"The American Visionary Art Museum was something very different," says Imran. "Our families are used to hotel ballrooms and reception halls, but the AVAM gave us multiple areas to use, and we liked the idea of our guests moving around the museum. And it was right by the Harbor and Federal Hill, so it all came together."
The bride wore a handmade white Anarkali-style dress with pearls and crystals, and the groom wore a black overcoat on top of his shalwar kameez for a tuxedo effect.
"On the scale, the whole dress was about 40 pounds," says Salmah. "Pure white is exotic for my culture, and guests were expecting me to wear red for the ceremony. So I wore white, which is an American color, and the style was Pakistani to blend the cultures."
The cake: It was a six-tier cake from Patisserie Poupon in Baltimore. The flavors included hazelnut chocolate crunch cake and fresh strawberry cheesecake, says Salmah.
"The groom's cake was red velvet and Mario-themed because we love to play Mario Brothers together," she says.
The music: The couple had a steel drum band play while appetizers were served and a DJ for the rest of the night. One of Salmah's friends from the United Kingdom sang "At Last" by Etta James for the couple's first dance.
Personal touch: Inspired by a vacation to Melbourne, Australia, where they saw penguins, Salmah and Imran had a bride penguin and groom penguin etched on stemless wine glasses, along with their wedding date, as favors for their guests. The glasses were filled with candy pouches made by the bride's mother-in-law.
The rukhsati: At the end of the reception, the couple participated in the rukhsati, or "sending off," which is a traditional part of Pakistani weddings.
"I walked under the Quran, held by my dad and brother. Back in the day, it was a huge deal because it was the last time the bride's family would see their daughter," says Salmah. "We left on a boat in the harbor that had 'Just Married' on it."
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Wedded: Salmah Rizvi and Imran Akram
This Baltimore couple celebrated a traditional Pakistani wedding with an American "visionary" twist.
Rizvi-Akram wedding (1314 Studio, Baltimore Sun / September 28, 2012)
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