Anwar and Shamira Carrots make true love look easy. Anwar is the CEO of popular Los Angeles-based streetwear label Carrots and Shamira is a master watercolor illustrator. In the midst of all their creative endeavors, the Carrots put together an elegant wedding in less than three months. In December 2016, the pair made it official: they exchanged vows at an enchanting Hindu ceremony that blended modern decor with the elegance of tradition.
During a phone conversation last month, the young newlyweds spoke to The FADER about the importance of having a wedding planner, using your network of friends to capture the special day, and how to keep your guest list short.
Speak life into your vision and then set a budget for it
ANWAR: It’s pretty much about putting it out into the universe — what you actually want for your wedding. After that, start looking at the cost. We had a $15-25,000 budget. We had a blessing in disguise because her dad helped us out so it was what it was. The venue is what cost the most.
It’s possible to plan a wedding a short amount of time
ANWAR: We got married two to three months after we got engaged. From my perspective, if you want to get married you are going to go get married. It's got nothing to do with a budget. If you want the nice wedding you'll put some bread up, but if you want to get married you will. Another thing is that if you don't have a budget, you’re going to figure out a way.
Secure a venue
SHAMIRA: The vibe of the venue was where most of our money went. Los Angeles wedding venues are expensive! We chose Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.
ANWAR: She wanted more of a beach vibe so we went with that first. It was December so it was pretty cold, and we ended up finding somewhere that was kind of a compromise in Malibu, right by the beach.
Wedding planners can be a big help
ANWAR: Shamira worked with a wedding planner because it would have been hell if she didn't. They hooked us up with a flower arrangement. Without that, good luck [laughs]. I don't even want to know what it would've been like without them.
Stay in charge of your vision
ANWAR: Shamira did just about everything. She was just really delegating the tasks that she couldn't do to the wedding planner. She knew what she wanted, ran it by me, and I was down with everything. When I got there I was just looking around amazed like, "Is this my wedding?"
Communicate your must-haves, but be open to compromise
SHAMIRA: Must-haves were good food, beautiful outfits, and a peaceful, elegant environment. We compromised on photography and videography, but in the end it wasn't a compromise at all because we have amazingly talented friends who came through for us.
ANWAR: It was a Hindu-inspired wedding so the clothing was custom made in India, but she's Sri Lankan. At the end of the day we didn’t care because it was our wedding [laughs]. Shamira really wanted the vegan dessert table and we didn't tell people that it was a vegan cake — we just got the cake because she's vegan. It wasn't even about the people, just more so what she wanted. If she’s happy, I'm happy. Afterwards everybody was like "Yo, what kind of cake is that? Shit was good."
Don’t be afraid to narrow down your guest list
ANWAR: We had 65 people. The guest list for us was literally who we really rock with. So when you start thinking about the people you went to high school with all the way to where you're at now, it’s like, who do you stay in touch with the most? Who are actually your friends and even relatives? That's pretty much what it was. It was a good vibe. I feel like that part, the guest list, was kind of the easiest for me. We wanted it small and needed it managed.
Use social media platforms to your advantage
ANWAR: Shamira had a "Shamira and Anwar Pinterest" that she gave to the wedding planner so they'd know what mood to stay with in terms of color. And when it came to making her dress she pulled images where she was like, "Okay, this is the look I want."
Utilize your friends's talents
ANWAR: I'm in fashion and I used to work in music, so I know all these photographers and videographers. It was a win-win: all my friends are creatives, she's a creative, I'm a creative. So I literally just tapped my friends like, "Yo, what you doing Saturday? Wanna shoot a wedding?"
All these wedding photographers and videographers wanted like $6,000. It was moreso a budget thing, and that would've taken it over the top. It would've been a $30-50,000 wedding if we started included that type of stuff.
Ask families to remain respectful
ANWAR: My mother and step dad are Jehovah's Witness, so they didn't come to the Hindu ceremony because of the religious differences. My mother's Nigerian, so she was dressed in her Nigerian attire and my aunts were there. They came to the reception. They waited for us in the reception area until the wedding ceremony was done. It was just about respect.
Focus on your happiness
ANWAR: We had times where her mother was probably like, "Oh you should do this," and my dad was like, "You should’ve gotten this." I didn't give a shit really; it was our wedding. Her father, especially, was a big help. He encouraged us: “Do what you guys wanna do, don't listen to anybody else."
Remember to support your partner
ANWAR: I was making sure she was happy and anything that needed to be done on my end, I took care of — that's how I kept rocking. Emotional support is key. Holding it down, number one. Number two, delegate. The whole thing, delegation. If she said I need it to do something, I did it. Boom.