#ExquisiteTravels: Paris to Barcelona

February 16th, 2018

Since our friend is nervous about flying and looks for any opportunity when she can by pass that, we decided to travel by train from Paris to Barcelona. It is was a six hour ride and we were so glad we did that. We not only experienced different weather conditions but also witnessed the most beautiful country side with vineyards, olive groves, little churches, small homes, kids playing outside and the most lush and serene fields. I would highly recommend this travel by train for someone who is not pressed for time.

On our way to Barcelona via the train

By the time we reached Barcelona and checked in to our hotel it was 9 pm. By now we had all developed an appetite and asked for a recommendation from the concierge.

Majestic hotel in Barcelona where we stayed

The tapa bar he recommended was a short distance from the hotel and a two block brisk walk felt really good. On the way we witnessed the most amazing architecture by Gaudi. Food was delicious and the high light of the meal was deep fried calamari rolled in a batter of squid ink, delicious!!

Gaudi Architecture

Our next three days were spent exploring the old and new parts of the city, having the most memorable meal at Botafumiero and countless tapa bars (which were all very good), visiting the beach, admiring the old and new parts of the city and witnessing the out of the ordinary architecture by Gaudi.

Delicious Botafumiero meal which included seafood paella




At the Old Square


The Beach

Barcelona is a melting pot and you see people from all parts of globe and hear so many different languages being spoken. Christmas decorations were up and the atmosphere had a calm frenzy yet good energy about it. Shoppers were out buying Christmas gifts and teenagers were out and about due to holidays having fun. Tapa bars, cafes and restaurants were packed with locals and tourists and musicians entertaining the crowds with delightful music. After one day, the city grew on me.

Cathedral in Barcelona


Now that I am back to LA, I would love to some day go back and spend more time in this amazing city.

-Nikki

More photos from around Barcelona... starting with the Gothic Quarter




The Ritz Carlton


Frank Gehry Sculpture in the distance

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

February 9th, 2018

Valentine's Day is right around the corner so we wanted to spread the love with some of our Exquisite Events that might inspire you this special day. Maybe it's date night, flowers to your special someone or galentine celebrations.... Nothing says LOVE like red roses, Jeff Leatham's gorgeous floral designs, weddings, engagements and more!

Red Romance at Pelican Hill Resort




Ceiling of Roses at the Four Seasons Westlake Village


Exclusive Dinner with Jeff Leatham at Four Seasons Los Angeles


Happy Valentine's Day!

Love, Exquisite Events



Sneak Peek: Madiha’s Bespoke Guide Photo Shoot

February 2nd, 2018

Last year we released our first Bespoke Guide to Indian Weddings with Braja Mandala and it was a true labor of love. Since we have done so many South Asian weddings, many people ask us what some of the customs and traditions signify so we wanted to put together a beautiful guide that showcases those rituals through the different weddings we have created.

The guide was so well received that we decided to make it an annual publication that will highlight recent wedding and fashion trends. In each publication, we also want to share a little bit about ourselves. Recently Braja and I got together to take a few pictures and I was able to showcase a little of my own style. People are so used to seeing me in my professional black that it was fun to dig into my closet and share a little of my style. Special thank you to Make Up by Shilpa.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot that we will feature in the next Bespoke issue.

--Madiha




Fashion Fridays: Paris Haute Couture Week

January 26th, 2018

We always look forward to Paris Haute Couture Week because it is truly a no holds barred form of expression for some of the most talented designers in the industry. This season's Spring/Summer 2018 certainly did not disappoint. We were so excited to see tons of texture with beautiful bead work, feathers, tulle, patterns and ruffles. Fashion has always been and continues to be a big source of inspiration to us when designing events not only for the clothes but for the creativity involved in set design. The Chanel Paris-Bombay show in 2011 still resonates to this day. Here are a few of our exquisite favorites from Paris Fashion Week 2018. We definitely predict some of these being on award season red carpets. What are your favorites?

Christian Dior SS ’18 Couture


Elie Saab SS ’18 Couture



Ralph & Russo SS ’18 Couture


Zuhair Murad SS ’18 Couture

Le George, Jeff Leatham & Monsieur Bleu

January 19th, 2018

Per my friend Alejandra’s suggestion, we had booked a table at Le George at George Cinq by the window on our second night in Paris.

Our talented friend Jeff Leatham had outdone himself yet again. Starting with the lobby and spreading through all public areas including Le George, all Christmas decor was nothing short of spectacular.




The food at the restaurant was divine, exquisitely prepared and presented with impeccable service. Needless to say the experience was a gastronomic delight! Our server was not only beautiful but spoke three languages and was a graduate of Sorbonne. This is something I have always envied of Europeans as it is not uncommon in the continent to speak multiple languages. It was a memorable dining experience that lasted beyond four hours amid spell binding stories, laughter and anecdotes that were shared among us friends. This evening promised to be just as unforgettable as expected. The restaurant delivered a level of refinement, exceptional service and attention to even the smallest details.



