The Important Things

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Just over two years ago, I sat on our wedding stage fully decked out in a beautiful (and heavy!) lengha and jewelry – it was FINALLY our wedding day! I was very excited and anticipated this day because it meant that my husband and I would be together forever, inshAllah and this was just the first step. Knowing that I’d be waking up next to my best friend, have a permanent movie partner and live a long and happy life together made me feel overjoyed and excited.

Now, fast forward a couple years, and we are still who we were when we first met. We love cuddling, watching movies, and just being silly together. Allah has provided us both with new jobs that we love so much, a beautiful condo that we love to go home to, great friends and family, and just life as a happy married couple. We couldn’t be happier – we even just bought our first house (AH) and we get the keys for it tomorrow (iA).

However, in between all the good stuff, there are always sad things that happen in people’s lives – and it was no different for us. One thing I’ve come to realize over the past little while, is how important our health is –  you never know what can happen to someone in the blink of an eye.

A few months ago, I was in the ICU for something (I’ll save that story for another day) and all I remember thinking about while sedated was the desire to continue to do everyday routinely things with my husband. I didn’t want to be in the ICU, I didn’t want needles in my veins, I just wanted to live my life. At that moment, I appreciated life so much more, I appreciated all the regular things we do on a daily basis even more. While I was completely unconscious, that husband of mine stayed by my bed side, was there every time I opened my eyes, gave me water and made me smile. I remember my dad coming to me when I finally woke up and saying “Do you know how much Irshad loves you? He didn’t leave your side once.”

God, I think I fell even more in love with him at that moment. More than ever before.

Processed with Rookie(while in the ICU, I asked him to send my friends this snap chat to let them know I was doing okay)

A couple months later, I am doing okay while still checking into the hospital for routinely checkups. Throughout this whole process I truly realized how short life is… those little fights you have with your husband? Totally not worth it. Those things you get angry about – why? Those matters that you have unnecessary anxiety over? Why bother? In a blink of an eye, your life can turn completely upside down. Don’t waste what could be your last days on earth being upset over situations that won’t matter in the long run. Love those around you, treat everyone well and live your life to the fullest because you never know what can happen.

Just thought I’d share something personal for once. I’ll get back to fashion and beauty in no time.

Big shout out to my girl Hafsa who is my go to editor!
ALSO, it’s her birthday today – Happy Birthday HAFZUH!

xo.

Anisa

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OOTN: White & Gold Kaftan

Kaftans, kaftans, kaftans!

Why do they remind me of Cleopatra, Kim K and Dubai? No idea, but what I do know is that the kaftan is a beautiful outfit that is modest, unique and extremely comfortable.
The kaftan has been around for thousands of years in various different cultures, especially in the Middle East. Over time, the kaftan has become something of a modest outfit choice for Arab women. It has also made its way in to the West because of Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner’s trip to Dubai which included glamorous photos all over social media.
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Some kaftans come with belts to accentuate the waistline and some flow to the ground for that goddess-like feeling. Kaftans can be worn casually on the beach as a cover up or they can be worn to a wedding event. The best thing about this type of outfit is that most of the time they are a little baggy which means they fit any size! They hide your love handles, make you look taller by falling to the ground and totally make you feel glamorous – as you should! I wore a kaftan last night to my friend’s wedding reception and let me tell you, it was beyond comfortable, classy and easy to wear. Normally, I wear saris, lenghas or shalwar kameez but I felt I needed a change. The heavy embroidery on the neck line added the glam that I needed/wanted which meant that I didn’t need to wear a necklace. Instead, I wore bigger earrings which I considered to be my statement piece. I also paired my kaftan with a gold Michael Kors watch and kept it pretty simple on my arms. I wish I did more with my hair but we were lacking time since it was a week night. Check out some pictures though I hardly had any time to take many – also, if you’re on the hunt for a kaftan you need to check out Hijabi Mama – it’s where it got mine! (She also sells jewelry and hijabs!)

 Outfit is from my girl, Hijabi Mama. Check her out for kaftan’s, jewelry and more!

https://www.facebook.com/HijabiMama

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Meet the hubby!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post of my ootn, and don’t forget to check out Hijabi Mama for outfits just like this! xo

Wedding Etiquette – The do’s and don’ts!

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Hi Dolls!

