Bridal Sign Up

On The Waterfront

A blend of Bengali and American traditions transformed Sequoia in Georgetown into the perfect wedding venue for Binty Ahmed and Golam Ahmed.  

A rainy day in Georgetown made for some stunning outdoor shots of the couple.

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The bride’s shoes reflected traditional Bengali wedding attire.

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Binty’s hands were adorned in henna for the ceremony and reception.

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The tables were set with high vases with ostrich feathers and tall crystal and silver candlesticks.

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The bride and groom exchanged garlands, a symbolic Bengali tradition that signals the beginning of the marriage.

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Sometimes it takes a trip around the world to find your true love. That was the case for Binty Ahmed and Golam Ahmed (who coincidentally already shared a last name, but no relation, before marrying). Both were living locally in the DC area, but had traveled home to visit their families in Bangladesh. It was there that their mothers set them up on a blind date. “We had an instant spark before even talking,” recalls Binty of their first meeting in a Dhaka coffee shop. “Then he just wooed me with his charming personality.” A quick courtship followed, and after a six-month engagement, they were walking down the aisle.

Binty and Golam, who planned the intimate affair themselves, wanted the wedding to honor their Bengali roots while also recognizing their American lifestyle, so they themed the wedding East meets West. Binty got ready for the big day in the Frank Sinatra Suite at The Graham Georgetown, donning a stunning peach and gold Lehenga, the traditional Bengali wedding attire, while the groom dressed in a Ted Baker suit. They said their vows in front of 90 guests at a mosque in Sterling, Va., and then celebrated at Sequoia restaurant in Georgetown. Instead of bridesmaids, the reception featured a traditional grand entrance under a veil—carried by her cousins—by Binty. Guests were served a Bengalese menu with dishes like mutton biryani, samosas and pilau rice, along with the traditional wedding dessert, kheer, a rice pudding made with coconut milk. The couple exchanged brightly colored garlands, which is the ceremonial symbol for the start of the marriage, during the reception. But Binty and Golam, who live in Reston, Va., also wanted to show off the area they now call home.

“Our guests came from all over the world, and for many of them, this was their first time in Georgetown. They loved seeing the skyline,” says Golam. The waterfront restaurant was transformed with blush and white uplighting that gave even more sparkle to the space’s dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Centerpieces featured all white hydrangeas, roses and votive candles atop blush pink tablecloths, while the family table was filled with white orchids and oversize vases with dangling crystals and large ostrich feathers. The DJ spun both traditional Bengali tunes and current Top 40 hits, getting the guests all on their feet at one point with a Soul Train-style dance line. Guests also took advantage of Sequoia’s multitiered patio, where they mixed and mingled late into the night. At the end of the evening, Binty and Golam made their exit amid their guests waving sparklers. “It felt like a fairy-tale moment for us,” says Binty. “We didn’t want the evening to end.” The couple plans to honeymoon in 2017 in Santorini, Greece.

THE LIST
Floral Design & Decor
GardeLina Flowers
Videographer NRG Vision
Bridal Gown Custom boutique, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bridal Makeup Makeup by Ana B
Groom’s Attire Ted Baker
Groom’s Accessories Rolex watch, Liljenquist & Beckstead
Wedding Rings Amin Jewelers, custom boutique, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Catering Karahi Kabob
Entertainment DJ Billa, Stylish Click
Linen Rentals Enchanted Events
Invitations Vistaprint