It felt like the universe was trying to play matchmaker for Tareq Jalabi and Rawan Katto. The two kept bumping into each other at random places, and Tareq definitely took notice. “There was a spark at first sight,” he says. Once he got to know Rawan, he knew that she was the one. “I felt the world was suddenly complete. She was everything I ever wanted in a woman.”
Tareq asked Rawan to marry him on a trip he joined to surprise her in Mykonos, Greece, where he proposed at a restaurant overlooking the beach. “It was funny that the plan took four attempts to perfect, but I wanted to gather all our friends and go down on one knee to propose to the love of my life,” he says. After, they danced under the stars while fireworks went off and a recording of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” played, adding to the magic of the night.
“I FELT THE WORLD WAS SUDDENLY COMPLETE”
Tareq and Rawan share a passion for art, history, and architecture, so holding the wedding at Villa Erba in Lake Como, Italy was an easy choice. Besides the magnificent scenery of one of the world’s most beautiful spots, the 19thcentury villa held an elegant charm of its own. “It was everything that resonated with our tastes,” Tareq says of the venue.
With only three months to plan their August 2019 wedding, they kept things simple and focused on artistic details and touches, like carefully-engraved place settings and a floral scheme to match the villa’s art and walls. The villa’s chandeliers, paintings, and remarkable architecture did the rest, not to mention Lake Como’s natural allure, where its crystal blue waters reflect the nearby green mountains.
The couple made two glamorous entrances to capture the beauty of both the outdoors and the in. Both were accompanied by special, custom-written Arabic songs, including one by the groom as a special gift to his bride. “I still get goosebumps every time I listen to the song,” Rawan says. “It takes me back to that particular moment where I felt my life is now complete with the man I chose to grow old with.”
The music continued during the three-course Italian dinner, where friends and family were serenaded by opera singers performing classical songs. It was important to the couple to combine both Eastern and Western cultures in their special day, honoring their Arabic heritage while paying homage to their Italian setting.
After descending the villa’s grand staircase, Tareq and Rawan cut the cake in the property’s stunning garden, and fireworks ― inspired by a scene from “The Great Gatsby” movie ― lit up the sky. Following the wedding, Tareq and Rawan continued on in Italy, making stops in the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Forte dei Marmi before flying to Los Angeles and Bora Bora for a longer honeymoon. All the while reminiscing about their amazing wedding day.
“It was a truly magical night filled with fun, laughter, and love,” the couple gush. “Every part of it was unforgettable, with the highlight being having our friends and family around us. This was the best day of our lives.”
Location: Villa Erba, Lake Como, Italy; Event Design Planner: WeddingBox, Lake Como, Italy; Floral Design: Figli dei Fiori, Lake Como, Italy; Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford; Lighting: Blunotte Eventi, Chiasso, Switzerland