Style Network's "Whos Wedding Is It Anyway!"
BridalGal Hair and Makeup
Syma and Aamer after their nikah.
Syma Chowdhry, a producer for News 12 New Jersey, and husband Aamer Hayat, an attorney, decided to combine both kinds of rituals into what she calls a “fusion wedding.” Their wedding, held in New Jersey in August 2006, consisted of a religious nikah ceremony, a traditional mehndi ceremony—complete with Aamer riding up to Syma’s house on a horse in the baraat procession—and then a more traditional Western-style reception.
Wedding planning can be stressful; for Syma, especially so. She ran into an array of problems. The dressmaker she had commissioned to make her reception outfit kept ruining the dress: When the dress first arrived from India, the saleswoman at the shop in New Jersey accidentally ripped up the dress with the box-cutter she was using to open the package. When her dress came back the second time, it was a deep champagne color—instead of the cream Syma had requested. Not only that, but the dress wasn’t even the right size: Instead of a size two, it was actually a size 12.
At this point, Syma had already signed up for the Style network’s show Whose Wedding is it Anyway? About two-and-a-half months before the wedding, she was paired up with Sonal Shah, owner of Save the Date Event Consultants.
Clockwise from top left: The couple exchanges rings. Syma answers the imam. Syma’s parents bring her to Aamer.
In the end, Shah and company were able to pull together the event in a little more than two months. Here’s how they did it:
When Shah and Save the Date came on board, Syma had already booked the venue for her reception: SouthGate Manor in Fremont, New Jersey. “I
Clockwise from top left: Syma is carried into her mehndi. The couple on a swing. Syma and her relatives.
Hair and Makeup
Hair and makeup are always a big deal for the wedding—but desi brides also face the dilemma of dealing with multiple styles. Syma ended up going with BridalGal, www.bridalgal.com a Manhattan firm owned by Lilly Rivera. Syma and Shah, along with a few of Syma’s cousins, went on several trial hair and makeup runs. Syma opted for a more traditional look for the actual nikah ceremony, wearing her hair down in curls and with the dupatta on her head. But for her reception, she wanted a more modern look—as she puts it, “I love smoky eyes and light lips. And although I am very good at applying my own makeup, I was so pleased at Lilly's style and expertise.I was very impressed. It was just what I wanted. It lasted througout the entire event." Syma's advice to other brides going on trial runs? “Wear that makeup all day and see what happens to it when you sweat, get shiny, etc. Because that is what will happen through out the wedding day.”
Event Production & Design: Sonal Shah, www.savethedatenyc.com 917-742-7449