Rayan and Khodr’s engagement was truly a labour of love, with incredible DIY elements, to overhauling the abandoned family tennis court to create a magical affair with an enchanted garden vibe. The attention to detail and the need to include elements that were important to them, such as handing out copies of the Quran as favours, reflected the couple’s commitment to beginning their journey off on the best foot. Read on for more about their beautiful engagement…
Khodr works at a law firm in the CBD and I work as a psychologist at a Psychiatric hospital in Kellyville. I assure you our days are never boring and our arguments are definitely better enjoyed with popcorn. That’s what happens when these two professions clash- he outlines the legal ramifications of everything I do and I diagnose him with mental health conditions unheard of in the DSM. It definitely tests but also strengthens our friendship.
Khodr and I met in high school, we were the perfect study partners- he’d help me understand the 4-unit maths jibberish and I’d tweak his essays; but never once did we think we’d be spending the rest of our lives together. We went our separate ways, different universities, different fields of study and we no longer had school in common, but we shared the same circle of friends- so we were never really “apart”. One thing lead to another and here we are now- and I cannot think of a better place to be.
It did take me by surprise when I was asked to feature my engagement on the site as I myself have been inspired endlessly by The Modest Bride’s gowns and general styling.
My sister picked our engagement date since Khodr and I are just as terribly indecisive as each other- we just casually went with it till we began to feel the heat- boy did time fly! Although we came to realise that planning a DIY event is a lot more effortful and costly, it was absolutely worth it!
I must admit we did reinvent the wheel at times and needed to start from scratch. We tried to restore some semblance of dignity to a tennis court after years of abandonment. I was totally adamant on this (the perks of hosting an event at home are huge!), but dad doesn’t do things half-heartedly- if it’s going to be done it needs to be done perfectly (I don’t know if it’s the Engineer in him or the perfectionistic gene which I seem to have inherited). Electricity lines needed to be run through the place again and we even had a bathroom installed.
Khodr and I also bought fabric rolls and set up our little work station for days cutting and gluing the bits of fabric together because we wanted “draping tablecloths in the right colour” which we couldn’t find anywhere! This took ages but we persevered- we laugh about it now and know that if we survived the workstation together we could survive anything.
Everything was DIY really, the jam and Holy Quran favours, the guestbook station the food/dessert buffet set up (the tree stumps were manually chopped for these). We bought a gazzilion of everything for the dinner party setup – festoon lights, tea light candles, jars, vases, bottles, lanterns, serving boards for mezze, pot pouri, glass plates- you name it- we bought the lot to cater for 265 guests.
We wanted to host our engagement under the stars – a romantic dinner party with festoon lights and the whole package- we certainly got that and a whole lot more. Rain. At the time we were distraught that our worst case scenario ended up being a reality but that passed and we shrugged it off. This was all thanks to Mama’s endless hugs telling us it’s totally fine (despite her heart breaking) and reassuring us that not a single guest had left. Thankfully it was only a raincloud passing, but it made the night just that much more memorable and we wouldn’t change it for the world. Our guests till now tell us what a magical, unforgettable night it was, filled with “barakah” (blessing) under the rainclouds. Khodr and I think back on it now and it still gives us goose bumps – it all feels so surreal and that makes it all so worth it.
The night would not have happened without the help of our family and friends. We are eternally grateful to everybody who helped make this night possible. There is something special about loved ones getting together for the union of two people- it just so happened that this time it was our turn. Our friends became family and we got to see that they all genuinely love us. That to us is invaluable- we always knew it but when you see it and feel it, it is something else entirely.
This engagement is a stepping stone for Khodr and I- a commencement of another part our lives where we get to fulfill our faith, together. It’s not about hosting a magical night, or ensuring everybody is happy- It’s about where this union takes us, how far we get to push each other. It’s about how we create our story, one that is true to us and one that we may keep adding chapters to. There is no stopping us when we are together and that by far is the greatest gift I have ever been blessed with.
Photography Seray’s Photography Event planning, invitations, favours setup, dessert etc. DIY by bride and groom and their family and friends Florist backdrop by Suzanne Asad and the table arrangements by bride and friends Venue Home Tennis Court Gown Elie Saab fabric made into modest dress by TS Elegant Creations Headscarf styling Hijabs By Rasha Makeup Ebru Karacayli Makeup Ring House of K’dor Suit Hugo Boss, Oxford Tie Elie Saab made by TS Elegant Creations