Lalani Lukose Ptaufiq Photogra

Fazila Lalani and James Lukose

Fazila Lalani and James Lukose, two first responders in New York City, recently married in a Covid-safe church ceremony, mosque ceremony and glamorous wedding reception as well as an Indian Sangeet the night before.


The two met about two years ago while Fazila, an ER doctor, was back temporarily in New York with her family after setting up emergency rooms in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. As she headed back to Tanzania, for their very second date, James, an EMT, flew to Dar es Salam and the couple then flew to Zanzibar for their next encounter. Of course, there was no separating the two since and they have traveled to many more exotic destinations since.


They originally were supposed to get married on July 4th, 2020 with a 1000-person wedding. When the lockdown began, and the two got called in the frontline at NYC hospitals, that plan was obviously impossible. To add to the drama, Fazila, her mom and her dad (also a physician) all got Covid. As plans changed and changed again and again—the couple and their planner, Ayesha Hakki of Events by Ayesha, went through six different design changes— the couple was finally able to have a cover-safe wedding following all NYC and CDC guidelines plus more. Custom-made masks were handed out as favors for each event of the wedding, as well as hand sanitizer and wristbands indicating what level of proximity guests were comfortable with. The wedding was designed with social distancing protocols including six-foot square tables with only 8 seats, an open air, rooftop venue with only 25% capacity, limited dancing and carefully orchestrated meals. It was a lot of extra work, but worth it!


Events by Ayesha was the planner for the event, and she is happy to say that four weeks later, not one person got sick… a successful and safe wedding.


The theme of the reception was “travel” to convey the couple’s love of this pursuit. Each table was named and themed by a city the couple had visited, the dancefloor was wrapped with an image of a global map and the venue and tables were outfitted with photos of the couple’s travel, suitcases and model airplanes. The international menu reflected some of the couple’s favorite destinations.

The Sangeet was at the bride’s home in Long Island with about 80 people and the reception was at The Bordone in Long Island City with 100 people on the 400 capacity terrace.


EVENT VENUE – The Bordone LIC | VIDEOGRAPHER & PHOTOGRAPHER – Ptaufiq Photography | EVENT CATERING – Nankin | EVENT DESIGN AND DECOR – Glamorous Events and Design | EVENT PLANNER – Events by Ayesha