Featured in Fall/Winter 2016 Issue
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While most people may attend fashion shows in hopes of getting a firsthand glimpse of next season’s hottest trends, Abbas Khan was in the audience when he first spotted his future bride, Sheekha Sethi. “I was walking the ramp and Abbas saw me,” Sheekha says. “He kept in touch—he was very persistent!”
That persistence led to an elaborate surprise proposal when Abbas told his then-girlfriend they would be flying to Chicago for a work-related charity gala. Decked out in a custom Azeeza Khan ensemble, Sheekha arrived at the venue to find herself in an empty room. All of a sudden, the TV began playing. “Abbas made the cutest video about the journey of our relationship,” she describes. “When the video ended, he walked into the room and got down on one knee. After I said ‘Yes,’ he led me into another room where 100 of our closest family members and friends were waiting to celebrate with us. The night turned into the best surprise engagement party a girl could ask for.”
The wedding planning process included two planners helping to put together four distinct events for 400 guests—a Sangeet, a wedding ceremony, a welcome dinner and a wedding reception—spanning several days between Chicago and Connecticut. After the couple’s Sangeet at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, their wedding ceremony was held at Union Station.
Having envisioned a wedding theme of regality, Sheekha chose a selection of rich jewel tones for the Sangeet and ceremony décor. “The hall at the Ritz-Carlton is so regal, it fit exactly what I had in mind,” she explains. “We had authentic, antique 19th-century doors from India flown in to be part of our décor for the Sangeet—that was our focal point.”
Union Station’s looming pillars also served as inspiration, and the space was transformed with floral arrangements featuring velvety black calla lilies. To heighten the experience, the groom made a grand entrance during the baraat by entering Union Station in a vintage Rolls Royce. “I don’t know how, but we somehow got them to ‘okay’ us driving a car into the hall!” Sheekha says.
For the reception, the newlyweds opted for a different type of ambiance—a black tie affair with clean, white décor. With all the men looking particularly dashing in classic tuxedos, Sheekha and Abbas celebrated their nuptials surrounded by friends and family, and shared their first dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. After so much work put in to planning the wedding festivities, Sheekha was glad to finally be able to enjoy the moment. “I felt happy to be spending the rest of my life with my best friend, my soul mate,” she adds.A few days later, Sheekha and Abbas jetted off to the British Virgin Islands for a mini-moon, as they only had so much time to get away amidst their busy wedding schedule. More recently, however, the couple was able to experience a “real” honeymoon with a beautiful trip to Morocco.
> Written by Lauren Malamala