It is truly an honour to follow a couple’s journey to marriage. We featured Rayan and Khodr’s beautiful engagement not too long ago, and today we are super excited to share their wedding. Again, staying true to their vision, Rayan and Khodr’s wedding was exquisite, emotional and raw. You have to read the story of how they planned their wedding and the magic of their day…
After seeing our vision come to life and hosting what we deemed a perfect engagement, the wedding was really for our parents. Despite me never having imagined hosting a wedding at a reception, I am glad we did this for our families. I remember clearly as it rained during our engagement my father-in-law saying “the wedding will be in a hall yes?”- how could I deprive them of this? It’s a traditional celebration of their children’s union- one where they get to see them entering to the beat of (very loud!) drums… we couldn’t say no.
So we found a middle ground– we didn’t want to host a “party” so we gave out clear schedules to our guests detailing the events of the night- it was basically a wedding feast with a break for us to share our first dance and later take photos with our guests.
The planning wasn’t nearly as stressful as that of our engagement! Once we booked a hall it was really just finding the right vendors and once again watching our vision come to life. Those who know me can attest to how pedantic I am with literally everything. So my conversations with vendors went on forever to ensure they could do exactly what I envisioned. And none fell short.
Of course with us there are always DIY elements– I love doing this! The first DIY was making the invitations from scratch- literally designing the card, the schedule, the stickers, running to the markets to buy bunches of wheat to decorate- it needed to reflect an Autumn wedding, and it definitely did. We chose April for many reasons- the rugged Autumn look for location shoots, the great overseas weather for travelling (and beating the tourist crowds!) and the many public holidays cushioning the blow of taking that much time off work.
The dress was then planned to perfection- I wanted a simple but intricate cut and a statement veil. Tanja is a legend- she delivered for my engagement dress and yet again for the wedding. Once again I selected an intricate designer lace which had a stunning leaf motif and embedded paisley prints (I mean seriously, I LOVE paisley! How many people get to say they rocked paisley to their wedding!?)- the fabric was a silvery gold and despite it looking stunning- I still wanted the dress to be a “bridal” dress- I mean if it isn’t a cultural choice, I really don’t get the whole different colour thing -when you’re a bride, no matter how different you think your style is, you want to feel like one, so I went with a rich ivory to line the dress- it wasn’t white, but as Tanja said it was a “showstopper”- simple but bold. Tanja created the dress perfectly, the peaks of the sleeves, the lace scalloping barely brushing the floor, the inverted pleats, she just got me- and this is absolute gold- finding a dress-maker who actually gets your style and works with you. I stayed up 11 hours with her, mapping out the veil design. This was definitely a memorable moment- we sat there till 5 am in the morning, cutting, mapping out and pinning fabric onto the veil- we tried out hundreds of ways until we were both in love with the final look- and so the veil was ready to then endure another 17 hours (poor Tanja!) of sewing but it was all definitely worth it (bonus is I definitely got some experience in the process!)
My florist Emelia was another legend- she is from Noosa, QLD and actually came down to style our wedding. She literally went above and beyond for everything! She would do trials for all the centerpieces and video them to see if I approved. We planned flower by flower of what to include and best of all she understood what I meant by a ‘standing garden’ for the bride and groom seating area- she nailed it. She knew how much having pampas grass at my wedding meant to me, so she went foraging in the early hours of the morning to find some- and boy did she find gold! Speaking of gold, after showing her my dress fabric she also included gold flowers in my bouquet and centerpieces! Her work was absolute magic- she created the perfect standing garden, the absolute epitome of all Autumn bouquets, and the boutonnieres also included pampas! I even cut the leaf motifs from my dress fabric for her and she included them as ribbons for my bouquet. Each centerpiece was unique and each had a different gold element to it. Flowers to me are one of the most crucial wedding elements- it makes the wedding- the feel, the atmosphere– flowers just set the mood and I am so, so glad I found Emelia who is simply sensational at what she does.
Our family also did some foraging of our own, using as much greenery to create the vision I had for our stairs- our hands were killing after this- literally had to tape, wire then tie the bunches onto the railing with fishing line- but the result was exactly what I had imagined. We hung lanterns with tea light candles from the stairs and it felt magical. I remember stealing a moment before I got dressed the morning of the wedding to just run down the stairs and admire it from below staring up through the greenery to the skylights- it was pure magic. I also raided our backyard trees as I wanted each guest’s name to be written in gold on leaves for the tablescape- everyone thought I was mad, but they later understood my vision when they were shown to their tables. Once again- DIY never fails- preserving my first ever rose in a bell jar, the sparkler tags, the mini thank-you buttonholes- they all add a whole other dimension to the event. I even organised for a macramé curtain to be handmade and sent from QLD- this was everything- it felt so surreal walking through the macramé as the rainbow confetti flew everywhere- another moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
There was no real theme, just a reflection of our taste- we had a black wedding cake (yes black!) which was absolute perfection by Jade from Ivy and Stone Cake Design- a 3 tier choc/salted caramel, choc mud and white choc/caramel sensation. We had a maroon Cadillac (it just works wayyy better than the usual rolls) and we chose locations that reflected us as a couple- people mentioned “Lord of the Rings Elvish Queen”, others described it as ‘enchanted”, or “eclectic”, and others simply said “so you”- I guess that probably best describes the unintended theme of the evening.
Family was everything throughout the entire planning- I cannot begin to thank them enough for everything they did throughout the entire process. It was the most surreal experience- I don’t understand how people could say that it flies and you remember nothing- I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day- the ball of nerves I was when I heard the drums outside and dad walking me down the stairs to meet Khodr, my mother holding back tears almost the entire day, my sister’s speech making the entire damned hall cry! Me wondering what life will be like without my two younger brothers- hosting a wedding was the least we could do to say thank you for all of this.
You don’t forget magic- you search for it and you hold onto to it for dear life when you get it. That’s how I feel about our love- Allah swt has blessed us with something way more than we deserve and once again we are humbled to a point of being forever grateful for what we have- each other and our family around us.
Photography YAZZEN PHOTOGRAPHY Videographer YOUNG HEARTS CINEMATOGRAPHY Stationary BRIDE DIY Florist BLOODWOOD BOTANICA Cake IVY AND STONE CAKE DESIGN bride and groom seating ASHDOWN AND BEE Bridal gown and veil TS ELEGANT CREATIONS Headscarf styling HIJABS BY RASHA Bridal robe LE ROSE Shoes JIMMY CHOO wedding ring/band HOUSE OF K’DOR Makeup EBRU KARACAYLI MAKEUP Groom’s Suit- ALEX GOODMAN Shoes- AQUILA Watch- FREDRIQUE CONSTANT