. Thus I ended up searching for someone local in the DFW area that’s when on Instagram I came across Makeup.Faced by Reetu. I set up and hair and make-up trial and my husband came to the trial with me. This was our second hair and make-up artist but when she completed my make up let’s just say we both were blown away with how pretty I looked but still felt so natural. For my Henna artist, I searched some local photographers’ pages on IG and fell in love with Rozi’s work (IG page Henna by RoziSalim), and she did an amazing job giving me the henna of my dreams. As far as the DJ we checked out several DJ’s we had heard at weddings over IG and reached out to our top 5 favorite. This was Umair’s department so he did his due diligence while picking them. We danced nonstop for 5 hours on Saturday at the reception, the music and especially the DHOL player was on fire.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
When selecting the person to make my outfits, I knew it had to be Millionaire collection. She had for years been making clothes for me and they always looked amazing. All my inspo came from hours of being on IG and then I would give her 2-3 pictures and we would talk through how I imagined my outfit looking. She probably in the 9 months I worked with her for all my wedding outfit looks spent at least 60 hours in person or over the phone helping me make all my dream outfits. I knew I wanted a winter/clean look themed reception and wanted to wear a dark shade of blue for reception. For sangeet I was in love with lavender but my sisters wanted me to be in something brighter. (which I am glad they did cause my favorite outfit was probably the hot pink lengha). I had hints of lavender on my outfit to match my bridesmaid outfits that Kulsum Aunty from Millionaire’s collection made. For mehendi, I wanted to be in something Floral, and something that would not interfere with my mehendi, but have something that kept me warm incase I got cold with the mehendi on. So we came up with a 3/4th mint green and floral themed lengha and blouse with a short sleeve detachable jacket. My Nikkah saree all came from this one blouse I was obsessed with. Together with Kulsum Aunty and after several pictures/phone calls/Facetimes we finally agreed upon the perfect saree design to go with the blouse, and a subtle pink dupatta to wear on my head to go with the retro-Indian royalty vibe I was looking for. Also wanted to recognize Hamraniatelier who made my sisters MOH outfits for the reception.
For my husband we knew we wanted to use Kamran Bespoke for both his Nikkah and Reception outfits. Which he customized each one to reflect something about our relationship on there. His pithi and Sangeet outfit was made my Millionaire’s collection to match mine.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
To be honest wedding planning is one of the most stressful things I had ever done and know that I love planning parties. Maybe it was the timing with work and COVID but it was the most hectic process ever. I was blessed that both our parents wanted whatever we wanted, and Umair and I were open and on the same page with expectations. The most enjoyable process for me though was watching Umair go from being completely confused and not knowing what all entails wedding planning to me just telling him my vision and him making it happen. For us I felt like I was having to do a lot of the heavy lifting the first few months and essentially helping create the rough outline of expectations and to-do list. However, the last 6 months he took over as work got hectic for me. I just had to tell him this is what I want, or what I envision and he took over. In fact, I was joking with my wedding planner recently about how she had a board to help keep everything organized with to-do lists, contracts, etc - everything that was needed for her to make this wedding run smoothly. My husband took care of everything, I still don’t even know how to get to the board. He made sure everything was taken care of. I said this during my speech and I will say it again; I may have been the mind behind the wedding, but Umair was the hands and it’s all thanks to his hard work I got my dream wedding.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There are 3 moments that always replay from the wedding. The first was sangeet day when Umair was talking to my sister and I walked and tapped him to say I am here. His expression made me feel like the prettiest person ever. No camera caught it but his expression is forever etched in my heart and memory. The second memory was when the Umair got to wear the Dhol and I got to play it. The third one was when the DJ played “Ram Jaane” which is Umair’s favorite Bollywood movie and one of the 5 Bollywood movies he had watched before he met me. I was across the room talking to some friends and ran across the room when I heard the song. Umair happened to be on stage with his best friend. I started taking off his shirt, ran to the dance floor grabbed someone’s suit jacket got Umair to wear it with his tank. His best friend brought at tie to wear to put on Umair’s head. I looked at Umair and said live your dream of wanting to be Ram Jaane at your wedding. We danced the rest of the song as him being Shahrukh khan in the movie, and me bouncing from being Juhi Chawla in the movie to being one of SRK/ aka Umair’s fan girls.

