H&R: The Engagement

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Alhumdullilah. Hazim & I have been blessed beyond words. To think back to where we started, and to see where we are at now, alhumdullilah really is the only word to describe this incredible journey with my best friend. Hazim & I met back in 2010 at Richland College in Dallas and became the closest friends. As our friendship grew, so did our love & respect for each other. People ask me if I knew from the beginning if this is the man I wanted to marry. I can’t say it was so cliche & poetic, but I knew that I did not ever want to be without him. Since then, our relationship has been so effortless, so simple and honest, and all the pieces fit even when we weren’t sure how. Like many South Asian Muslim couples, we too grappled with the struggles of growing up in a community where dating was not fully embraced, however we told our parents from the beginning. If I love someone so much, how could I hide him from the people I respect the most? Alhumdullilah, our families were so understanding and open-minded about our relationship as well as towards each other. Despite our differences, our parents could see how right it all felt and let that feeling guide us all.

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     In August 2013, our families surprised us with an impromptu baath pakki and that’s when the madness started. We had been dating since December 2010, so we felt like we were in a good place to move forward with our relationship, but no amount of preparation could ever describe the rush of making things “official”. I always advise my friends to give yourself and the relationship time because once you light the spark of making things “official” in the Desi community, it’s a bit of a wildfire. I can’t describe it, but the frenzy of joining families together, meeting each other’s family friends, this uncle and that aunty, the dawats, the incessant wedding talk perpetuated by random curious aunties–well, it’s a lot to deal with atop the usual ebb and flow of our normal stressful lives. I found myself constantly reminding myself to focus on what is central–us.

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So what’s first? The ring. Hazim and his parents were so incredibly generous and let me pick anything I wanted. I knew it just had to be different, not over-the-top or anything, but just different. Obviously, I started my extensive research on Pinterest, but none of that amounted to much until I went to the jewelers to see what was available. We saw Tiffany’s, Harry Winston, De Beers, etc. but everything was totally not worth it. I prefer going to the Desi jewelers because I find the quality, design, and shine of their pieces to be so much better. I’m not that simple thin-band-cushion-cut-halo type of girl, so it had to be unique. We went to Malani Jewelers in Dallas and I instantly fell in love with this gorgeous rose gold diamond ring with a floating halo. It was dramatic. It was so me. And my love for gold would not have it any other way.

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On our 3-year dating anniversary, Hazim decided to propose with the ring. Even though I had picked the ring out with him prior, there was a lot of customization involved, so it was the first time I’d see the ring in its entirety. The proposal was private and intimate and one of those moments we have solely for ourselves. The flashmobs, photographers, extensive videos is all wonderful, but in a time where we share everything with the world, this moment was just for us, and it was perfect.

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Since I am obsessed with The 1920’s/Great Gatsby, it seemed fitting to incorporate that element somewhere into the wedding process. Thus, we decided to have an opulent 20s themed engagement shoot. Our photographer, Ekaterina Kouznetsova was so easy to work with and understood the aesthetic. Special thank you to the Hashmi’s for the Rolls Royce and my cousin Imran Memon for the private jet. You guys made our shoot totally badass!

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     Hazim & I are blessed to not only have an amazing family, but spectacular family friends. We had a traditional desi dholki thrown by my super awesome family friends and a Memon dandiya night from his side. It was So. Much. Fun. The food, the decor, everything was so special. All of my outfits were sent to me by my stylish Naani from Bombay. We really are so honored to have all of you in our lives.

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     We initially wanted to have a small, intimate engagement at the house, however we knew it would be some time until the wedding, and our families were very excited, so we decided to have a slightly larger event. As far as the vision for the event, our families let me take the lead. In keeping with my individual style, I had to have black & white somehow. The lehenga was picked by my Naani and aunt from Mumbai. The designer is Sabyasachi, though the top is custom, since I wanted a more conservative blouse. Hazim’s sherwani is custom from Karachi. Despite the confusion, I ended up doing my hair & makeup by myself, which was insane. Up until that point, I didn’t even own foundation. Like, I’m not kidding. I was so makeup illiterate, but with the help of some of my fav beauty gurus, I was able to pull together a heavy glam look. The decor was a bit modern, a bit vintage. Everything detail was just impeccable. And as crazy as everyone thought I was for incorporating so much black, I think everything turned out better than I could have dreamed.

The venue was easy since both my parents work in hotels. The dua was led by Imaam Dr. Zafar Anjum, the decor was by the amazing Farah of Weddings by Farah, the lighting was by Outspoken Visions, the food was catered by Zyka, the photography was by Axel Leong, and the cake was by Buttercream Bliss. We also were fortunate to have Sohail Najmi Saab and his group perform ghazals and qawwali as part of the entertainment for the evening. Each vendor went above and beyond to make our dream a reality, especially Myra, our event coordinator. They understood that I was not a traditional bride and really were open to my crazy, outlandish ideas. How much crazier can it get? I guess we’ll find out…

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So that was the long-awaited engagement recap! Thank you all for being so supportive and celebrating with us. And thank you Hazim for being so patient with me throughout all of it. I can’t say I won’t be psychotic during the wedding, but I can say it will be worth it! Lots of love, always.

Details:

  • Dholki Outfits: Boutiques in Mumbai
  • Engagement Ring: Malani Jewelers
  • Engagement Photoshoot Photographer: Ekaterina Kouznetsova
  • Venue: Holiday Inn Richardson
  • Event Coordinator: Myra
  • Decor: Weddings by Farah
  • Lighting: Outspoken Visions
  • Caterer: Zyka
  • Cake & Dessert: Buttercream Bliss
  • Event Photographer: Axel Leong
  • Bridal Outfit: Sabyasachi + custom
  • Bridal Jewelry: Mumbai
  • Hair & Makeup: Me
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