Category Archives: Weddings

Say YES To The Perfect Bridal Artist!

By Maya Hashmi

Say YES to your Perfect Bridal Artist!

We all plan and look forward to our wedding day and whether it is a big event or small, every bride wants to look flawless and polished for her wedding and pictures of her special day! Here are some quick tips to help you find your perfect Bridal Makeup & Hair artist!

Trial – Trial – Trial!

The first step would be to look at local bridal artists to get an idea of what you like and dislike. Every artist has their own signature look and as the bride you need to decide what you prefer. Show them pictures of how you’d like your bridal makeup and hair and go in for a trial. I cannot stress how important it is to show your artist a picture of the look you want. For example, what you consider natural look could be very different than their idea of a natural look.

This is also a good point to know how much their services cost, how the booking process works (if you have to put a deposit, sign agreements etc). Make sure you book the trial anywhere 6 to 3 months before your big day ensuring you have enough time to find the perfect match as some brides have to try a couple different artists before they settle on an artist they work well with.

Prep for the trial

Make sure you show up for the trial with your hair washed and dried the night before so it can hold any hairstyle better. Cleanse and moisturize your face to provide the artist with a clean canvas to work on. This will also save time and allow the artist to see how your skin is. If you use any special products for your skin (acne treatments or products for sensitive skin) make sure to bring those along too.

At the trial

When you go in for your trial, it helps if you bring all your hair accessories (veil, tiara etc) so you can get an idea of what the final look will be. If you haven’t purchased your accessories yet, ask the hairstylist if they have something you can try on for the trial. Another great tip I find that helps the bride get a better idea of their overall look is to wear a shirt/dress that matches their wedding dress (say your dress is red, the makeup you try on at the trial may then clash if you show up wearing a yellow or blue to the trial).

Extra costs

Ask your artist if there are any additional charges like travel fees, parking, lashes, installing extensions, up-do’s etc. If you want your artist to stay on site for touch ups, chances are there are additional rates for that – so make sure you get a detailed quote before committing to anything.


Sometimes, especially if you had your trial a while before your wedding, you may change your mind on what bridal look you’d want – ask your artist if they are open to doing another trial and make note of any fees that may be incurred at this point.

Follow these tips and I hope it helps you say YES to your perfect bridal makeup and hair artist who will bring your bridal beauty vision to life!


About the Author

Maya is a 3x Certified and Professionally trained Makeup Artist with vast experience in Bridal, Glamour and Fashion makeup. Maya is also a NARS Makeup Artist. Her passion for enhancing beauty and focus on using high end products drove her to start her own successful freelance makeup business, ODARA Makeup. Through her freelancing work Maya works intimately with clients seeking make up applications for weddings, head-shots, family portraits, special events as well as working as part of a team for high end shoots. For more information, please visit her website Odara Makeup.

How To Look Your Best On Your Big Day

By Noreen Chaudhry

Tips for brides to bbe

On your big day, when all eyes are on you, you want to look your most fabulous best. As a bridal beauty expert, I have made up many a beautiful bride but you have to know and prepare beforehand to make sure you look picture perfect. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your makeup flawless, radiant and camera ready on the day of wedding .

Set a plan

As soon as you have a wedding date,  you have to have a plan not only for your wedding but also for your makeup, your skin care routine  and any makeup shopping you will be doing for your big day.  You have to understand that your skin is your skin and nobody’s advice is good enough unless it’s coming from a skin care expert or your makeup artist.

Seek professional advice

All the brides and brides to-be’s out there: seek  professional advice, not only for your wedding day makeup but also your skincare regime and  how to keep your skin healthy, fresh and hydrated. You will also need tips on how to prevent breakouts before your big day.

Set an appointment with a skin care specialist or medical esthetician and ask questions about  your skin care routine: what should you be doing on daily basis, recommended products based on your skin type and its needs etc .

Set a skincare regimen

After  seeing your skin care professional or makeup artist, now is the time to set a skin care regimen. Schedule professional facials once a month and start using recommended skin care products at home. You have to start this new routine couple of months earlier than the wedding day so your skin has enough time to get used to the new products and any skin issues, like dryness or dehydration, or oiliness and acne can be addressed.

