Few women can say that they met their mother-in-law before their husband. But that is only one small facet of Yasmin and Tyseer’s unique story!
Yasmin, a North Carolinian, met Tyseer’s mother, a Minnesotan, at a summer camp in New Mexico during her sophomore year of college. One year later, her best friend was starting at Georgetown University and Yasmin traveled to Washington, D.C. to help with the move. Lo and behold, another Georgetown student named Tyseer — better known as “Taslima Auntie’s Son” — lived in the very same building. Yasmin visited frequently and the three became good friends. As both of their graduations approached, Tyseer expressed interest in marrying Yasmin, but each of them had planned to study abroad that coming summer — Tyseer in Qatar and Yasmin in Egypt. Once they were both back in the States, the two were engaged.
In Islam, marriage is a contract between a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife. Yasmin and Tyseer signed this contract at their Nikah, which they treated as their engagement, one year before their big wedding reception. This reception, called a Shaadi, is a traditional South Asian marriage celebration, and more than appropriate given Yasmin’s Pakistani and Tyseer’s Bangladeshi roots.
A project manager by profession, Yasmin plans. It’s what she does best! She’d already had some practice after organizing her Nikah reception, but the guest list for the Shaadi was about four times as long! Plus, even though they were technically married, Tyseer was living and working in Minnesota, so she flew solo on much of the preparation.
Since their Nikah reception at Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh went so smoothly, Yasmin chose the same venue for the Shaadi but rented three times more space. The cream and gold accents of the ballroom set the tone for a wedding reception quite nicely, but she knew she’d need to plan some extra decoration.
Luckily, she’d found a beyond-stunning lengha (dress) to base her color scheme on. A lengha is usually red, but hers was peacock blue with maroon and gold accents. To anyone who knows Yasmin well, this was quite a surprise, as her wardrobe generally features black, tan and shades of gray! But she couldn’t have selected a better combination — the festive hues brought the giant reception hall to life.
When it came to her wedding invitations, Yasmin was torn between ordering traditional invitations from overseas and going to her best-graphic-designer-friend (yours truly!) for help. But once she saw the Damask pattern and dreamy champagne shimmer paper, she was sold. It set the tone for the big event: “simple elegance.”
On the big day, instead of micro-managing as you might expect a project manager to do, Yasmin was cool, calm and collected. As was Tyseer, but that’s his natural state to begin with! They agree it was not difficult to relax — that the day was awe-filled and problem-free thanks to Yasmin’s thorough planning, the top notch staff at Brier Creek, and a throng of eager family and friends.
Per tradition, the groom’s family entered the ballroom first, hooting and hollering, led by a very enthusiastic Indian drummer. The bride’s family followed, greeted by joyful cries and showered by handfuls of red rose petals.
Although Yasmin’s heritage is tied to Syria and Pakistan, she was born in the United States… and what American bride doesn’t want to wear a white dress? She was no exception! The first outfit Yasmin donned on her special day was a white, beaded wonder topped off with a veil-like hijab (head scarf.)
And what would an American bride do without a gaggle of bridesmaids? Eight of Yasmin’s closest friends flanked her at all times, bedecked in a rainbow of colors.
The evening’s celebration consisted of a scrumptious buffet, speeches and presentations by family and friends — some moving, some hysterical. The proceedings also featured some interesting traditions…
One Indian wedding tradition involves the bride’s family stealing one of the groom’s shoes during the wedding and hiding it. At the end of the celebration, the groom’s family searches for the shoe, but the bride’s side demands a sum of money from the groom to return it. And how’s this for unique: a woman from the groom’s side stole Yasmin’s shoe, to use as leverage in obtaining the groom’s shoe. Yasmin spent half the night shoeless and Tyseer still ended up shelling out a couple hundred dollars for the return of his bedazzled footwear. (Having seen this all go down, I can attest to its hilarity!)
Near the end of the evening, the male constituent of Yasmin’s family “busted out the bhangra,” a traditional Punjabi dance, and the men of Tyseer’s family joined right in. An jubilant reflection of two houses joined.
The couple’s favorite aspect of the day was sharing their happiness with everyone they loved. Tyseer reflects, “My wife and I were blessed just to be married, but to have celebrated our marriage like that…we were lucky.”
Best of luck to Yasmin and Tyseer as they both begin graduate school at The University of Chapel Hill this fall!
Photographs by Ayesha Ahmad Photography
(with the exception of the invitation photo, taken by myself)
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