How can I describe to you just how beautiful the love between these two wonderful human beings is?
Let’s start with how sweet they are individually – they are each so kind-hearted, caring, and considerate of others… multiply that by a lot between the two of them and you have an inspiringly supportive and nurturing couple. It’s amazing how they look at each other, and how attentive they are to one another. You can instantly tell these two have a solid bond.
In my initial meeting with the two of them I was so touched to see the care with which they each explained their ideas for their wedding – making sure the other agreed, and supporting the other’s statements, affirming the importance of their loved one’s ideas.
They explained to me that they’d have two separate days for their wedding festivities – one would be a simple home ceremony performed by an Imam in keeping with Kashfia’s Bengali culture, and the other would be a more Western reception with a Bengali twist: shared, family-style food and a stage set up with a backdrop for guests to get photographs with the newlyweds. Impressively, Kashfia and Arber created this stage setup themselves since Arber has a theatre design background and they’re both very artistic. You’d never guess the super cool backdrop was made using gold spray-painted straws!
Another pleasant – and totally amazing – surprise was Arber’s speech to his wife… After Kashfia’s lovely, tear-inducing words to her husband, Arber mentioned he’s not so good with words… so the DJ fired up some music and Arber began to sweetly sing Elvis Presley’s ‘Only You’. The whole crowd started hooting and hollering at how fun it was!
I’m so happy Arber’s sister Borana – an old friend from high school – referred her brother and Kashfia to me. It was such an honour being present to capture their heartwarming love.
Warmest congratulations and best wishes for a happy marriage, lovebirds.
I have no doubt you’ll have a beautiful life together ❤
And now, some words from the newlyweds!
How did you meet?
We first met at a New Year’s Eve party. Arber had spent the entire night trying to learn the name of every single person who was there and almost burned down our friends’ apartment by passing out sparklers to everyone. To quote a friend of ours, the sparks have been flying ever since!
What was your favourite wedding moment (bride & groom)
Kashfia: My favorite wedding moment was definitely when Arber began singing “Only You” in lieu of a speech. It was such a wonderful surprise, and it captured how sweet (and funny) Arber is as a person.
Arber: My favorite moment was our first dance, to the wonderful singing of our friend Michelle and masterful accompaniment of our friend TJ on guitar
Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
•Whether or not you are doing a DIY wedding (like we did), ask for help and use your support network; our wedding would not have happened without all the friends and family who insisted on making sure our day went well.
•On the day of the wedding, hire a day-of coordinator or make sure that someone you trust is going to take care of any questions or problems that may arise
•Manage your families’ expectations early on in the planning process, especially if you and your partner come from different backgrounds. The hardest part of all of our preparations was trying to figure out how to do right by our families and our cultures.
– Dress designer: Off-the-rack white wedding dress, altered by Arber’s neighbour Moza who is the most talented seamstress we know; lehenga from Asiyans in Scarborough
– Makeup: Asha Arabia
– Suit: Custom made by Sun & Moon Ltd.
– Centrepieces & Bouquets: We made them ourselves, with the enormous help of our friends!
– Cakes & favours: The favours were local honey that we spent a day pouring into glass jars, that were then hand labelled by our friends. Instead of a cake, Arber’s parents got us a macaroon tree from a local Albanian pastry shop.
– Venue: The Assembly Hall
Any final thoughts about the big day/experience of getting married that you’d like to share?
Try to make the planning process fun for the both of you; some things are going to be a chore and some things you won’t agree on, but it’s really nice to look back on the day and remember how it brought you and your partner closer together.