Bridal consultation or trial makeup

The most important part of a bridal makeup look is the base, since it’s your wedding day you don’t have to put on layers of foundation. The rule is keep it less, with medium to full coverage and the perfect  color match  with your skin tone. Book  a bridal consultation  appointment  to discuss the makeup  look you have in mind with  your makeup artist along with your wedding outfit and jewellery. You can book one or more trial makeup runs to get the makeup look you are opting for on  your wedding day .

Prime & set your makeup

One key tip to keep wedding day makeup last really long is to use a primer and setting spray. As wedding day makeup has to last for hours and it has to be camera ready for professional pictures and videos, primer is a key step in makeup application. It locks in natural  moisture of the skin and releases it  over time and that’s how the makeup looks picture perfect all day long without looking cakey and there is little need for touch ups

Quality makeup products

Invest in quality. Since it’s your wedding day and it’s going to be some time for the ceremonies and event to last, you might have to touch up. Buy quality products for your makeup kit, you can also ask your makeup artist for recommendations.

It’s handy to have your own waterproof mascara and eyeliner for your makeup artist to use since there are chances you will be all emotional and end up crying. If you have oily skin or your wedding is in summer make sure you have translucent powder or setting powder, again based on your makeup artist’s recommendations.

Beauty inside out

For a bride, wedding is not just about looking beautiful only on the day of wedding but also feeling beautiful. Take really good care of yourself and try to relax. At least a month before the wedding, make sure you get eight hours of sleep every night and drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Eat healthy and stay away from oily, sugary foods. And the most important ritual is to drink a cup of green tea before going to bed, without sugar and milk. This will not only keep your weight under control but green tea is a very good antioxidant to give your skin the healthy glow it needs.

Go with the flow

My most important advice and  suggestion for all brides out there is ‘to be yourself.’ It’s not only about how perfect you will be looking on your big day, it’s about how you will feel and how you will enjoy the most beautiful day of your life. If few things are not happening the way you have planned: perhaps your designer didn’t deliver your dress on the promised date or your wedding hall decor is a little off or your photographer is a little late or baraat is not on time, DO NOT worry about all this. Things happen but the real deal is, you have invested your precious time, your money, your efforts and most important, your dreams for the most important day of your life, just enjoy it! My humble and sincere advise to all my beautiful brides to be is: go with the flow, stay calm and be grateful.


About the author:

Noreen Chaudhry is a bridal beauty expert and owns Xception Beauty Studio in Streetsville, Mississagua. As an artist whose imagination comes to life on the canvas of each of her clients’ faces, she is dedicated to ensuring her brides have a beautiful, unique and exceptional look which makes them look and feel glamorous and confident. Her work has been featured in all south Asian bridal magazines like Suhaag, Kismet , Brides & You as well as on ARY TV channel.

Wedding Festivities, Same Yet Different

By Nicole Aliya Rahim

Wedding Festivities Across The World

Weddings are fun, festive and joyful. They mark the contract between two people in the name of Allah (SWT).  While a Nikah and Valima are simple, there are a multitude of rich traditions that stem from cultural upbringings that make the occasion more colourful and festive for all. Some of the most common wedding traditions among the various cultures in the Muslim world.

Henna night

Used particularly in desert climates due to its cooling effects, the use of henna can be documented as far back as 9000 years ago.  Wedding henna can be applied using different motifs that reflect particular regions of the world. Furthermore, the ceremonies surrounding the henna application also differ. The henna night is called ‘hana-bandan’ in Iran and ‘beberiska’ in Morocco.

In Somalia, it is common to see flowery motifs, triangular patterns, as well as the tips of the fingers dipped in henna. In Pakistan, the groom’s family may have a hand in deciding the henna patterns that the bride wears.  In Saudi Arabia, a happily married female relative may be the one to apply the henna to the bride.

In Turkey, the henna ceremony is called ‘kina gecesi’ and is celebrated by placing dry henna into a silver or copper vessel. In Malaysia, henna is also considered a blessed plant and is used as protection from unwanted evil influences. Lastly, in Tunisia, it is customary for the henna fun to last about seven days!

Turmeric for ‘glow’

Turmeric is a yellow aromatic substance that comes from the rhizome of the ginger plant. Applying turmeric onto the bride and groom during the days leading up to the wedding is typical in many cultures. Often mixed with milk, sandalwood powder, oils or other substances, turmeric is known for its exfoliating properties resulting in a glowing complexion.

