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This Punjabi-Jewish Ceremony in Houston was Followed by an ’80s Glamour-Inspired Reception

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Christian Garcia

|Planning by 

Two Be Wed

When actress and screenwriter Perveen Singh started her senior year at the University of Southern California, she planned on moving to Paris after school. But a chance encounter with eyewear designer Peter Nussbaum on a weekend trip to San Francisco changed everything. Upon returning to Los Angeles, they picked up right where they left off. They still happily call the city their home today and live in Venice with their gray tabby cat named Chopsticks.

While Perveen’s parents visited from Kuala Lumpur in November, Peter knew he had a small window to have a proposal filled with the people Perveen loves most. When Perveen came home that evening, she found Peter in their garden. He proposed with his great-grandmother’s ring, as Perveen’s parents and the couple’s best friends watched. The newly engaged couple spent the rest of the night drinking champagne and dancing with them.

Perveen and Peter thought of hosting their wedding in Palm Springs, but shortly after their engagement, they traveled to Perveen’s hometown of Houston for Thanksgiving. Coincidentally, Peter’s brother recently moved to a beautiful ranch just outside of the city. While Perveen and Peter visited the property, they knew that this would be their wedding venue. “Houston was a perfect meeting point for our West Coast, East Coast, and international families and felt like a true intersection of our family lines,” she explains. “It is truly is an amazing, dynamic city, and I was excited to work with a group of amazing mostly-female vendors.”

A circle of trees covered in Spanish moss provided a perfect space for the ceremony, not to mention shade from the Texas sun. Hannah Lowery of Edges Wild planted a sprawling field of wildflowers. Perveen says, “I wanted the florals to feel like hot, bright splashes against the green grass and blue sky, so I worked with Hannah to bring in lots of magnolias, and any other pink, yellow, and orange florals she deemed appropriate.”

For the reception, Perveen wanted to emulate a mirage in the middle of the ranch’s vastness. They placed a small tent for dancing that would create the illusion of a change of scenery. “Peter and I love places that feel a little frozen in time, so we went for late ’80s and early ’90s glamour with a dash of camp,” she shares. Pale flamingo pink tablecloths evoked Miami, and the black-and-white checkered dance floor was reminiscent of the Malaysian Selangor social club Perveen grew up attending.

Originally scheduled for May 9, 2020, the wedding date was changed due to COVID-19. It was advantageous to have a private venue where they could easily reschedule, but a city with temperamental weather like Houston poses another slew of problems. “The best tip I got was to reference the Farmer’s Almanac,” Perveen confides to brides. “You can research weather patterns dating back several years if you’re circling a date or weekend for an outdoor affair.” She also used Ashley Joseph of Two Be Wed as a resource. “I had a clear vision of what I wanted, but knew I needed a veteran with production experience and a no-nonsense attitude,” Perveen states. Peter designed the Texas-meets-Malaysia-themed stationery sent to guests.

Perveen always thought she would opt for a sexy, slinky bridal outfit. But once they selected their ranch venue, she rethought her vintage Halston look and found herself drawn to the Givenchy wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears at the end of Funny Face. Through a stylist friend, Perveen slid into Kimberly Parker‘s DMs. Together, they worked on a tulle confection with a tea-length skirt that would not drag along the ranch grass. Kimberly constructed a satin corset with her head tailor, Juan, who had worked at Chanel and Alexander McQueen. The corset was overlaid with hand-sewn pearl mesh and topped with a ring of feathers. “I wanted to feel like a Botticelli creation emerging from sea foam,” Perveen quips. In her culture, white is actually a funeral color; so her team dyed the dress eggshell pink. She slid on sparkly Attico shoes and held a Kara crystal mesh bag with her essentials. When all put together, Perveen felt “like a classic ’50s screen siren with a dash of rodeo queen.”

As per Indian tradition, Perveen’s parents presented her with a diamond necklace and pearl and diamond drop earrings. She also wore gold bangles her grandmother gave her for her twenty-first birthday, her “something old.” Perveen’s makeup artist Shelby of Adorne Artistry deftly styled her with a graphic eye and rosy cheeks. She slicked back her hair, out of humidity’s way.

Peter worked with Denis Frison on his chocolate brown rehearsal dinner suit and tuxedo for the wedding. He paired them with a Sid Mashburn shirt and bow tie, his grandfather’s watch, and a family signet ring lent to him by his younger sibling.

On May 7, 2022, the short and convivial ceremony incorporated Punjabi and Jewish elements to honor both Perveen and Peter’s heritage. Perveen walked down the aisle with her parents and relished seeing everyone she loved as she walked toward the chuppah-slash-mandap. Peter’s cousin Will officiated. He started the service with a breathing exercise to calm the crowd. The milni, a garland exchange, happened between the couple’s parents. Peter’s sibling gave a reading from the family’s Rabbi, and Perveen’s cousin read from the Guru Granth Sahib. Will also honored the three late grandparents of the couple while Peter’s grandmother sat in the front row. The bride and groom read their own tender vows.

After cocktail hour, the moon shone and offered cool relief and guests dined underneath the stars. Chef Cuc Lam concocted the Southeast Asian menu, a perfect complement to Friday night’s rehearsal dinner at La Lucha. Perveen’s father delivered a wonderful speech. “He ended up in the hospital just the week before we got married,” Perveen shares. “Fortunately, he made a full recovery but seeing him up there, looking healthy and giving that beautiful toast made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.” The newlyweds cut into a spiced carrot cake with cardamom from Pondicheri, a Houston mother-daughter-run Indian restaurant. A dhol player kicked off the evening’s dancing as a surprise for the mother of the bride. “My cousins and I spent hours choreographing dances to our favorite Bollywood songs when we were kids, so it was a really nice way to bring in something that was such a huge part of my childhood and my culture,” Perveen notes. The couple’s friend and LA mainstay Dan Terndrup spun the tracks. For the after-party in an adjacent tent, Perveen switched into a Studio 54-inspired Magda Butrym micro-mini dress with diamanté straps.