At the end of October I had the pleasure of being a part of a Pakistani wedding, something that was very new to me and very different from a traditional American wedding.
Fizza and Usama had already had their ceremony a week prior at a family member's house, in which rings were exchanged and their journey through getting married started. They were surrounded by friends and family, and it was a beautifully decorated occasion.
The reception was held at a gorgeous venue on Long Island and the campus property was full of colorful foliage that served as a lovely backdrop for us.
It got dark quickly so we went back inside and the bride and groom went to their suites to get ready for their individual celebrity spotlight entrances.
After their entrance there were some love-filled speeches from the bride's sisters and the groom's college friends, where they shared funny stories from their past and also why they knew Fizza was the right woman for Usama.
Because they had already exchanged rings the week prior, we then immediately went into cutting the cake with their parents to celebrate their marriage and the joining of families. After they fed each other, they each fed each other's mother, then each other's father.
After the cake was cut, they were finally able to dance together as husband and wife. First, Fizza danced with her grandfather, who then handed her off to her father, who then handed her off to her new husband, Usama. To my surprise, there was a fog machine and it left an opportunity to get some powerful shots of Fizza and Usama dancing together.
Then, it was party time. Let me tell you, they had some wild and fun friends and family! The energy was crazy, dollar-bills were flying everywhere, and people were really dancing more than I've ever seen at a wedding.
The remainder of the night with friends was dinner, and more and more dancing. They partied hard all night! Friends left when the party was over, and family stayed for pictures and for a few more Pakistani wedding traditions.
The first of these traditions was Doodh Pilai, where the groom must bribe his new sister-in-laws with gifts or money for a decorated glass of milk. The banter back and forth was so funny, and the energy was so high even though it was so late!
It was now time for Fizza and Usama to be sent off together by their family, a ritual called Rukhsati. The send-off is a very big deal, and family was surrounding them hugging and crying. It was a really special moment for their families.
They were sent off in a snazzy sports car to start their journey together as husband and wife, and partners for life.
Best wishes to Fizza and Usama as their walk through life every step of the way together!