TWO OF HEARTS: MARIYAM NAFEES & AMAAN AHMED’S FAIRYTALE WEDDING IN PICTURESQUE SWAT
T he whole country ooh-ed and aah-ed over just how much in love Mariyam Nafees and Amaan Ahmed seemed to be in from their wedding pictures and videos that went viral and were shared across all media houses. The couple says they were very sure about how they wanted to keep things simple, guest list short and all the events intimate – the initial plan was to have the Shendi event in Swat and Valima at an orphanage but Mariyam says their parents gave in to the societal pressure and a couple of more events were added. Their wedding was ‘goals’ in more than one way as the couple opted for picturesque Swat as their destination wedding spot rather than going to another country – Mariyam’s dress for her Shendi was designed by herself as she didn’t want to go for a designer-wear for her big day. The couple let us into their world as they talk about their wedding, classic ‘meet-cute’ story and life after. Read on...
‘We wrote them on plantable seed paper because for as long as I can remember I’ve seen wedding invites lying around in drawers so we thought it would be nice that people plant it later. Good for the environment’ - Mariyam
Firstly, many congratulations to the both of you on your wedding – it created quite a stir on social media for multiple reasons. Tell us what’s the first change you’ve felt after the wedding that you weren’t expecting?
Mariyam: Thank you! To be honest I’m still in Islamabad so it hasn’t hit me as yet. All tiny changes so far are super cute.
Amaan: Cheers! So far so good. Loving all the attention and dinners from Mariyam’s family. (Smiles)
Let’s start from the beginning and talk about your wedding invites – it was made with plantable seed paper, hand written and flowers used were from your Dua-e-Khair. You really put in the thought into this, tell us whose idea was it and why was it important for you to do this?
Mariyam: We both are attentive to detail and emotional when it comes to important things like these. We wanted to do something different with a personalised touch to it. I still had our Dua-eKhair flowers in my room so we thought to use those and write our wedding invites in a letter form sealed with our combo name wax. We wrote them on plantable seed paper because for as long as I can remember I’ve seen wedding invites lying around in drawers so we thought it would be nice that people plant it later. Good for the environment. (Smiles)
Amaan: We are very proud of it. Every card made by hand and written by heart was not an easy task. We wanted it to be special. The other aspect of it is that now everyone wants to keep it as a souvenir and not grow a plant from it. (Laughs)
In times where celebrities go all out with invitations, you only had close family members and friends. What made you keep your wedding so intimate and guest list so short?
Mariyam: We always wanted an intimate wedding with just our close people present. This is once in a lifetime affair and we wanted to enjoy it to the fullest surrounded by our loved ones.
Amaan: We always wanted an intimate one. The special few were invited. We’re lucky that most of them made it, we felt super loved. For those who couldn’t, we had them in our heart.
‘I would say we do complete each other. It’s like she’s Yin to my Yang. We can be a bit deadly as well like Bonnie and Clyde’ - Amaan
From Nikkah at Faisal Mosque to wedding in North. Why Swat? Does the place hold any significance for the two of you? Why did you opt for a destination wedding?
Mariyam: We initially thought of doing it in Greece but then thought why not do it in our own country which is absolutely gorgeous. We want to promote the idea of destination weddings in our own country. Swat is gorgeous, we thought of Hunza also but logistically Swat was convenient so we decided to do it there. Also, with destination weddings you can keep your guest list as per your choice. Our idea was to bring our people together and just have lots of fun, an experience that’s different than the conventional weddings.
Amaan: When we talk about destination weddings people including us usually think of going abroad. I think that needs to be changed. Our country is beautiful and if you explore it a little more, many options of having a destination wedding open. Swat was breathtaking with lovely hospitable people who did everything possible for our wedding to be a memorable one. We wanted it just the way we had – intimate and fun.
The dancing videos from your wedding went viral on social media – tell us which was your favourite performance and why?
Mariyam: Oh! I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.
Amaan: Oh! Mariyam had the mighty Obi (Osman Khalid Butt) in her corner. I had to buck up my players just like a coach does before a game. I told them just have fun on the stage. Enjoyed all the performances!
‘I endorse it totally. It’s a leap of faith. A huge responsibility, which is not a bad thing. If it works for you and you find a partner who you want to spend your life with, then it’s an enjoyable ride’ - Amaan
Looking back at all the events, is there anything you’d like to change?
