Written by: Rose Smith
Let’s be honest. This is more than a real wedding feature. This is a wedding extravaganza feature! Sehar and Younus’ lavish, 4 day, Pakistani wedding was an epic, astoundingly beautiful affair. With multiple events spread over four days, there was ample opportunity for unique, personalized details. Sehar’s sister, Hira, personally designed and curated most of the custom wedding accessories, so we sat down with Hira to dish the details.
1) Event Essentials
Who: bride Sehar Siddiqui and groom Younus Baig
What: a gorgeous, 4 day wedding affair
When: July 2019
Where: at Esplanade Lakes in Downers Grove, IL.
2) 4 Day Wedding Schedule and Design Vision
Sehar had a traditional Pakistani wedding that infused a lot of little details from things that the bride and groom both love. Pakistani weddings are lavish 4 day-long affairs, with different events symbolizing different things each day.
Day 1 was the “Mehndi” - another word for henna. This is a super colorful day with lots of fanfare, music and dancing. Sehar and Younus’ friends created awesome choreographed dances to the latest Bollywood grooves. The entire night was filled with lots of color, movement, music, and showering the couple with love as they kicked off their wedding week. Our favorite tradition on this day is when older, married women feed the new couple sweets as a good omen, and circle money around them that will be donated to charity as a reminder to always give when you have plenty. The atmosphere goals were: fun, upbeat, carefree, dance party, par-tay all night, lots of food and well wishes. Colors were mostly centered around coral, olive green, magenta.
Day 2 and 3 consisted of the traditional marriage ceremony at the mosque and signing of the ‘nikkah’ or marriage contract. Families and close friends were present. The atmosphere was sweet and unrushed, emotional, simple, clean, and loving. Day 3 was the formal wedding reception hosted by the bride’s parents - this is the dinner/wedding reception with speeches/first dance/cake cutting, a ring exchange.
Culturally, we have a stage adorned with flowers instead of a sweetheart table where families can come and greet the newly married couple, give their well-wishes and take pictures. The design goals for this day were: dark florals, deep colors balanced with light-colored draping, a romantic enchanted forest, with organic shaped centerpieces and candlelight, formal, elegant but not stuffy. The venue was modern, and we were surrounded by floor to ceiling windows in a circular room. The blinds went up during golden hour when the bride made her entrance with both parents. There was a lot of dessert and late night snack of pizza, a falooda bar (falooda is a delicious cold dessert beverage), and cookies from Warm Belly Bakery as the favors. Colors this day were Navy Blue, fuchsia, gold, accented with purple and pink shades.
Day 4 was a reception hosted by the groom’s side - lots of fun speeches, roasting, huge dinner, new husband and wife get to connect with their families and share in their new happiness. The colors were white, mint green, coral, champagne gold - clean, simple and modern to contrast the more deep and traditional colors from day 3.
3) What were the “must-haves” of personalized accessories?
We did custom foil stamped wedding coasters for the Mehndi day, as well as foil stamped napkins with some of the Bride and Groom’s favorite song lyrics - it was sentimental and sweet, and they looked great!
For Reception 1 we did personalized wedding napkins - two kinds, one had their signature drink “The Baig Fizz” (a play on the groom’s last name was a mango/orange/ginger mocktail) on it, and the other was a pop of color napkin for cocktail hour. Simple, elegant personalized guest hand towels were in the bathrooms, and we used custom designed his/hers wedding favor boxes that were labeled as ‘his favorite’ or ‘her favorite’ with each holding a customized flavor cookie from Warm Belly. Hers was espresso/chocolate chip and pretzel chunks. His was Dark Chocolate cook with oreo chunks.
4) What was your design process (how did you prioritize, coordinate, etc)?
I wanted to incorporate personalized products for items that would be taken away by guests and design them to show off the Bride and Groom’s personalities in a way that would hold personalized details that really spoke about the couple. I also thought about the ambiance and feeling for each day and let that dictate my design choices. In terms of coordination, I gave myself plenty of time to design, thought a lot about colors and whether they would be used in a dark hall or in a sunlit room. I thought about what the table cloth colors were going to be and what the cake boxes would look like on those. I wanted everything to coordinate in colors as well as text/font choices to make it look cohesive for each day.
5) What was your favorite custom product that you designed for this event, and why?
The invitations! They turned out so nice! We did a custom size for her creating long rectangles. The tallest being 7"x9". There were 4 pieces, 3 for the three events, and the fourth with online RSVP information. The backs were full digital color, and the front was gold foil stamped. They sat on top of one another so you could peek each design for each card, and went out in a copper envelope. I was able to use custom designs for all three backs of the cards that played on south Asian patterns and colors and motifs.
Ok, does it get lovelier than this? We don't think so! We are totally smitten by the dramatic colors, the thoughtful details and the incredibly personalized details throughout the wedding weekend. Truly, an unforgettable celebration!