Hello lovelies –
So sorry today’s blog is a little late, but I wanted to make sure I got this one just right because it’s a very special one for me. I can actually barely contain myself that I get to feature this wedding. Joumana and I became friends when I practiced Ashtanga yoga in Dubai and I was even lucky enough to get herself to myself when she came to study yoga in Mysore, India. We spent so much time having smoothie bowls and talking about all her wedding plans so it makes me really really really happy to see her as a beautiful bride and now a happily married wifey.
Joumana and Yousef got married on April 4 2015 in an amazing outdoor ceremony and reception at the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The wedding was of course styled by our very own Joelle (Lovely Styling) so it had some very very lovely touches that gave it that gorgeous rustic feel. Check out these beauties for yourself to see what I’m talking about…
Beautiful bride alert – anyone who’s met Joumana will know that she is absolutely breathtaking even at 6am as she’s opening her own yoga shala so you can imagine how insanely beautiful she was on her big day. Well you don’t have to imagine because we have all the pictures right here thanks to Photosolutions. I literally can’t stop looking through this photos – isn’t she so gorgeous?
We had a little chat with Joumana about how she brought the vision of her perfect dream wedding to life…
How did the planning begin?
Joumana: I found out about My Lovely Wedding when I saw Joelle’s wedding featured in a bridal magazine. It was two summers before our wedding. My husband and I were not engaged at the time, but had been talking about getting married and we decided it was time to get the wheels rolling. So the first thing I did was start to think about where we would get married and how the venue would look. I knew I wanted an outdoor wedding, and nothing too flashy. So I got in touch with Joelle and planned to meet right away. The wedding date kept changing due to various circumstances, but we finally had a date for an engagement party. Joelle didn’t even think twice about styling it and helping me plan, and it was an absolutely beautiful party! I planned my engagement party with the help of Joelle and my mother while I was away in India for almost two months. Fast-forward nine months and it was time to plan the wedding. At first, we decided to have our wedding at a hotel in Ras al Khaimah. None of our friends and family members lived there, and we knew no one there. So our plans changed after realising that it would have been inconvenient for many of our guests. At this point, we had already been planning for four months! I started to panic. I’ll spare the drama that led us to our final decision, but we were so lucky to have met Stanko from the Waldorf Astoria on Palm Jumeirah, and we instantly fell in love with the helipad venue. It was a grass-filled helipad that overlooked the beach, surrounded by palm trees and other plants and flowers – the perfect venue for a rustic wedding out in nature! Since Joelle and I had already known each other for two years and became close friends, we had all our ideas in place and it was just time to start confirming with vendors. As history tends to repeat itself, a chunk of the final planning stage took place while I was away, again, in India.
And THE dress?
The wedding dress was from Allure Bridals Romance Collection. Ivory color, lace and charmeuse from top to bottom with a Swarovski crystal belt a few inches below the bust line, a V-dip in the back with a chapel length train. The neckline was a cross between sweetheart and V-shaped. There was a thin layer of lace over the cleavage that added a beautiful touch to the dress – a simple detail that I loved! Sassy yet chique and classy. The dress was so light to wear and very delicate. It fit like a glove and it was perfect for an outdoor wedding. Most of my accessories were from Cara in Gold and Diamond Park. My parents gifted me a diamond necklace with matching diamond earrings from Cara- my something new. My mother lent me her diamond bracelet – my something borrowed, and passed down to me her sapphire and diamond ring that my father gave to her as an engagement gift over 30 years ago – my something old and blue <3. My husband gifted me a new round cut solitaire and diamond wedding band from Cara. Once I took the veil off, which was super long and elegant, I wore a hair brooch that was gifted to me by my hairstylist from Amro Ladies Salon. My wedding shoes were champagne coloured from Jimmy Choos – by far the most (and only) expensive pair of shoes I own! I’m in flip flops most of the time…
Tell us about the ceremony and the reception…
We had a civil ceremony months before our wedding day at the Greek Embassy in Abu Dhabi, so we didn’t need an official celebrant during our ceremony. Karim, one of my childhood friends, stood as the officiant of our short ceremony. He spoke about our love story and what makes us the power couple that we are, and announced us to our close friends and immediate family as husband and wife. I walked down the aisle with my father and four bridesmaids to All You Need is Love by the Beatles.
We kicked off the wedding reception with a 30-minute traditional Palestinian zaffa, which my brother’s best friend orchestrated. The zaffa band recited various Palestinian folk songs as Yousef walked to our table. Yes, it took 30 minutes.. not because our table was far away, but because we would stop every now and then to dance and embrace our families and guests! It was quite the party…
One of my best friends, Vanessa, was my maid of honor and prepared a speech about how we met, and how within minutes of being introduced, I told her that I was going to marry Yousef one day. Her speech came before our first dance. Our song was an acoustic studio version of Everlong by the Foo Fighters. Yousef and I love the Foo Fighters! My best friend and uni buddy, Nick, flew all the way from Montreal with his fiancee to attend our wedding. He is practically family and is very close to my parents! He was man of honor at my wedding! He prepared a beautiful speech that would call me and my father onto the dance floor for our dance, which my father knew nothing about! We danced to Edelweiss from the Sound of Music, a movie that I grew up to and a song that my father sings to me all the time, for as long as I can remember.
What was your most memorable moment?
Picking our first dance song has got to be one of the most beautiful memories of planning the wedding, the look on my mother’s face when she saw me in the wedding dress for the first time, my father walking into the hotel room to see me in my dress and veil all made up, bonding with bridesmaids and close friends in the room before the ceremony, walking down the aisle to Yousef and listening to him tell me how beautiful I looked, our first dance, the whole wedding night dancing till we couldn’t feel our feet anymore!
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
Plan the wedding of your dreams and do whatever it takes to make it happen, but do not get caught in the details. Your wedding party only lasts for a few hours and they will feel like a few seconds. Try to savour every moment. Brides: there’s nothing wrong with being bridezilla.. sometimes it’s necessary!
We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many friends that wanted to make our dream wedding come true. The wedding stylist, photographers, videographers, hairstylist, make up artist, DJ and officiant are all people we’ve known for many years. We can’t thank them enough for putting together what to us was the perfect wedding party…
Photographer and Videographer: Photosolutions
Light and Sound: Wild Planet
Hair: Mohammad from Amro Ladies Salon in Metropolitan Hotel, Deira
Make Up: Madeline from Amro Ladies Salon in Metropolitan Hotel, Deira
DJ: childhood friend Karim DJ Stylez Barkouki (not the same Karim who officiated the ceremony!)
Thank you so much Joumana for sharing your special day with us here at MLW, we love you and we think you’re very lovely!