If you don’t believe in love at first sight, you will when you hear the story of Sara Saab and Ahmad Mahmoud. Sara was visiting a friend in Washington, D.C. when she briefly met Ahmad, and although they were both dating other people, they made a lasting impression on each other.
They went back to their real lives without any contact for a year. That was when Sara posted a note on Facebook asking people to share a memory they had of her. Ahmad, completely out of the blue, posted about that night in D.C.: “I was deeply in love that split second. As of yet, no single moment has affected me like that one.”
“I WAS DEEPLY IN LOVE THAT SPLIT SECOND” AHMAD MAHMOUD
Sara was shocked, especially since she was still in a relationship, but impressed that he went after what he wanted. Another year went by without further contact. Sara changed her Facebook status to ‘single’ and instantly got a message from Ahmad. They met up in Miami for New Year’s Eve and confirmed that they were meant to be.
They originally had a hard time choosing where to host their wedding. With Sara hailing from Lebanon and Ahmad from Egypt, they’re truly an international couple.
“Suddenly it dawned on me that Miami was a no-brainer,” Sara says. “It’s our city.”
They flew to Miami with the W Hotel in mind and fell in love with their wedding options, which included a beachfront ceremony and ballroom reception.
One hiccup in their planning process was that they lost their event coordinator early in the process. The couple tried contacting vendors on their own but were getting nowhere. Just a few months before the wedding, they hired Bond Group Luxury Weddings, who got everything back on track and made their vision a reality.
One thing that was always on track was Sara’s bespoke dress by Atelier Versace. While traveling for work, she’d stop in Milan for fittings on her dream gown, which included a six-foot train.
On the day of the wedding the wind was raging. Sara was asked whether she wanted to move the ceremony from the beach, where she always dreamed of marrying, to the hotel’s lawn.
“After an hour of debating, I decided that the beach was not something I was willing to forego.”
Sara was carried down the purple orchid-lined aisle by gold turbaned male models. The couple exchanged vows in front of acrylic columns laced with white, pink and purple flowers, right on the beach.
The party really heated up once they moved into the ballroom. A belly dancer, dancing robot and DJ got guests moving. Since the party was still going strong at the end of the night, and everyone was having such a good time, they extended the venue for an extra hour.
“The wedding felt like a good night at a club rather than a wedding,” Sara says. “Everyone was dancing all night.”
The next day, Sara and Ahmad flew to Mauritius and the Seychelles for their honeymoon, with beautiful memories of their amazing Miami wedding fresh in their minds.
Location and Caterer: W South Beach Miami Beach, FL; Planner: Bond Group Luxury Weddings, Miami, FL
Cake: Ana Paz Cakes, Miami, FL; Floral Design: Parrish Designs, Miami, FL; Entertainment: Joy Entertainment, Weston, FL; Wedding Dress, Veil and Shoes: Atelier Versace; Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Groom’s Shoes: Ermenegildo Zegna; Cinematography: Black Label Films, Miami, FL