Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crazy Indian REAL Bride : Shaista

As Told by the Bride, Shaista

Two people that couldn't be more poles apart in terms of personalities. Ali a very organized, excel-sheet driven individual; whereas I, Shaista on the other hand couldn't be bothered about keeping a tab on things, write things on napkins and live spontaneously! 

So How did you guys meet?

It was quite funny how Ali and I met. I had graduated from Indiana university not too long ago and moved out to Los Angeles for work. I came home and switched on my computer to see a notification of someone named 'Ali' checking out my profile on the then famous 'orkut' (Oh I remember that feature, facebook should have it too, maybe not, stalking won't be fun anymore if that happens)

I went on to check his profile and saw he was in Indiana University too..! I was confused- all the desis knew each other, how come I never came across him before? and he was Bohri as well! so I was curious.. I messaged asking if I knew him since we were in the same college and he replied innocently saying he was new to town and just wanted to get a better idea of our college town. 

Me being the helpful soul that I was, sitting in Los Angeles started giving him lists of places he should visit and things he should do around Bloomington and we got to talking.. and became pen pals..more on the basis of helping him out since he was new there.

One Halloween weekend, my friends back home in college forced me to come back to Indiana and I needed to close bank accounts and wrap up before I packed everything and moved out to Los Angeles so I decide to go.

Ali brought up the topic of meeting. I was a little eeked.. because i wasn't sure what to think of him as yet... was he a creeper? stalker? weirdo ? you can never trust anything online (agree!), but I said yeah sure why not.... and used the standard desi formula of huddling a group of friends with me ... I still vividly remember the conversation him and i had that night 

Ali : "So are you bringing friends?"
Shaista: "Emm yeah I am going to get 2 of my friends"
Ali: "Okay I am getting 2 of my friends too"

It was so awkward for the first 2 minutes of meeting, but the next thing you know we were all dancing, having a ball and planning to head to a  Halloween party (that got cancelled), we ended the night with Ali holding my boots and me walking bare feet on the streets of good ol' Bloomington, Indiana.

The connection was undeniable.. we became great friends...he asked if I wanted to meet him again the next day, just for a dinner- I assumed he wasn't a serial killer,  so I accepted and we had a nice meal and went out to go dancing and let loose... it was then we realized we had such a goofy crazy connection... we found ourselves on the streets of America sitting outside a college bar, acting like we were in India with our hands curled out saying "Bhagwaan ke naam pe dede babaaa....!!"  (hahahhahahhahaha) with Goras staring us at like we were nuts, I don't think anyone would ever understand that moment, but Ali and I knew- it was at that moment we had a great friendship.

It was 2 days since we first met in person, and it was time for me to hail a taxi back to the airport...Once I reached LA, Ali and me kept in touch...we started getting closer with each passing day and soon made plans to do a trip to New York for Christmas to spend with some friends...that's where sparks flew and we just couldn't avoid it any longer.. a great friendship turned into an even greater love in Manhattan. 

Awww, that sounds so sweet, What happened next? How was the wedding?

The big fat Indian wedding, was really big and fat ! My homebase is Dubai - Ali's homebase was Kuwait- but we decided to split our wedding into 2 places. Pune and Dubai. It was awesome fun! But a logistical nightmare! 

We had back to back functions. 4 days in Pune and another 3 days in Dubai... with possibly 2 functions on each day! 

All I remember was waking up- heading to the salon getting done and plastering a smile on my face for the functions! It was tiring! but it was so much fun to have all the families together, having a blast...

How did you manage Hair and Makeup through all of this!

Since Pune was relatively a new place for me- it was a little difficult to adjust to the new hair and make up, since I was very comfortable with the people I used in Dubai, but you just have to let go sometimes and trust that they know what they are doing and know their job.

The mehendi for Ali took place at his home, for the girls side we had rented out a boutique hotel 'Cocoon'. I will never forget that place. So many memories. 

Where did the other functions take place?

In Dubai our sangeet took place on a Dhow cruise...a night full of fun and dancing! (Sounds fun!!)

We had out Nikkah done in Husainy Baug and the reception took place in Turf Club pune. 

The reception was the magnificent Atlantis! such a beauty..and we had a masjid function after which we dragged ourselves directly for our honeymoon to the Maldives!!! A much deserved break ! 

Any Advice for our Brides-to-be??

It comes to a point where you need to let go and just live that moment. At first I felt really awkward, since I've always been behind the camera, sometimes when i look through my pictures I can see the tense in my face, but the whole point of the cameras is to capture that moment and time. So don't pretend or pout just because the cameras are there- try to relax and concentrate on the wedding and whats happening around you rather than thinking I need to suck my tummy in and look good for these pictures ;)

I decided to do everything on my own and when you're a working woman things can get really difficult. We were lucky to have family and friends that helped us through this process- couldn't have done it without them.

Especially for my functions in India- I wasn't too sure of who to work with, but help from family made things easier- but i realized you just have to simply make time for wedding planning... Try not to keep everything for the last minute. 

I remember I didn't have my main reception clothes a month before the wedding... ! I could never find the time to get out a shoot and make sure everything was done and I left everything for the last minute..Take out the time for this, as these memories are the onces etched in your lives for good.

Any Vendor recommendations?? 

I got some of my clothes done in Mumbai by a designer named Asgar Munshi...his line is called 'AGASP' he has a great sense of style and will cater to all your needs. I would definitely work with him again.

Photography: Amour Affairs. Taher Hussain is a one stop shop. I was very scared before booking with Taher because photographs and video is something I do for a living and I was quite picky about getting it right.. I remember being on the phone with Taher making sure he knew what I wanted, I sent him links to things I was looking for..and he delivered much more than what I expected.

Him and his team were great. I would definitely work with them again and recommend them. I think once me and Ali decide on having kids, Tahers definitely going to be doing some pregger shoots for us too.

You can check out his work here :
or visit their Facebook page at

and lastly I would like to say Wedding time is hectic but it will get over before you know it and ENJOY each and every minute of it ! Its been 1 year and I couldn't be happier... :) 


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