Nahid & Shephali's Wedding in New Jersey, USA
Nahid and Shephali may belong to different religions, but their love united them and their families, which they celebrated with much pomp in New Jersey!
How we met:
We met at the wedding festivities of his brother and my friend back in April 2009. I immediately had a crush on him, but I did not know how to initiate it. Luckily, we had to start interacting with one another for the events, and got to know each other a bit. I made the first move and asked him for his AOL ID, and contacted him the very next day. Eventually, I got his phone number too. From there, we ended up meeting on a random day, which ended up as our first date (28/05/’09). There was no looking back from there! It was quite a roller coaster ride due to me being Hindu and him being Muslim. My family did not accept it at first and it was a tough battle for 2 years, fighting for our love to win. Thankfully, putting aside the religious differences, my parents realized he was perfect for me, and hence the wedding planning began. I like to say that this relationship happened because I made the first move. Quite the unconventional bride I would say =)
It is normal for the wedding planning process to be a bit stressful. It was not too stressful in the beginning, but of course, when the Big Day was around the corner, I started feeling the pressure. I started my wedding planning about 9 months in advance, and had an idea about the color scheme and theme that I wanted, thanks to Pinterest and many Instagram pages that I follow. In addition, I thankfully had my cousin Amisha helping me throughout my planning process, whether it was speaking with vendors or inching in on the details, so I could not have done it without her.
Feelings on the Big Day:
I was unfortunately sick during my events; however, I was just so happy! I had no feelings of nervousness or anxiety. In fact, I felt like I was in a fairytale, and my dreams were about to become a reality. My Prince was waiting for me on the other end, and I just could not wait to get to him. That mere thought kept me smiling the whole time, before and after the vows. I surprisingly did not cry at all during the wedding; instead, my groom was the one crying. =) Seeing all the people I love in one room just filled my heart with so much warmth and joy.
Wedding shopping was actually not so bad. I initially went to India to shop, however, I ended up buying clothes for my parents, brothers, sister-in-laws and niece and nephews (from Aishwarya in Mumbai, Asopalav in Ahmedabad, JadeBlue in Ahmedabad and Arvindbhai Khatri & Sons in Ahmedabad). My husband and I got our clothes custom-made by a designer in New York, Deepak Lakhani (Think Banaras). He also designed our bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits the way we wanted. We sat down with him and discussed every detail of the events and the kind of colors and style we wanted. Needless to say, we were very happy.
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
Beach theme – colors: white, yellow, teal, peach/ coral, sand
Groom – Black Kurta Pajama with a Neon Green Vest
Bride – A simple yet unique black high-low skirt with mirror work, a crop top with coral bead details, paired with a neon green crush dupatta)
Modern Day Romance theme – colors: white, red, light pink, champagne, silver
Groom – Beige/ Champagne Sherwani with red pants and Pagri
Bride – A red lehenga
Movie theme – colors: white, blue, silver and a hint of black (ostrich feather centerpieces with candelabras throughout the room)
Groom – Custom made light grey suit from BookATailor in NYC
Bride – Royal/ Navy Blue lehenga (long top) with gold
Keeping in mind that I had many family members coming from out of town, I wanted a venue that I can host all my events in. After going through a dozen of hotel venues, the one I loved the most was Hanover Marriott. It had everything that I was looking for, in terms of a venue that would be convenient for all my guests, yet give me that modern beauty and charm I wanted. In addition, it came with probably the most amazing Wedding Coordinator I have ever met, Teresa Gasper. She was one of the biggest reasons I booked the Hanover Marriott. She understood my vision and gave me everything I wanted and more!
Performers and Performances:
My beautiful bridesmaids danced at my Sangeet, giving me the most amazing surprise in the end by adding my husband in their performance. I also joined my girls for the last part of their dance. My cousin and I also did a duet, and then I ended the performance with a solo.
At the Reception, I had an amazing surprise from some of my closest guy friends. First surprise performance came from my best friend, Gurbir (former captain of Anakh E Gabroo in NYC and Captain of Nishani Bhangra in Houston), who came on stage with two of our other friends, Karan and Guneet, and performed a Bhangra piece for us. The second surprise was from my college friends, who also happen to be a part of the Wanted Ashiqz, Ashif (Captain and Artistic Director of Wanted Ashiqz), Protyoi and Siva. They performed a dance in conjunction with a skit that depicted mine and Junior’s love story.
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist, bartenders and DJ:
I feel so grateful and blessed to have had such an amazing team of vendors. Every single vendor went above and beyond to make all my events perfect and outright FUN. I knew what I wanted, so each vendor I selected was a piece of my vision, and each and every one brought it to life in his or her own respective categories.
Advice for to-be-weds:
It is natural to stress out, but remember, it is supposed to be the most beautiful and memorable day of your life. Choose the right vendors that will help you bring your vision to life, which will give you peace of mind so that YOU can sit back, relax, and ENJOY your own wedding.
Photographer/Videographer: Images by Aaron
Wedding Coordinator: Teresa Gasper (Hanover Marriott)
Decor: Rangoli Weddings
Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist: Sonia C
Henna Artist: Henna by Sajani
DJ: DJ Raj Entertainment
Outfit Designer: Deepak Lakhani
Venue: Hanover Marriott, New Jersey