This was one for the books.
I remember thinking halfway through the day, as the sounds from the 8-piece New Orleans Jazz band were echoing through the empty streets, that this might be my favorite wedding I’ve ever been to. Inspired, memorable, and refreshingly authentic.
At the beginning of the day, it was a apparent that although calm, somewhat reserved, and a bit quirky, both Farheen and Andrew did not settle for anything but the best. Not in a fancy-schmancy sort of way however, but quality was very important to them. Prepping for the day in their brightly-lit and spacious Ace Hotel rooms, the guys took their time, relaxed and joked around all while Wilco was spinning on vinyl in the background. Andrew’s trusty red sweater that he wears constantly was lying on the bed, like an old friend being there for his most important day. Farheen and the bridesmaids (and mothers) were just a few floors up, soaking in the view of Downtown Los Angeles. Visually, there was a lot of colors that caught my eye yet everything meshed together, including their incredible wedding invitation that is straight out of a Wes Anderson film, which included very specific illustrated details catered especially to Andrew and Farheen’s past, present, and future.
To an outsider, there was not a hint of stress in the air. No worries about a schedule, family, or LA traffic, but an overall sense that no matter how they day went, these two were ready to be wed and everything would go as planned without worry. Maybe that’s speaks into how these two are as people. They don’t settle for less than the best and that includes each other. They met in college in LA, yet although thinking the other was cute at the time, both were way too ambitious and confident in their individual identities to make any moves. They ended up reconnecting on the opposite side of the county in Brooklyn, NY a few years later, where they fell in love and have never looked back.
The wedding was a wonderful mesh of the old and new… retro might be the best word to use, but that doesn’t even begin to cut it. They value tradition, art, literature, and tech. They value people and science. A perfect example of this was the epic BARAAT processional. Instead of a live elephant or horse to bring Andrew to the wedding, he rode on a tandem bicycle that had a 3D-printed elephant head on it. That New Orleans-style Jazz band that I talked earlier was following them while all his friends and family cheered and danced with him down the street to the Elysian, where Farheen’s family was waiting with glee to greet them. It was so rad.
Speaking of the Elysian… wow, what a cool venue. The open air vibe for the ceremony is refreshing with a gorgeous bamboo-lined walkway to enter into. It’s located on a quiet, unassuming street in Elysian park area of Los Angeles right next to the LA River. For dinner, the ceremony site was transformed for dinner under the stars. Hand-made tacos, Pakistani appetizers and shaved ice filled bellies throughout the night. It was a warm and loving atmosphere all evening. Everyone was having such a great time, the dance floor was pumping and Andrew and Farheen couldn’t get the smiles off their faces. When the night finished, and the guests took their wedding favor of freshly-roasted Intelligentsia coffee home with them (yes!), I couldn’t help but be in awe of all the love, time and creativity that went into making this day a reality and how I was so incredibly honored to be there to witness it.
Oh yeah, and we had a rainbow.
Special thanks to the talented Andrea David for being on the second camera all day and for her highlights in helping write this blog.
Venue | Elysian
Hotel | ACE Hotel
Coordination | Melissa Valentin of Happily
Musicians | The Mudbug Brass Band
Floral | Inessa Nichols Design
Hair | Hair of the Bride
Makeup | Chelsea Nichole
Catering | Rasta Taco