(Organising my wedding was almost like having a big puzzle where every little idea needs to fit into each other, so I had to make sure we created nothing but a picture-perfect wedding)
From the Bride:
Belal and I met through the popular game where our mutual friends kept on pushing us to meet each other and when we eventually did the rest is history. Knowing Belal for the past 10 years meant that we had become the best of friends; I know all there is to know about him, his strengths, weakness and not to mention a few bad habits and pretty I’m sure he knows all of mine too,(Laughter’s).
Belal isn’t the most romantic person on earth, so expecting a firework display would be a little bit overstated. But to my surprise he really did make my heart skip a few beats when he proposed. He took me to Brassiere Blanc a French restaurant for dinner, where a violinist set the ambience by playing sweet harmonious melodies. He took a hold of my hands across the table, looked deep into my eyes and without a flicker popped the question with a beautiful diamond ring. I was lost for words I had no idea he was planning this all along.
Planning a wedding is a task with which most Brides have little to no previous experience but a lot of my friends and family know me as a perfectionist so planning the biggest day of my life meant the world. With only 7 months to plan, it would not have been possible without the help from my lovely sister; she was with me every step of the way.
Ideas & Inspiration
I always dreamt of a big wedding so there was no way I was going to settle for anything less. I have had many first hand experiences in organising my friend’s weddings, from customising their wedding gowns, selecting a theme, decorations to attending every detail with care to successfully accomplish a really memorable wedding.
Whilst planning their big day, every time I saw something inspiring that I would like for my own wedding such as florists and wedding gown designers, I would straight away takes notes and gather contact details. So I ended with my very own wedding directory that was full of my desired ideas and inspirations. To be honest this really did save me a lot valuable time looking around and enquiring after people. So ladies I suggest you get cracking.
Setting the Scene
Mehndi is a traditional event for a bride before her marriage and I wanted to make it best and different so for my Mehndi night, I decided to go for a pretty pastel colour, vintage inspired theme. I wore a peach slim cut lenhenga gown to flatter my body shape; I designed it myself and got it assembled by Dubaish. It has floral embroidery with pearl embellishments, I wore Kyle’s signature styled pearl and beaded necklace to made my gown really stand out.
Being inspired from my floral motif, I got my family members to wear coordinated colours. The boys wore white, my mum and the girls wore turquoise and as for my aunties they all wore baby yellow. I made sure everyone’s outfits complimented each other and mine.
My hands and feet were decorated with elaborate designs. The designs were usually floral with some signifying fertility.
Whilst designing the stage I wanted to keep it simple and chic, I had a silky cream organza backdrop with burgundy and cream rose pomander balls hanging from the ceiling not forgetting the fairly lights to give it a twilight aura. As for my bouquet it included white, cream and light orange flowers giving it a timeless vintage look. As I went on the stage most of the time, I choose a classic royal white one-armed sofa as my central focus point.
I booked Ambreen (MUA) to do my hair and make-up. We experimented with many looks before we agreed on a classic Hollywood look, where my hair was curled to one side draping elegantly down my right shoulder. As for my make-up it was light and radiant with the use of pastel coloured shimmering eye shadows to really accentuate my eyes, finishing it off with a very subtle touch of rose pink blush.
Seeing my vision come to life I felt rather overjoyed and taken by the beauty of it all. Every little detail looked so perfect. It looked so much better than what I had imagined.
Our Wedding Look
Belal and I wanted our big day to mirror our personalities. We wanted it to reflect elegance, class and sophistication. We wanted it to be personal and describe who we are, and to host a special day for our family and friends to enjoy. So booking Grand Connaught Rooms was the best decision we ever made. It has a beautiful luxurious interior with magnificent chandeliers hanging from its historic architectural structure. It’s very spacious which was one of our main concerns as we had 700 guests attending and making sure everyone was seated comfortably was important. Our wedding was even more than I expected it would be. I especially loved my outfits, our delicious cake and of course my groom! Each aspect of our wedding had something special.
My Wedding Gown
Although our wedding day reflects a modern day Royal Victorian affair Bilal and I decided to hold on to our traditional customs of our culture and therefore I wore colour of red. Though I am not the one to do things the conventional way,
I decided to customise my wedding dress with Seasons.
Belal choose the type of cut, he thinks flatters my body shape and so I tried to work around that idea.
Keeping away from the traditional Asian wedding attire, I decide to wear a long Arabian inspired gown, which still looks like a lenhenga but it had a far more chic stylish appeal to it. Choosing the right shade of red was essential and Season’s has so many red coloured swatches that I felt spoilt for choice. Nevertheless in the end did manage to find my perfect red.
