Karim Mashouf recalls the exact moment he realized he was in love with Shar Obee. After making plans to meet for the weekend, Shar called him to say she was unable to make it after all. He admits he wasn’t prepared to feel so disappointed. “I immediately felt this void and knew I was falling for her,” Karim says. A call back confirmed that Shar felt the same way.
The two had met years before through mutual friends but both were dating others at the time and slowly parted ways. They were reunited after running into one another at a San Francisco Bay Area restaurant in April 2010.
“EVERYONE WE LOVE WAS CELEBRATING WITH US AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST NIGHTS OF OUR LIVES.”
“We had always gravitated to one another,” Karim says of their friendship. “Finally, the timing was right.”
The proposal came at a July Fourth celebration a few months later. Overwhelmed by the idea of planning a wedding while Karim was launching a new business, they decided to marry during an intimate ceremony in the fall. But, it wasn’t long before the couple realized they had missed out on something great.
“We felt we had given up a chance to share this momentous occasion with everyone,” says Shar. “So, we decided to try it again.”
Attracted to the idea of making this wedding the ultimate opportunity to dress up, the couple began plans for a traditional, black-tie event to share with their family and friends.
The Palace Hotel, in the heart of downtown San Francisco, was one of their first selections. An architectural masterpiece drenched in opulent details, the venue, built in 1875, offered the couple the versatility of indoor and outdoor celebration spaces, and required little additional décor. James Storie orchids, calla lilies and roses saturated in deep, rich tones of red and fuchsia, exemplified the formal feel of the evening.
To meet her groom, Shar wore an intricate, three-piece custom gown by Azadeh Riaz, a San Francisco-based couture designer. Her extra long train, which featured layered, vintage lace, would later be removed to fully reveal a miniskirt more appropriate for dancing. “It was the perfect combination of classic and fun,” the bride says of her regalia.
During their vows, Karim confides his emotions got the best of him. Shar quietly encouraged him to “keep it together.”
Later, guests were escorted to cocktail hour in the Ralston Room to be serenaded by a string quartet followed by dinner and dancing in the Garden Court. Big City Revue, a rousing eleven-piece band, kept the crowd on the dance floor.
At the close of their reception, Karim and Shar explain they didn’t desire a grand exit. Instead, they opted for hanging out with friends in their hotel room, well into the morning.
“It was a surreal evening,” says the groom. “Everyone we love was celebrating with us at that moment in time. It was one of the best nights of our lives.”
After planning their event-of-a-lifetime, the couple embarked on a month-long honeymoon that began in Kauai, Hawaii, and ended in Thailand.
Location, Caterer, Cake and Lighting: Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA; Event Design and Planner: Samantha Woods, San Francisco, CA; Floral Design: Fay-Fereshteh, Sausalito, CA; Linen and Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, San Francisco, CA; Stationery: Papyrus; Wedding Dress and Hairpiece: Azadeh Couture; Bride’s Shoes: Sergio Rossi; Groom’s Tuxedo: Black Tie Tuxedos & Couture Menswear, San Francisco, CA; Photography: Jade Studio Productions, San Francisco, CA