finally, here’s the third and last of hiba and sajid’s wedding events! it’s always fun for me to shoot in north carolina, my home state, but this was actually the first time (in memory, at least) that i’d been to an event in greensboro. still, i saw a lot of familiar faces, including the videographer, prashant, who along with his wife, jasmine, helped me really get my start in wedding photography when i “uncle bobbed” all my friends’ weddings back in the day with my little manual minolta x700. i also got to meet hiba’s ridiculously talented makeup artist, the greensboro-based haya qureshi – don’t take my word for it, check out hiba’s stunning eyes in these pictures!
i always enjoy, at a walima – which is the reception given by the groom’s side of the family – watching the groom get the same attention the bride got at the shaadi. because it’s usually a lot more embarrassing :) and yes, sajid’s older brother majid had even me cracking up during his speech (notice the look sajid is giving him in the relevant picture, below!). everything about this walima was warm and welcoming, and this time it was sophie – sajid’s beautiful little niece – who stole the show, taking all the attention on the dance floor with her moves! we also got treated to a reprise, spur-of-the-moment performance of “i gotta feeling,” which will always be with me every time i hear that song now. i had a wonderful time – working with families over the course of several events truly makes them feel like friends, and i feel so blessed to have been a part of this incredible celebration. hiba and sajid… hopefully see you around very soon inshallah! here’s hoping that you two, together, are always having “the time of your life” :)
i spent this past weekend in north carolina, and saturday night in greensboro, for the third and last of hiba and sajid’s wedding events – the walima – but before i get to those pictures, here’s a selection from the shaadi, held the day after the mehndi/nikah, at the beautiful westfields marriott in chantilly, virginia. the decor, again, was put together by the amazing prabha bhambri of nivanjoli.
i’ve said already how much i was touched and impressed by the creative planning of hiba’s friends and family; this night, they completely blew the crowd away with a surprise choreographed performance of the black-eyed peas’ “i gotta feeling,” after the bride and groom’s first dance. but the show was also utterly stolen by sajid’s adorable baby nephew, hamza, who not only was not bothered by wearing a mini full pakistani groom’s regalia, but seemed to even enjoy the attention it drew. sajid is a doting uncle to both his nephew and niece; the joy they brought to his wedding was plain on his face every time he looked at them.
and, of course, nobody could be unmoved by the way he looked at his new wife! it’s the kind of thing, really, that keeps us wedding photographers coming back for more – witnessing the love between hiba and sajid, and experiencing along with their families the sense of blessing that pervaded their ceremonies. hiba and sajid, even though i only met you guys when you got engaged, i have been so happy to be there at the start of your journey together, and so honored to be the one to capture it. you are truly blessed in each other, and in each other’s families, and i pray that God continues to bless you this way in all the years to come.
i’ve been so blessed that with every wedding i’ve shot, there is some aspect of the event so memorable that it’s sure to stay with me forever. and what i’ll always remember about hiba and sajid’s wedding – aside from the warmth and kindness of the families involved – is the love, energy, thoughtfulness, talent and creativity that hiba’s friends and family poured forth in putting together such a joyful celebration. their love for hiba – and now for sajid, too – just shone so bright in everything they did – from the heartfelt speeches, to the random “awkward turtles,” to the most unique and hilarious dance performance i’ve ever seen at a mehndi (see below for illustration)… all of it spoke to the place that this beautiful bride holds in their hearts.
as always, it was such an honor to be welcomed into this. hiba and sajid, who were engaged earlier this year, held their nikah (vows ceremony) and mehndi on a gorgeous, clear-skied evening at the belmont country club in ashburn, close to her family’s home. the nikah was held outdoors in the picturesque front lawn, overlooking white-fenced golfing greens, and the mehndi indoors. the decor for the mehndi and reception was done by the amazingly talented prabha bhambri – i loved the bright, soft colors she chose, and the unique standing paisleys made just for hiba’s mehndi stage.
much more to come, with hiba and sajid’s wedding reception, held the next evening, and the walima reception – which will be this weekend! can’t wait to see you all again in north carolina!
sunday was the finest fall day in gettysburg one could have hoped for – sky like a painting all day long, with brightly lit clouds and deep blue sky. a great day for a game – or a wedding – or, if you’re jessica and nafeez, both!
their love of football (and their guests’ love of it, too) spilled over into many aspects of their wedding – from the team jersey portraits, to the projector screen game playing in the corner of the reception hall throughout – but it was just one part of what made the day so unique. the melding of two cultures aside – all the bridesmaids delighting in their brilliantly colored saris! – it was a joy to witness the little things about jessica and nafeez themselves that were woven into the wedding. instead of being fed bits of bengali sweets, as would occur in a traditional ceremony, they opted for pizza-flavored goldfish. alongside a traditional indian tabla band that played throughout dinner – which included two buffets, one of indian, and one of american food – guests had access to hand towels in gold and green team colors to wave when appropriate… printed with a lincoln profile, and the memorable gettysburg address quote, “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”
jessica and nafeez had a two-day ceremony, each day celebrating one side of the two cultures they brought together. it was my honor to be the one to capture their memories of this second day, held at the wyndham gettysburg, and my absolute pleasure to be a part of their family for a day. thank you so much! here’s a few of my favorite moments from the day: