I’m honoured to share this wedding with you all, not because of the beautiful dress, or the stunning location, or the heartfelt favours, or the personal touches in the decor, but because of the incredible couple, so joyous in their union, and to be an audience to their notions of marriage. There is so much to learn from a couple who so clearly understand the demands and nature of marriage, before ever even being married. The overall humility in their wedding, the sheer love and happiness on the bride and groom’s faces…this is one wedding that will stay with me for a long time yet…
What marriage means Marriage for us is about the union of two souls who always strive for the best together. It’s about building an eternal bond – which takes a lot of work and some sacrifice. It’s about honesty even when it’s difficult. It’s about forgiveness and kindness. It’s about the acceptance of imperfection and the fierce protection that comes with knowing your partner’s flaws. Marriage means talking everything through…repeatedly. It’s laughter and love and adventure. And it’s about going through all of these things to attain the pleasure of Allah All Mighty. It’s that strange mix of extremely messy poetry.
Style of wedding I’m not sure we had one, to be honest. Khaled and I were so jaded by the time we met that neither of us had any real dreams for a wedding. We just wanted something that would resemble our future together; simple and tasteful but we wanted to insert bits of our quirky personalities into it. I needed something fuss free and low maintenance because I was extremely time poor. So I didn’t go to bridal expos or do hours of research about anything really. I usually just went with the first thing I liked, and I’m so glad I did because it really kept us focused on the bigger picture.
Bride’s dress My dress was bought off the rack from a bridal store in Parramatta, that no longer exists. However, it was adjusted to my liking. The initial dress was sleeveless with a long train. I wasn’t a fan of the train or the lack of sleeves so we cut the train and used the lace to make sleeves. It was also quite low cut so we bought a fancy wedding bolero which was adjusted so that it could be worn backwards. This gave the illusion that my dress had a high collar at the front and it made hijab styling much easier. I have no idea what kind of lace my dress was made from, except that it was gorgeous. I do know it was infused with swarovski crystals though, so I hope that helps.
Location Our wedding was a day wedding at Panorama House in Bulli, just outside of Sydney. The people at Panorama House were so understanding and accommodating. We got to taste test our entire menu TWICE (which we were super excited about). We opted for a buffet style because there were so many delicious options to choose from and there were hot chips, which I will say was nearly the highlight of the day for me. But the cake wins out. I’ll get to that in a little while.
Flowers were provided by the lovely Sindy at ‘Sindy Flowers Express’, in Toongabbie. She was efficient and wonderful. I found a photo online of the bouquet I loved and sent it to her. Sadly, she couldn’t replicate it because the flowers I wanted weren’t in season but she did a great job at using roses as a substitute. My centrepieces were a gorgeous and simple floral arrangement. To be honest, I plagiarised the idea from a wedding at the same venue a couple of weeks before ours. When we had gone up to finalise our wedding details I saw these arrangements and fell in love. So cheers to the bride with exceptional taste!
Cake was the most wonderful creation ever. I found a photo online and sent it through to our cake maker, Islam. She was just amazing. I loved the naked cake idea because I really really do not like fondant and she was so excited about making our cake that I knew it was going to be awesome. It was red velvet and raspberry with a cream cheese filling. She spent all night making the cake and assembled it at the reception hall because she wanted it to be perfect and fresh and that to me is amazing, because I didn’t spend all night doing anything to prepare for my own wedding, so I appreciate the sacrifice.
Photographer Our photographer was Khaled’s cousin, Sam. He was so personable and really fun to work with. I hate posed photos of myself, I always feel stiff and fake and just not myself. He was understanding of this and only made us pose for a few photos. The rest were just natural snapshots and I really loved that. My only regret was that I didn’t take the wedding photography more seriously.
Wedding Favours were incredibly special to me. They were little rose soap bars, handmade by my extraordinary aunties, on a delightful bed of potpourri. They were then placed in little off-white organza bags (which we ordered online). Each bag contained a little quote about love. Some were serious and others were just funny.
Place cards were ordered off Etsy and they were so cute, with little bicycles on them because Khaled is an avid cyclist. The table numbers also had little bicycles on them for the exact same reason.
Guest book my guestbook table was super cute and designed especially for me by the exceptional Subhi Bora. I loved the book idea because I’m a total nerd and both Khaled and I are teachers. This tied in perfectly with the chalk board at the front of the reception hall. You know chalk boards and teachers, but also that beautiful floral theme kept coming through.
Makeup was done by Sumaya Manor who was really understanding of the fact that I wanted a very natural look. It was important to me that I could recognise myself and I really loved the freshness of it.