Rana and Kareem first met online and decided to meet for coffee after spending a week talking on the phone. “It was a cold Chicago afternoon in January 2016,” Rana describes. “Our coffee date became lunch, then dinner. We suddenly realized nine hours had gone by. We knew we had a special connection. Kareem later told me he had texted his friends that he was out with the woman he was going to marry!”
A year later, in February of 2017, Kareem proposed during a romantic dinner. “Although we had talked about getting married, his proposal still took me by surprise,” Rana recalls. “He had spoken to my family about it for the past couple months, so they knew it was going to happen that evening. In the park outside the restaurant, he dropped to one knee and changed my life forever.”
THE BEACH CREATED THE PERFECT ROMANTIC SETTING
With both the bride and groom-to-be sharing a dream of exchanging vows on the beach, they decided to have a destination wedding in Marco Island, Florida. The wedding planning process spanned eleven months, during which the couple took trips out to meet with vendors and go over the details. When their wedding weekend arrived, everything came together beautifully.
“The days leading up to the wedding included a casual welcome barbeque on the beach, as well as a sunset dinner cruise the following evening,” says Rana. “This gave us the opportunity to spend more time with friends and family before the wedding. Our nervous jitters disappeared as we basked in all the love we received. We were honored by family and friends who traveled from across the country and the globe to share the weekend with us!”
For the bride and groom, their wedding day was everything they imagined and more. The beach created the perfect romantic setting, and they were beyond pleased with the décor and special touches. “We decided to have food stations at our wedding, and just like our guests, the food was internationally inspired,” says the bride.
“The guests were raving about the food, lively Mediterranean music, flowers, and all the special touches down to the smallest details. Our maid of honor and best man made everyone laugh and cry with their speeches. The best part about our wedding was the company, and the perfect harmony of Eastern and Western cultural influences. We wish we could re-live it!”
After the wedding of their dreams, Rana and Kareem enjoyed a seven-day mini-moon in Miami, which was the perfect escape. A couple months later, they set off to South Africa for an unforgettable honeymoon trip of a lifetime.
Cake: Kakes by Karen, Naples, FL