In Guyana, the bride’s mother, grandmother and closest friends dab it onto the bride a few days before the wedding. A Mayun, in South Asian traditions is the start of seclusion of the bride for seven days. During this time, her female relatives apply turmeric, sandalwood powder, and aromatic oils to her skin. The mixture is applied first by her mother, followed by seven married ladies, then by the rest of her relatives and friends.

Gaye haloud or ‘yellowing of the body’ as it is known in Bangladesh is the night when turmeric, mixed with water and milk is rubbed on the bride.  At this time she receives gifts and her wedding outfit from the groom’s family. Better than your most fabulous spa day, the turmeric ritual brings families and friends together, surrounded by drums and folklore songs.

Drumming up a Baraat

Drums, accepted in Islamic traditions, normally accompany wedding festivities. Often with drums is the baraat that carries different spelling in various countries. For example, in Guyanese weddings, tassa players welcome the baraat (grooms family to the bride’s side). There may be a bit of a friendly battle between the drummers, which presents itself as a source of entertainment for the guests.

In Malaysia, the bride sends a signal to the bridegroom known as a sirih latlat, to let the bridegroom know that the bride awaits him. The bridegroom and his party proceeds slowly towards the house of the bride, led by the women. This is the ceremony of berarak, or walking in procession. Behind them come the group of musicians beating the various types of drums used, especially the hand-held drum known as the kompang, as well as bearers of decorative flowers (bunga manggar).

In South Asian cultures, ‘baraati‘ refers to the groom and his procession, his relatives, friends and guests. The groom typically rides in on a white horse embellished with decorations along with a Shahbala (young child similar to a ring boy) who is dressed identical to the groom. Often, this baraat is led by dhol (drum) players.

New furnishings for a new life

Another interesting custom is the tradition of decorating or buying furniture for the newlyweds’ home. Such is the case in Somali and some Turkish traditions. In Morocco, this is called a ‘furnishing party’ and happens five days before the wedding. By tradition, if the groom’s family is wealthy enough, they pay for most of the furnishings purchased.

This list is by no means exhaustive and it provides a small glimpse into common wedding traditions across cultures. These customs are what families look forward to during the wedding time; they provide laughter, lighthearted-ness, and a sense of community and joy. For more resources on wedding traditions, customs and wedding planning visit

About the author:

Nicole Aliya Rahim is proud mommy to a 9 month old daughter and practices as a Board Certified Behavioural Analyst in Downtown Toronto. As a behaviour analyst, Nicole consults, assess and treats individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health complexities.

In addition to this, Nicole is the CEO and founder of where you can find planning tools, real wedding stories and Islamic inspired wedding trends. Also in the works is the second annual Nikah wedding event (October 3rd 2015) and magazine for Muslims planning their wedding.

Sources cited:

Turmeric & Saffron, All About Turkey, Turkish Culture,
Informant resources: Shamima Matadar and Idil Said.

Choose The Right Venue For Your Event

By Nasreen Faiz


Choosing the right venue for your wedding, or any event for that matter, is quintessential to it running smoothly.

On average, a couple is likely to spend around 35% of their entire wedding budget on the venue. That is quite a bit of money to spend on just one thing!

When it comes to smaller gatherings, such as an Aqeeqa, that percentage is likely to be even higher. Money aside, there are a plethora of banquet halls, convention centres, restaurants and other spaces available to choose from- so how do you decide which on is the right one?!

Here a few pointers to help get your started on the right track:

Opinions Matter

Ask around! Ask your family, friends, colleagues, a stranger, anyone really. Find out what their experiences were like as guests or as a host. Are there any places they would highly recommend? If yes, jot it down.
Along with that, check online. Review sites such as Yelp!, and are great resources that are available to anyone with an internet connection. You can read reviews, both good and bad and gauge from there if a venue is likely to be a good fit.

an Interior of a restaurant

Budget Issues

I cannot stress this enough, set a budget and stick to it! If you are looking to spend around say $35/person (incl. food), then make sure you stay with that figure. When you visit venues, the team may promise you the stars and the moon, which is great- if it’s within your budget!

A few extra dollars per person may not sound like a not, but if you are hosting an Aqeeqa for 200 guests, even going over by $5/person would result in you spending an additional $1000!

There are quite a few things that can affect your budget. The date of your event is likely going to affect the cost of everything. Any social gathering being held on a Saturday is going to be more expensive than one being held on a weekday or Sunday.

