Lavish Dulhan F/W 2019

Page 1

Photo by L’Atelier Lumiere International Photographie | 8800 The Gore Rd, Brampton, ON L6P 0B1 | 905.794.9588





FINECAKESBYZEHRA.COM Photo: L’Atelier Lumière International Photographie

LAVISH DULHAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 8, ISSUE 1 Eastern Canada FOUNDER & CO- editor Rohit Sharma •

HELLO dulhans, Welcome to the 15th issue of Lavish Dulhan! We are so fortunate to have been able to work with Toronto’s leading wedding professionals for the last 8+ years to push the creative envelope and create inspirational eye-candy issue after issue. Always keeping you, the Dulhan, in mind in hopes of inspiring and encouraging you to make the wedding of your dreams come to life; some of which are featured in every issue! We are beyond thrilled for our 15th issue, with women empowerment being in the forefront now more than ever before, we draw inspiration from the confident and chic Dulhan that stays true to her roots. In keeping with the women empowerment theme, we feature 15 local female influencers who are all pioneers in their respective fields; discussing how they have pushed boundaries, overcome challenges and ultimately carved a unique niche as South Asian women. Having had this opportunity to chat with each one of these women was so incredibly inspiring, each in her own way. What better way to celebrate our 15th issue than to have not one, but two covers for the issue. One features Entertainment Tonight Canada host, Sangita Patel and the other has fashion stylist and icon, Sandy Gill. Both embodying today’s confident woman and are equally beautiful inside and out. Make sure to keep an eye out for both covers! This issue showcases more fashion than ever before, with an entire shoot dedicated to unique looks for the groom, featured on page 134. In our Tying the Knot feature, on page 161, seven beautiful couples share their big day and local fashion designer, Mani Jassal, shares her stunning engagement. For even more inspirational eye-candy take a look at our Chic & Unique feature on page 35. It showcases four detail-filled style shoots with an abundance of florals and each uses a bold colour palette, all while keeping the chic dulhan in mind. This past January we hosted our 6th annual Lavish Dulhan Bridal Show at Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex; an event that features Toronto’s most sought after wedding professionals and inspiration galore all under one roof! Check out a retrospective of the event on page 124. For our upcoming show, we are excited to announce our new home and date – November 10th , 2019 at Embassy Grand Convention Centre! Meet and chat with over 100 wedding professionals to create your dream wedding, explore even more interactive areas and soak in all the inspiration, and for the first time ever experience the energy of the runway in our couture fashion show. Happy planning! The Lavish Dulhan Team


FASHION EDITOR & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Angelee Narang GRAPHIC DESIGNER & CO- editor Sharan Dhillon general INQUIRIES Advertising – Modelling – CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Adnan Ansah Photography Dave Abreu Photography Duaine Menezes Captures Kreative Kams Strokes Photography Verve Photography White Lotus Studio PUBLISHER Inc. Tel: 416.729.9929 COVER IMAGE Dave Abreu Photography Beaut y: Amber Malik Makeup fashion: Lotus Bloom Jewellery: The Urban Glitter Photography:

SPECIAL THANKS TO Dave Abreu Isha Singh Jarar Kazmi Simmi Prasad Suzzette Patten 2011–2020 Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced online or in print without the expressed and written permission of the Publisher. Lavish Dulhan does not guarantee or endorse the quality of services or products of our advertisers or featured suppliers. “Lavish Dulhan Magazine – For the Discerning South Asian Bride” and it’s logotype are registered trademarks of Inc. Printed in Canada.

Photography: Strokes Photography Hair and Makeup: Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair

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Contents 8

letter from the editorial team


table of contents


boss babes a showcase of high fashion inspired bridal wear


luxe list Our pick of stylin’ stilettos and chic clutches


chic & unique themed style shoot showcasing eye-candy galore


bridal beauty beauty teams create shimmering looks


up close and personal chatting with 15 influential women about their story


lavish dulhan bridal show the sixth annual bridal show revisited


bae watch Suit and Sherwani looks for him


tying the knot eight real couples share their big day


urban xo a showcase of chic and modern looks for her


vendor elite lavish dulhan’s little black book


planner & st ylist

Exquisite Occasions – Photography

Strokes Photography – fashion

Adaa Trendz – The New Delhi Company – beaut y

Glowing Goddess GTA Glam jewellery

Zevar Palace – venue

Bisha Hotel Toronto –



The New Delhi Company beaut y

GTA Glam jewellery

Zevar Palace



(lef t ) fashion

The New Delhi Company beaut y

GTA Glam jewellery

Zevar Palace

(right ) fashion

The New Delhi Company beaut y

Glowing Goddess jewellery

Zevar Palace



(lef t ) fashion

The New Delhi Company beaut y

Glowing Goddess jewellery

Zevar Palace

(right ) fashion

Adaa Trendz beaut y

GTA Glam jewellery

Zevar Palace




Adaa Trendz beaut y

Glowing Goddess jewellery

Zevar Palace


St ylin' St ilet tos Our pick of sexy, stylish and sparkling heels that are sure to make any bride dazzle on her big day! Jimmy Choo $1,525

Gianvito Rossi $1,295

Jimmy Choo $1,955

Gucci $2,639

Christian Louboutin $2,055

Prada $1,160

Jimmy Choo $1,445

Christian Louboutin $1,815

Manolo Blahnik $1,075

Valentino $1,231

Jimmy Choo $1,175

Yves Saint Laurent $1,550

Gucci $1,155

Manole Souliers $875

Christian Louboutin $1,165

Manolo Blahnik $1,185


Exclusive. Elegant. Lavish.

A unique curated custom clothing experience. By appointment only.

M Y K I N G A N D B AY. C O M / L AV I S H Photo Credit: Dallas & Sabrina Photography

clutch chic Our pick of lust-worthy clutches, the perfect little accessory to stash all your wedding essentials and make a style statement! Alexander McQueen $3,730

Jimmy Choo $3,825

Jimmy Choo $1,365

Valentino $2,250

Miu Miu $2,170

Sabyasachi $1,150

Nancy Gonzalez $3,825

Christian Louboutin $2,995

Christian Louboutin $1,905

Christian Louboutin $5,325

Fendi $3,900

Yves Saint Laurent $2,120

Jimmy Choo $3,550

Alexander McQueen $2,490

Christian Louboutin $1,905

Jimmy Choo $3,965



From ceremony to reception to accommodation, you can do it all at our expansive resort. We have created a range of wedding packages to suit your needs, whatever they may be. Everything from a simple space rental (plus a few extras) if you’d like to utilize your own caterer, to a fully inclusive wedding package extravaganza. No matter the size, scale, needs or vision for your event, we’ve got you covered!

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W W W. B I J I P L A N N E R S . C O M

Themed style shoots showcasing luxurious and ultra chic eye-candy, to inspire your fairytale!

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Ghandhi This gorgeous Palm Springs inspired shoot blends vibrant colours with trendy decor to bring home the funky desert vibe. The fun floral fashion, array of fresh succulents and minimalistic cake perfectly compliment the California heat. creative director & furniture rental

Paras Events – planner & floral design

Exquisite Occasions – Photography

Verve Photo Co. – stationery

Nadiya V Design – cake

Fruitilicious Cakes – Beaut y

Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair – fashion

The New Delhi Company – jewellery

Banglez – henna

Breath of Henna – vinyl decals

Designer Dance Floors –








“It is a treasure that is outshined by what it means…eternal romance.” – Theresa Ann Moore Shades of purple, gold and soft pink inspire this outdoor shoot. The calming sun and water are the perfect backdrop to the gorgeous golden gate accentuated with an abundance of florals in shades of purple mixed with lots of greenery. planner & st ylist

Exquisite Occasions – decor & floras

Rose Events & Floral – Photography

Kreative Kams – stationery

Nadiya V Design – cake

Melly Cakes – Beaut y

GTA Glam fashion

Lotus Bloom – jewellery

RJS & Co. – location

Scarborough Bluff’s






Photography: L’Atelier Lumiere International Photographie

bombay trendz the trendsetters in fashion

A designer collection of bridal wear, lenghas, sares, bridal gown & jewellery. Custom design your dream outfit. (by appointments only) • 905.890.8902 • 416.388.9410 801 Matheson Blvd W, Mississauga, On L5V 2N6

“You’re worth more than gold.” – Britt Nicole Contrasting the familiar with atypical textures and colour, this shoot brings illustrious glamour back to earth! A mix of boho and Middle Eastern inspiration creates this fusion concept filled with metallic elements for the discerning bride. concept creator, design, Table runner, place card holder, napkin rings & hair

Beth Jacobs Weddings & Events – florals

Blossom Moments – Photography

White Lotus Wedding Studio – stationery

The Paper Boutique – cake

Cakes by Mavis – desserts

Love Patisserie – Canapés, Cocktails & t ea Cat ering

Arvinda’s – makeup

Glitterbox Makeovers fashion & jewellery

Ash Creations – rings

Turnsmith Jewelry – henna

Breath of Henna – table & Chairs

Event Rental Group – dinnerware & napkins

Simply Beautiful Decor – Tea sets, candlesticks, pillars & dessert plat es

Roselle & Co. – sweet cart

Soho Sweet Carts – Custom hand craf t ed agat e inspired Resin plat t ers

Carli D – venue

Mint Room Studios –








"Great love affairs start with champagne..." – Honoré de Balzac Shades of peach, gold and bubbly is what this shoot is all about. The abundance of greenery and rustic elements are beautifully contrasted with the delicate china and modern details. The eclairs, cupcakes covered in gold and stunning handpainted cake top off this shoot while the balloon decor adds a playful touch to the setting. planner & co-ordinator

Exquisite Occasions – design & decor

Opulent Event Designs – Photography

Duaine Menezes Captures – cake

Fruitilicious Cakes – sweet cart

SoHo Sweet Carts – Beaut y

Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair – fashion & Jewellery

Flaire – balloon decor

MMM Decors – Fine China & Table top Decor

Roselle & Co. – venue

W Event Boutique –









Photo Credit: Mango Studios







An Artisan Experience


6 47.892.6 0 53 vandana @ w w 10 6 5 Canadian Place, Unit 126 Mississauga, Ontario By Appointment Only

Photo g rap hy: S trokes Photo g rap hy

Beauty teams create shimmering wedding and reception looks to inspire you! Dave Abreu Photography – Studio Inc. – • fashion & jewellery: Flaire –

Photography: (cover) beaut y: Seher

beaut y

LeSonne Bridal fashion

SV Elegance jewellery

Maison of Jewels

sparkling glam A dreamy cut crease with shimmer, paired with a soft plum lip creates this elegant look to compliment the heavily embroidered gown. A custom pearl headband is the perfect addition to the sleek hair down with soft curls.


beaut y

LeSonne Bridal fashion

SV Elegance jewellery

Maison of Jewels

Angelic glam Ponytails don’t have to be plain; make a statement with an effortless, sexy ponytail that frames your face. Keeping the lips subtle while making the eyes the focal point with a silver gold melt adds a touch of glamour.


beaut y

Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair fashion & Jewellery


Dark doll This gorgeous textured high ponytail, speaks “volumes,� while the eyes hypnotize with matte-mauve, earthy tones which pairs beautifully with the nude liquid luxury lip stain and complexion airbrushed to perfection.


beaut y

Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair fashion & Jewellery


Metallic doll An effortless yet chic, tousled up-do with soft romantic tendrils is simply exquisite and a hit with the modern, minimalistic bride. Play up the eyes that mesmerize with subtle shimmer, fused with hints of smokey elements pairing perfectly with the rich, long wearing matte lip stain in “Mantra� by Doll Me Up.


beaut y

Seher Studio Inc. fashion & Jewellery


golden royalty A sexy smokey eye with a little glitz and glam paired with the perfect red lip is sure to make heads turn. Complete the look with soft natural curls, a statement headpiece and a glamourous lehenga.


beaut y

Seher Studio Inc. fashion & Jewellery


blush royalty This look embodies pinks and nudes on the eyes to enhance your inner beauty paired with wispy lashes and a bold eyeliner to make the eyes stand out. Finished with a classy clean up-do with a centre part for a royal look.


beaut y

Xception Beauty Studio fashion

Bombay Trendz

subtly regal The eyes are sultry and bold while the lips have a soft peach feminine touch while the subtle pop of colour on the cheeks gives a nice glow. Show off the blouses’ high neckline by rocking a trendy voluminous high ponytail.


beaut y

Xception Beauty Studio fashion

Bombay Trendz

traditionally regal A wispy smokey eyed look with stacked eyelashes and a luscious bold red lip creates this glamourous look. A classic up-do with a floral embellishment coupled with the soft pistachio lehenga and velvet dupatta is a sight to remember.


beaut y

Amber Malik Makeup fashion

Bombay Trendz jewellery

Zevar Palace

hint of pink Hints of pink in the eyes and lip create a soft look with a touch of glam. The effortless waves let the trendy blush lehenga-gown.


beaut y

Amber Malik Makeup fashion

Bombay Trendz jewellery

Zevar Palace

hint of tradition Bold eyes and dramatic lashes are always in style; coupled with a nude lip the look has a modern twist. The heavily embroidered lehenga is contrasted with a clean, sleek up-do.


