Tamara Farra and Jad El Hakim
Date of engagement party: 16th February 2018
Location: The Bus Station – Mar Mikhael Beirut, Lebanon
Their story: Tamara and Jad first met in December of 2013 at Pacifico in Beirut. Tamara always thought of Jad as her father’s “good looking friend” but as she was based in Milan studying and Jad living in Saudi Arabia, their relationship took a romantic turn when Tamara returned back to Beirut three years later and swept him off his feet!
“When we saw each other again in Beirut it was strange, it was real and it was magical. It felt as if all these years the world had been preparing us without us knowing for that day,” explains Tamara. Jad proposed to Tamara on 30th August 2017 at Hotel Albergo in Beirut.
“He was so eager to finish with dessert to finally pop the question! I was calmly enjoying my sorbet while he was stressing out – he says he will never eat sorbet again,” laughs Tamara.
The following celebration days lead up to the official Tlibeh Day on 7th September 2017 , the same day the couple hope to have their official Katb Ktab in 2018.
The engagement party
Venue: Bus Station in Mar Mikhael. Tamara explains, “It is a real bus station, we wanted an unusual venue and an actual station to give it that industrial feel. The venue played a big part with the theme and set up.”
Theme: It was important for the couple to take their guests on a journey for their incredible event. “I don’t like it when people just fill ballrooms with flowers and say here it is, it’s rich and filled. There needs to be a story line and mood that you want walk your guest through. When we first started brainstorming we agreed to stay away from the ‘flower overdose’ and get into a more rustic and industrial mood,” Tamara says.
“The idea of using raw materials with a twist to make it look glamorous and rich was our main focus. The bus station in Mar Mikhael played a big role in creating the atmosphere we were looking for. We used the walls, ceiling and floor of the bus station as part of our set up,” explains Tamara.
The theme for the overall event was: The Love Factory – Love Under Construction, hence the couple’s industrial Love Factory setup. On arrival, their guests walked into a realistic bus (which was made from scratch) with an announcement on repeat: “Welcome to Dados Mouse Bus line, the next stop is the love station, please stamp your ticket.”
DadosMouse is a nickname and hashtag that is a combination of the couple’s names. Dado is a Jad’s nickname and Mouse is part of Tamara’s social media handle, The Stylish Mouse.
Dress: The bride-to-be wore a stunning Rami Kadi A-line dress with random geometrical lines in different shades of red. “I wanted to give the dress a personal touch so incorporated our hashtag #dadosmouse in Swarovski on the black straps, says Tamara. The three-tone headpiece was also designed by Rami Kadi matching the colours of her dress.
Tamara chose the timeless Lurum style shoe by Manolo Blahnik and admits that the shoes have a special place in her heart and closet.
“Not only did I get to wear the shoes for this very special occasion for the first time but they were also my first pair of Manolos. Being a huge fan of the TV show Sex & The City, these pair of shoes definitely has a special place in my heart.”
Tamara declares that a change of shoes is essential for a bride so she can dance the night away: “Mid-party I changed into white Miu Miu platform sneakers. The kicks were embellished with crystals in a heart shape, it was as if Miu Miu knew I was looking for platforms for my engagement party. They were simply perfect!”
Planner: The couple invited 650 guests and chose events creator Robert Hykl to make their creative ideas come to life. “He made our vision come true and even more! I loved working with him, it was so easy-going and relaxing,” says Tamara.
Entertainment & food: An international group of 15 musicians were flown in from France to open the event followed by hit Lebanese Joe Ashkar who sang all hits. Last but not least was local DJ JazzyJay.
The bespoke menu and food was created by Faqra Catering. “We created an outdoor food market in an indoor venue. We had real trucks as live stations and our guests loved the exceptional and unique set up,” says Tamara. The cake was in the shape of a heart being built by workers which tied into the Love Under Construction theme.
Unique touches: The couple get an A+ for attention to every details. Top marks go to the customisation of everything from the coasters, swizzle sticks, lighters and even the bathroom towels soap and cream. Custom made locks also featured on the guests’ tables with a note that said ‘unlock your heart.’ The valet also left thank you notes on their cars.
Tamara’s top tips
1. Have an event that represents you and your husband-to-be.
2. The party will be only as fun to the guest as the bride and groom make it. Even if you work on an insane setup, if you don’t have fun and relax your guests won’t, so enjoy every minute!
3. Don’t stress girl.