Shaima and Qasim were married on May 21, 2017 with a ceremony and reception at Fox Chase Manor in Manassas, Virginia. I loved being able to be a part of this stunning couple’s love story, for both their colorful mehndi / holud celebration to their amazing wedding.

This couple knew it was meant to be when they first started talking about the future… what they wanted and where they saw themselves. It was then they realized neither could imagine our lives without the other. The Groom told the Bride that there was no other woman he would trust with the rest of his life. This love they had for one another made it easy to capture their special day. They are so visibly in love that it makes my job easy.

We started off the day documenting as both the bride and groom got ready for the day. Makeup artist Jasmin Rahman was very easy going and such a pleasure to work with. She got Shaima ready and when she was done, Shaima looked absolutely breathtaking. This bride was so relaxed throughout the whole entire process. She seemed to truly enjoy every moment as she prepared for this exciting day. Once she was ready, we went out to take portraits at the Manassas National Battlefield.

This portrait session was a lot of fun because of the chemistry between the bride and groom. They really enjoyed each other’s presence. Shaima looked like a princess in her custom, hand-beaded lengha from Pakistan and her shimmering Jimmy Choo heels. Qasim looked every inch her handsome prince. They were so relaxed with one another and their pictures are filled with love and laughter. At one point, Shaima cracked up when Qasim had something in his nose. I love when couples aren’t afraid to be themselves in front of the camera. It makes for such fun pictures! After we captured the bride and groom portraits, we headed to the venue.

Upon arriving at the Fox Chase Manor, the bride’s side of the family was present to welcome the groom and his family. There is a particular cultural custom called the “Gate Rasam” where the men of the bride’s family form a gate and don’t let the groom pass until he pays up. Qasim had to negotiate with Shaima’s family members to pass through. It was such a fun moment to capture and eventually they did let him pass.

After the fun and laughter of the Gate Rasam, everyone entered for the Nikah – the Islamic Marriage ceremony. With all the fun and festivities of the day, this ceremony is the moment when the bride and groom were united. It was a very emotional moment, especially for Shaima. Immediately after the Nikah, you could see tears in her eyes as it was the most anticipated moment of the day.

Then it was time to party and everyone headed into the reception. There were two additional customs that happened that had everyone laughing. A custom called Dood Pilai, roughly translating to “gave milk” essentially meant the bride’s family made the groom pay to be able to drink tha milk drink mixed with turmeric. In the middle of this, Shaima’s brother stole Qasim’s shoes in another common wedding custom called Jootha Chupai. In the Jootha Chupai, the groom’s shoes are stolen they are held as ransom so that he can has to pay to able to walk out with his bride. Qasim was a good sport through all of these negotiations!

These shenanigans were followed by some truly heartfelt speeches by family members. First, Shaima’s Father, followed by Qasim’s Father, Qasim’s brother, Qasim’s sister and finally Shaima’s Maid of Honor, Pooja, who essentially coordinated every piece of the wedding. There was so much love shared for this couple.

The night ended with the Rukhsati which is when the bride emotionally leaves her family to go join her husband. You could see the tears and the heartfelt emotions on Shaima’s family’s faces. The love they have for their daughter and the happiness at seeing her married to such a wonderful man were clear.

Thank you again to Shaima and Qasim for being present and enjoying the moment. It was wonderful to be a part of this special event and I wish you the best in your life together.

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Vendors

Make-up artist: Jasmin Rahman
Engagement ring:  Zales
Wedding dress designer:  Custom created in Pakistan from local tailor
Decorator: Galaxy Wedding & Events
DJ: Jagjeet Singh – DJ Jay
Shoes:  Jimmy Choo
Jewelry: Custom made from Bangaldesh