3D Air backdrops Bars and stool rentals Touchscreen seating charts

3D Air custom printed backdrops Centrepiece rentals Touchscreen event surveys

Passionate photographers. Award winning photography.


IG: emphotography_1

Anum Lone: 905-962-2686 Zonaira Lone: 905-541-9639

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For our 15th issue we sit down and chat with 15 local inspiring South Asian women that have pushed boundaries, overcome challenges and ultimately carved a unique niche in their respective fields. Each embodying today’s confident woman while staying true to her roots.

photography: Dave

Abreu Photography Planners int erviewer: Isha Singh planner: Biji



Sangita Patel is one of the most engaging media personalities in Canada. Audiences are drawn to her daily as an entertainment reporter for ET Canada. You will also recognize her from HGTV’s Home to Win and she is the Canadian Spokesperson for Covergirl. Sangita is very passionate about a healthy lifestyle and promoting healthy living using her #FitnessTuesday to motivate others.

Isha Singh: How did it all start for you? Sangita Patel: My journey has been such a unique one. I am the kind of person that lives a limitless life; what I mean by that is I don’t close doors, I let doors open. If you get a no, you get a no and you move on and try something new and that is how I’ve lived my entire life. When I was younger my dad sat me down and gave me a VCR, I took it apart and took my time putting it back together; that’s when I realized that I loved putting things together and learning about things and the way they work; that pushed me towards becoming an Engineer, but my true passion was always talking to people. My mantra is if you talk to someone new everyday your going to learn something new everyday. That’s what I strongly believe and live by and it’s helped me reach where I am today. It’s great to be a part of ET Canada and to have social media platforms where I can use my voice and be able to talk to people and hopefully it helps break barriers. IS:You mentioned the power of social media platforms, what impact would you like to leave on your social media followers? SP: You don’t realize the power of social media until you recognize what you can do with it. I started using social media five years ago and I sat down one day and said what’s the point of just posting photos and beautiful dresses? What can I do with social media where I can reach people and make a difference? That’s when I started the #fitnesstuesdays – I post a quick and efficient workout video each Tuesday on Instagram which I hope inspires and motivates others. I have received so many messages from others who were influenced by these videos; and it was then that I realized that I do have a voice, I can make a difference even if it reaches just one person. I actually had a follower reach out to me after having a baby, she was looking for a way

to lose the weight she had gained. I didn’t know her but every three weeks we would reach out to each other and she would update me on her progress. All she needed was the support since she didn’t have people there for her; but the fact that social media made it possible for her to reach out to me and for me to be able to respond made a difference. For that reason, I continue to do it. I live a life where I love to have fun and I’m very passionate and ambitious about what I do. So through my social media platforms, I want my followers to know that they can do it; don’t give up – just do it, give it a try. IS: Having chosen a career path that was unconventional in the South Asian community at the time, did you get any backlash? SP: Of course, not all the time but I do get unpleasant remarks. Just the other day someone said to me, you forget that your Indian… What does that even mean? I get comments from people that are just ignorant and I just laugh that off because if you want to go into the arts just do it. We have a mind that can go above and beyond; what’s holding us back is our own culture, if you want to be a DJ – go do it… this is your mistake to make, make it and learn from it. IS: How do you balance it all? SP: I never use the word balance anymore there is no such thing.You either sacrifice one side or the other. Sometimes you focus on your career, sometimes you focus on your life; but you have to find what is important to you at that moment. Sometimes that means that you have to build your career and you do it, sometimes it mean being with your family; that becomes your priority. So with your priorities changing, there is no such thing as balance; its about sacrificing one or the other. Will it ever be 50/50…maybe one day. Right now I’m just seeing what the world holds for me and I’m going to continue doing that.


Lotus Bloom – Designer Rajat Tangri makeup

Amber Malik Makeup hair

Bella Flair jewellery

The Urban Glitter Backdrop

Opulent Event Designs


beaut y

Xception Beauty Studio jewellery

The Urban Glitter location

The Lavender Lounge


Rakhi Mutta is an individual whose career path wasn’t an ideal one; it was more like going with the flow and dealing with life as it comes. Rakhi is known for going against social norms and addressing current issues in the most creative ways. She has formed MsMutta Productions and now represents Rupi Kaur. “Take life as it comes and see everything as a new opportunity.” – Rakhi Mutta

Isha Singh: How did all of what you do come into play? Rakhi Mutta: It started with my upbringing. My dad is a community activist but he is also an artist and both my brothers went to art school. Contrary to what families are usually like, the arts are celebrated and regarded highly in my house. I grew up seeing my dad doing oil painting and wood carvings; my brothers would also sketch and paint; however I could never really sketch or draw, my family still makes fun of my drawings. Although I was very taken by films, Mughal-E-Azam in particular. I was nine years old watching film and thinking I would run away to Bollywood but my dad said that I don’t need to run away, I just had to grow up and take it from there.Then life happened and I ended up in community work and I loved every minute of it; I did that for almost 14 years. I travelled across the world and had the opportunity to work with some incredible communities – I was in Columbia working with child soldiers, in Brazil working with kids in the drug trade; I was all over the place. We were using film and photography to document those communities and the atrocities that these kids would go through as well as teaching them to document their own stories because if we are not actively documenting our own story then someone else is telling our story. People of colour have been left out of history it’s usually the victor who gets to tell the story and main men hence the term “his-story.” Eventually all the trauma got a lot for me and then by fluke I ended up meeting Kiran Rai and we did Anarkali and Haneri and other projects together and that then further led me to working with Rupi Kaur. IS:Tell us about Anarkali. RM: I wrote Anarkali when I was 19 years old, I wrote it and put it away into a different part of my mind because, in Canada especially, I had never seen anyone look like me on TV or in films and I didn’t think they would give a brown girl from Brampton money to shoot a show about brown girls, so it just disappeared. I finally shot Anarkali when I was in my early thirties, so it was a long time coming. I had written it for film but after I met Kiran, the idea of doing a web series came to me. I pitched it to her and she was on board, so we began playing with the idea of it. I believe in taking on a challenge, I mean a lot of people asked if this series was going to be successful but that wasn’t my concern because I believe in just trying.

IS:Tell us about the opportunity to work with Rupi Kaur? RM: I was going to a conference in Michigan and the organizers had asked if I can pick up these two girls from Waterloo along the way. A part of me just wanted to blast Beyonce all the way but the feminist part of me had agreed. To my surprise, Rupi Kaur was one of them; it was just so crazy how instantly we clicked. A month later, Rupi selfpublished Milk & Honey and I went to the launch; I was in awe at how this young woman was speaking about issues that others would be afraid to voice their opinion on. So we’ve stayed connected since and then one day I received a message from Rupi saying she wanted to take her career to the next level and that she couldn’t imagine doing it without me! Initially I took it on as a part-time thing but then it just really started to pickup and went into full swing. It’s taught me to always seize opportunities and take risks despite the fear that’s usually comes with it, and I’ve been fortunate to have my parents always support me. IS: Was there any backlash from the South Asian community? RM: I am very blessed my parents are very no nonsense people; even with my extended family when my aunts would ask “when is your daughter getting married?” my mom would say I don’t even ask her those questions so mind your own business; and I don’t think anyone would try to ask my dad those types of questions.Those family members stopped very quickly because my parents put an end to it. With Anarkali there was a lot of backlash not directed so much at me but a lot of comments like “why are you showing girls drinking or in the club?” I did another series called the Good Indian Bride and there was a lot of backlash for that as well. I was looking at the uglies of marriage that we never speak about; I was looking at things that affected my mom and my cousins’ today. We were dealing with issues such as dowry, lightening of the skin, what is deemed to be beautiful, when do these conversations start, how women are meant to be seen and not heard, and so on. Surprisingly most of the backlash was from women saying “I’m so tired of hearing people say negative things about marriage.” However, I’ve also had so many women message me that it’s been very helpful and said that this is their life and thanked me for showcasing it and giving them a voice. So I hope the art that I create and continue to create in the future is always a conversation starter and it allows people to have those difficult conversations.

Transformational coach, writer and speaker Raz Soos helps individuals who have gone through hardships. Creating a plan to help them deal with everyday problems and to help change their life for the better, one step at a time.

Isha Singh: How did you become a transformational coach? Raz Soos: Life…I’ve been through a lot of turmoil and came to a point in my life where I hit rock bottom; all the tools that I had at the time were very conventional and just weren’t working for me so I decided to take a year off from my life to figure out what was going on with me and really explore through a different lens to be able to heal myself. So I started reading a lot of books, attending workshops and really focused on myself through self awareness and meditation. Within that year I found healing and I was no longer experiencing the anxiety or unhappiness I had been feeling for so long. Even people around me noticed the difference in me and wanted my help to get through things they were dealing with. By helping myself, I started helping other people find healing and from there I became a transformational coach, it was very organic. IS: Was there any backlash from the South Asian community? RS: I was looking at everything from a positive light, so I didn’t experience any backlash. My intention wasn’t to become a coach. When I started my business, I called it my name because I didn’t know what it was. There was a point in my third year where I had some feedback from a workshop I had done and people were asking me if I was accredited, licensed or registered as a therapist and I had to explain to them that I’m not a therapist, I’m a coach, and you can be a coach without any type of licensing. But for the most part I have been supported in my career. IS: How many of your clients are South Asian females, and are there similar topics that keep arising between them? RS: About 80% of my clients are South Asian females, I’ve noticed that there are similar patterns and themes that come up amongst all of them which are cultural conditioning and culture limitations in their childhood and growing up. IS: What issues within the South Asian community do you feel we can conquer in the next couple years? RS: We are growing, however the challenges that I most commonly deal with South Asian women are anxiety and depression. I find that it’s coming more to the forefront now especially with all the

movements, we feel more comfortable sharing things. I believe because our feelings are no longer suppressed we can and need to share them. In recognizing that many South Asian women are experiencing the same things, people are now feeling comfortable speaking about it. Not just in recognising it but also conquering anxiety and depression from the root. IS: Can you tell us about your workshops. RS: I have one on one sessions with my clients and I also have a four hour workshop which is usually capped off at 30 people. In the workshops we look at self exploration, patterns in your life and creating a breakthrough for you within your life. IS: Who can reach out to you? RS: I started off specifically working with people that were having trouble with axienty and depression; however, after dealing with those issues my clients wanted to explore more so I had to learn and grow as a coach as well. IS: Is there anyone that influenced you in your life? RS: I have a solid group of friends, my sister and mom; they are all empowering women and we all speak to each other about everything. That has been super helpful and I would attribute my success to them. IS: Where do you see yourself in the next couple years. RS: As I continue to coach my clients, I’m also currently working on a podcast as well as working on writing a book. IS: What legacy do you want to leave behind for your social media followers? RS: Teaching people to be true to themselves, being authentic and becoming unconditioned from all societal and cultural expectations, really coming back to who you are. Moving past the identity of the pain and creating an understanding of new possibility with each other. And really moving forward and healing, being healed. IS: What advice would you give the younger generation? RS: There is so much information out there, I would suggest stepping away from it all sometimes, stop thinking that you need to be positive all the time.