Bring along with you someone who you know will help you stay on track. Many times, venue coordinators will try and get you to sign on the spot by offer tantalizing bonuses such as an added chocolate fountain, additional dinner items or they’ll allow for you to add 10-15 guests to the list without an additional cost, do not fall for that!

Tables decorated for a party or wedding reception


Once you’ve narrowed down your list to the final three venues, create a chart and list down all of the pros & cons for each venue. Maybe you liked the overall look of one venue but loved the customer service that was provided by another.
Seeing all of the pros and cons listed on one page will help in deciding what matters more.

I usually have a checklist that I give to all of my couples. Save it, print it, make a few copies and start making notes! Choosing the right venue requires for you to do research, and make a well informed decision. Happy hunting!

About the Author:

Nasreen Faiz is a professional wedding planner and designer at Rangeen Weddings and Events. Life should be rangeen (colourful) which is why her main focus is to always create luxurious designs within any given budget.

The Wedding Planner

By Nasreen Faiz


I was 19 when I got married. Planning my wedding alone was a bumpy ride; not knowing what services I needed, where to find them, or even who to trust. On the day of my wedding, I was miserable for a good portion of the night. Why? I was marrying the love of my life, Alhumdulillah, shouldn’t I have been over the moon happy? Not so much.

When I was getting ready at the salon, I was alone because my mom and sister had to get pre-Reception work done at home.

While at the salon, each time I got a quick break, I furiously sent a text to my cousins, uncles, siblings to see how things were getting along at the hall. Was the decor done? Were the center pieces set up the way I wanted? Had the photographers arrived to take pictures of the hall? Boy, was it one stressful time! To make matters worse, I was coming from Scarborough heading over to Mississauga – the 401 was packed! I knew I was going to be an hour late at the very least and had to trust my 14 year old brother to setup the reserved tables and settings!

Finally, once I did get to the hall, the entire night all I could was sit on the stage and watch helplessly as my parents ran around working instead of enjoying the night their eldest of four got married.

My family was more than happy to do this, and I can’t thank Allah enough for blessing me with having such a supportive family, but I did feel horrible seeing that they couldn’t relax. It was at that moment I realized, I wanted to be a professional Wedding Planner and Coordinator- no one should feel this way!

Wedding Planners?

So what exactly does a wedding planner do, and more importantly, do you need one?

In all honestly, not everyone needs to hire a wedding planner. However, you’ll never find someone who has and regretted it.

If you have a great support system, and they want to play a very active role within your wedding, then hiring a wedding coordinator may not be for you.

Do you need one?

Here are a few reasons why someone would consider hiring a planner,  even if it’s just for the day of:

Time: You just don’t have enough time to plan a wedding. It takes an average of 250 hours to plan a wedding and with either a full time job, school or  other commitments it can be difficult to find the time.

Vision: You want to find the right vendors to create your vision within your budget.

I certainly wouldn’t say the wedding industry is over-saturated by any means but there are a lot of options out there. How do you decide who to hire? More importantly, who can you hire within your comfort level for budget.

Family: You want your family and yourself to be stress free.

In all honesty, I find the last option to be usually the biggest deciding factor for majority of Muslim weddings that I have done. The decision to bring on a wedding planner usually stems from the want to have your friends and family relax on the day of. Instead of your cousins having to rush down to the banquet hall to set the favours and get everything ready for your arrival, you have someone else taking care of it while you spend time with family.

What they do

Here’s a list of a few responsibilities you can expect a wedding planner to take care of for your big day:

  • Timeline/ itinerary creation for both family and vendors
  • Floor plan and seating arrangements
  • Venue setup, including placing favours, folding napkins, setting up the receiving table, cake table etc.
  • Working directly with the venue staff to ensure everything is on time
  • Dealing with any and all problems that may arise without having to worry the couple or the family
  • Coordinating setup times with different vendors so that everything is ready for the wedding

Many coordinators will bring emergency kits with them, so that they are ready to table any issue that may arise.

At the end of the day, the role of a planner would be to make sure everything runs smoothly, family and friends have a great time and that the couple can just sit back and relax.

About the Author:

Nasreen Faiz, WPICC is a professional Wedding Planner and Designer with her own business, Rangeen Weddings.

You can see snippets of their work on Instagram.

Image: 123RF