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 anyone who knows me knew that my wedding would not be complete without multiple dances. For sangeet night we opened up with a dream come to reality which was a dance-off between the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Everyone blew us away with their moves( s/o to all the girls and guys who put their best of there but the crowd favorite was Jess doing a cart wheel in a lengha). Do I even have to tell yall the winners were the bride’s side. This was followed up with a sweet dance by my niece. Next up was an amazing dance by 3 not so little kids who I babysat since they were less than 1 and now are like 11 and 16 yrs old. After that my cousins put on heartwarming show with my sisters, mom, and aunts. My college friends did a dhamaka filled dance to some of our favorite songs we jammed out to back in the day. Umair’s side put on a show with their 20 cousins, friends, and all his loved ones. The Sangeet dances ended with a dance performance I choreographed that included the closest people to me, which started with me and my 2 sisters that started with Eli re Eli( a song about 3 sisters that we always related to and promised to do a small piece at each others wedding. Then my mom joined us and all 4 of us danced to Mungda. My sisters and left and I did a duet with my mom to Maye ni Maye from Hum aapke hai kaum( one of umair’s favorite moves, where my mom is saying no to getting me married). I did a solo dance to Vaaste, a song whose lyrics make me melt and Umair fell in love with the song with the amount of times I made him hear it. My best friend then danced with me to Biloni there lal ghaara( I was wearing hot pink that’s in the family of reds right). Having being a bridesmaid atleast 10 times before my wedding, we danced to the part of when I will be a bride from Yaad piya ki Aane laagi( the new version) and Ghenda Phool by Badshah with my bridesmaids. The next song was extra special, as it is Umair’s all time favorite Movie/song and I have no clue why. He always told me he wished he could be Ram Jaane. Thus mybrother in laws joined me for a special surprise for Umair to his all-time favorite song. We ended with my sisters, Brother-in-laws, and Umair’s 2 left feet dancing Akhiyon se Goli Maare. The reception dance was our love story via Bollywood songs, narrated by my sisters with a few surprises mixed in there. It was very special and no words could do it justice. It’s just something you have to watch.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
First take a couple months to enjoy your engagement as wedding planning is stressful. Start planning early and incorporate it into your day-to-day life such as using social media to start saving dresses, themes, decors you like. Next find vendors whose work reflects your vision of your wedding, and that you can talk freely to. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the bride/groom of some of the weddings they have worked on to ensure they all had a positive experience. If you can, plan for 2 henna sessions one preferably the day before for the moms, aunts, etc. so the day of their hands are free to be able to help you and for them to feel like they can cater to the guests. Have at least 2-3 Makeup trials with the same picture you show, so you can compare both the artistic work and see which one is how you envision yourself. Pick one person who knows you the best and is willing to make decisions on your behalf that your wedding planner can go to. Have a wedding planner!! Lastly, the moment your first event starts, just remember to have fun and make the most of it. Everything will not be perfect, but just remember all your loved ones are under one roof to celebrate you and your love, so don’t worry about the little details and just enjoy every minute cause it will all be gone in a blink of an eye.

Sweeties, that's it for this entry. I'll see for the next love story!

Photography: Hakim's Studio | Cinematography: Hakim's Studio | Mehndi Artists: Henna by Rozisalim | Sangeet Venue: Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa | Ceremony Reception Venue: Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa | Reception Venue: Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa | Planning & Design: L3 Event Services | Floral & Decor: The Event Designer | Hair & Makeup: Reetu Saini | Catering: Asmas Cuisine | DJs: Outspoken Visions Entertainment | Bridal Fashions: Millionaires Collections | Tuxedos: Kamran Bespoke