Though Haniya Riaz and Zaheen Khan had a number of friends in common and both work in the fashion industry (she as an agent at The Wall Group and he as the director of sales for Naeem Khan, and also the designer's son), it took a little technology for the pair to meet in March of 2014. "It's still almost unbelievable to me that we met through a dating app instead of by simply crossing paths," says Haniya. "But we can thank technology for speeding up the process!"
The two self-proclaimed homebodies had been dating for just over a year when Haniya came home from work to see a pathway of rose petals leading from the elevator to her apartment—and Zaheen on one knee at the front door. "I started bawling before he even had a chance to ask the question!" she remembers. Though they call New York home, they had their hearts set on a warm weather destination wedding, and at the recommendation of Zaheen's parents they visited Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. "It was more magical and beautiful in person that we could have imagined, with lush manicured gardens and classical architecture," the bride describes.
And on April 15, 2016, 195 guests traveled from across the country (and around the world!) to celebrate at Zaheen and Haniya's romantic, botanically-inspired wedding. "Our theme was a garden by the sea, perfect for the stunning setting and waterfront location," says Haniya. Photographer Gianny Campos captured all the details, from the bride's spectacular custom gown to the moss draped from the ceiling of the reception tent. You've never seen Miami like this before—take a peek!
The boxed invitations featured an elegant coral motif, a nod to the beachfront venue. Soft peach tones added warmth to the all-white invitation.
When guests arrived, they were treated to welcome boxes in the same hues, including dark chocolate and scented candles.
Haniya's one-of-a-kind wedding dress was created by her father-in-law, Naeem Khan. "I was so thankful to be dressed by him, not just because of how stunning my dress was, but because it was made by family," says Haniya. She and Naeem selected a paisley-inspired embroidery pattern, which led down to three-dimensional flowers on the full skirt and train.
She paired her gown with another piece made by a family member, diamond and pearl earrings custom-made by Haniya's mother-in-law, Ranjana Khan. The South Sea pearl earrings were the perfect match for the pearl platforms on the bride's Nicholas Kirkwood peep-toes.
The hand embroidered bodice and flower-covered skirt created a stunning statement that absolutely wowed Haniya's bridesmaids, also in Naeem Khan. Says the bride, "I wanted some quiet time to reflect before the wedding, so I got ready separately in a suite at the Four Seasons. I was calm and not the least bit stressed, and joined up with my bridesmaids (who got ready together) when we were all ready to go!"
Zaheen kept his look classic in a Tom Ford tuxedo. The morning of the wedding, Haniya gave him starfish cufflinks to match the couple's wedding's theme.
"When we were designing my dress, I told Naeem that I wanted a form-fitted mermaid silhouette with a long train and an open back, and he went from there," says Haniya. It was the perfect combination of modern and timeless details.
With Vizcaya Museum and Gardens serving as a breathtaking backdrop, Haniya needed an equally dramatic veil. "It was especially spectacular and unlike any other veil I'd ever seen, covered in three-dimensional flower appliques," she describes.
Each of Haniya's nine bridesmaids wore pleated silk gowns in a dusty rose shade, all with a slightly different neckline. The flower girl, Haniya's niece, wore a custom Naeem Khan dress finished with floral appliques that matched the bride's gown and veil.
The bride carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, garden roses, and sweet peas, kept organic but not too wild—"I didn't want it to take away from my dress!" says Haniya.
The groom and groomsmen all wore tuxedos, opting for white jackets instead of black for an extra-formal (and also refreshing!) look.
The ceremony took place in front of two oversized arrangements of white hydrangeas and peonies, lit with pillar candles in large cylindrical vases. Ceremony programs were affixed to woven fans, perfect for helping guests beat the Miami heat.
Zaheen and Haniya wed in a non-denominational ceremony. "It was focused on love more than religion," the bride describes. The pair wrote their own vows, focused on respect, love, and the fact that they're better together than they are apart.
Guests wandered through the gardens to make their way to cocktail hour, where they were greeted with non-alcoholic raspberry refreshers and champagne-elderflower fizzes. They nibbled on cured tuna loin with parmesan tuille and beef carpaccio as they found their escort cards. Table assignments were hand-written on mother of pearl-inspired discs.
Inside the tent, moss was draped from the ceiling to mimic the feel of the surrounding garden. A mix of bare and linen-draped tables were arranged throughout the space, and centerpieces combined white and vibrant pink blooms. Centerpieces combined white hydrangeas, peonies, fragrant jasmine, and hyacinth.
The worn wood head table featured a sequined runner and pink and white blooms in bud vases. Pieces of coral were tucked between candles and clusters of peonies and roses.
Haniya and Zaheen's chairs were draped with garlands of white roses and ranunculus. The three-course dinner included knife-cut salmon tartar with black truffle tapenade, roasted sea bass with potato Boulanger and roasted bell pepper pesto, and a vegetable timbale topped with artichoke confit.
The guest list featured a who's who of the wedding industry, from planner Colin Cowie to cake maven Sylvia Weinstock—and of course, bridal designer extraordinaire Naeem Khan!
Favors were custom pom pom sandals from Cartagena. "We wanted our guests to change out of their heels so they could dance!" says Haniya. Local noise restrictions meant the party had to end at 1am sharp, but the newlyweds and their friends made the most of every minute.
For the dance party, Haniya changed into a gold sequin and fringed dress, which she paired with a gold and raffia crown. "It was so much fun to dance in!" she says.
The newlyweds were scheduled to head to Istanbul, the Maldives, and India the next morning, but had to do a little rescheduling. "With all the chaos and happy exhaustion, we ended up missing our flight!" says Haniya. "Thankfully we were able to book a flight later that day." If that doesn't encourage future brides to roll with the punches, we don't know what does. "At the end of the day, nothing is that big of a deal. The night is about you and your husband and the love of your family and friends, so if the wrong linen was ordered or an uninvited guest shows up, don't sweat it.
Or better yet, let someone else take care of it!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens || Wedding Planner: Rebekkah Rosado of Runway Events || Bride's Wedding & Reception Dresses: Naeem Khan || Jewelry: Ranjana Khan || Hair: Lacy Redway at The Wall Group || Makeup: Hung Vanngo at The Wall Group || Bridesmaid Dresses: Naeem Khan || Flower Girl Dress: Naeem Khan || Groom's Attire: Tom Ford || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bow Tie: Tom Ford || Cufflinks: Elsa Peretti || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Carelle Jewelers || Invitations & Stationery: Fancy That || Flowers: Jenevieve Peralta || Caterer & Cake: Le Basque || Music: The Powerhouse Group || Entertainment: DJ Claudio Figueroa || Rentals: Le Basque || Favors: Casa Chiqui of Cartagena || Photography: Gianny Campos || Videography: Well Spun Weddings