Hira Mian & Umair Saleem
August 3, 2014
Tower Hill Botanic Gardens
When Toronto bride Hira Mian became engaged to her love Umair Saleem, she knew planning a wedding wasn’t going to be easy. As a final-year physician resident in hematology, she had very little time to do much on her own.
With her extended family in Boston, as well as Umair’s parents, a trek to New England was the right fit for the busy couple. The bride enlisted the help of the wedding planners at Pink Lotus, a Boston-based events company dedicated to crafting Indian weddings.
She might have been short on time, but Hira had plenty of ideas. “I really wanted a greenhouse wedding in a botanical garden,” she remembers of her desire to host their celebration at a very unique outdoor location. It was her own love of lush parks, plants, and florals that led the couple to send out wedding invitations that doubled as plantable cards that grew wildflowers. “I had people asking me to send a second invitation,” she says.
After a very intimate ceremony at their family mosque, guests celebrated the couple’s union in the gorgeous expanse of Tower Hill, a 132-acre botanical garden with spectacular views of Mount Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir. They were treated to an event full of both custom and contemporary details.
In addition to the palette of reds and peaches that created a traditional Indian look, Umair’s father also found an Indian DJ and a local caterer for Indian food. Guests filled their plates with dishes such as butter chicken, lamb curry, biryani rice, and naan bread.
By incorporating a unique venue with a classic Indian wedding colors, adding modern touches like garden surroundings and mini succulents, and contrasting traditional food with trendy dessert choices, the couple truly had a “best of both worlds” celebration.
The bride chose a palette of rich colors to combine several elements—the traditional red seen in Indian weddings, orange for light, gold for elegance, and green to keep things earthy and rustic.
The customary henna designs on Hira’s hands were created two days before at her home. While the designs themselves don’t have meaning, the couple’s initials were front and center.
The couple hosted a cocktail hour with a piano player and appetizers, accompanied by their own non-alcoholic cocktail, the Baby Orange Fizz Mocktail.
“My dress was in the traditional style but not traditional colors. I wanted to make it more unique and blend of culture and modern,” says Hira of her semi-custom-designed dress from India. “My sister ended up wearing the really bright red traditional color on my behalf.”
To fit into the theme of earthly beauty, guests walked away their own part of nature in the form
of mini succulents.
The reception was held in Tower Hill’s magnificent Great Hall, complete with stone fireplace and outdoor terrace with panoramas of Mount Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir. “The gorgeous centerpieces were classy yet earthly,” says the bride.
Surrounded by lush gilded pillows and draped beading, the couple sat at their own table to receive guests and listen to speeches from their loved ones.
Their sweetheart table was adorned with votives, lush florals, and ruffles created by Table Toppers (now Peterson Party Center) was the perfect place for the couple to dine and soak in the celebration.
“The whole wedding theme was a bit light, so having a cake seemed too heavy,” says Hira of the table full of candies, macarons, yogurt-covered pretzels, and “funky-flavored” cupcakes.
Rather than cutting into the traditional wedding confection, Hira and Umair each cut into their own personal bride and groom cupcake while sitting at the couples couch.
Bride’s Jewelry: Mom’s wedding jewelry
Catering: Traditional Indian food from Rasham Catering
Music: Cocktail hour piano by Bruce, reception by DJ Saif
Gown: CTC West Toronto
Desserts: Cookie Creatives by Jennifer
Florist: Theresa and Megan
Groomswear: Hugo Boss
Ruffled Linens: Table Toppers (now Peterson Party Center)
Rings: Spence Diamond
Wedding Planner: Pink Lotus
Invitations: Cry If I Want To (Toronto, Ontario)
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