“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” –Juliet Capulet

While our fair Juliet felt a name held no importance, with designer Azeeza Desai Khan, her Arabic moniker set the cards for her to be “cherished and esteemed”.  Atelier AZZA, her beloved fashion line continues to grace the best dressed of Chicago (and other worldly regions) and Kahn herself has found a cherished love with Rehan Khan. When it comes to this fashionable duo we think you just may agree they are #meant2beChicago.

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. When did the spark between you and Rehan ignite?

A. “The irony is that we both went to the same university, DePaul, during the same timeframe but never once met or even passed each other on campus – trust me, I’d remember if I ever came across him. Almost 4 years after graduating, we randomly met at a mutual friend’s birthday party and it was super instant of an obvious connection. We later discussed it and we had even had classes in the same building and a good amount of crossover among friends. It is pretty clear that had we met in college, the attraction probably would have been there but we were not in the mindset for a commitment such as marriage. I think the biggest thing that as we met later, we both had time to understand what we were (and weren’t) looking for in a companion and wiser, most importantly. Timing is everything and it’s so important not to rush and just take the time to make the right decisions.”

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. How long was your engagement?

A. “We were engaged in May 2009 and officially in November of 2009 with an engagement party; we were married by July 2010, so it was a rather short engagement and extremely quick planning. The biggest puzzle was locking in the venue, after that, everything else fell together

Q. When and where did you marry?

A. “We were married in 2010 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall. The venue was as close to a castle as you can get in Chicago. Of course, being Indian, I had near nine major wedding events. The smallest event had 150 guests and the largest, 600. The venues were spread across Chicagoland – I tried to keep the ambiance completely different for each one. “

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. What surprised you about the planning process?

A. “It was over as quick as it began! Everything moves so quickly and it is really important to keep a timeline and project plan with deadlines. There is really so much to handle and unless you are organized, you will go mad.”

Q. Looking back, what do you wish someone had told you prior to planning?

A. “Hindsight is always 20/20 but if I could go back, I wish I had done a destination wedding – I am currently designing a bridal gown for a destination bride and the planning seems like such a breeze with an intimate group of loved ones in an amazing setting. Definitely sounds like a good route but at the same time, I know that it would be pretty difficult to convince our families to go for this. However, I did have a dream wedding and although the planning was intricate, the end results are memorable for Rehan and me, as well as our guests.”

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. Did you ever get sticker shock; if so what category surprised you the most?

A. “Looking back, I think once you enter planning, your perception of reality gets really skewed based on what vendors charge and industry norms.

For a venue such as the Chicago Cultural Center, they simply provide just an empty room. It is up to you to provide everything from the ovens to the wastebasket liners to the salt and pepper shakers – things you can’t even think of – with these little things quickly added up. I honestly never did a tab on how much was collectively spent but I know that would be a shocker. Ignorance is indeed bliss at times.”

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. Did anything go wrong on the BIG day? If so, what?

A. “Overall, I was pretty laid back regarding day of obstacles. At that point, what was done was done and only I’d noticed the details overlooked.

The only disappointment was my cake and it was completely my fault. I had paid a pretty penny for a replica of the Trump’s wedding cake with near a 1,000 rosettes. The rosettes were completely off aesthetically from the original but it was my fault for never asking of an actual sample of the actual rosette replicated. It is extremely important to micromanage your vendors as they all promise to make it happen but as it is a one day gig with payment upfront, it is easy for things to slide through the cracks.

I would say the biggest hang-up was vendor pack-up. The Chicago Cultural Center has strict rules on exit times and the vendors apparently showed up rather late or took too long to wrap up. My wedding planner could only do so much at that point as he was managing so many vendors himself. I guess you think of everything on your big day except the exit plan. I ended up losing my deposit because of this so it is something critical to watch for.”

Photo Courtesy of Amna Siddiqui Photography

Q. What was the best advice you received during the wedding planning process?

A. “I think it was really important to fact check your vendors with referrals from friends. I was constantly going to my recently married friends for both recommendations and reviews. It is important to go beyond what the vendor tells you.”

Q. What is the best advice you received for the BIG day?

A.  “Sleep! Per a suggestion of a friend, I literally forced myself to a 9 pm bed time the week of to make sure I had a good night – with a million things on your to do list to just plain jitters, restlessness came easy so I needed a little kick to make sure I rested.”

Q. Thank you for sharing the personal details of your love and your special day! Who are some of the vendors/designers that you loved working with?

A. “My favorites were:
Horwitz Jeweler – designed my wedding and engagement rings with him
Amna Siddiqui Photography – she captured everything perfectly from the engagement to the shower to the big day.
Sonray Decorators – I wanted a completely different ambience and look for each event. I was able to design my own wedding and he built the vision.
Lal Qila Restaurant – for my catering
Chicago Cultural Center – loved supporting a city initiative as well as their staff”

As Azeeza continues to draw upon the truth of her moniker, we will delight in watching her cherished loves grow, both professional and personal. After all there’s nothing we luv more than a Chicago success story {okay, well maybe a love story pulls at our heart strings just a little bit more}.

Where will our magical journey of love take us next? Stay tuned for more #meant2beChicago.


One Response to Meant 2 Be: Azeeza and Rehan Khan

  1. No doubt, one of the most striking couples I, or possibly even Hollywood, has ever seen. Best of luck always.

    Craig Horwitz, H. Horwitz Co. hhorwitz.com

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