My post was influenced by Lauren Conrad’s latest blog entitled: “Ladylike Laws – Wedding Guest Etiquette” that I saw this morning and absolutely loved! Are you a guest at a wedding this summer? There is a lot of hidden etiquette and unwritten rules that most guests attending a wedding do not know. Sometimes it is a good idea to read over some unwritten rules to know how you should or should not act and what you should or should not do. Some may seem really minor but keep in mind that the couple (and their family) take a lot of time and money to plan their dream wedding, they want it to be just perfect and will need your help to make that happen! Check out my rules below and feel free to add more into the comments section below!

  1. Be Polite – Do not ask to bring a “plus one”  if you were not given one originally. There is a reason you were not given one as the bride and groom spend a lot of time on the guest list and eliminate guests who they cannot fit into their budget.
  2. Do not wear Yellow – You would think this is a rule that people follow but you would be surprised. Usually at a Haldi ceremony or Gaye Holud, the bride wears yellow. Do not come to the ceremony wearing yellow, even if you think it is another shade of yellow, just change your outfit. Don’t dress to compete.
  3. Gifts – The bride and groom spend lots of money per head. It is appropriate to gift the bride and groom the approximate amount of what each head costs. Usually the Bride and Groom are spending approximately $60- $150 per plate, if you are a family of 4 then your envelope should reflect how many people are attending from your family.
  4. Punctuality – Of course it is common for a wedding to run a little later to ensure that everything is running efficiently. Do not show up at the wedding when the Bride and Groom are about to walk in. You are really and truthfully ruining their moment as they have to wait for you to be seated before they walk in.
  5. RSVP – I get it, you work 9-5 and your life is difficult. Do you think it is easy for the Bride and Groom to chase the guest list to find out if they are attending? Don’t be selfish. It literally takes 1 minute to hit yes or no on their wedding website. Also, do not RSVP for uninvited guests.
  6. Social Media – If the Bride and Groom have any specific wishes, please follow them. Some weddings discourage tweets while other Brides and Grooms provide a hashtag to use throughout the night. Follow the social media rules accordingly. Also, it is pretty odd when a guest attends the wedding and only uploads selfies or pictures with their friends. Go to the stage and take a picture with Bride and Groom, it doesn’t hurt.
  7. Children – If you have a younger child who is simply in a bad mood the day of the wedding, it might be a good idea to take them outside during the quiet wedding ceremony or traditional rituals that are taking place. Don’t be one of those parents that let their child run around like crazy and ruin the Bride and Groom’s entrance/moment.
  8. Sit at your assigned table – Do you really think that the Bride and Groom did not think out where and who you would be comfortable sitting with? There is a lot of time spent on seating arrangements. It’s rude to go ahead and place yourself wherever you want because quite frankly, you are messing up the seating situation for everyone else.
  9. Bridesmaids Duties – No one said you have to be up the bride’s ass. What you can do though, is at least be there for bridesmaids pictures instead of hanging around the lobby with your boyfriend and being inattentive.
  10. Religion – Do not be disrespectful of the couple’s religious or cultural traditions. This might mean covering your shoulders in a Church, Temple or Mosque. This could also mean, being quiet during a ritual you do not quite understand.
  11. Your Attendance – If you are not attending the full wedding ceremony, that is fine. Do not accept the invitation and leave shortly after saying your hello’s with the couple.  You just wasted a seat that could be given to someone else and money that was spent for your plate.
  12. Don’t be all about your own wedding – If you are getting married shortly after this couple, congratulations! Today however belongs to another couple – consider your wedding to be off topic for just this day.

Some of these unwritten rules may have come across too straight forward but until you plan a wedding yourself, it is difficult to understand. Try to be courteous of the couple that is getting married and have proper etiquette!

xo

Anisa

Post Wedding Reflections

Hi everyone!

South Asian weddings can be INSANE. My husband and I had our Nikkah June 9th 2012 and had our Gaye Holud and Reception a year later in August of 2013. We have a huge family + a LOT of family friends which made our wedding enormous! I had 7 bridesmaids and 6 Cousinmaids on my side of the wedding party and a 20+ people dance crew for our big dance finale. We had family come to the wedding from all over the world (Houston, Florida, Bangladesh, the UK, LA etc), which was a lot of fun because the house was full of family which made the illusion of the wedding actually come to life! The planning took a couple years to commence but thankfully I had my parents to help me out big time. We also hired a wedding planner (A Shahzadi Affair) a year into the planning process to help us execute efficiently.

Today I wanted to talk about my wedding festivities and give you some pointers to help you plan your dream wedding accordingly. Now, I am a pretty psychotic person in terms of attention to detail and extreme organization. Although I know that most people aren’t this way, if you want a extravagant wedding with details, you must plan ahead!