Mani Jassal makeup

Amber Malik Makeup hair

Bella Flair jewellery

The Urban Glitter



Mani Jassal Makeup

Amber Malik Makeup hair

Bella Flair jewellery

The Urban Glitter location

The Lavender Lounge


Mani Jassal is a Toronto based fashion designer whose pieces are inspired by her Indian heritage and Canadian roots. The use of unorthodox cuts and design choices sets her brand apart.

Isha Singh: How did you get into the fashion industry? Mani Jassal: I always wanted to be an artist, but around 11 years old I decided I had this epiphany that I wasn’t going to make money as an artist so I said let me get into fashion and started to dream about becoming a fashion designer. I would always have my sketchbook with me and I got still be the artist I aspired to be! IS: Who were your inspirations growing up? MJ: My mother, who is a seamstress, inspired me; and now she is the production manager at Mani Jassal! When we immigrated to Canada she would make clothes at home and I learnt how to sew from her. So it’s amazing to have my mother beside me, she is one of my biggest pillars.To have someone on my side that is super supportive and that encourages me to keep going even on days that I feel like giving up. IS: Did you get backlash when you decided that you wanted to be a fashion designer? MJ: Yes, my parents were cool with me becoming a fashion designer when I was little; but when I was in grade 11 and started applying for University they said being a fashion designer wasn’t practical anymore and that I couldn’t make a career out of it. So I actually decided to become an aerospace engineer; I was really good at physics and loved doing math and science. I applied to all the science schools – Waterloo, University of Toronto, etc. but also applied to Ryerson for Fashion Design, thinking I would let faith decide my path. If I got into Ryerson then I would go there, but if not, I at least had the other schools to fall back on. Luckily I ended up getting into Ryerson and my parents were happy for me. IS:Your clothing line is known for fusing traditional and modern styles, how did it all start? MJ: In my final year at Ryerson, I did a non-traditional Indian bridal

wear collection for my thesis. Growing up I wore what my mom decided based on the clothing my dad brought back from India, so I thought there was an opportunity to create something unique in Canada. With this collection I was able to blend my traditional side from India and my upbringing in Canada, which bridged that gap for a lot of females that don’t want traditional Indian clothing but also don’t want something completely Western. That was when my brand was born. I didn’t want to go completely away from tradition, as there are so many beautiful aspects of being Indian, and so didn’t want to hide that. Growing up I kind of felt ashamed of my Indian side; that could be because of bullying or whatever, but it’s definitely something I was not proud of. But now I want to embrace it and I want those that wear my clothing to embrace their Indian and Western sides proudly. IS: What is the legacy that you are trying to leave for your social media followers? MJ: Trying to empower other young women who want to pursue non-traditional careers and encouraging them to follow their dreams. IS: Congratulations, you also recently got engaged! Tell us about that. (The engagement is featured in this issue of Lavish Dulhan.) MJ: Thank you so much! Yes, we recently we had an engagement party and it was a beautiful outdoor event. I was so lucky to have all my friends and family celebrate our engagement. And even happier to launch my line at the event, with all my girlfriend’s wearing the newest from Mani Jassal! IS:What is the biggest piece of advice you give to all your brides? MJ: The biggest advice I give to all my brides is to stay true to you. When you come in with a bunch of people, they are going to give you their opinion; follow your heart when it comes to what you want to wear.

You might of seen her audition for Canada’s Got Talent with the Broken Dance Group. Anoshinie is a dancer, choreographer and instructor. She is a trained Bharatanatyam and Bollywood dancer who continues to grow exploring and fusing other styles. She is a huge advocate for using her love for dance to connect and inspire people.

Isha Singh: How did you get into dance? Anoshinie Muhundarajah: Dance dates back to when I was four years old. Just like any other Tamil parents, mine put me in Indian classical dance classes, specifically bharatanatyam. I started training but never thought of it as anything other than a hobby because that’s what I was always told. I never saw anyone like me in mainstream media like TV, movies, or on dance shows. So I never took it too seriously or thought of it as a potential career. But as I got older, I broke out of classical dance and started exploring other dance forms, and I realized this was more than just a passion project. I loved being on stage in front of people. Dance is a tool of self-expression, in fact anything in the arts is. It was my getaway, my therapy and my go-to if I was struggling with something. Now as an adult, I want to take that and share it with people so they can use it to express themselves as well. IS: In 2016 you performed at Colourball, tell us about that. AM: It was my first performance piece that I created to tell a story. It wasn’t just about Bollywood or glamour. That piece was catered towards mental health and trauma, specifically secondary trauma, which I faced a lot growing up. Growing up I was a confident for a lot of people that were going through life altering situations, whether it was overdosing on pills or cutting themselves, and a lot of the emotions in those situations resonated with me. So when it came to the Colourball, I used all those emotions to tell a story and wanted to share it with the audience. I wanted it to be raw and real so I shared the stories with my team because I wanted them to connect to the piece. This process became an avenue for me to heal and let those emotions that I had been holding on to carry into the final performance. IS: Have you faced any backlash in the South Asian community about turning your dance hobby into a serious career? AM: I see myself as being lucky because my parents never questioned my choices, maybe in their heads but never to me. I questioned it a lot growing up; whether I could make a living going down this path or not. I would dance for free at events, not knowing the value my dance had; I didn’t know you could make money from dancing. For me

to join the terms ‘dancing’ and ‘work’ took a long time. I still struggle with charging people for my work but it has to be done because it’s not just a hobby. IS: You do a lot of dance workshops; what is your motivation behind teaching dance? AM: I studied social work in school and wanted to help people who felt lost or needed an outlet, but I felt the traditional methods I had learned in school just weren’t effective in real life. So I started using my love for dance to connect with people and I found that it was much more empowering and inspiring. I have a huge heart for youth and I feel like they are underestimated and misunderstood, so my dance workshops are geared towards them and are meant to be an avenue for them to tell their story. I’m currently working with a group called X Movement that puts me in a different school every week to run dance programs that combine dance with real life. We have conversations and ask questions like “why are you proud of yourself?’” and “what makes you angry?” We didn’t have someone asking these questions growing up and I think it’s so important for youth to be able to answer these questions and to understand how to balance their emotions and love themselves for who they from a young age. Loving yourself is the first step and everything else should come after. We can keep chasing success and money but everything starts with you. IS:With social media being so prevalent, how do you set yourself apart to really connect with people? AM: We are constantly told what to do and what to be. We live in this social media age where we see what people want us to see, so everything looks perfect, but we forget that it’s only one aspect of someone’s life.That doesn’t mean those people aren’t struggling, crying or being human. So I try to be more real on social media, I want people to see the real me, not just the fun part. IS: What do you want your followers to know? AM: Go for it, nothing is impossible! Work really hard and remember that you are not alone. It’s so easy to feel alone because everyone may not show what they are going through, but the more you open up and talk about things, the more you’ll find that people are similar to you and facing problems just the same.


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Pooja is the face you see every morning on CP24 Breakfast Television; she uses her storytelling, wit and humor to engage viewers. We sat down with the charismatic morning star to get an idea of what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other young professionals.

Isha Singh: What is your story? Pooja Handa: I’ve been in the business for 20 years. I started my career at Global Television on the morning show doing traffic. From there I moved to CP24 and I’ve been with them for 11 years now. It’s been an amazing ride, I’ve done everything from reporting, anchoring, being out in the field on special projects; but my favourite place to be is on the breakfast show.There is something special about showing up in people’s homes in the mornings; people stop me on the street and tell me I’m a part of their morning routine and a part of their family; so its not something I take for granted because it’s such a special relationship. IS: What made you go into broadcast/journalism? PH: After graduating high school, I got in at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts school in New York. I told my parents I wanted to move to New York and that it would all work out and I would become famous. My parents were very supportive; but said that I could go as long as I got an education no matter what. I moved to New York, went to school and quickly realized that I ran out of money since I wasn’t able to work. It just wasnt the right time for my dream of being an actress. We look at where we are now and it might be hard to believe that the colour of your skin and the way you look, being South Asian, mattered back then. There were no roles for people who looked like me, so I had a very realistic view of what that future might look like and unfortunately I just didn’t see it happening for me at the time. I knew I had to get an education and I was sort of this performer in school, so it made sense for me to do something where I could be in front of a camera telling stories; so I came back to Toronto and got into broadcast and journalism. IS: How was it starting off in broadcast journalism as a female? PH: I was very fortunate to be able to see Monika Deol, Suhana Meharchand and other South Asian women doing what I wanted to do. So I knew it was possible and that I could make it but I had to try extra hard and go above and beyond. My entire career has been proving and showing what I caan do; there is something about being the underdog, there’s fire in the belly to want to make it even more. IS: Did you get any backlash from your family for being on TV? PH: I was blessed with parents who have been supportive from the beginning, no matter what I wanted to do, but it was very important that I got an education and they made a valid point by saying “this is something no one could take away from you;” if the acting or journalism thing doesn’t work out you still have an education, there’s still somewhere to go. So not only did I get my broadcast/journalism, I also got my BA in women’s studies. I always thought if I ever made it in the broadcast world I would use the women’s studies to empower woman, mentor young girls and show them that it’s possible to follow your dreams and sometimes you don’t have the support of family so you have to show family what you are capable of for them to see it. IS: How are you empowering women in our society today? PH: I didn’t realize this until I got stopped on the street by a family that said “Thank you, my daughter watches you. To have someone

that looks like you, being yourself is such an inspiration!” It was so heartwarming to hear but I never thought of it that way; I never thought of me just doing my job everyday as being a role model, that in itself is an example and is inspiring because we don’t see a lot of it even after all these years. So without even knowing it, I’ve done it in my own little way. I’ve also made it a point to be available for any student that reaches out to me because I know what it feels like. I encourage them and let know that it’s about the journey and not the destination. IS: With you and Gurdeep Ahluwalia on CP24 and both from the South Asian community, was there any sort of struggle between you? PH: Gurdeep and I are really good friends and are very close. It’s such a blessing working with someone that is your friend, it doesn’t feel like work at all. We only want good things for each other. But the best part is the management at CP24. They didn’t blink an eye at having two South Asian hosts of the number one show in Toronto; kudos to CP24 for not seeing colour and just seeing talent. IS: It’s amazing seeing you and Gurdeep on TV every morning; where do you think the boundaries still need to be pushed? PH: The nice thing is that we have a lot more representation not just in news, we’re seeing it in mainstream media and movies. Diversity is the word of the day and it’s great to see more representation and unique stories being told that we wouldn’t otherwise have heard before. I love where it’s going.The problem I find is representation behind the scenes, that’s where we’re still lacking. While parents may be supportive of their kids going into something where they are seen on TV, they might not necessarily get support for jobs behind the scenes like writing, researching or coming up with the content. So I feel when it comes to the people that make the decisions about what you will see on mainstream media, the stories we are going to tell, those people are still not South Asian and I want to see more encouragment to go into those fields as well. IS:Tell us about your family life. PH: It was such an honour for my wedding to be featured in Lavish Dulhan; I appreciate that. Family life is hard because of the work/life balance. My alarm goes off at 3am for work and I don’t see my husband until around 6pm, we eat dinner and I go to bed. We literally only see each other for about an hour a day, which some might argue is the secret to a great marriage. Then we have the weekends where we really reconnect. So it’s busy all the time but we make it work. IS: What is the bigger picture, where do you see yourself going? PH: Overtime I’ve learned I’m so much better when I’m more myself; when I’m settled into my own skin and doing the things that I really want to do. For me that’s what it’s all about. I’ve accomplished a lot in my career that I can check off but there is so much more I want to do. I would like to go back to my acting roots, I abandoned it when I was 18 because it wasn’t the right time then but it’s the right time now. Really being a person that’s present, being in the moment and taking in all the opportunities that have been afforded to me over the course of 20 years and doing other things outside of my comfort zone.

