Real Weddings: A Gorgeous Nikaah in Hyderabad: Saulat Zuberi Photography

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‘She’ has been featured in our “beautiful brides” article. Gorgeous bride Arshiya Afreen walks us through her elegant Nikaah ceremony held at the City Convention Centre Hyderabad.

Arshiya (or Arshu as her friends know her) tied the knot with Javed Kotyad on May 19th 2012. They met through a matrimonial website and felt an instant ‘connection’. The extremely talented Saulat Zuberi documented their wedding day. Here is bit more about this ‘real wedding’ from Arshu herself:

1) Length of your engagement: August 2011 to May 2012

Before the sanchak ceremony

2) Where did you shop for your dresses? It was crazy the way we shopped since half of my dresses were purchased from Dubai. I almost spent a month window shopping and getting to know where I could purchase the best. For my Sanchak/ Mehendi Ceremony I bought my dress from a store “Jehaan Fashions “in Abu Dhabi. I opted for that dress since many of my friends and my sister felt it was rather unique and special.  It was a Ghagra Choli and  the best part about it were  the vibrant colors- we were very keen about having a colorful and energetic Mehendi ceremony and I believe we achieved it. Javed and I also had color-coordinated our attire and he chose a semi – casual suit that blended beautifully with the entire setting.


I bought the main wedding/Nikah dress from “Millionaire” in Mumbai. I selected it the moment I saw it (it was basically a combination of two dresses) so I felt that the design was rather unique and also had a classic look. Most of my accessories including shoes, bags etc were purchased from various shops in Dubai.

3) Our Venue: Our Sanchak took place on the 18th of May at The Taj Banjara, Hyderabad. We opted for this place since it was perfect for the rituals we wanted carried out. We have a custom in which the bride and the groom are made to wear a whole bunch of flowers and that was the first time we also exchanged wedding rings. This was followed by our Sangeet –this was an intimate ceremony with just a few family members and friends. It was so much fun!!

Arshu Afreen

Our Nikaah/wedding ceremony took place on 19th May 2012, at The City Convention Center, Hyderabad. We wanted the venue decorated simply yet elegantly. In Islamic weddings, there is a separate seating area for men and women. The stage was decorated with hundreds of thousands of flowers and some brilliant lighting. Javed and I were rather particular about the décor, and had it personally supervised.

 We chose the City Convention Center because of the excellent reviews it had received. Its architecture is brilliant and the service there was perfect. It was also easily accessible due to the close proximity to the airport, railway station and bus stations etc. We were expecting a lot of out-station guests, so this helped a lot. The Nikah was held in the presence of a Kazi(Judge) and we exchanged Islamic vows. It was magical!

4) Menu: We wanted the best Hyderabadi food typically the dishes the city is famous for including Biryani, haleem and other such delicacies. Hyderabadis are known to be foodies, so we ensured that the chosen menu would please all our guests. Thankfully, no one was disappointed at the end, and the food was talked about for a long time to come!

getting ready pics

5) Reception CeremonyOur Valima/Reception was held on 26th May 2012 at The Four Points Sheraton, Mumbai. We kept all the ceremonies over a weekend so it would be convenient for all our guests to attend. The reception dress was picked up from“Kalki” in Mumbai. It was exactly what I had in my mind and I spent a lot of time browsing through various dresses and patterns on The Internet. Finally after a month of browsing I found the dress I wanted!

reception pics

 The accessories were purchased from Dubai and Mumbai. Our reception venue was decorated with light pastel shades as against the colorful theme we chose for Nikah. The Cuisine was a blend of Mumbai street style food (Chaat counters) along with some popular North Indian dishes. 

6) Our PhotographerOur wedding photography was handled by Saulat Zuberi & Anshum Mandore. We spent more than a month looking at various photographer portfolios and finally chose them. We loved the Photo-journalistic approach they took towards the whole thing. Javed and I did not want typical posed wedding pictures and were rather keen about candid shots.

Arshu back white

I must say that we were very happy with our choice! Both Saulat and Anshum were very friendly and we shared an instant rapport with them. Our wedding pictures turned out brilliant and I love looking at them every once in a while to relive those amazing moments!

All images courtesy Saulat Zuberi Photography.

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