Mehaik Dammanwalla first caught Imaad Khan’s attention on the Hinge dating app, when she shared a story about a bear breaking into her family’s car during a camping trip and stealing their leftover biryani. A few days later, they met at The Misfit Restaurant for their first date; and as soon as Mehaik walked through the door, Imaad knew he’d found his wife.
Two years into their relationship, Imaad told Mehaik that he was invited to an industry Christmas party at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel and that she should come. All dressed up, the couple was escorted to the “holiday party” on the rose garden terrace and greeted with drinks. Mehaik was confused when she realized there were no other guests. Instead, rose petals were scattered everywhere, the couple’s song – “Only We Know” by Banks – was playing in the background, and a pathway of candles led them to a table with a backdrop of roses.
"IT FELT SO GREAT TO FOCUS ON OUR LOVE AND COMMITMENT FOR EACHOTHER"
As soon as Mehaik saw pictures of them and screenshots of their first Hinge conversations framed on the table, she realized what was happening. She had given Imaad a book filled with letters for him to read during their milestones and anniversaries, leaving one letter blank for him to write something back to her at some point. When she saw his letter and read it, a wave of emotions washed over her; and when she looked up, Imaad was down on one knee, holding her dream ring.
Mehaik had always envisioned herself getting married in Europe; but with COVID-19 being an obstacle, the couple decided to bring elements of Europe to them for a stunning European-inspired micro wedding in Southern California.
“We truly just wanted to start our lives together and didn’t feel the need to wait for the world to go back to whatever ‘normal’ was going to look like,” explains Mehaik. “It wasn’t what we planned, but we are each other’s biggest supporters and it felt so great to have this wedding focus on our love and commitment to each other.”
Upon arrival, all vendors had their temperature taken and worked while wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Sanitizing stations were provided at various points, and the logistics were handled perfectly so by the time the ceremony arrived, an ethereal lakeside space was ready to greet the happy couple and their guests.
“I feel very lucky to have wedding planners in my family,” says Imaad, whose mother and sister make up the mother-daughter team behind Exquisite Events. “From the custom fans my sister Madiha ordered for each guest, to the details of the sweetheart table my mom Nikki designed, they made sure the day felt so special.”
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed decadent hors d’oeuvres overlooking the lake as live music played in the background.
“My favorite moment of our wedding was when we were introduced as a married couple for the first time during our reception,” says Imaad. “As the sun was setting on the lake outside and our family and friends greeted us in a beautiful, intimate room, it truly felt like we had been transported to the Italian countryside.”
Dinner was served inside the property’s wine cellar surrounded by candles, which provided a beautiful Tuscan ambiance and alcove doors that opened up for unobstructed views of the lake. A live sitar player also performed throughout the evening, adding a unique element to the celebration.
“I can’t believe I’m going to say this,” Mehaik shares, “but I had never felt more relaxed in my life. Being someone who worries and stresses over events, I felt so excited, happy, and just totally relaxed because I knew in my heart I’m marrying my best friend. Something about the wedding being intimate released a lot of pressure that I see often in other weddings; we were able to enjoy every minute of that day and night, and I feel very blessed.”
Location: Westlake Village Inn, Westlake Village, CA; Event Design and Planner: Exquisite Events, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design and Rentals: Butterfly Floral & Event Design, Los Angeles, CA; Bridal Dress: Umar Sayeed Couture; Groom's Attire: Shehla Chatoor; Lighting: Images by Lighting, Los Angeles, CA; Cake: Roobina’s Cakes, Glendale, CA