Christina and Adnan shared an unforgettable year of wedding celebrations, honoring their families' cultures every step of the way. They beautifully displayed how love transcends cultures with an Islamic ceremony, a Colorado mountain wedding, and Indian reception. Read on to learn more from Christina!
We were both teachers attending a professional development session and were asked to role play students so teachers could practice classroom management. My student profile said to behave perfectly. His said that he "is enamored of the person sitting next to him" - and he did an excellent job flirting with me. The role play flirting turned into a wonderful friendship, which turned into dating.
Adnan proposed to me in my hometown, Boulder, and we began our beautiful year of wedding celebrations and blending our two families and cultures! We had our Nikah, our Islamic legal wedding ceremony, in a mosque in Chicago - it was a colorful, joyful two days! Following that celebration, we hosted our family and friends for a Colorado mountain wedding where we were married by my family friends in my favorite place in the world. To round out the events, Adnan's parents hosted a Walima, a beautiful Indian wedding reception with their incredible family and community.
Our Colorado wedding was designed to be a joyful, timeless, and beautiful coming together of our families and friends. It was important to us that our families be at the center, so our wedding party was our siblings, and family members made heartfelt toasts. When designing the ceremony, we carefully considered the differences between our families culturally and religiously, and the shared love and values that transcend any differences. We wanted to craft a ceremony with our family friends who married us that would uniquely reflect us, our values, our personalities, and our families.
The colors were all inspired by the natural beauty of the Colorado mountains - the light pinks and greens evoke the natural landscape around us. We wanted to be able to see mountains from our ceremony spot, we wanted delicious, local food, and we wanted to have fun dancing - and we were able to make it all happen with our venue!
One of the conversations we had when we were budgeting was to name what was most important to us - and we decided to pay for quality and go with our preferences in those categories. We knew we wanted excellent photos since those would last beyond our day and we wanted delicious, local food for our guests. Our ceremony spot was so beautiful, we knew we didn't need a lot of extras to make it special - so we opted to cut costs on things like programs, chair decorations, and so on.
Adnan and I met in Nashville, Tennessee, and we wanted to have a nod to our meeting place and our friends we made while living in the South. Therefore, we had some late night snacks of Chicken and Waffles as well as a S'mores station. Our ceremony was incredibly special to us; we worked together for a year with our family friends to craft the content and flow. Adnan and I chose readings - a more serious one and a light-hearted one - that were non-religious and encompassing of our personalities. We loved having a Polaroid camera for guests to take pictures and leave us photos + notes in our guest book. After we got engaged, we adopted Teddy, our energetic and adorable puppy! We loved that he could come to see us before the ceremony, handsomely sporting his Dog of Honor bandana.
There are so many little moments that stand out to us as we reflect! The two brightest spots in our minds are first, when we took five minutes just to be together after the ceremony but before we entered the reception. We climbed up to the third floor of the venue and peered down at all of our guests during cocktail hour and just took a moment to be grateful for all our family and friends - and relax for a moment!
The other favorite moment was our first dance. We had taken lessons and were incredibly nervous and excited. We loved the energy of our guests during our dance, and felt like we were the only people in the world.
A couple of challenges we faced during the wedding planning process included planning from a distance - we are currently living in California - and imagining and designing a wedding in which both of our families feel represented, included, and comfortable. My family and friends who were local in Colorado - as well as our amazing vendors - made it easy to hop on FaceTime or email back and forth in order to plan! I loved how Lionscrest Manor (our venue) had worked with so many of the vendors before, they were all so comfortable and knew the routine. I'm so glad that Adnan and I had a year to plan out our wedding that would welcome the families together; it was so important to ask everyone what they were comfortable with, how they wanted to be included and celebrated, and just to have frequent communication.
Looking back, I wish that we had booked our venue for a little more time - it goes by so quickly! I did my hair and makeup off site, and wish I had a few photos of everyone getting ready. By the time we had gotten to the venue, we only had about 30 minutes before photos started. Another thing I learned was that it is okay to have a preference and to ask for help! I was very relaxed and did a lot myself, which was lovely! Some of my friends and family really wanted to help, and I was just as relaxed and happy delegating, so I wish I would have done that earlier. Also, I wish we would have opted to have our photographers stay until the very end!
Tips for Engaged Couples
Decide what is most important to you, and pursue quality! Remember that it is your day, and you should honor your preferences and wishes. Make sure you feel comfortable with your day-of coordinator and communicate frequently with that person! Take time to be with your significant other at some point during the event - just the two of you. Enjoy it - it will go by so fast and you want to be really present the whole time!
Communicate frequently and honestly by sharing your needs and wants - and listen well! Continue practicing or discover how to show love in ways that matter to your partner. Date each other, even though you're married. Have each other's backs and keep being each other's best friend. Follow your own timeline and life path, and know that doing that might not make everyone else in your life totally happy.
Guest List Count: 125 // Photography: Hitch & Sparrow were our amazing photographers, we love love them! // Venue: Lionscrest Manor - seriously the greatest group of people, Tatiana was unbelievable to work with. // Baker: Lori made the most delicious cakes, including a gluten-free one! Our guests said "this is the best cake we've ever had" and loved the bride and groom cookies. // Caterer: Greens Point Catering // Videographer: Andy Sullivan // DJ: Pure Sounds Productions // Florist: Flori Flowers // Hair and Makeup: The Bridal Goddess // Wedding Dress: anna bé // Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Beth Creations // Shoes: BHLDN