I remember when we had Farah from A Shahzadi Affair over to our house for our first meeting, I already had mostly everything planned out and chose all of the vendors I wanted to visit. She was there to help me get to where I wanted to be and make sure that everything went smoothly the day of the event(s).

I started planning my wedding when I was 5 years old #noreally. I have always wanted a big wedding, always printed pictures to add into my wedding folder, I wanted bright colors, lots of music, dance and good food. I wanted good memories, amazing pictures and an awesome highlight to remember it all.  Over the years, I thought of the color scheme I wanted, the songs I wanted my friends to dance to and the entertainment we would have at our Gaye Holud. But all of this doesn’t come to life without proper planning!

There are 3 specific things I started working on 2 years before my wedding date. They were:

1.  The Wedding Party
2. A Wedding Planner/Agenda
3. Vendors

1. The Wedding Party is extremely important when you are holding a 550 + people event (or any event at all). Those who are close to you will probably be your bridesmaids/groomsmen. In the heat of the moment, you might say “I want this person to be my bridesmaid, I want this person to be my bridesmaid, OH AND THAT PERSON TOO!” But keep in mind, is it really necessary?! When choosing your bridesmaids, try not to think about who’s feelings you may hurt in the process. This is your time and it’s okay to be a little selfish and keep those who are close to you even closer. The first 3 people that come to your mind are probably the best fit to help you on your wedding day. You want bridesmaids and groomsmen who are helpful, active and just as excited as you are for your wedding. Do not just pick anyone and everyone just to make them happy because in the end, you will find yourself stressing to make them happy. In addition, you’ll be dealing with un necessary drama, leave that baggage out the door! #itsnottheirday #sorrynotsorry.

Decide who is really important in your life and who will/can help with your wedding and not just look pretty for pictures. #truestory. Remember that sometimes weddings can either make or break people, if you feel that a relationship could be in jeopardy, make note of that and execute efficiently.

“Pictures should reflect the good times of your wedding with the people that matter and that means to have people around you that love and care for you”

2. Agenda/Wedding Planning Book – As lame as this sounds, it’s a pretty good investment. Think about it, 10 years down the road you can view your wedding book and all the fun but stressful moments you had during your wedding planning days.

Having an agenda and writing it down really helps the process. It helps you remember notes about certain vendors, “to do” lists and scheduled appointments. Most wedding planning books that you can find at stores like Indigo and Chapters include tabs (Entertainment, Food, Wedding Party etc) which can help you organize your wedding properly. They also have pockets for you to keep brochures and any necessary paperwork you may need. These books range from $20-60 and are super cute!

“You want to be organized throughout the whole process and be able to look back at all the planning it took to make your dream wedding”

3. Vendors – OH MY GAWD. Can I just say how important vendors are in this whole process? DO YOUR RESEARCH!  Take your time and don’t just choose a vendor instantly because you are sick of the process and just  want to get it over with. No no no! Vendors are extremely important when planning your wedding, they MAKE your vision come true and without the right ones you’ll see yourself being really upset the day of.

Compare prices of various vendors, make sure you vibe with the person (especially if they are your videographer and photographer) and check reviews online. A great place to see reviews is http://www.shaadisource.com.

Read every contract very thoroughly. For videography and photography, make sure you know when you should be expecting your videos and pictures. I know a couple who have waited over one year just to get their video and that’s totally un acceptable! Remember, a vendor should only take on as many weddings as they can handle. If they are going to make you wait forever for your pictures/video, they are not worth it.

“Vendors make your vision come true, choose wisely”

Of course there are even more pointers to help you plan for a perfect wedding but I find that these 3 are pretty important things that can help you in the long run plan and organize your wedding successfully! I personally had a great time planning my wedding. Of course, there are things that I wish I did differently but I think everyone thinks like that. I’m glad to say that the wedding was successful and everyone had a good time.

Check out our highlight video above!

xo

Some blogs about our wedding:

http://ashahzadiaffair.com/2014/01/16/real-shahzadi-anisa-irshad-august-18th-the-wedding/

http://www.rubiesandribbon.com/2014/01/21/toronto-bengali-wedding-planner/

http://www.aainabridal.com/2012/09/real-bride-toronto-bengali-wedding-by.html

http://ashahzadiaffair.com/2013/11/13/engaged-shahzadi-anisa-irshad-cupcake-themed-photoshoot/

http://ashahzadiaffair.com/2014/01/14/real-shahzadi-anisa-irshad-august-16th-the-holud/