Another restaurant that is my all time favorite in Paris is Monsieur Bleu and we had booked a table on our third night in this magical city. I have always enjoyed going to this restaurant with the cool vibe, high ceilings, modern decor, impeccable service, decadent cuisine and a dj that plays the most sultry music and this evening proved to be just as magical and memorable as I had imagined.


Rest of the stay, there was dinner at La Serre (another one of my all time favorites) and many others that followed, some old favorites and some new.

Fashion Friday: House of Dior in Paris

January 12th, 2018

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior in Paris. This was on Nikki’s “must see" exhibition on her trip because of her infatuation and love for the house of Dior. So much so that every movie that has been made on Christian Dior or is related to the House of Dior, she feels has to be watched.

Even though the exhibition has been open to the public for more than six months, lines were still unbelievably long. Our dear friends in Paris came to the rescue and we were able to get into the museum with no wait. What a treat!!!!! This lavish and comprehensive exhibition invites visitors on a voyage of discovery through the universe of the House of Dior’s founder and the illustrious couturiers who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, Raf Simmons and most recently Maria Grazia Chiuri. The selection of over 300 haute couture gowns designed between 1947 and the present day has a unifying thread of emotions, life stories, inspirations, creations and legacies. Alongside the dresses is the most wide ranging display to date of Atelier fashion, photographs, sketches, letters and notes, fashion accessories, including hats, jewelry, bags, shoes and perfume bottles. Suffice to say that the two curators Florence Muller and Olivier Gabet have been successful in conveying their message with a chronological and themed exhibition. This certainly was a huge highlight of Nikki’s trip.

“ After women, flowers are the most divine of creations."
-Christian Dior

















Nikki’s Favorite City, Paris

January 5th, 2018

For the last three years, I have been lucky enough to carve some time for myself and go away to Paris (which happens to be my favorite city in the world). Fortunately this year was no exception.
The view from the ballroom balcony

This trip was also special because we had our very dear friends from Pakistan join us in Paris and like us, our friends also wanted to rediscover the city - try the best restaurants, walk endlessly and immerse in the local culture. My friend Alejandra Poupel who lives in Paris came to the rescue and suggested fun places to see, eat and visit. There is nothing like an insider’s take on a destination to help discover hidden jewels.

This stunning city has inspiration everywhere from architecture to eye catching window displays and the most stylishly dressed people. It is hard not to get inspired by the beauty surrounding you and such is always the case with me. On this trip I was particularly eager to see the Hôtel de Crillon as it had been closed for renovation the last two years I was there. This hotel also holds a very special meaning for us due to the fact we always stayed at Le Crillon during the time my husband worked in Paris in the eighties. I was specially very keen to see the “New Crillon“ after the renovation and my friend, Radha Arora, was kind enough to help set up an appointment with Sebastien Legrand who is Director of Sales and Marketing at the hotel. Sebastien took great care of us and after treating us to a decadent lunch at the bar, he gave us a personal tour of all the spaces including the new spa and pool, suites decorated by none other but Karl Lagerfeld which are jaw dropping gorgeous (wow what a treat!) and then the stunning ballroom which unarguably happens to have the best views of the city from the balcony. We are so grateful to Sebastien for taking three hours out of his busy afternoon and reintroduce us to the jewel, Le Crillon. We would love for any brides looking for an elegant city wedding for about one hundred guests to consider this hotel. You will be in for a treat from the moment you put your foot in the door until you leave.

I can’t wait to revisit this great city soon!

Here some photos from the Karl Lagerfeld Suite!






Photos from the spa, pool & pastries on display in the lobby!



An Exquisite Look at 2017

December 29th, 2017

2017 was an exciting and adventurous year for Exquisite Events! Amidst speaking engagements and design walk through which took us to Dubai and Korea, Nikki also managed to get some time to vacation in her favorite cities, Paris and Barcelona where she also checked out a couple of hotels for her future brides considering exotic locals for their destination weddings. Even though there were many events, here are some of our favorites of 2017 produced by Exquisite Events!

February was dedicated to an exclusive event which took place at Montage Beverly Hills. About sixty guests were treated to a fabulous evening of stunning décor, gourmet food, great music and unparalleled ambience. Needless to say guests were floored and enjoyed this evening to the fullest. Photography by Mike Colon.


