Noreen and Moin’s Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton Wedding Story

When was your wedding?


How and when did you meet?

Via That is not the urdu word for fate but rather a social networking website.


How old are you both?

I am 29 and Moin is 30

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

On the morning of our engagement, Moin left a picture of us when we spent a sunset at the cliffs in Palos Verdes near my home. It’s a beautiful location with the ocean crashing against the cliffs. He included an instruction for a rendezvous and awaited me there in a suit, on a motorcycle and with the ring.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

We call these bachelor and bachelorette parties in the US. I had a Moroccan themed bridal shower with turquoise as the main color. Moin had a low key camping trip on the James River in Virginia.

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

Moin was extremely patient with my bridezilla ways. I consulted him on key decisions. He selected the cards, made the website, organized the caterer for the boat and accompanied me tastings and venue selections.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

My original wedding dress was custom made by the designer Sanya Muneer in Pakistan. However I was very unhappy with the final product, and I ended up ordering a new dress in the final weeks before the wedding. The second one was a deep fuchsia lengha hand stitched in Lucknow India. It had silver, gold and copper embroidery with fine beadwork.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a religious ceremony called a nikkah.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

Poolside overlooking the marina at the Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton (near Los Angeles)

Where did you hold your reception?

In the grand ballroom at the Marina del Rey Ritz Carlton.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

A yellow Lotus Elise covered in orchids.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

350 total guests at the wedding ceremony and reception. 200 attended the previous evening’s dinner cruise. And 200 attended a mehndi at my parents’ home.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

Reds, fuchia, orange. The decorations were South Asian in design. Soft orange up‐lights accented the ballroom walls.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Each table had flora incorporating these colors.

Did you give your guests favours?

Our guests received chocolate truffles from Opera Patisserie in San Diego. These were a huge hit.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

Arrangements were half highs and half lows incorporating roses, orchids, and star gazer lilies. The vases were filled with crystals. Our florist –Luna Gardens of Beverly Hills – did a remarkable job the arrangements.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

We had both the Ritz and an outside caterer – Tanzore an Indian restaurant in Beverly Hills. We provided a mix of Indian and American dishes. We catered the dinner cruise from Kabul West in San Diego – a popular Afghani caterer.. The Mehndi was catered by Al Watan and was a traditional Pakistani cuisine.

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

We had King’s Hawaiian bakery. The cake was four layers: 1) chocolate dobash, 2) vanilla chiffon with strawberries, 3) rainbow, and 4) carrot cake.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a Kumba Entertainment DJ. Our friends performed traditional kathak dancing and Bollywood style dancing.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

We requested “no boxed gifts.”

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

We stayed in the honeymoon suite at the Ritz Carlton on the first night. We then flew the next day to Tahiti and stayed at the Sofitel Bora Bora and the Sofitel Moorea. Our honeymoon was arranged by True Tahiti Vacations.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Our entrances to the ceremony. I entered being in a dholi, carried by my brothers and cousins. Moin entered on a richly‐decorated white horse.

Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

Nothing horrific happened. However, I lost my cool with the state of arrangements before I departed to my suite before the wedding. Everything turned out wonderfully in the end.

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

Choose your wedding planner very carefully. We had a nightmarish experience with two separate wedding planners. Also we recommend against South Asian Brides going back to India or Pakistan to have a custom dress made, unless you have someone you can absolutely trust who can oversee the whole process. Hiring a big name designer does not inoculate you from problems.

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