Happy Wednesday, Maharanis! The filmy day of the week has finally arrived, and I am excited to give you an insight into Shabeen & Asad's gorgeous wedding day. These lovebirds had an unmatchable celebration at the lavishing The Desmond Hotel Albany. The luxury and elegance of this venue captured our couples' attention from day one, making it the perfect place to start a new chapter in their lives. Complemented with Abhishek Decorators' unblemished decor, the guests were surrounded by romance at all times. Our couples' choice of color palette was rich and unique, going for deep and solid colors for their reception and a more traditional white for the ceremony. The marvelous bride, Shabeen, was styled by the proficient Karuna Chani KC Makeup with some smooth and artistic makeup and gorgeous coiffure. Laila Budhwani was in charge of Shabeen's mehndi, and it was everything she could wish for! Her divine reception attire from Elan Atlanta is one of my favorite details from this celebration. It is stunning, Maharanis. You cannot miss it! During the ceremony, Shabeen dazed with a lovely wedding dress from Zuria Dor, enchanting her soulmate once again. And Asad looked dapper, too, with his elegant garments from Suit Supply. They were a match made in heaven, and all the attendants could agree! Of course, our couple had more than looks to offer their guests; they had Cake Street Sweets' tasty creations to delight everyone's palate and a vivid atmosphere courtesy of Premier DJ Usa PSAV. The whole event was immortalized by Studio KSD's team of accomplished professionals. The cinematography is breathtaking! We have the brilliant video available for you, dears. Just click on the play button below and get your boost of inspiration!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Asad and I met seven years ago in New York through a mutual friend. I was actually considering leaving New York at the time so I wasn't interested in getting into a serious relationship. About a year into us dating and I received a job offer in Chicago. I assumed we would end things knowing that long-distance is incredibly challenging but his overwhelming support of my career, the opportunity in front of me, and his prioritization of what I wanted to do was one of the first times I realized how special our relationship was. There was never one single moment in which I "knew he was the one." The next six years of dating (including three years of long-distance!) were a culmination of little moments full of love, support, and growth and both of us decided to choose happiness with each other.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The day we got engaged was one of the funniest days of our relationship. We decided to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens since neither of us have ever seen the cherry blossoms in NYC. When we got there the ticket collector claimed we had 3 tickets but there were only 2 of us there. Asad is a pretty calm person so he made me move on quickly (I was getting ready to call our bank about being overcharged!). We started walking through the gardens and stopped in the lavender fields. Asad asked what I thought was a stranger taking a picture of us with our polaroid camera. (Side note: he had gotten very obsessed with polaroid cameras the week before and insisted we bring the polaroid camera to the gardens). It was there that he proposed and to this day, I'm pretty sure I never even said yes to his question as all I could get out of my mouth was "Oh my god!" Everyone around us started cheering and it turned out we were in fact a group of three because that stranger he asked to take a photo of us was actually a photographer he had hired for the day. We then spent the day doing a beautiful photoshoot around the gardens. Our families surprised us later by decorating our apartment and taking us out to dinner that evening. I've never smiled and laughed so much in one day.
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.
It takes a village to plan an Indian wedding! With five events on the agenda, a pandemic that wasn't going anywhere, and two huge loving families wanting to be involved in the planning process, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Having an older sister and lots of girl cousins who had planned their own weddings before I was a great place for me to start my planning process. We began our venue search in Albany, NY since Asad's family lives there. We thought it would be easier and more Covid-friendly to space our guests out upstate instead of in New York City. With that in mind, we tried to utilize a mix of local Albany and New York City vendors. Finding vendors who could help us design and execute a vision wasn't easy, but once we found the right teams to coordinate with, everything fell seamlessly into place. Asad and I trusted our vendors to let them do what they do best which is why I think everything turned out incredibly.
Special thank you to all the vendors who gave us the wedding of our dreams: Crowne Plaza Albany Desmond Hotel, Studio KSD Photo & Cinema, Abhishek Decorators, DJ Ambition of Premier Entertainment, Moghul Catering, Mazadar Mediterranean Kitchen, Parivar Food & Spices, Karuna Chani Makeup, Henna by Laila Budhwani, Brides by Sabaa, Custom Garlands BK by Amara, The Paanwaala, Zuria Dor, Elan Atlanta, Aainaa Fashion, Suit Supply, JinaShili by Shili, Crossover Bollywood Se, SKB Sweets, and CakeStreet Sweets.
How did you select your bridal Lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I've always loved the idea of having a traditional Indian wedding. I felt it was powerful to partake in the traditions that millions of Indian brides before me had experienced. While I didn't have a specific color in mind for my Nikah or Reception outfits, I assumed I would wear red for one of my wedding events. What would end up happening was way out of my control! Travel and in-store bridal appointments were limited because of Covid so I took to Instagram for inspiration. I stumbled across the gorgeous blue-green Maera bridal saree from Pakistani designer, Zuria Dor, and as much as I tried to look at other options, I couldn't get that stunning piece out of my head. My Nikah saree was the first outfit I picked (out of 5 events) so I figured I would wear red for my Reception. I looked for months for something special and tried on every shade of red I could find but nothing spoke to me. It wasn't until my mother-in-law and I discovered that gold, stone-studded bridal Lengha from Elan in Atlanta that I knew I had found my Reception outfit. I may not have ended up not wearing red for any of my Wedding events but tradition is even more fun when you get to make it your own!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We went the extra mile to make sure our guests had a memorable and enjoyable weekend celebrating us and we're so grateful they could share in our love. We heard many compliments ranging from the amazing food (thank you Moghul Catering!) to the stunning decor (thank you Abhishek Decorators!) and all the details in between. There was a lot to be happy about that weekend and we loved that our wedding could bring everyone together (cheers for having a covid-free wedding!). Our favorite compliment has to be everyone telling us how happy we looked like a bride and groom. We were overjoyed to be tying the knot and I love that everyone could see the joy on our faces and feel our excitement in the room.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle with my older brother on my arm and my husband tearing up in front of all of our loved ones is a memory that constantly replays in my mind. I walked out to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" played by our incredible string quartet (thank you Hudson String Quartet!). We practiced walking down the aisle in our living room that week but no amount of practice can prepare you for how emotional and remarkable that moment will be! Locking eyes with my husband during that song is a memory I'll cherish forever. The room was full of friends and family but Asad was the only one I could see.
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.
I decided on a color scheme early on for each of the five wedding events. That helped guide our decor and outfit selections from the start. Both of our families love to dance so we knew the Sangeet night would be a night to remember. My amazing siblings, cousins, and friends blew me away on the night of the Sangeet (including a surprise dance - thanks Nitin and Mun!). Asad's family, cousins, and aunts all had incredible dance performances and his immediate family even pulled me into one which was so sweet and welcoming. Since we got married on Halloween weekend, we decided to set up a Halloween table full of treats and games at the Reception for the kids forced to attend our wedding. It was the least we could do for taking Halloween weekend away from them! We made it a point to spend as much time as possible with our guests and our vendors because we really wouldn't have had as magical of a wedding weekend without the people in that room.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Plan for all the big and small details until you're exhausted and right before your events start, let it all go so you can focus on the person you're going to marry. When something goes wrong (and it inevitably will), remind yourself how lucky you are to be surrounded by people willing to help and support you. Take pauses to soak in every moment you can because I promise, all you will really remember is how happy you felt looking at your person. P.S. Try not to sweat the small stuff - no one really cares what shade of white your tablecloths are!
I hope you are feeling inspired, ladies. I'll you soon with more romance!