What happens when India's top photographer & decorator come together for a Kashmir Wedding - Pure Magic!
“When our hands brushed against each other,
It was as if the desert met with the sea
That's when I asked my heart, if love exists?
And it replied, "Hami Ast! Hami Ast! Hami Ast!"
- This is the poem Aamir wrote for his wedding favors!
This wedding which took place in the land of paradise and beauty is all that you can expect out of a destination wedding and even more. It’s got surreal and picturesque backdrops, history, an otherworldliness, and a quiet beauty that will leave you gasping for breath.
Have a look at the pictures and prepared to be stunned with the beauty of all of it:
The Couple’s story:
This is a wedding of a Kashmiri photographer and Instagram sensation Aamir Wani (@kashmirthroughmylens) and Dubai-based lawyer Afsha Karim who met in SriNagar. Ashfa says, “I visited Kashmir in April 2017 with my parents. After a journalist friend saw some of my pictures he asked to write about Kashmir for a travel blog. As I was writing, I needed more photos and I came across Aamir’s breathtaking photography and poetry. I got in touch with him to use some of his photos and to share ideas on another trip I wanted to plan to explore Kashmir. Our initial discussion ended with both of us exchanging the usual remarks of agreeing to try and meet if I did make it to Kashmir again. At the end of September 2017, I went back to Kashmir. I met Aamir and within 24 hours we knew we were getting married!”
Aamir told Conde Nast Traveller in an interview - “Neither of us wanted a ballroom wedding. We wanted something authentic and intimate. Kashmir, with its hospitality, culture, local talent and beauty offered all this and more. Whilst the region is often associated with political tension, we know this is a misunderstanding. We didn’t have any doubts or concerns as to the safety of our guests, and over a hundred flew in from abroad.”
Miniature Shikharas with the mehendi cones!! Can it be more Kashmir themed?
They wanted the mehendi to be colourful, so Devika went for miniature papier mâché shikaaras, crewel embroidered fabrics in pink and aqua, potted plants and local seasonal flowers as centrepieces.
Local winter plants and blossoms stood in the middle of dinner tables at the mehendi.
The venue for the nikaah was a 200-year-old Jalali House - a heritage site that dates back to 1863 and is a regular site for Bollywood shoots. It exemplifies old-world Kashmiri architecture and charm, with its traditional brick and lattice work, courtyards, balconies (dabs) and colourful windows.
Afsha told Conde Nast Traveller, “After getting lost for around two hours, we walked through a door and were transported back in time - there was something so deeply spiritual about it that we didn’t even need to go inside. We knew we had to get married there”.
Devika Narain says, “Their nikah was set in a beautiful hundred year old haveli in the heart of the Old city belonging to the Jalalis - a family of doctors and philanthropists. The venue draped by gardens on all sides was decorated with handwoven kashmiri carpets and tuberoses. For once the venue was so perfect that we didn't even mind the lopsided candelabra that looked over the ceremony, almost as if it had a personality of its own :)”.
For the reception, the couple wanted a simple but elegant vibe, so Devika’s team created a tented setup - in lawns overlooking tulip gardens and the iconic Dal Lake.
They brought in tables for a sit-down dinner, and decorated them with tulips and daffodils, lots of candles, and custom-made frames with poetry by Rumi, Khalil Gibran and—for an incredibly personal touch—by Aamir himself.
Table setting at the reception at Vivanta by Taj – Dal View, comprised of locally-grown flowers, where authentic Kashmiri cuisine was served.
So, planning on your Kashmir wedding already?
Dreamy isn't it? Well it’s left me smitten too!
The fabulous team who brought it together:
Photography - Joseph Radhik
Wedding Design - Devika Narain & Co.
Wedding Planning - Athwaas Kashmir Events
Production - Wilson Royals
Florist - Mir florist, Srinagar