Real Wedding | A Family Affair
Shiza Nawaz Khan and Waqas Idrees
Wedding Date: December 12, 2014
Location: Asateer Tent in Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
This love story is the product of good old meddling. In 2013 when Shiza was visiting Dubai during her winter break, some friends talked her into meeting a man they wanted to set her up with. Begrudgingly she agreed to a group dinner. Although initially reluctant, everyone else may as well have stayed at home, as Shiza and Waqas talked all night as if there was nobody else in the room. “We couldn’t keep our eyes off each other!” laughs Shiza.
Sadly, Shiza had to return to London to finish university, but on moving back to Dubai a year later, she still felt the same about Waqas. Within two months, they had invited their parents for a family meal. That same night, they decided to get married.
Being a romantic at heart, Waqas wanted to make the engagement more official, and secretly planned a special treasure hunt for his bride-to-be – “It lead us around the city, to all the places we had been to together,” remembers Shiza affectionately. “It ended at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray beach, where there was a tent filled with flowers and candles.” She was overcome with joy and said “yes” straight away.
The couple envisioned a fairytale wedding, but they also wanted to make sure that it reflected their Pakistani heritage. The extravagant celebrations stretched over six days, with traditional pre-wedding festivities including their extended family and friends. Each of the spectacular events had a unique theme. One of the most colourful was the mehendi, which was designed around Pakistani truck art. Shiza explains that the event was made extra special with “incredible dance performances by our friends.”
The main wedding day was at Atlantis, where they created ga arden of paradise, complete with a 3D stage and background to give a Tuscan feel. The icing on the cake was the white and silver themed wedding reception, with white peacocks and cherry blossom trees, making for the perfect winter finale.
After all the wedding madness was over, the newlyweds enjoyed some time alone with a honeymoon to the birthplace of romance – Paris.
Location: The Asateer Tent at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.
Number of guests: A staggering 700 people joined the celebrations!
Theme: Garden of paradise.
Dress: Designed by Honey Waqar, a haute couture Pakistani bridal designer based in Lahore.
Shoes: Gina and Jimmy Choo.
Wedding rings: Designed by a jeweler in the Gold & Diamond park.
Jewellery: Khushi Jewelers in Meena Bazaar.
Music: A mix of Bollywood and contemporary.
First Dance: Lucky Ones by Lana Del Rey.
Food: Pakistani and Arabic buffet.
Cake: 24-carat gold red velvet cake in a massive gold cage.
Unique touches: “The wedding planners who brought my vision to reality,” says Shiza.
Honeymoon: Paris, the city of love.
SHIZA’S TOP TIPS
1. Always plan ahead and you will get the best results.
2. Getting your fiancé involved with planning is a great idea but remember to have conversations that are about other things too. Don’t let the wedding planning process define your relationship.
3. Let go. If you’ve done your best with planning, you need to let it be. If things don’t work out last minute, don’t freak out. Just enjoy the moment and remember why you’re getting married in the first place.
LITTLE BLACK BRIDAL BOOK
Hair Stylist: Angélique Turner
Make-up Artist: Zareen Shah
Henna: Sara’s Henna, email@example.com
Wedding Planner: Roula and Naila
Flowers: Vintage Bloom