A fashionista, stylist and teacher! Sandy Gill is an educator, not only has she taught children in the school system but she calls herself an educator in many other fields too. She educates individuals on fashion helping them find clothing that fits their body type while still being on trend. She has styled many individuals like Lilly Singh and Humble the Poet to name a few.

Isha Singh: Who is Sandy? Sandy Gill: Sandy Gill is a Punjabi Sikh girl from Brampton, Ontario who loves fashion, teaching and inspiring women and men. I love to share with people how to be self confident and I do that through fashion and styling. IS: What inspired you to get into the fashion industry? SG: Growing up, fashion was something that I had been exposed to quite a bit; especially with three older sisters that were very big on fashion and loved dressing up any opportunity they got. So I’ve always been in love with fashion and it’s one of my favourite forms of art and expression; eventually I tried to find ways to turn that into a career. It helps that my dad also loves dressing up, he’s that cabbie from Brampton that always looks fantastic because of his love for fashion, so I knew my family would understand. IS:You are a teacher as well; what advice would you give to kids trying to figure out what they want to do with their career? SG: I like to remind children to take the pressure off; it’s okay if you know what you want to do and it’s okay if you don’t. Try to find something your passionate about and as you grow older you’ll learn if it’s something you want to pursue, and you’ll end up changing your mind many times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. IS: Being a stylist in the South Asian community is not very common, how was this received by the community? SG: To be honest the biggest struggle was how I wanted this to play out, not so much backlash from the community. I think I have been very lucky because I started off with a career that is more common so rather than receiving any sort of backlash, I actually people reach out to me for fashion advice. I would get asked my opinion and perspective on how certain pieces look together. I have sought this as opportunities to grow as an individual and see what I like and don’t like. So I’ve received more questions than negative comments; just me

learning, growing and understanding what I want to do with this and how far I want to take it. IS: What is styling to you? SG: Styling to me is finding a creative way to bring out the best in you and making you feel the best. It’s a journey where I can work with you to create a look to make you feel great inside and out. Whether I’m doing it through a video on Instagram or helping a client one on one; it’s all about working with you, getting to know you and learning ways in which we can enhance all of that through fashion. IS: How do you come up with unique looks when styling? SG: I love experimenting with different styles; playing with different pieces and jewellery to see how I can pair them or enhance them to create a unique look. When I see the pieces and the colours, my mind starts to dream and put things together. I enjoy pushing the limits with fashion and coming up with looks that others wouldn’t necessarily think of putting together; things don’t always have to match but they should make a statement! IS: What do you want to leave for your social media followers? SG: I want everyone to feel inspired and create something that they are proud of, something that makes them happy. I want kids to be inspired and inspire others and have that chain reaction to continue and carry on. For the younger kids, I would say stay true to yourself and learn how to communicate with the people around you and live in a way where you really feel fulfilled. IS: What are your plans for the near future? SG: I plan my life out by the month, I try not to think too far into the future but I do see myself taking care of my parents, having a family and continuing to work on this path, working with people who have the same values as me and are willing to explore fashion and create moments for fashion.


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Sonia is a health and wellness expert that believes in physical and mental well being of an individual. Sonia is a Canadian Mental Health Association Ambassador and believes that in order to be physically and emotionally healthy you have to also be mentally healthy.

Isha Singh: What is your story. Sonia Jhas: Depending on which year you ask me that question, the answer changes. I realize I am a constantly evolving bean and the last six years have been pretty transformational for me. Once upon a time I was a girl with hair down to my butt, working as an executive in the corporate world with my MBA completed; ticked all the good little Indian girl boxes that my parents had set out for me. I got married to a neurosurgeon; bought a house and it’s amazing. When you start to tick all the boxes you think your going to arrive at happiness. For me the journey really began when I realized that this idea of happiness being a tick mark away wasn’t true; it felt like a really dampening mark in my life. I’ve always been interested in health and wellness; not because I was a healthy person. Growing up I was plagued with being skinny, model skinny size zero, it was what I dreamed of and always wanted. So I did what some girls would do to get to that goal, I starved myself, I went through anorexia and bulimia; I over exercised, falling on and off the wagon. I spent most of my youth yo-yoing through versions of punishment. Once I achieved all my tick marks I said to myself, “maybe you should start by really focusing on what’s on the inside and try to get to a place where you are at peace with your body,” since I felt like I had been at war with my body for so many years. I started from the beginning and retaught myself the fundamentals of fitness and nutrition; really started educating myself and empowering myself with knowledge for the first time. Instead of focusing on quick fixes I actually took the time to invest in things like strength instead of size, nourishment instead of calories. While still working in the corporate world I ended up looking and feeling the way I always wanted to. When I got to that point, I felt like I uncovered this magical secret, the burning desire within me to start to help people get off the hamster wheel in their life and start to take charge. I am now a personal trainer and nutritionist full time and launched myself into the world of Facebook, TV and public speaking. IS: Did you receive any backlash from the South Asian community? SJ: I felt there was going to be judgement and criticism whether it be from my family or friends; but I will say I received nothing but tremendous support and positive feedback; which is a great feeling! IS: So you are the ambassador for Canada Mental Health.Tell us more about that. SJ: Yes I am, and it’s a really nice role to play. Mental health and physical health are interrelated and I think we look at them as separate entities. Most of us look at the health and wellness spectrum as focusing mostly on the aesthetics of “am I skinny, am I not, do I like my body, do I not,” but there is such a tremendous role for fitness and nutrition in the context of mental health and mental wellbeing. Within my family there

has been a lot of exposure to anxiety and depression, so for me it felt like a very natural step to take. It is something that I am very passionate about. In the South Asian community, it is not something that is openly talked about; the idea of having a therapist is shameful. I want to be a voice in that space; you realize at the end of the day if you don’t have your mental health, you really don’t get to experience life. IS: Do people talk to you about depression, stress and so on? SJ: It’s amazing to see how many people reach out to talk about different stressors or challenges they are dealing with. Maybe not specifically depression per say but just how hard people are finding it to navigate their mental health in the context of social media; where our society now is marriage or fertility. This year I was really open about the challenges we faced with fertility, conceiving our second child and having to go through the fertility route. I was blown away by how many South Asian women came forward about struggling with the same issue and finding relief that it wasn’t only them. IS: How do you deal with work life balance? SJ: It’s interesting, so much of the work is wrapped up in life. On one hand I can say it works really well; on the other I can say it’s totally crazy, there’s no stopping…ever, and you have to be willing to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not. I would have to say I am very lucky I have a wonderful nanny who is able to navigate the flows with me, we have this support system which is amazing. I realized I had to make boundaries for myself because I am not happy otherwise. Knowing your limits, knowing when you have to draw the line and listen to the voice in your head telling you that you need to step back; whether it’s for 30 minutes in a day or a 2 week hiatus from social media, it’s not your job to fight it, listen to your body. IS:Tell us about your book that will be hitting shelves soon. SJ: It’s been a couple years in the making. I started this journey after giving birth to my first child. Coming off of mat leave I was ready to hunker down with something tangible and thought a book was the right way to go. I spent a year writing the book; but didn’t realise it was the wrong book until re-reading the manuscript. I looked at it and thought it just wasn’t where I had evolved to in that year. So I dealt with writers block for a while but eventually got back up and started writing again. So to come to a point where the book is actually coming out is a very surreal feeling. I had to get over my own narrative and perfectionist tendencies and all of that mindset stuff; I talk a lot about that in the book.The book is about health and wellness; I go over the fundamentals of heath and fitness that I found to be important if you are on the quest to feeling better about your body and health. It really is a mindset book; it’s about the journey to finding alignment, self love and better health and how it goes hand in hand.

An actress, model and the ambassador for Mani Jassal. Kiran Rai also known as KayRay has her own YouTube talk show called Cha Da Cup With KayRay where she brings individuals on to talk about their roles in society and how they make a difference in the world. Many have also seen KayRay as the face of Anarkali dealing with family, friends, relationships, stigma and taboos of the South Asian community.

Isha Singh: Who is Kiran Rai? Kiran Rai: I am someone who tries to be supportive of others; I like to push them to go above and beyond because I believe the options are endless. I use my platform to voice issues and topics that our society normally shoves under the rug.

Through this talk show you can see and hear the artists in a different light as well as see how relatable they are to us and our audience. I want our audience to see that they are just like us and their journey has been a unique one, but if they can do it and get to where they are, then so can everyone watching.

IS:Tell us about the web series Anarkali and the character you play in it. KR: Anarkali is a young South Asian woman trying to find herself after a huge breakup. Anarkali is all of us and we are all Anarkali. I see myself in her and it’s funny because the issues Anarkali faces in the series, I was facing in my personal life at the exact same time. In Anarkali we have touched many topics whether it be breakups, girls drinking, smoking, pregnancy scares, or sex as these are topics that exist in our society but no one wants to address.

IS: Did you receive any backlash from our community for the roles that you’ve played? KR: I have never looked at it as backlash or something that is going to hold us back but rather thought of it as something that we will push through to continue to get our message across. Talking about these issues whether it be in Anarkali, Cha Da Cup with Kay Ray or Haneri, brings relatable issues and topics to light; issues that people believe do not exist in our community. But they do; I have dealt with them personally as have my friends, and I am sure they happen to other young women as well.

IS:Tell us about your short film Haneri. KR: Haneri is a timeless piece, it pushed people in our community to take a look at mental health and it was created in such a way that it was relatable to our audience. It showed a young South Asian female not being able to have a conversation with her family about how she felt. The charcter in Haneri was going through depression and was withdrawn from her family, and the family instead believed she was lazy and incompetent. It shows the battle that she went through to let her family know that she was going through mental health issues. Haneri allowed young people to watch and understand that what they may be going through was normal or was relatable and they were not alone in their struggle with mental health. It was so relatable that it became almost like a tool for some people to have these conversations about mental health with their family. People started to get the help they needed after watching Haneri because they were able to recognize the signs of what was happening to them. IS:Tell us about your talk show Cha Da Cup with Kay Ray. KR: Cha Da Cup with Kay Ray is a platform that allows artists, politicians and comedians to talk about themselves and to share their story.

IS: What would you like to say to your social media followers? KR: I say this in every interview, but I would like my social media followers to know that at the end of the day we are all one energy and I see myself in all the youth and I hope they see me in them as well. Life is so temporary and we should take advantage of it. You should learn everything that you want to learn and it is going to be difficult, no doubt about that, but do what you want to do and not because you have to do it.Your life becomes that much more meaningful when you do what you want to do. IS: Is there anything new and exciting coming up that you can share with us? KR: Yes! Cha Da Cup is in season two and it is going from YouTube to its own show on TV! We are also on a radio show called DASH Radio and we are doing a live tour in California next year. There are also a couple short films and short series that I am working on which I cannot say anything about just yet; but the promos will start soon. And, Anarkali is now being featured on BritAsia, so that’s very exciting. So let’s just say 2020 is going to be a BIG year!