The gown itself had lots of intricate silver patterned needlework that is primarily placed at the front of the dress, side of the arms and the border of my veil with royal midnight blue velvet flower work. It also had silver and blue and Swarovski stonework, which was customised to perfectly, match my silver crystal statement necklace from Kyle’s followed by my favourite Jimmy Choo.
As for my bridal bouquet it was put together by Flower Power, they used red roses with jelly fish wiggly flowers tied together by a ribbon then wrapped by the swatch patterned material that was given to me by Seasons. The bouquets looked like it was a part of my dress.
Ambreen did my hair and make-up on my wedding day but this time we focused on the Royal Victorian theme. I wanted a hairstyle similar to Princess Ann on her wedding day. So Ambreen did a parallel hair do with a modern twist. It looked stunning and I was so pleased with the way it looked. As for my make-up I want it to bold and beautiful, Ambreen used similar tone of colours picked out from my wedding gown and did a Smokey smudge effect on my eyes finishing off with a deep rouge lipstick.
Belal also got his suit customised by a wedding designer called Jay from Khubsoorat. Keeping mind the colours I’m wearing, Belal decided to wear modern day fitted linen suit in off white colour, he looked exactly how I wanted, smart sleek and stylish. But I couldn’t resist adding my own personal touch so I made sure his cravat was the same colour as my gown.
Our Wedding Cake
What is an important wedding ceremony without a very special cake? We went for a modern look for the cake. Our wedding cake was an absolute chef-d’oeuvre, starting off as my inspiration from the Victorian floral wallpaper at the Grand Connaught banquet to royal white lavish cake. It had delicate roses embossed into the cake with more roses poking at different corners of the cake. It was varnished with a pearl necklace running down from the top of the cake. It tasted as just as good as it looked.
Our Wedding Rings
It is true that a wedding ring is a token of possession, but rather than symbolising a man possessing a woman, it is the woman’s possession of something valuable given by the man and that was only thing which wasn’t customised by me. Simply because the ring we choose was far too perfect and beautiful to be changed. Belal knew that I like big rings, so we went to Satyan Jewellers my eyes immediately searched for something big shinny and we straightaway picked round cut crown diamond ring. As for Belal he wanted a simple ring so we decided to buy it from Hutton Gardens.
My Big Wedding
We had an evening ceremony so we had an entire day to relax and prepare ourselves for the wedding. I decided to get ready at the hotel and I clearly remember being calm and relaxed whilst I was getting my hair and make-up done. But the moment I stepped in to my wedding gown and aligned my veil over my head I was overwhelmed with sudden rush of nervousness. This is when it really hit me the fact that I am getting married today and that everything that we have planned mounts to this day “our Special day”.
Nowadays couples are going an extra mile to really make their wedding day stand out from everyone else. Whether its thorough their first dance, singing speeches and even a bride and groom dancing down the alter. So how could I not do something a little different compared to most other Asian weddings.
I had two entrances; my first entrance was I entered into a private room before the groom’s arrival. The second entrance was my main entry to the wedding hall made after Belal has arrived. As he waited it was time I put him out of his misery and what other way to do so then play a song very close to us. As I walk into the hall I had “Tere mast mast” playing the background. This song really did capture the essence of moment by truly defining the way we both felt.
As soon as our eyes met across the room I remember Belal gave me a smile and instantly I blocked out everything and all I could see was him I felt so happy the I marrying the love of my life, I felt complete.
As the evening went on with all our friends and families it was time to serve our guest with finest Indian cuisine by none other than Elite catering. We also hired an Indian signer from Dil Se, who sang Indian songs requested by our guest all night long.
Our wedding day was the most magical day of our lives and we would do it all over again if we can. Although we did have our ups and downs and there was a time where I was super stressed out with the anticipation of not knowing, whether my wedding gown will be arrive on time. I can now truly say nothing can ever beat the feeling of being on top of the world. Our big day brought us so much happiness and joy, it couldn’t had been anymore prefect and picturesque and It was very sad to see it came to end.
We decided to go to Dubai for our romantic getaway and booked Royal Ascot hotel for 7 nights. As soon as we got off the airport we indulged our self into the beauty of Dubai and its avant-garde architecture. We spent hours enjoying each other’s company whether when it’s taking a stroll down Dubai’s majestic beach or shopping endlessly in its giant shopping malls. There were numerous attractions to check out and lavish restaurants to dine. It was well and truly a lavish holiday.
My advice to all the brides to be
My only piece of advice I can give is that, don’t let anyone tell you what your wedding should or shouldn’t be, we made our wedding exactly what we envisioned. In the end, everyone told us how personal and unique our wedding day was and this is only because we stayed true to our own wedding vision. So don’t give up on your wedding dreams make it happen.