A long-time friendship between their families, growing up as neighbours, the fondness the groom’s sister had for Lama, an eleven-hour phone call and ultimately fate, brought Lama and Mohammed together and the onset of a beautiful romance.
“I realized how he ticked all my points” says Lama “and I fell in love with him instantly.”
The initial, informal proposal took place in June, 2018. “I only told close family and friends” says Lama, “no one else knew until December when we announced that we’re engaged.” Following the engagement, the couple traveled to London where they exchanged rings at the Sanderson Hotel.
“I REALIZED HOW HE TICKED ALL MY POINTS AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM INSTANTLY.”
The traditional wedding in Saudi Arabia calls for a formal proposal from the groom’s family to the bride’s family also known as Milkah. There is also the Shabka, another tradition where the two families meet and the official ring exchange takes place symbolizing the intertwining or tying together of the couple. Both took place at Lama’s family horse farm in Saudi Arabia the following March on her birthday. For Lama’s dual bridal shower, family gathered in Beirut in January while in April, just her close friends gathered in Morocco. Meanwhile, Mohammed hosted his bachelor party in Beirut.
While the celebration on the groom’s side with all men guests had taken place earlier in June in Saudi Arabia, choosing the location for the August wedding day that would be attended by women only, had three destinations in close contention: Lake Como, London, where Lama spent summers with her family, and Paris where Mohammed spent summers with his family. Logistics and the appeal and sophistication of La Ville Lumière (the city of light) led the couple to set the stage for the grand celebration in Paris. “…honestly, Paris is made for events” quips Lama. They chose the lavish Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte with its stately appeal and majestic gardens just 35 miles outside Paris.
For her custom wedding gown Lama was torn between her three favorite designers: Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Dior. “I love Chanel” laughs Lama “but the fact most of my wardrobe is McQueen plus the fact we’re both Pisces- I chose him.”
260 female guests were transported to the venue in horse and carriage for the 6 p.m. outdoor riverside ceremony. The bride walked down the aisle to the lyrics of a song written by her mother, performed by celebrity Saudi Arabian singers Abdul Majeedand and Dalia while the water fountain behind the bride was synchronized to the song.
A meticulously appointed reception followed indoors where after dinner, guests were treated to a spectacular firework show that lit the sky over the expansive château gardens. Famous Saudi Arabian singer Ahlam entertained as guests danced the night away until 3 a.m.
“I loved weddings since I was a kid” says Lama “I used to always throw parties and plan them and now I was having my very own dream wedding.”
Location: Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, France; Event Planner: Alejandra Poupel Events and Design, Paris, France; Floral and Event Design: Daniel Ost, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium; Wedding Cake: Bastien Blanc-Tailleur Wedding Cakes, Boulogne-Billancourt, France; Wedding Dress: Alexander McQueen; Lighting & Sound: BS Technology, Paris, France; Catering: Potelet Et Chabot, Paris, France; Rentals: Options Greathire London, UK; Entertainment: NuArt Italy