Zaheer & Masserat's Wedding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
From Tanzania to United Kingdom, Masserat's love for her best friend Zaheer, knew no boundaries! Here's what went down at their fun-filled wedding in Dar es Salaam!
How we met:
We were officially introduced by one of my aunts who lives in Birmingham. When she first sent me a message about him, I refused to speak to him because I didn’t want to live in Birmingham. But when she and my family insisted persistently, I reluctantly gave my email address. We talked over email, then Whatsapp and finally on FaceTime for about 4 months, after which he came to meet me in Dar es Salaam. After that, there was no going back – we were hooked onto each other.
When is wedding planning ever smooth? Being from a semi-traditional Indian Muslim family, there were certain things that had to be done in a particular way, and of course there was a lot of family involvement. My sisters were a great help; plus we had an insight from our experiences of planning their weddings previously. My maid of honor and three other bridesmaids were also very helpful. Our ideas came from many places such as Pinterest, Instagram and Asian wedding blogs and magazines. Overall, it was a fun experience, but not sure if I would want to do it again.
Feelings on the Big Day:
I was just excited! After months and months of planning and organizing, the day was finally here where I could marry my best friend. This was the finish line that we had been focusing on for so many months. I was so excited to get all dolled up, take photos, and get married. During the actual marriage ceremony, I was nervous and emotional but I had my mom by my side, holding my hand, which was so comforting. For those of you reading that don’t know, traditional Muslim weddings are segregated with men in one hall, and women in another. The wedding ceremony (which is a two minute recitation) is heard over a mic, and watched on a TV screen.
All of my wedding shopping was done in Birmingham, UK. They have a vast selection of Indian bridal wear which gave me a huge choice. My shoes were bought from North America (Badgely Mishka and Ted Baker) and my jewelry for my wedding day was purchased from Dubai, as it was real gold. My parents and aunt played a huge part in my wedding shopping, and went from store to store with me to help me find the perfect outfit. There was a lot of input from them of course, but at the end of it, we were all happy with our purchases. I would say it went very smoothly.
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
The Mehndi was on a Friday evening at 8 pm. It was an only ladies event, that finished with dinner. The groom came by afterwards to take pictures with me, as I had spent two hours getting ready and wasn’t ready to let it go to waste! There was no particular theme, and the décor and favors were based on the outfit I wore. I wore a traditional lehenga, with a long top and a long skirt under that. The colors were a beautiful combination of coral and navy blue.
The wedding was on a Sunday evening, which started at the mosque with the wedding ceremony and dinner, followed by a reception/ ring exchange in a hall. The reception was mainly family (which turned out to be over 100 people) and we served dessert and cake, had a few speeches, as well as the ring exchange and gift-giving ceremony. I wore a long Indian dress that was a rich gold color, finished with teal and purple velvet at the bottom.
The Mehndi venue was entirely based upon the number of people attending. I also wanted to choose a place close to my house, so that I wouldn’t have to leave too early, and I wanted a nice hall that would look good even without too much décor. The hall that I chose, Viva Towers Hall, was in a residential building on the 9th floor by the pool, and therefore it was just what I needed. The reception hall was chosen by the groom’s side, and hence I did not have much input in it. However, my in-laws were kind enough to let me decide on the décor.
Performers and Performances:
There was no ‘performances’ per say as there was no music at my wedding, due to religious reasons. However, we did have speeches and a very entertaining MC.
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist, bartenders and DJ:
Choosing a makeup artist was a great challenge for me because I am a makeup artist myself. The girl that I chose was very nervous on our trial day, but I had full faith in her work and told her to work her magic. I changed some things, but for the most part, she was exactly what I wanted and her work was excellent. I would recommend her to anyone getting married in Dar-es-Salaam, and would choose her again any day. My hair artist was a long time friend of a business partner of mine, and she was also very great to work with and gave me exactly what I wanted. My photographer was also a family favorite, a lovely girl that was really fun to work with and took some great shots! My reception photographer was different as he was from the groom’s side, but had previously done a photo shoot for my husband and I. He was fantastic and great to work with.
Advice for to-be-weds (one or two sentences):
Focus on the finish line. The wedding isn’t forever, but your marriage is. Arguing about wedding cards, décor, cake, etc. is all insignificant because after your wedding is over, it honestly won’t matter what kind of cake you had. Just make sure you choose the right person to marry, he should support you, love you and, most importantly, be your best friend.
Photography: Khadija Shariff Photography, Hanif Abdulrasul / DTP
Make-up Artist: Tathir Najafi Makeup Artistry
Hair Stylist: Zarmin Karmali
Henna Artist: Badriya Osman
Photo Courtesy: Khadija Shariff Photography, Hanif Abdulrasul / DTP