Mariyam: Not at all! It was perfect Alhamdulilah. I got to do everything I wanted to. It was a per fect fairytale wedding. (Smiles)
Amaan: Nope, nothing at all. Loved every bit of it. Dream place, beautiful shoot locations, closest of friends and families inside a hotel for two days. Lighting lanterns and phuljarries (sparkler), singing songs, laughing, taking candid pictures and dancing till mornings with love all around aur kya chahye?
You were always very sure of how you want to keep things simple and even had your reception at an orphanage. Tell us a bit about that.
Mariyam: Initially the plan was to have Shendi in Swat and Valima at the orphanage but later my mother gave in to the societal pressure (laughs) and decided to add Mayoun, Nikkah a n d reception. It’s legit impossible to have an intimate single event wedding in this country unless we’re at the peak of a pandemic. Anyways, we celebrated with our friends and family, and wanted children to be a part of our festivities also.
Amaan: Yes! The idea was always a small scale simple wedding. It turned out to be a little bigger than what we initially planned but we made sure it didn’t spiral out of control. Valima also had to be a simple and meaningful affair. I absolutely loved the idea of spending time with the kids and sharing a meal with them. The smile on their faces seeing the presents meant the world to us.
‘Initially the plan was Shendi in Swat and Valima at the orphanage but later my mother gave in to the societal pressure (laughs) and decided to add a Mayoun and Nikah reception. It’s legit impossible to have an intimate single event wedding in this country’ - Mariyam
You both look great together and complement each other perfectly; what is it that you admire the most about each other?
Mariyam: His genuineness and his no-fuss behaviour. He’s a very easy-going person.
Amaan: I think we complement each other very well. Even when we plan something, one uses the heart and other uses the brain. It’s a nice combo of emotions and practicality. Just don’t ask who is who. (Laughs)
How different are you from each other?
Mariyam: Not in a lot of ways. We both love spontaneity, we love to travel, we’re both creative, we’re both foodies and shopaholics. I think I’m just more of a workaholic than him.
Amaan: We’re quite similar, but I would say we do complete each other. It’s like she’s Yin to my Yang. We can be a bit deadly as well like Bonnie and Clyde.
When we talk about destination weddings people including us usually think of going abroad. I think that needs to be changed. Our country is beautiful and if you explore it a little more, many options of having a destination wedding open’ - Amaan
Amaan is from Karachi and you’re from Islamabad – how do you settle the fight of which city is better? Which city after marriage are you both calling home?
Mariyam: Both cities have their own pros. Karachi is very active work wise, but Amaan agrees that Islamabad provides better quality of life. Both will remain home. (Smiles)
Amaan: Mariyam properly introduced Islamabad to me and I’m sold. I love going to Islamabad. There is so much to do but Karachi is home. Its energy keeps me going. So, we are working on a formula where we work-party in Karachi and relax-party in Islamabad.
The assumption is that a married actress stops getting offers... what’s your take on that? I also would like to have Amaan’s opinion on this.
Mariyam: Gone are those times. (Laughs)! I don’t think so. See all our wonderful actresses who are amazing wives and moms too so I don’t think that stands correct.
Amaan: I don’t think that’s the case now. Let’s say even if it is, she’s wearing a producer’s cap as well and also does a lot of philanthropic work.
Would you recommend marriage?
Mariyam: Of course! Nothing like it!
Amaan: Trick question? (Laughs). I endorse it totally. It’s a leap of faith. A huge responsibility, which is not a bad thing. If it works for you and you find a partner who you want to spend your life with, then it’s an enjoyable ride.
Lastly, what’s next for the both of you?
Mariyam: Honeymoon. (Laughs). Work, travel, family. InshAllah!
Amaan: Kuch kaam karlein? Ok. Honeymoon ke baad. (Smiles)
INTERVIEW: SUNDUS UNSAR RAJA
PHOTOGRAPHY: MAHA'S PHOTOGRAPHY
MAKEUP: FAIZA'S SALON
MARIYAM'S MAYUN & NIKKAH OUTFIT: MAHA WAJAHAT KHAN
JEWELLERY: HAJI YAHYA GHULAM GHAUS JEWELLERS
DECOR: ARJ INNOVATION
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