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Gurkiran stays true to her culture and her roots, yet still pushes and questions societal norms today. A strong, independent woman who not only is a motivational speaker but is also the co-founder and designer behind the Punjabi clothing line, Jangiiro. She is married to Jagmeet Singh from the NDP party.

Isha Singh:Tell us a little bit about yourself. Gurkiran Sidhu: I am a true Punjabi girl to the core and love the Punjabi culture. I’ve had an amazing upbringing; my father raised two really strong independent women and we’ve grown up in a family where women are treated equally. IS:You recently got married, how are you balancing married life? GS: It’s been almost two years now but it feels like it just happened. My husband is so understanding and compassionate, you can imagine how overwhelming this can be. Our goals are the same; we are working together side by side and this has made it easier to go down this path together. Marriage isn’t for everyone but it definitely works for us. IS: And for those that don’t know, you’re married to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. How did you two meet? GS: I used to have a crush on him way before we got together. We were friends for a long time and I got involved with his campaigns because its something that I’m passionate about; the team building, the campaigning, the drive. It’s what I enjoyed the most about politics. For a lot of people the campaigning is the stressful part, but since I loved it and he was always in the middle of it, it’s what helped bring us closer together. We’d talk about the campaign and work with each other; and eventually fell in love. For me, entering his world was very overwhelming; you have to look out for yourself in ways you couldn’t ever imagine. So it was a serious commitment and we had to learn how to balance it together. Eventually the opportunity came up for him to become the leader and I was so excited for us, a minority couple, to have this platform and try to make things better in our community and across Canada. IS: How did you use your platform to work with women? GS: This platform is not something I was ever ambitious to have and it was very overwhelming at first. I had to contemplate what to do with it before I just jumped in. As you build yourself, there is a lot of negativity from our community, where women looked at other women a certain way. But that isn’t how I was raised. As part of Jagmeet’s

campaign, I used the platform to work with minorities and women. I was so surprised by the number of women, specifically South Asian women, that wanted to get involved. Growing up you didn’t see a lot of representation of this demographic with an excitement in politics, so it was quite refreshing to see. And it was so interesting, many of them started off shy but by the end of the campaign, they also turned into leaders! IS: How did your background in campaigning lead to you creating your own clothing line, Jangiiro? GS: When I projected myself out there while campaigning; maybe sometimes I was showing a little too much skin or wearing something that wasn’t accepted in our community; that’s when I knew Jangiiro was needed.There are so many woman out there, like me, that want to be themselves but can’t or find it hard to do so within their family and community; that‘s why I wanted to create something to speak to those women. It started a few years ago, it was not planned, things just happened in a positive light in my life and I rolled with it. My sister and I have always had a passion for Punjabi clothing, but always noticed that when we had clothes custom made, they never turned out the way we wanted or the colour we wanted it to be, no matter how customized they were. So we wanted to do it ourselves. We were both passionate about it and it all just fell into place. One of our girls, Kiran Rai, was the backbone to helping us launch our clothing line. She helped us with models, photographers and was an inspiration for us to bring our passion forward. It was a true women helping women moment! IS: How was Jangiiro recieved? Any backlash? GS: Not at all, in fact it was the total opposite, it was very overwhelmingly positive. My mom was the happiest. She said, “I don’t need to know anything further, just go for it!” It was surprising but very amazing. IS: What message do you want to convey to your followers? GS: To keep the Punjabi culture alive. I think that’s huge and massive for me as an individual with my upbringing. It’s engraved in me and I want to pass that down.

Award-winning DJ Fizza is one of Canada’s most sought after female DJs and producers! She is one of the most versatile female DJs that few can compare to. Fizza has spun at the best and most elite parties and clubs in Toronto, Canada, and has travelled extensively to be requested as the DJ at many events around the world. Both her tracks “Pizazz” and “Get Wet” were released on the top 100 House charts on Beatport. She is a force very few can compare to!

Isha Singh:Tell me a little bit about DJ Fizza. Who is She? DJ FIZZA: Truth be told… I have loved music all my life! I was the DJ at every party; whether it was my friends parties or family parties, I was always the person in charge of putting on the music. However, I never thought I could make it in this industry as a woman because if you look back 10 or 20 years, every DJ booth was controlled by a guy and he would be carrying these heavy crates. I have friends who are DJ’s and I would be so fascinated and I would hang around until the end of the night; I would be this little girl watching these guys carry these crates, and so as much as I wanted to be a DJ it just seemed like it couldn’t happen. Especially as a South Asian woman I didn’t know if I could do it, so I decided to go to university to become a Teacher. But my love for music kept growing as did my love for the night life and I continued to gravitate towards my DJ friends nust to watch them. It wasn’t for the alcohol or guys or anything else, it was simply the music. Finally one of them asked if I wanted to take lessons and I immediately said yes. I knew it was something that I really wanted to do even if it was just for myself. From there I indulged myself into it and began teaching myself but I didn’t ever think it would get this far. IS: As a female in the industry, you mentioned there would be struggles but was there any backlash from your family or the South Asian community? DJF: A lot… but I don’t neccessarily get it directly, my parents get it. I hurt for them because they are open people and supportive of me, other people would say things like “Oh your daughters a DJ...” and my mom would say “Yes, she is also a teacher, a family woman, she has her masters, she’s not just a DJ.” It feels like being a female DJ is something that people look down upon and I don’t understand why. Especially

when in today’s society there are more women DJ’s doing well for themselves, however, there are days where you will see a bunch of guys who will come around my DJ booth to see if I am actually DJing. Times like that are frustrating but I just start scratching so they can see and hear that I am in fact the one Djing. IS: How do you balance your family life and your work life? DJF: I think I have a lot of energy, and energy drinks help sometimes too. But above all else is the passion I have for everything in my life. When I am with my family I am fully present, I will put my phone away and give them my full attention. When I am teaching, I am there with my students and when I am DJing I am with the music. It’s almost like my outlet, it’s like how some people like to workout, I like to play music. IS: What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to pursue the Arts and do something different? DJF: I think follow your passion and be true to who you are. Even when I started out DJing 10 years ago, house music was in and I fell in love with it but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like other genres of music but people started seing me as a house music DJ; I didn’t let it get to me and I continued to do me. I think it is so important to be true to yourself, to be who you are, and not change for anybody because that’s actually what attracts people to you. For me personally, I am so busy with everything that I have going on that I have a team working with me and helping me with things like social media; so I don’t neccessarily look at how many followers I have or don’t have, instead when I have one or two people come up to me and tell me that they love what I am doing and that they listen to my music, that’s all the gratification that I need.


Flaire beaut y

Canvas Beauty Co. Jewellery

The Urban Glitter location

The Lavender Lounge



Bombay Trendz makeup

Amber Malik Makeup hair

Somaya Stylist jewellery

The Urban Glitter location

The Lavender Lounge


You may have seen Tia on YouTube or TV attending basketball games with her dad, Nav Bhatia the Raptor’s super fan, but she’s an actress and acting is her passion. Tia is an amazing soul that takes opportunities and life as it comes. “Sometimes you need tunnel vision when going for your goals; those who appreciate and love you will stay by your side, those who don’t, you need to leave them behind.” – Tia Bhatia

Isha Singh:Tell us your story. Tia Bhatia: I was born in Ambala, India but I was shifted to an orphanage in New Delhi, India where I was adopted from at the young age of two. There were 19 girls up for adoption; my parents got the call that they should come to India to pick a child. My mom flew to India while my dad was here in Toronto. She said the first child that comes out is my daughter; I was the first one out and I became her daughter from that moment. Before flying back to Toronto, my mom took me to the doctor and she found out that I had a hole in my heart. She called the orphanage and they said she could bring me back and exchange me for another girl. My mom called my dad and he said he always wanted a daughter he wasn’t going to exchange me and whatever it is we would figure the situation out. So I had a surgery to fix the whole in my heart at Sick Kids Hospital and went on to have a full recovery. My parents brought me into a large loving family, where no one had anything negative to say about adopting a female. IS: How does your family feel about you becoming an actress? TB: This was a process. At the age of four when I told my dad that I wanted to be an actress, he shrugged it off as me being a kid not knowing what I wanted and that we would revisit it in the future. Throughout high school I was bullied for being adopted which led to issues with depression, so when I was 16 my parents realized I needed this. They put me in acting classes and saw just how committed I was. From that moment my parents have supported me and I have been pursuing it ever since. At 22 I got my first film which was Dr. Cabbie; the director invited my dad on set and he instantly fell in love with it. IS: What inspired you to be a YouTuber? TB: When I got into acting with Dr. Cabbie, I knew that I needed another outlet to been seen. I posted my first video and within a year I hit 100,000 subscribers and fast forward to now, 3 years later, and I’ve hit 400,000 subscribers. It took off on a different level helping me get myself out there. People began to realize my story and wanted to bring me on in roles and saw that I had the credentials for acting. I used it as my base and it took off for me. IS: Being a YouTuber you may get a lot of people judging you, how does that resonate with you? TB: I get a lot… and that’s what scared me from starting YouTube in the first place. I’m not the type of person who shows off the glam side of my life. Throughout the years, I got all these hate comments and I decided to focus on being positive and let those who want to hate, hate. Eventually I said to myself “I’m not going to hide who I am, I am who I am, I’m blessed to be apart of this family, if I’m going to be real and honest with you on YouTube you are going to see how my life is,”

so now I don’t hide anything. People judge based on what they see on the outside.Yes, I am privileged but what do I do with that? We as a family have foundations in India; I work with World Vision to build washrooms in villages and schools so that children can get educated. So when people make that comment I say “at least with my privilege I’m doing something, you have privilege, you have internet in your home... what are you doing for the community other then spreading hate?” IS: You’ve mentioned your dad and Lilly as your inspiration; is there anyone else that has inspired you? TB: There are two individuals that have really shaped me into becoming a better person as I progress through YouTube, it’s Daniel and Ria. Their work ethic is what inspired me to continue with my social media, because of which there are so many social media influencers that I have not met in person but have connected with. IS: What legacy do you want to leave for your followers? TB: Family is the most important thing. We must talk to our parents and communicate no matter how hard it is. IS: What’s the secret behind your positivity? TB: I’m not going to lie, there are things that affect me and moments that I’m affected but I’ve become much stronger and I have to give a lot of credit to my dad for that. He’s the type of person who doesn’t care what anyone says and zones everything out to accomplish his goal. So I have a very sassy side because of him; if someone comments something negative, I don’t allow it to affect my day, instead I respond back educating them. I also surround myself with positive people. If someone is not adding value to my life in a positive way or supporting me and I know I’m supporting them; I’m okay distancing myself. IS: How do you deal with mental health and negative thoughts? TB: When I was 16 it was a tough process, I spiraled down a very deep dark hole; I went through a lot mentally and eventually as I began to communicate with my parents, things changed. I realized I can use my voice to tell people how I feel, so having my family and a good support system has been such a blessing. I got lucky that my parents were there for me and are understanding and I was able to have that open communication. But there are families out there who can’t have those conversations; kids need to realize their parents come from a different upbringing so they need to be patient with them. IS:The Raptor’s have won and you see a lot more female faces in the forefront than the past, what can you say about that? TB: There is no barrier between gender, race, religion and culture; sports brings us together. I attend as many games as I can and seeing all these women supporting their team and their country, it’s so beautiful!

YouTube sensation Jaz uses her voice to advocate for girls and issues everywhere. She touches on issues that aren’t usually talked about within the South Asian community such as sex, alcohol, drugs and relationships. She continues to challenge many social norms within the community.

