Almost a year after hosting the event for the first time, the Bangladesh Student Association experienced significant growth in attendance for its second annual “Mock Wedding,” held on Nov. 14.
A massive crowd, estimated to be in the hundreds, lined up outside the Multipurpose Room at Baruch College for this year’s festivities.
The event was originally created under the leadership of Nabil Rahman to expose the Baruch community to Bengali culture, but this year’s event expanded itself to an even greater reach.
In response to overwhelming success, the second annual event allowed limited access to students from other CUNY schools. Attendees from universities such as Hunter College and the City College of New York were required to reserve their seats on an exclusive guest list, which was capped at 50 invitations.
While there were multiple CUNY colleges represented, the majority of the crowd consisted of Baruch students, who were granted permission to enter on a walk-in basis.
Meem Amrin, the emcee of the night, said that while the club members were not expecting such a large turnout, BSA was better prepared for this year’s festivities in comparison to its first event.
“We’re much more social now, we try to have great relationships with other clubs. So what we did was hand out personal invitations to each club, even left them with student life and our professors to spread through word of mouth. We didn’t do that last time, and I think that’s what contributed to this huge turnout,” said Amrin.
As an array of colorful lights strobed around the converted Multipurpose Room, guests took their seats with plates full of appetizers that represented the unique tastes of Bengali cuisine.
The space maintained the perfect balance of elaborate design with an intimate feel, that one could expect from a dream
Blue and gold accents draped the stage, surrounding a royal chaise lounge that sat in the center of it all. Small details such as mirrors, candles and shimmer rocks were strategically placed around the scene to give it the illusion of opulence.
The cold weather outside was a distant memory to the performers and guests who were dressed in extravagant saris and traditional formal wear. The bride and groom quickly approached the stage, surrounded by bridesmaids and groomsmen who energetically jumped and shouted in celebration, a sign that the wedding bash had commenced.
This year’s festivities decidedly skipped past the ceremony between husband and wife, instead focusing on multiple performances by BSA members. Split into various groups and duos, the entertainment highlighted intricately choreographed dances representative of South Asian culture. The performers moved to a wide array of music, which included Indian pop, Desi hip hop and electronic dance music.
Following this display of rhythms, sounds and a complex vocal ballad was a set of games that tested the couple’s knowledge of each other while bringing in audience participation. While the event was formatted as a mock wedding, the charm and tenderness between the real couple — BSA’s Vice Chair of Public Relations Samia Jalil and her boyfriend Rabir Hammam — was palpable throughout the
As guests stepped out for dinner service, BSA members readied the room for upcoming surprises in the next segment. While attendees finished their meals, the bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. The couple then playfully cut the cake, indicating the festivities were nearing an end.
To the surprise of the crowd, the climax and grand finale of the night came when BSA members invited dancers from Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations to a carefully planned dance-off.
The blend of classic and modern moves, topped with break dancing, turned the audience wild with screams and cheering. Bringing the night to an end, the DJ opened up the dance floor to everyone in attendance.
With the success of this event still fresh on everyone’s mind, BSA has already begun thinking of ideas for next year’s bash.
“Even though we know it’s so much more work, we want to have [our third event] at an outside venue, so more non-Baruch students can come. We have great relations with Hunter and City College, if we weren’t limited to the 50 slots on the guest list, we would’ve had a lot more guests,” stated Amrin.
“At the end of the day we had fun, the team was amazing to work with. The work and planning was really hard, but none of this would’ve been possible without them.”