Marriyah and Usamah were married on a perfect summer weekend in August 2019. Their wedding was also the first multi-cultural one I had the honor to be a part of!
Marriyah had reached out to me in late April of 2019 and knew she was going to need help with planning. She had a very busy career and her fiancé was in his medical residency which left little time for planning. She had secured her two venues – Farmington Gardens and the Aria as well as her caterer but that was about as far as she had gotten. With just over 3 months to plan a multi-day affair, I knew the planning timeline would be tight, but we could (and would!) absolutely make it happen!
After an initial phone call, Marriyah and I scheduled our first (of many!) in-person meeting at Cheshire Coffee, where I had one of the BEST lattes of my life. I’m typically a no-frills, black coffee type of girl but when I saw their vanilla mocha chai latte, I just had to get it. And it did not disappoint. I seriously looked forward to every meeting we had here so I could get this drink. Anyways, back to the wedding planning!
This first meeting was to go over Marriyah’s vision, her likes/dislikes, vendors we needed to book, and for her to also help walk me through some of the Pakistani traditions she would be incorporating into the event. We talked for several hours and I left with a very long to-do list that I couldn’t wait to get started on.
With such a short planning timeline, Marriyah and I texted, emailed, and talked almost daily. As August 17th & 18th drew near, final details were confirmed, seating charts finalized, timelines completed, last minute décor was ordered and we were ready to go!
Friday’s celebration was their Nikkah and Mehndi celebration at Farmington Gardens. This day had a smaller guest count (but still had over 200 guests!) and was the day they would actually be married. Everything here was about vibrant colors and more traditional Pakistani design. Their Nikkah was held outside under the pergola that was adorned in floating flowers. Guests were all given bubbles to blow as Marriyah and Usamah exchanged vows and receded down the aisle.
From here, servers lined the pathway offering platters of dates and everyone was invited under a beautiful Sperry tent (the first one ever set up at this venue!) for cocktail hour. We designed this area to feel like a street festival – the caterer had live action cooking stations set up along the perimeter, hi-tops were scattered about for easy mingling, colorful fabric swags were hung from the ceiling and the entryway and a live dhol player led the way to the tent to create a truly authentic experience.
The reception itself was hosted inside of the building. Once everyone was seated, we began the entrances. First up was Usamah’s grand entrance followed by Marriyah’s sisters carrying trays of hennah. Then it was time for Marriyah to make her way into the room. This was such a new experience for me and I loved watching all of their customs and the excitement surrounding them. The couple took their seats on stage while family members performed various traditional dances for them. Dinner began shortly thereafter followed by the men and women separating so the ladies could dance and celebrate together. The evening ended around 11pm and everyone headed home to rest up for a full day of events on Saturday.
Saturday was their Shaadi and Marriyah and I designed this to feel like more of a Western-style wedding. The day began with hair and makeup at her mother’s home before Marriyah and the girls headed over to the Aria where Marriyah and Usamah shared their First Look.
Guests began to arrive around 5pm for cocktail hour. We had such a beautiful summer day that this took place out on the patio and courtyard of the Aria. Marriyah wanted her grand reveal to take place during the reception so we tucked her away up in the spacious bridal suite so she could relax for a bit.
The ballroom of the Aria was designed in more neutral colors with the grand staircase being our focal point. Rachael with Sage Hill Florals created a stunning 8’x8’ flower wall (every single stem was real!) and dressed the railings in greenery and candles. Talk about the perfect setting to make a grand entrance and WOW your guests!
Guests were treated to a wide variety of Pakistani offerings for dinner and dessert. The biggest hit of the night was the photo booth by MirMir – I don’t think the booth was ever empty! The music was upbeat and lively and everyone was dancing the night away.
I learned so much about other culture’s traditions by working with these two. I loved being able to exercise my design muscles to create something truly unique. Thank you Marriyah for being so patient and gracious with me and taking the chance to work with me knowing I had never planned a cultural wedding before. Hopefully this won’t be the last!
Venues: Farmington Gardens & Aria
Photographer: Evermore Imaging
Videographer: NST Pictures
Catering: Taste of Lahore
Beauty: Salon Naomi
DJ, Dhol Player, Lighting: M4U Events
Cake: Modern Pastry
Flowers: Sage Hill CT
Tent Drape: EZ Occasions
Tent: Sperry Tents
Signage: Nob Hill Jane
Chocolate Escort Cards: Noteworthy Chocolates
Photo Booth: MirMir
Furniture, Indoor Drape & Centerpieces: Dhol Baja Baraat