Isha Singh: Who is Jaz? JS: I went to school for marketing; I did the 9-5 corporate job and I really didn’t like it. I wanted to do something more creative, so I started doing YouTube; vlogging and making videos. A couple months into vlogging I met my boyfriend, Harjit, who used to be on YouTube. I convinced him to get back into it and eventually we started our own YouTube channel together – YouTwo TV. IS: What inspired you to be on YouTube? JS: I love acting and writing; Harjit is a videographer and loves directing so together it just worked out perfectly. We write sketch comedies that break boundaries and cover topics that are taboo within the South Asian community such as relationships, sex, alcohol, drugs and so on. These are all real issues that today’s generation deals with and can relate to. IS: There’s a lot of pressure to keep the cultural aspect alive even when it doesn’t always relate to our community today, how do you challenge that? JS: A lot of it makes no sense. I always ask people who are getting married “do you actually know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it?” and the response usually starts with “well back in the day...” This proves that people blindly continue to do things without actually understanding what the significance of the tradition or ceremony actually is. That’s what I love about what Harjit and I do; we like to question the norms, but while still being respectful of traditions. We want people to question things and not follow things blindly. We try

to tell people that they don’t neccessarily need to be like their parents, they should be their own person. IS: You openly talk about mental health; how is that received by the South Asian community? JS: People hated that I talked about mental health, especially family members. Once I started talking about mental health and how open I was about it; I felt that more people were accepting of it, but on the flip side a bunch of people stopped talking to me and I lost a lot of people because they didn’t want to be around someone that was so open about being depressed or going through depression. I still get mixed reactions from people. Some people are accepting and some people still just don’t get it. IS: As an advocate for people talking about their lives and being true to themselves; what message do you want to convey? JS: You don’t need to have stress and struggles in life to have depressions; it’s a mental disorder. People think you need to have problems to have depression but depression, anxiety and mental disorders come in so many forms affecting everyone differently. So you have to try to see people for their truths and not just for what they look like on the outside. IS: What would you like to say to your audience? JS: I want them to stay true to themselves and stop caring about what other people think; break boundaries and rebel against things that don’t make sense to you. Being your true self is how you become successful and how you grow and be happy.


Flaire makeup

Amber Malik Makeup hair

Somaya Stylist Jewellery

The Urban Glitter



Bombay Trendz beaut y

Ready To Glow jewellery

The Urban Glitter location

The Lavender Lounge


Makeup guru! Hemali has become a makeup sensation. She not only teaches others how to doll themselves up but she also helps with self-confidence. Her favourite beauty quote is, “I don’t like standard beauty, there is no beauty without strangeness.” – Karl Lagerfeld.

Isha Singh: How did you become a makeup artist? Hemali Mistry: I’m a pretty artsy and creative person; growing up I loved to draw. When my sister was in high school, she used to wear this blue eyeshadow and I was surprised and impressed that there was art for your face; so I started stealing her makeup and experimented doing my own makeup; this became my artistic outlet. From there my passion for makeup grew and I eventually got certified through a makeup school; so everything progressed very naturally. I never knew I could make money doing something that I absolutely love doing! IS: Was there any backlash from your family or the community? HM: I didn’t get backlash from the community per say; but my parents weren’t thrilled that I wanted to become a makeup artist. They were supportive when I was doing it as a side hustle but when I made the decision to do it full time, that’s when all the negative comments started. Although I have worked a lot of corporate jobs, I just never felt as free as I did doing makeup. After seeing where I’ve come, they are now a lot more supportive; I still don’t think they fully understand it but they try. They even dropped by my master class to support me and they were happy for me. I think the biggest thing was that they didn’t want me to fail because when I started it wasn’t a career path in the community but now with social media and all the tools that we have, it’s easier to be recognized. So they started to come around a little more once they started to see that I was creating a brand and others were starting to recognize me for my work. We are living in an age where the arts is now recognized as a valid career path, and it wouldn’t have been poosible without

the help of social media. It’s made it easier for someone like me to grow my business and get myself out there. So although our parents are still hesitant at times, they are beginning to understand and see that going into the arts can be a career path in which you can make money in as well. IS: What do you want to say to your social media followers? HM: I really want people to do whatever makes them happy. I feel like in this day and age we are so judged on everything we do; it stifles everything and causes us to overthink every little thing. At the end of the day even if you do everything right, people are still going to talk about you. So you should stop caring about what others think of you because the people that matter and support you will come around. Just be happy with who you are and don’t live your life for someone else. IS: Who inspired you to get into makeup artistry? HM: I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum; always did my own thing and been true to myself. So it’s not a specific person who inspired me because I can find inspiration in anyone and anything. If I feel that it adds value to my life or is something cool, then I get inspired. A lot of times, I feel like I’m my own inspiration; when I want something I will go out and get it and if something doesn’t resonate with me then I keep my distance. IS: How do you balance your home life and business? HM: I like to be busy all the time. I am a very scheduled person and my time management skills are amazing, so always keeping on top of my schedule and trying to keep as calm as possible has worked for me.

Priya is an internationally recognized singer who creates inspiring music in both Punjabi Bollywood and R&B. Her music speaks to a woman’s journey as well as her life as a singer and mother. “Always be true to yourself, follow your heart and give it your all, no matter what.” – Priya

Isha Singh: How did you get into singing? Priya: I always loved music, I always sang but never had the confidence to go out there and sing in front of people. It got to a point where I said to myself; I’m going to follow this dream, I know I can be a professional singer; and so that’s what I did. I’ve been to Bollywood. I’ve worked with a few Bollywood artists like Mika and it’s just been an amazing ride. IS: What kind of music are you working on now? P: I currently have two path’s: I’m working on Punjabi Bollywood music and R&B. I’m writing all my songs, composing them from start to finish and I even record my own vocals. My R&B music allows me to be more honest with myself and the things that matter to me – women empowerment; I have a few songs on that subject. IS: Who is your target audience for your R&B music? And what message are you trying to carry through? P: I know so many generations listen to R&B; usually people that like honesty in the lyrics. Every song that I write has a story and it affects each person listening to it differently because they relate to it on a different level based on their life. But the main message I try to convey through my music is to stay true to yourself and follow your dreams. IS: What inspires you to create new music? P: When I created this album it was just coming from an honest place, based on my life experiences; putting myself in a position of loss or in a position of feeling empowered. Usually the process of song writing for me begins by listening to instrumental music and from that a melody will start to form; then by humming it over and over again, a few words begin to fall into place and I just continue creating and writing from that space. IS: Did you receive any backlash from the community? P: Some of the backlash was silent backlash; no one really said it, but that was also very disturbing. I didn’t feel that I had a chance to defend myself. I could tell that I was being judged for my choices and also for having a son at the same time; having to balance life as a mother and professional singer.

IS: How do you balance being in the limelight and dealing with family on the other side? P: You just have to have a really tight schedule and have a good support system. I’m so lucky that I have family that helps me out with my son. IS: What would you like to say to your social media followers? P: I want them to just be themselves and follow what they want to do. Be true to yourself, follow your heart and give it your all no matter what. IS: You’ve mentioned being a strong believer of following your dreams; what would you say to someone trying to achieve their dream? P: Just follow your heart and don’t let anything stop you. It’s definitely not easy. Anyone that tells you that it is, is not being honest; it’s a hard road but you just have to keep pushing. Learn everything about what you are doing, be at the top of your game and surround yourself with good people. But most importantly be your own number one supporter. IS: Who has influenced you? P: Singers like Mariah Carey, she has struggled a lot and is very talented but misunderstood in the media; I can relate to her seeing how far she has risen. Also role models like my mother who didn’t break out of the norm per say but she is an immigrant mom who came here with nothing; got married and raised a family from such a young age. I can’t imagine the fear and challenges she faced; she has given me a lot of strength and taught me values of female empowerment and independence. IS:What advice would you give regarding women empowerment? P: I know that we’ve come far but there is still so much more work to be done. This includes not just empowering our young girls and women but also educating young boys and men on how to be responsible in their relationships, work environments and how to treat women with respect. This is something we are not focusing on; if parents start teaching their kids from a young age we could probably bring about a lot more change and give more support to young girls and women.


Lotus Bloom – Designer Neeta Lulla beaut y

LeSonne Bridals Jewellery

The Urban Glitter Backdrop

Opulent Event Designs



Dave Abreu Photography

Earlier this year, we held our annual bridal show at the beautiful Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex, and we were thrilled with the opportunity to work with Toronto’s premier vendors to create a space filled with inspiration and ideas for our guests. Thank you to all our sponsors and vendor partners who helped contribute to the event – their efforts helped to make it a success! Guests were treated with valet parking and received a swag bag, which included the newest issue of the Lavish Dulhan magazine, upon entrance. Some of our favourite features from years prior returned; including the very popular Dessert Lounge presented by Fine Cakes by Zehra, where guests were treated with a selection of over 50 desserts while taking a break from the show in our chic lounge! There was also our Gentlemen’s Lounge, where guests enjoyed an old fashioned whiskey while learning about accessories and details to create a perfect wedding day look for the groom. As we continue to grow and adapt to the wedding market, we are so excited for our next show to be held at the Embassy Grand Convention Centre. Mark your calendars for our once-a-year show – November 10th, 2019.









baba kahn | vicious | shuja | triple s | captain k





planner & st ylist

Exquisite Occasions – Photography

Adnan Ansah Photography – cinematography

Noir Studios – fashion

Adaa Trendz – Bombay Trendz – Esco Clothiers – Flaire – King & Bay Custom Clothing – The New Delhi Company – grooming

Exekutive Groom bong

High Bar Toronto – venue

Bisha Hotel Toronto –


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Esco Clothiers

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King & Bay Custom Clothing King & Bay Custom Clothing Esco Clothiers King & Bay Custom Clothing Esco Clothiers



(lef t ) fashion

Esco Clothiers

(right ) fashion

Esco Clothiers





(lef t ) fashion

King & Bay Custom Clothing

(right ) fashion

King & Bay Custom Clothing



(lef t ) fashion

King & Bay Custom Clothing

(right ) fashion

King & Bay Custom Clothing





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Bombay Trendz

(right ) fashion

The New Delhi Company



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Bombay Trendz Flaire Flaire The New Delhi Company The New Delhi Company





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Flaire Bombay Trendz Flaire




Adaa Trendz



Real couples share their stories to peak your imagination and inspire you to think outside the box.

june 8, 2019


L’Atelier Lumiere International Photographie • planner: Biji Planners • decor & rentals (sangeet): Xclusive Designs • Dream Party Decor • florals (civil ceremony & reception): Royal Orchid Florist • cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra •

decor (civil ceremony & reception):


Empire Entertainment • venue (reception): The Guild Inn Estate

venue ( sangeet):

Apollo Convention Centre

beaut y:

Elegance Salon

We first met online – Ajay was in his 3rd year of medical school and I was working for my family business as a transportation broker.After talking online for a couple weeks we decided to meet up, we’ve been together ever since. I am one of the hardest people to surprise, since I usually do all the planning. We had been talking about marriage and so I knew he was going to be proposing eventually; I just didn’t know when. Ajay tried to throw me off by taking me out in the middle of the week after a 24-hour call at the hospital. He told me, he just wanted to go out and de-stress, though I kind of had a feeling where this was leading to. It was an unusually warm night in January, so we walked around the harbour after dinner. I thought surely this is about to happen! However, as we approached the end of the harbour, nothing happened... he just asked if I wanted to grab a drink at this bar down the street. I said yes. I thought for sure this was the moment.Well, little did I know, my future husband was killing time because the photographer he hired went to the wrong location! As he tried to stall, I thought the proposal wasn’t happening. When we finished and walked by the harbour one last time before going home, he dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and luckily the photographer caught the moment!

ent ertainment ( sangeet):

Bix Co. Blog


baraat horse: dholi:

Caledon Horse and Carriage

Dhol Freqs

turban T ying:

Tie My Turban

venue ( sikh ceremony):

Since we had a multi-faith wedding, for both ceremonies, we tried to keep it as traditional as possible to make sure both sides were incorporated completely. For the Sikh wedding ceremony, we went with a royal look with the classic reds and added peach to compliment our bridal party.The Catholic wedding was before the reception on the final day of our wedding week. The decor was designed around the idea of incorporating as much Catholic culture into the layout, since the ceremony was not in a church.The floral colour scheme matched the florals and greenery concept we had for the reception, with nudes and blush tones.


