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Love knows no boundaries – of reason, nation or religion - and that's just what Shaziya and Jai’s relationship proved. The two best friends fell in love and stuck by each other's side until both their families accepted their relationship. After that, the couple happily started planning their cross-cultural nuptials. They booked WeddingSutra Favorites like House on the Clouds for their wedding photos and videos, and Design Tuk Tuk for their invites. Here, bride Shaziya reveals all that went into planning and organizing the wedding celebrations.

Shaziya and Jai

How We Met
"Jai and I were best friends for a few years before we decided that there was more than just friendship between us. The fact that he is a Hindu and I am Muslim did not make things easy. We decided to start dating nonetheless, and after two years of long conversations trying to convince our parents, we got engaged. With any inter-religious relationship, it is key to bring the families and extended families on board. Although it took time, today our families could not be happier."

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Wedding Planning
"Our wedding is the product of what you get when you mix a Muslim girl with parents and step-parents with a Hindu boy with a strictly vegetarian family. It was a combination of all our parents, our extended families, but most of all it was a reflection of us and how we wanted our guests to view our relationship. For this reason alone, we didn't want a wedding planner. Jai and I took care of every detail of our wedding to make sure it was authentic and truly us. Of course, we had excellent vendors who were delightful to work with. Since ours was a Hindu-Muslim wedding, we had our 'nikaah'(Muslim marriage ceremony) in Mumbai and then our pheras and the rest of the wedding festivities at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. All the splendor at our celebrations was deftly captured by House On The Clouds. To help us invite our loved ones in a manner that reflected the personality of our wedding the best, we got on board Design Tuk Tuk who took care of our wedding invites."

Wedding Functions

Mehendi
"The mehendi took place at my house, and it was designed to bring both our families together, especially those who had traveled from India to be with us. We wanted to keep it intimate so that everyone got to spend time together and warm up for the next two days. To kickstart the function, we entered in an open top jeep with smoke bombs on the sides of the car. Since we hosted a joint mehndi, we decided to make it look like a carnival. Aside from the women applying beautiful henna patterns, we included entertainment options like live bangle-making and a caricature artist which added some extra excitement to the function. The highlight of the event was a surprise dance for me by Jai and my cousins from Mumbai – all choreographed over WhatsApp!"

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Sangeet
"My stepmother is Chinese. Therefore, as a nod to her culture and to make her family that traveled from China feel at home, we decided to go with a Shanghai-themed sangeet which we named 'Shan-geet'. Our decor had lots of Chinese elements like lanterns, hand-held fans, and a Chinese-themed photo booth. We also entered to the song 'From Chandi Chowk to China'. The hotel did a great job with Chinese food with their live dim sum and wok stations. As every sangeet goes, ours too had lots of performances with everyone participating and celebrating our story."

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Pheras
"Our pheras were very modern and multicultural. Jai and I wanted all our guests to understand the mantras, so we requested our priest to translate everything into English. That way, our Muslim and Chinese guests could comprehend the various wedding rituals. It was beautiful to see how my extended family, who at first were very skeptical, ended up appreciating the pheras so much. This function was held in the afternoon in the Garden at the Ritz Carlton Dubai. We kept our mandap very simple with white and pink flowers. The garden there is very beautiful, and we didn't want our setup to overpower that. In keeping with the theme, I wore an ivory lehenga with a light pink and mint dupatta, and my bridesmaids entered wearing mint green sarees. Because I don't have brothers, my 'chaadar' (floral canopy under which a bride walks) was held by my closest friend, my brother-in-law's and also Jai's brother. It was a beautiful ceremony bringing two contrasting religions together with love and lots of respect. The pheras ended with our close friends releasing pink balloons as we walked out of the mandap."

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Sundowner Reception
"What Jai and I wanted from the very beginning was a sunset reception. The function was hosted at the Gulf Lawn of The Ritz Carlton, Dubai, which was the perfect location overlooking the Jumeirah Beach. We kept our reception casual and easy. We just wanted everyone to let loose and have fun. We did not want to be on a stage taking pictures. Instead, we were looking to interact and enjoy the company of all our guests. Our close friends gave some funny and some emotional speeches, and right after that, the band took over. The highlight of the night was Jai getting on stage and singing for me. Later together, we spent the whole night on stage, singing and entertaining our friends and family. The night ended with our reception turning into a full-blown concert."

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

Shaziya and Jai

The Wedding Makers
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
Decor: Prabhat, Al Mahad Flowers
Groom’s Outfits: Telon, Mumbai
Bride’s Outfits: Shymal & Bhumika, Azuli & Xon Bandra
Makeup Artist: Ayesha Farooq, Dubai
DJ: DJ Carlos, DJ Nitesh – Dubai
Invitations: Design Tuk Tuk
Photo Booth: Design Tuk Tuk

Photography and Videography: House on the Clouds

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