Our first wedding of the year was a Pakistani Wedding of Zara and Danyaal which took place at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica. Sangeet and Mehndi night was infused with color per bride’s inspiration and had an ethnic look and feel about it. This destination wedding festivities began with Groom’s family carrying Mehndi trays decorated beautifully, carrying fruits and sweets and gifts for the bride. A drummer accompanied them and soon after amidst pomp and circumstance, our bride made her entrance. There was a lot of dancing from both sides and the night was enjoyed by everyone in presence. Photography by Luna de Mare.


Next day was the ceremony and reception took place at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Groom arrived with his family in a Baraat procession and was led to the stage where the ceremony took place. The bride walked down the aisle on the arms of her father while the sitar player played the iconic dirty dancing tune. A short Muslim ceremony ended within fifteen minutes and guests made their way to the cocktail hour where they were entertained with live sitar player. They were then escorted to the ballroom which was all done in blush, cream and gold accents. With hundreds of candles flickering and mood lighting done to the nines, it set the tone for a very elegant evening. Couple made their grand entrance and went to the dance floor for their first dance. The night was festive, fun and jovial and dance floor stayed packed the entire night. Photography by Luna de Mare.


Month of May, Exquisite Events entertained a few guests to the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and collaborated with Jeff Leatham and Edgar Zamora. Needless to say with these two giants in the industry the night was nothing short of spectacular. Guests were treated to a magical evening starting at Jeff’s studio with the sitar player perched high on a riser and playing magical tunes. They were then escorted up on the main floor for dinner where our duo was playing French music, gourmet four course meal was served that ended with a decadent dessert display. This certainly was a night to remember! Photography by Mike Colon.


We went off to the Bay Area for Sonia and Shaan’s wedding. The Sangeet took place at Fairmont San Jose and the room was decorated with coral and pink and had an ethnic feel to it. Raj Tents set up pergola tents which housed the bars and DJ booth. With all the new furniture that was shipped specially for the event, this room we were told by the hotel staff had never looked this beautiful. Sonia and Shaan enjoyed the night with their families and friends to the hilt and guests had a feast with various food stations set up in the ballroom. Photography by Matei Horvath.


Couple’s ceremony was one day later at Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. Friday was spent in setting up the ballroom with carpeting, draping and lighting since Saturday was going to be a busy day with five back to back events. Bride wanted a very ethereal and organic look for her Mandap and chose a very open structure so not to inhibit the view of water. Groom arrived on a decorated golf cart at the Baraat procession. Ceremony was seamless and guests were then escorted for lunch. Exquisite Events team got busy with setting up the cocktail area which was going to take place at the ceremony site. All white furniture and a big round white bar was placed on the lawn with high and low boys covered in white linens. White flowers and tons of candles further enhanced the ambiance. Ballroom looked absolutely magical with long and round tables. Couple’s stage backdrop was candle walls embellished with flowers and candles. Since bride wanted to keep a very understated elegant feel, most of the flowers were low except for the long tables. A green magnolia leaf chandelier hung above the dance floor. Our ravishing bride wore red and added the perfect pop of color with the groom looking dashing in his black suit. The night festivities lasted until the early morning hours. Photography by Matei Horvath.



September was the month Paris and Alex had chosen for their Pelican Hill Wedding. Their 300 guests ceremony took place at the Rotunda Lawn and the other half of the lawn was decorated for the cocktail hour. Our beautiful bride’s inspiration was very European. The Rotunda was draped in ivory billowy chiffon and the chivari chairs were also covered in ivory chiffon. The eight piece orchestra played strings as guests took their seats. Our lovely bride in Vera Wang looked stunning while our groom looked dashing in his Ralph Lauren suit. Ceremony was touching and meaningful and at the conclusion guests made their way to the back of the lawn for cocktail hour where servers stood in line carrying glasses of champagne. Guests enjoyed listening to the orchestra, full bar and delicious hor d'oeuvres. Our decadent dinner was set up on the Mar Vista lower patio and exuded European charm. With dozens of chandeliers hanging above guest tables, stage backdrop for the band, behind couple’s head table and hundreds of candles flickering, end effect was pure romance. Our couple made their grand entrance from the stair case which was lined with lanterns and proceeded to do their first dance. The band played beautiful, nostalgic music while guests noshed on filet and lobster four course meal. Cake cutting indicated time to move up to the Mar Vista Ballroom for after party where a full bar, decadent desserts and the band and DJ awaited them. This after party lasted until 1 am and like all good things must come to an end, this night ended on a high note. We formed such amazing bond with this couple and their families and consider it our good fortune to know them. Photography by Lost in Love.



The last wedding of the year was also at the beautiful Pelican Hill Resort. Sim and Aron held their festivities including a Sangeet, Baraat ceremony, Luncheon, Cocktail Hour, Grand Finale Reception followed by an after party. It was a perfect ending to an exquisite year! Photography by Duke Photography.




From our family to yours, we wish you a warm, healthy and fabulous 2018! Happy New Years! Cheers!

Journey to India

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