Dashmesh Darbar

vinyl floor (civil ceremony & reception):

Axe Media Group


specialt y beverage service:

Bar Chef

One of our favourite moments was the cocktail hour.To bring in more of a whimsical experience we brought in BarChef to do our cocktail hour and signature drinks. Our guests loved their bubbling cocktails, nitrogen dipped meringue, and spherified mojito canapes.


autumn + A jay 6


Both of us enjoy science fiction, so we knew we wanted something that was very romantic and whimsical. Our decor was an enchanted garden theme with lots of florals. We came up with the idea of adding trees for the centrepieces and greenery to our blush toned flowers that matched our Catholic ceremony. With the wedding week being so bright, we wanted the reception to take on a different more whimsical tone with a softer colour palette.



july 14, 2018

photography & cinematography:

Beautiful Life Studios • planner: Luxe Events Co. • Florals: Henna Florist •

Have A Seat • cake: Le Dolci • gown: Ferre Sposa • tuxedo: Harry Rosen • sofre: Ever Thine Events • linens & charger plat es: Chairman Mills • venue: The Arlington Estates

headtable decor & draping:

bride’s shoes:

Blue by Betsy Johnson

bridesmaid dresses:

KF Bridal

maid of honour dress: groomsmen suits:



EPH Apparel


We met at a mutual friend's birthday party! We hit it off right away and ended the night getting salted caramel gelato together. Sachin proposed at a beautiful sunset dinner at the Sassafraz Restaurant in Yorkville, on June 24th. Fun fact: he proposed at 7:14pm, which ended up being our wedding date too (7 - July, 14 - day)! Throughout our relationship, I think we've had the most fun embracing each other's cultures – from the first time I saw him rocking the dance floor at a Persian party, to the first time I wore a sari – we've loved every opportunity to exchange cultures. We're big believers that love can unite across any difference.

beaut y:

The Beauty Team


The wedding was a blend of a traditional Persian/Iranian ceremony with a Sofre, and the Indian tradition of a mangalsutre, where the groom ties a gold necklace around the bride's neck as a symbol of eternal protection. Our Sofre was the most beautiful that I'd ever seen and more than I could have ever expected; it had highly traditional Persian concepts presented in the most romantic way.The soft coloured florals complimented it so beautifully. It was absolutely perfect!



headtable table top rentals:

The Perfect Table

The inspiration for the reception was simple romance with a touch of vintage.To execute this, we used muted pinks, gold accents, lots of greenery and gorgeous floralscapes. From the table Sachin and I were at, to the headtables for our friends and family, to all of the tables our guests were at, the concept was present and no detail was missed! We also had our seating chart and welcome signs on stunning gold vintage-style mirrors; which were the perfect start to welcoming our guests.The glass charger plates with gold accents were the perfect touch and the tableware mixed hues of pink and gold in a way that wasn’t overpowering and looked perfect alongside the floral runner. The naked cake was one of my favourites, I think it screams romance.The soft floral detailing on it was to die for. The florals overall were so stunning, everywhere you looked there were beautiful roses and the cherry on top was that our florist was able to incorporate peonies (my favourite flower) into my bouquet and some of the floralscapes even though it was just the tail end of their season. It was absolutely perfect! The final touch was the sparkler send off at the end of the night,which couldn’t have been any more romantic!

stationery, seating chart & calligraphy:


Jade Calligraphy

groom’s shoes:



Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex


FIT FOR A KING g u ys g e t c e l e b r i t y t r e at m e n t at n o r t h a m e r i c a’s first suit shop for grooms

James Bond’s Albert Thurston suspenders, Kanye West’s favourite ties by Drake’s London and the Holland & Sherry vintage barathea shirt and Barneys New York stud sets worn by Barack Obama at his wedding are just a few of the accoutrements available to guys at Garrison Weddings - Garrison Bespoke’s luxe new Toronto shop devoted exclusively to grooms and their groomsmen. The first of its kind in North America and located in Toronto’s iconic Omni King Edward Hotel, Garrison Weddings gives husbands-to-be the kind of royal treatment women have been treated to for centuries. “Wedding culture has become so focused on the bride that the groom is often an afterthought. Tablecloths and dinnerware are often given more attention than the groom’s outfit, so it is our vision to change that. We not only give men the best-looking, best-fitting suits for their wedding days but also the bespoke experience they deserve leading up to it,” said Michael Nguyen, owner of Garrison Bespoke. Garrison Weddings offers private, byappointment-only experiences where grooms and their brides-to-be or their groomsmen sip champagne or scotch and listen to

tai lo rs fo r su its t v

their favourite music while perusing the largest selection of fabrics and formal wear accessories for men in Canada. Each groom then begins a five-fitting design process with a personal stylist who helps him select fabrics, colour schemes and details to complement his skin tone, personal style and wedding theme, while one of Garrison Bespoke’s Master Tailors ensures the perfect fit. Garrison Bespoke suits and tuxedos are designed to make grooms look sharp down the aisle and sleek in photos while still being flexible and comfortable enough to allow them to do the splits at the reception and carry the bride over the threshold. Garrison grooms are in good company. Since opening its first location at King Street and Yonge Street in Toronto in 2008, Garrison Bespoke has attracted Toronto’s most influential figures in business, finance, law, sports, fashion to book an appointment and food and entertainment with a st ylist, call 416-566-2041 including the cast of Suits and Hannibal, The Toronto Blue Jays, The Toronto Raptors, The Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC and Drake to name a few.

tai lo rs fo r d r a ke

ta i lo r s fo r m e m b e r s o f

Gar r ison Weddings at K ing Edwar d Hotel, Dow ntow n Tor onto

647 566 2041

gar r

august 3, 2019


Dave Abreu Photography • cinematography: Images Life Media • planner: Events by One Fine Day • decor & linens: Have A Seat • Forget Me Not Flowers • cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra • Makeup: Fancy Face Inc. • fashion for her: White Toronto •

florals: fashion for him:

King & Bay Custom Clothing • dance floor decal: Designer Dance Floors • dj: Frequency Entertainment • venue (reception): Universal EventSpace

Mandeep and I met through a mutual friend. I remember this friend used to go on-and-on about this fun, outgoing guy he knew and to be honest I was always a bit curious to meet him. One night a group of us went out dancing and our friend finally introduced us. Our initial conversation was brief but throughout the night our eyes kept meeting from across the room. Eventually we started to chat and haven’t been able to stop since. Mandeep claims he knew from that night we would always be together. I later found out that Sandeep saves the best part of him for those he loves the most in his life, as the best things are worth waiting for. We spent our tenth anniversary eve at a friends wedding. Now you may think, I was sure he would propose then, but I was distracted. Looking back now there was something off about Mandeep that night; he wasn’t his “life of the party” self. Eventually he gave me his final plea to head home. Once we arrived, he insisted on meeting my sister and much to my surprise she claimed to have a migraine. So Mandeep suggested we have our nightcap on the balcony.When I looked down, I found all of our families waving lights and holding a sign that said,“Will you marry me?” I froze for a minute, turned to my side and found Mandeep on his knee with the ring. His words, “you have given me ten years, how about we do this for a lifetime?” and of course I said YES! It was the perfect ending to the night and the beginning of our new adventure.

stationery: jewellery:

Paper Ideas


The Blowdry Lounge




sweet table:

Nadia & Co. & Chef Romi from Universal EventSpace

The concept for our reception was an enchanted garden.The inspiration came from our love of nature and travel. We used lots of florals to reflect the life and colour of the spaces in nature we love to be in together and created an ambiance of enchantment with mood lighting and specific details to imitate the bliss that truly explains our love for each other. I had always dreamt of having my wedding outdoors but living in Canada and its unpredictable weather we decided I would try and recreate it indoors with trees, a starry night sky over the dance floor and secret garden backdrop that was inspired by a recent Chanel fashion show. We used hues of purple, blush, white and lush greenery mixed with metals in our tablesettings and included candles to help set the mood.




Detailz Couture, Plate Occasions & Contemporary Furniture Rentals Inc.


Enzo Mercuri Designs


june 13, 2019

photography: beaut y:

L’Atelier Lumiere International Photographie • decor: Dream Party Decor • flower bar: Willow and Stems •

Canvas Beauty Co. • fashion for her (wedding): Rhythm Creation • fashion for him (reception): Garrison Bespoke • dj: Empire Entertainment • venue (wedding): Royal Ambassador • venue ( reception): Bellvue Manor

Our love story begins with our parents and a little matchmaking. A mutual family friend recommended to our parents that it would be a great idea for me and Sameer to meet, so numbers were exchanged but it was Sameer’s mom who made the first move and called me. After our first phone call, Facebook profiles were swapped and creeped. Sameer obviously liked what he saw and ended up calling me the very next day. During our chat, we laughed at how embarrassing it was that our parents tried setting us up and somehow we ended up talking for over four hours! A few more phone calls later, we continued to get to know each other and about a month later, we setup our first date. For our first date, we started off at a restaurant downtown. After some great conversation, Sameer had made a good first impression on me because the date continued onto a jazz bar. By the end of the night, I have to admit, the date was a success! The very next day we started making plans to see each other again and before we knew it, we were meeting up almost every weekend. Over the past three years, Sameer admits that he was unable to resist my good looks, witty personality and charm. I knew, he knew, that I was the one, pretty much right from the start. So after about three years of eating and travelling the world together, he popped the question and I said “Hell ya!”



Prior to the wedding, Sameer and I went to India. We were inspired by the traditional bright and vibrant colours that we saw while travelling from city to city. Once I eventually found my bridal outfit, we used that as inspiration for our wedding decor. We wanted to use colours that contrasted my outfit. We thought it would be a fun idea to get all of our guests involved to create a cohesive look. So we decided to implement a dress code: “50 shades of pink and purple.� It was something different and the guests loved it! The theme of our wedding was garden party because the ceremony was set to be outside by the lake surrounded by trees and greenery along with bright pink and purple florals. Unfortunately, it rained the day of the wedding and we had to move everything inside the greenhouse. Our decor team and wedding planner really pulled everything together in 48 hours because it still turned out amazing!


ballerina performance:

Hit & Run Dance Productions Inc.

