Story written my Jasmine.
About five years ago in October; 10/5/15 to be exact, two strangers living over 100 miles apart, virtually came together and unknowingly planted what would be the most beautiful love story in this garden of modern-day dating. My now husband, (that's so weird to type let alone say) and I had a mutual friend who posted a picture that I just so happened to like. Back then, Instagram would alert you whenever not only your followers but their followers liked something you liked. Shaan saw my photo and said, "I love her smile." At the time, my page was public, I was a Junior at Sacramento State, hashtags were the cool new thing, why go private, right? Instead of following me, Shaan scrolls all the way down to, I think December 2013, which is the only full-face photo I have of myself on my page, besides my profile picture.
"Shaan saw my photo and said, "I love her smile." "
He then likes that picture and comments, "you need more selfies." I was never a fan of myself, so my Instagram was filled with memories, life experiences, my dog; you know, the important stuff. It was around 8pm that evening and I just so happened to be on Instagram at the time, so when I saw the random notification and comment, I thought to myself, the audacity of this random guy telling me I need more pictures if myself and then going on to comment on a photo of my dog saying how cute he is. First off, her name is Rosie, and secondly I'm intrigued by this human and need to retaliate.
I go on to like a heaping handful of his Instagram photos, message him first, and then after a while proceed to ask him for his number. It sounds insane, but from the moment we starting talking to each other, I felt safe with Shaan. I didn't know who he was, I didn't know his character, or his occupation, whether he was right or left handed, but from the very beginning I knew I would always be safe with him.
However, I kept my distance at first; he lived in the Bay Area and I lived in my hometown of Sacramento. There was no way our two completely different lifestyles could mesh. But Shaan was persistent; he would text me good morning, send me super cheesy stuff, you know, cute stuff every girl wants to hear, and of course I was being hard headed and blew him off conversation after conversation.
One day, after bantering back and forth, he told me he would make me tea with French bread (a classic take me back to grandma's house Fiji snack). After that text I knew I was beginning to learn who the real Shaan was. After only a few days of texting, we were both very eager to meet one another in person and once we did, game over. We both realized very early on we had a very strong connection; we didn't know how strong that connection actually was.
We are both first generation Fijian American and both sets of parents and generations before them, originated from beautiful Fiji islands in the south pacific. We learned that our grandparents actually knew each other very well as children and pretty much grew up together in the same tiny village of Navua, Fiji. Unfortunately, our grandparents passed prior to Shaan and I meeting, so they never got to see their stories come full circle. Two months into dating, Shaan receives a job opportunity that moves him back to Sacramento, what fate.
"Covid 19 hit everyone in very unfortunate ways, but in a way it was a blessing. We canceled our grand wedding..."
Fast forward four years and he surprises me with the cutest proposal on Baker Beach in San Francisco, California on 2/16/19.
So begins the wedding planning: our big fat Indian wedding set to hold around 600 guests was set for 10/17/2020. We had family from around the world traveling to the States just to celebrate our special day. Upon planning, thousands upon tens of thousands of dollars were going into this grand affair; we are both the first born grand children on each side of the family, so this was a big deal. Immediately the thought of this huge wedding overwhelmed the both of us and we began lose sight of the single most important thing; us.
Covid 19 hit everyone in very unfortunate ways, but in a way it was a blessing. We canceled our grand wedding, we may never be able to celebrate the way we originally had dreamt of, but that's okay. Shaan and I sat down one day, in early Sept 2020 and said, let's elope. A few phone calls later and we had a wedding to prepare for less than a month away.
We fell in love with the thought of getting married in an Aquarium, and Wendy Pena with Weddings by Mandalay Bay helped make our dreams come true! What's a wedding without cake? Elopement or not, a bride needs her cake, well this one does any way! Supporting local and small businesses are important to Shaan and I.
Through the help of our good old Instagram, I came across a self taught at home baker named Niki Peterson. She can be found via Instagram @cakebyniki. She's located in centennial heights, a bit of a drive from the strip, but worth every crumb I promise. I sent her a picture of a cake I saw online, and she exceeded our expectations on every level. Stacy from On the Rocks photography is a godsend from Yelp. Like Shaan, I'm pretty sure the internet gods sent Stacy my way for a reason. She's professional, friendly, personable, and all around nice person. Her work speaks for itself, I knew we were in excellent hands. Stacy, being the amazing resource she is, led me to Leigh, who is a wizard with a makeup brush. She created the perfect berry colored eye and face; she made me look and feel like a model.
Four ladies whom I've never met helped create a day full of love for my husband the wedding of our dreams. Forever grateful to them all.
On The Rocks Photography
Desert Wedding Magazine
Rent your wedding bouquet!
Bouquet Rental Arizona
additional photos: Jasmine + Shaan
Cake: (which I didn't see nor get a piece of... boo for me! ha ha ha)