“Marriage is not just about the happiness of spending our lives together, but about taking care of each other emotionally and physically.”
“I was one and he was six when we first met,” says Sewar Bisharat about Ziad Hoshe, but the age gap meant that they had little in common growing up. Fast-forward to adulthood, where on the way to a mutual friend’s wedding, Ziad thought he recognized Sewar at the Athens, Greece airport. When he boarded the bus that would take them to the event, he reintroduced himself and they whiled away the next four-hours catching up on 28 years of their lives. “The time flew by so quickly,” says Sewar.
Ziad felt a connection was made that weekend in June. In August, they met again. “The moment my eye caught her eye, I felt something deep inside telling me that she was the one” he says. He proposed the following February on safari in South Africa.
“The moment my eye caught her eye, I felt something deep inside telling me that she was the one”
Determined to make the moment special, Ziad called several hotels that only offered limited packaged proposal deals when he wanted to “blow her mind.” He finally found a place that would provide the champagne Sewar loves, oysters, tons of candles, flowers and a matcha cake in the middle of the jungle.
Her intuition told her he might propose on this trip, but she tried not to “overthink every moment.” After returning from a day capped by witnessing lions fighting in the wild, she was led to a deck where she spotted a sign asking, “Will you marry me?” Ziad dropped to one knee, repeated the question out loud, and was happy to hear Sewar’s unqualified, “Yes.”
As a professional wedding planner, this was one bride who knew exactly what she wanted. Working alongside her mother, Majeda, the founder of their Jordan-based company, MY Event Design, her special day would be a showcase, but more importantly a project of the heart. The couple planned a destination wedding, finding the perfect venue in Beirut at La Résidence Des Pins, the French Ambassador to Lebanon’s residence. The building’s Ottoman Empire-inspired architecture helped give birth to the evening’s “New Renaissance” theme.
One of the more heartfelt moments of the day came just before the Greek Orthodox ceremony, when Sewar’s dad gave her hand to Ziad at the entrance of the church. “I assured him that he needn’t worry because his daughter was in good hands,” says the groom-to-be. “Marriage is not just about the happiness of spending our lives together, but about taking care of each other emotionally and physically.”
Afterwards, guests arrived at the outdoor reception through a tunnel created by infinity mirrors, medieval-style black-and-white tile work, garlands of gold leaves and crystal chandeliers hung at multiple heights from floor level to on-high. Three thousand upside down candles twinkled from the branches of the garden’s olive trees.
At the back of the residence, a series of curtained archways and a broad sweep of stairs served as stages for entertainment such as female violinists in flowing white gowns and choreographed performers. In the center, the most imposing arch was hung with a drape covering a massive arrangement of ivory roses encircled by spikes of light. After a series of images projected on the walls got everyone’s attention, the couple appeared in front of the backdrop for their grand entrance. “I was super nervous,” says Sewar. “I felt like a celebrity in the spotlight.” They danced for the first time as husband and wife in front of their 600 guests, and the party began in earnest.
“The entire night was a constant rush full of excitement, happiness and love,” says Ziad.
As architect of the honeymoon, the groom chose Bali and Japan. In Bali, they visited the seaside cliffs, the beach and town for relaxing romantic private time followed by shopping and nightlife. In Japan, they enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the country by wholeheartedly embracing the culture and cuisine.
On return to their new home in Amman, Jordan, Sewar and Ziad looked forward to settling in and enjoying each other’s company.
> Written By: Francine Kaplan
Ceremony Location: St. George Greek Orthodox Church Beirut, Lebanon; Reception Location: Pine Residence Beirut, Lebanon; Planner, Event Design and Entertainment: My Event Design Amman, Jordan; Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad; Engagement Ring: Harry Winston; Bride’s Jewelry: Chopard; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford; Entertainment: Nu’Art Verona, Italy; Photography: ParAzar Beirut, Lebanon