For our reception, we wanted a completely different colour palette and concept from our wedding. We wanted the reception to feel like you’re walking into a fairytale. We both love nature and decided to incorporate that by having an enchanted forest theme. Our reception hall was not equipped to allow us to hang florals from the ceiling so we improvised and decided to get two large rotating trees with flowers, fairy lights and hanging lights.To take it to the next level, we wanted the rotating trees to emerge from the center of our family tables.To accomplish that, we had two large donut tables with a hole in the center for the trees to poke out of. The trees were designed with a lot of greens, hanging florals, butterflies and fairy lights. Our design team also created a swing with floral and grass accents to keep with the theme.This was placed in the hallway and used as a photo-op for our guests. The guests loved it! We really enjoyed seeing their pictures and tags afterwards. We got a lot of compliments on this.

welcome sign:


The Lettering Studio

cake & past ries:

Truffle Toronto


lighting & audio ( reception):


Platinum Entertainment Solutions

dance floor:

Creative Dance Floor


may 24, 2019


Dave Abreu Photography • cinematography: Cineverse • planner: Biji Planners • decor: XO Design • florals: Pink Petals •

Chairs & Thrones • beaut y (wedding & reception): The Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu • fashion for him & her (wedding): Anita Dongre • Jewellery: Banglez • dance floor decal & seating chart: Designer Dance Floor • dj: Empire Entertainment • t ent: Vivah Tents

lounge seating & tables:

venue ( sangeet):

Speranza Banquet Hall

makeup ( sangeet): hair ( sangeet):

Glam Up by Mani

Julie Hair Design

fashion for her ( sangeet):

Madsam Tinzin

We met in September 2010 in St. Kitts and Nevis during our first year of medical school. I saw Aman walk off the school bus outside a popular student coffee shop on a residential street where we both lived. I walked out of the coffee shop pretending to be on my phone to see if I would grab his attention, and I didn’t.Two days later we had a welcome party for new students and I introduced myself to him. We became friends and it wasn’t until early 2011, around his birthday, where we just became inseparable. Who knew two people from Toronto would meet on an exotic island. We moved from St. Kitts to a remote area in Illinois to the heart of the city in Chicago and finally back to our hometown – Toronto. After we moved back to Toronto, we briefly talked about marriage. More so me. Aman always gave me the run around to trick me even though we had been together for years. My mom always said if we ever stayed a night alone together, as an Indian parent would, it wasn’t “right” before marriage. Finally he went over one night to my parents and asked them for permission formally and they were ecstatic. So he decided to take me to Niagara-On-The-Lake for a vineyard private proposal at Pellar Estates. Up until the morning of, my mom made a face about us spending the night so I wouldn’t be suspicious of anything. Once we got there, and we were a few taste testers in, I asked him to take a picture of me pretending to walk away; and I turned around to him on one knee saying he wants to see me smile forever. I laughed, I cried... it was the best moment of my life. We stayed at the Prince of Wales that night after a romantic dinner and then ordered pizza to the room.


venue (wedding):

Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar

I wanted the decor for both our wedding ceremonies to be something that complimented our outfits. So I brought my outfits in physically to match the decor. For the Sikh ceremony we used traditional colours and added touches of white and blush pink; it was simple and elegant. For the Hindu ceremony I wanted to go for a modern rustic look to keep it more about family, my husband-to-be and the people present. So we choose to keep the mandap subtle, beautiful and elegant using lots of florals in shades of pink and white and wooden branches.


venue (wedding):

The Country Club


venue ( reception):

groom’s hair & beard grooming: fashion for him ( reception):

Grand Empire Banquet Hall

Tay Atelier

Empire Customs

Pink and white is every girly girl’s dream. I wanted to create a modern whimsical garden using these colours. We wanted no structures and just clean drapery combined with florals. Our decor team and planner suggested incorporating wisteria florals on stage in the trees, at the entrance canopy and at the photo backdrop for our guests as well as adding the water fountains; this took our vision of a whimsical garden to the next level. One of my favourite parts of the reception decor was how the walkway turned out with all the candles and wisteria arrangements hanging over it. Also, the lounge area was the perfect addition for extra seating and the view plus it was a beautiful dusty pink. The bridge floral decor and mirrored accent tables were also the perfect touch. It all came together beautifully!



may 18, 2019

photography: beaut y (wedding):

Strokes Photography • planner: P.S. Eventful •

Blend Studios • beaut y (reception): AK Makeup • fashion for her: Pearl Bridal House • Limo: Allure Limo

We first met when we were 18, in the University of Toronto library while studying for our first midterm exam. Later that year I recall having to find a seat in a crowded lecture hall since my usual seat was taken. I walked across the room and sat amongst rows of empty seats. Just before class started, Keithan climbed down three rows of seats and sat beside me. I couldn’t believe that he came and sat beside me! So we started talking and the rest is history... Having visited Montreal together earlier, we thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate our ten year anniversary. I thought we’d keep it low key with plans to visit with friends and tour craft breweries. So, I was surprised when we pulled into the Fairmont hotel and even panicked a little thinking I didn’t have my nails done or the perfect proposal outfit.That night we celebrated our anniversary with champagne and a fancy dinner, so I figured it might be a low key weekend after all. The next day, after wandering around old Montreal, Keithan suggested going to the botanical gardens before heading to dinner. I was exhausted but went along with it since it was the first thing he had suggested all day.We walked through the gardens to a bridge and waterfall overlooking beautiful flowers. As we sat admiring the sunset, a violinist began playing Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ song. There in that moment Keithan proposed to me.


JMJ Flowers & Decorations


Since we had two wedding ceremonies I wanted our morning Catholic ceremony to be lighter in feel with pastel hues and our evening Hindu ceremony to be richer with more jewel tones. For the Catholic ceremony we used greenery with white and pink florals. The special decor elements were the beautiful floral arch at the entrance of the aisle and the cherry blossom trees that surrounded the alter.The aisle was also decorated with beautiful floral arrangements. It gave us the feel of being married in a beautiful garden. For the Hindu ceremony we continued with the theme but incorporated deeper tones. We added dusty rose hues to the arch and floral arrangements. As it was an evening outdoor ceremony, we hung beautiful lanterns and edison bulbs to add to the ambiance.We also incorporated wooden centerpieces to add a rustic feel.



The Pefect Setting



cake & sweets:

Angela Sushi

For the reception we wanted our guests to feel like they were in an enchanted forest. We still used lots of lush greenery and beautiful florals, but incorporated more gold and crystal accents to create an elegant feel. We had three different centerpieces that included florals, cherry blossoms and lush greenery, which we evenly distributed throughout the room.We included rustic elements with the farm tables that bordered the dance floor. For the headtable we had a stunning floral arch that stood over a velvet blue couch and was surrounded by a beautiful rustic backdrop and crystal chandeliers to bring about the rustic elegant touch.






E L E G A N T .


T I M E L E S S .

N O I R S T U D I O S O N L I N E . C O M @ N O I R S T U D I O S . I G 6 4 7 8 0 7 6 6 4 7


From the day you say ‘yes’… To the day you say ‘I do’



june 14, 2019

photography: swing decor:

Purple Tree Photography • cinematography: SDE Weddings • decor & Florals: Royal Orchid Florist •

Simply Sienna • cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra • makeup: Fancy Face Inc. • dance floor decal: Designer Dance Floors • limo: Toronto Limo Rentals • Audio & visual effects: BB Blanc • venue: The Arlington Estates

bride’s ring:


groom’s ring:

David Yurman

headpiece: hair:

La Mariée Headpieces by Ghayda

Hair By Naram

We first met at a bonfire run by a student club in University. We both didn't think much of the first interaction but kept in touch through social media and had many mutual friends. Over the course of the next couple of years, we had seen each other at club functions, parties, and hang outs with larger groups. Over time, we grew a solid foundation in friendship which slowly developed from friendship into a romance. We were driving to Toronto to spend the day there, and Usman took a route “off the beaten track.” We ended up at a beautiful lookout point in the Hamilton area, we got out of the car to look at the view, where Usman popped the question! We then had a beautiful and intimate engagement party with our closest family and friends to celebrate the occasion.




t raditional arabic zaffa & dabka performance:

Afrah Events U.S.

We were looking to create a secret garden inspired wedding with a whimsical and romantic feel. Our decor had floral filled tablescapes and an ethereal outdoorsy headtable.The colour palette included lots of greenery and beautiful white, blush and pink garden roses and other fresh blooms. We even incorporated a beautiful swing on the terrace wrapped with green garlands to make for a beautiful photo prop. For my gown, I was going for a very modern-style princess aesthetic inspired by my Lebanese background.The overall look was to capture elegance in the simplest form, by wearing a gown embellished with Swarovski crystals, a fully embellished veil and royal train. The headpieces on the sides of my head added a modern twist to a classic bridal style.





day-of coordinator:

Baklawa King

Events By Elena


Mona Richie by Crystal Design Couture


Harry Rosen by Atelier Munro Amsterdam


july 13, 2019


Renata Kaveh • planner: Chic Events by Sonia • decor & st ylist: Paras Events • Mani Jassal • dj & ent ertainment: Frequency Entertainment

fashion & jewellery:


Cineverse Films

We went on a trip to Tulum, Mexico together. I was super excited since I thought it would be the perfect time for Hark to propose, however he asked me to help him pack the night before our flight, and while packing I noticed there was no ring, and there was no way he could have hid it. Although I was a little disappointed, I got over it and thought a proposal at home would be fine too. On the last day of the trip, the hotel staff offered us a private dinner on the rooftop. I thought, that’s so nice of them, maybe they want me to shoutout the hotel on social media (lol my ego made me naiive). When we got there the view was breathtaking and there was a cute dinner set up. I knew at this point he was going to propose, the song “So Into You” by Tamia began playing, as we slow danced underneath the stars, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. It was super emotional and intimate and everything I wanted! The funny thing is there was no ring. He had ordered it from a designer in Washington and the ring was supposed to arrive in Mexico, but it got stuck at customs. He didn’t want the moment to pass and thought he would do it anyways without the ring. When we got back to Toronto, he proposed again when the ring finally arrived. He read me a love letter he had written and then got down on one knee and proposed, it was very cute!


cake & desserts:


Wake and Bake by Simmy Jassal

I designed my own look and wanted it to be very boho but still be on brand. So I decided to make the skirt a combination of tulle with mirror work, and silk with badla work. The top had to be a bustier style since that is one of my signature looks; I added a detatched puff sleeve for a boho feel. I wasn’t too sure of the colour of my outfit until I found my jewellery. I thought that blush rose would be the perfect colour since I knew I won’t be wearing pink to any of my wedding events. I was being gifted a dupatta during the chunni ceremony so I didn’t want to do a double dupatta look. I decided to do a tulle cape in the same rose pink colour that was hidden underneath my choker. I also designed the dupatta that Hark’s parents gifted me. It had the lyrics of “So Into You” written on the border, along with Hark and Mani and our proposal date. The dupatta was finished with a gota border that paid homage to both our moms’ wedding dupattas, giving it a touch of tradition. The kurta Hark wore was one of my first menswear wedding pieces that I have designed. I wanted him to wear lucknovi, and I designed the sleeves with my signature hierarchy detailing. I had also designed a vest to go over it, but instead he wanted to wear a shawl draped like the traditional punjabi “Khasi,” which ended up completing the look nicely.


furniture & prop rentals:

Bois Et Cuir Yorkville and The Eastern Bazaar

The theme of our engagement party was Tulum, Mexico. We wanted to bring Tulum home, and make it special for our guests since that is where Hark proposed to me. It was an all white party with a boho and eclectic vibe. Hark has a barn on his property which we wanted to use and for additional space we added a tent right beside it.The idea was to transform the barn into an eclectic roadside restaurant that you’d find in Mexico, which was contrasted with the tented area; this was more airy and white to feel like a beach side lounge. The area for the ceremonies was made to mimic a living room feel but with a natural field as the backdrop. We wanted it to be similar to how our parents had their ceremonies back in their day – just in their home living room on the sofa. Our goal was to create instagram moments for everyone and for our guests to be able to walk around and really experience the two spaces. So the seating arrangement was not traditional either. The vibe was more like a lounge as we had dining seating, high table seating, cruiser seating and lounge seating.




Kreative Kams – fashion

Adaa Trendz – Bombay Trendz – Flaire – beaut y

Beauty by Shehzadi – Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair – jewellery

The Urban Glitter – venue

Hotel X Toronto –



Bombay Trendz beaut y

Beauty by Shehzadi jewellery

The Urban Glitter




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Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair jewellery

The Urban Glitter




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Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair jewellery

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The Urban Glitter




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Doll Me Up Makeup & Hair jewellery

The Urban Glitter





@b a n s o . s h o p

Banso Shop - Indian Jewellery




B A N S O S H O P. C O M

Photography: Maroon Lens Wardrobe: Jangiiro Makeup: Glamna Hair: Allure Lifestyle Models: Shawna, Carbo, Patricia

Enchancing the joy of gift giving

Juslyne & Diljot | @jusalildil














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