Night of Dabke dancers and violins

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Venue: Ociel venue in Beirut, Lebanon

Date of wedding: 22 June 2019

Planner: FIFT15N Co. by Rhea Hindi and Mona Kamand

Caterer: Cat & Mouth, Lebanon

Makeup: Bassam Fattouh Institute

Honeymoon: Koh Samui, Thailand

Dress: Ozgur Masur custom-made bridal couture, inspired by vintage Christian Dior

Our wedding rings: Diamond solitaire, eternity ring by Ramzi Zeidan

Our bridesmaids: All 10 bridesmaids wore custom-made silk robes with their names on the back

Flowers: Classic white peonies by Roni Bassil

Cake: 9-tiered wedding cake with vanilla, pralines and cream

Unique touches: The dance floor had rays of gold, with a 20-metre screen built atop the stage in the shape of a sun with animated rays coming out of it

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“Our wedding incidentally took place on the same date as the day when we met a few years ago at Shafiq’s brother’s birthday. Shafiq and I were raised in the UAE in the late 90s to early 2000s, and despite our parents running in the same circles and having similar contacts and experiences, we had never met before that day.

After that meeting Shafiq persistently tried everything to make me go out on a date with him and eventually succeeded. Our first date was at Folly by Nick & Scott and Shafiq was so nervous that he got there early and re-arranged the table not once, but four times.

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Almost a year later he got down on one knee and proposed to me with a 3.5 carat round-cut diamond ring custom-made by Lebanese jeweller Ramzi Zeidan, on the pristine white sands of Isola Di Mortorio, Sardinia, Italy. My parents then had an engagement party for me at Anantara The Palm, where along with close friends and family we laughed and danced the night away till dawn.

From then on, I had to do a lot of trips to both Beirut and Istanbul. We wanted to have an intimate wedding (with a guest count of 500, we still managed to make it feel that way). We settled on a wedding theme of ‘Ray of Sunshine’ which was reflected in the play of light, gold tones, sunset colours of the flower arrangements, the sun-shaped stage structure, the golden table setting, menu and table cards.

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Following tradition, Shafiq entered the venue with his groomsmen led by a troop of Lebanese Dabke dancers to the sounds of trumpets and drums.

My entrance was more subtle with the lights dimmed and the spotlight on me as I stood with my father at the top of the grand staircase between large arches. Ten violinists  came down the stairs and Shafiq then slowly walked (but really ran) up to me, took my hand and we walked down the stairs for our first dance together.”

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Images: Supplied