While Abu Dhabi-based wedding planner Mennat Alla Al Hammami was helping brides create their dream weddings, she quietly kept her own inspiration board for whenever her big day would come. From the flowers to the music, she thought through many details. But the most important element was missing: the groom.
Fast-forward to March 2012, Mennat meets Omar Fikree at a mutual friend’s birthday party at the Jetty Lounge at the One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai. The two instantly connected, having both grown up in Abu Dhabi – even attending the same school for two years without ever meeting. But once they did cross paths there was no wasting time. Within a week they were on their first date at a Korean restaurant in Abu Dhabi, discovering their many common passions – food, film, music and a love of travel.
A year and a half after that first meeting, Omar, who had spent six months backpacking around the globe, whisked Mennat off to one of the world’s most romantic destinations – Paris, France. “We are both lovers of French food, so we sought out the best restaurants in Paris and made reservations for almost every night we were there to eat somewhere spectacular,” says Mennat. After a day spent wandering the streets of Paris, the couple shared a candlelit meal at Antoine on Rue de New York. With the lights of Mennat’s favourite monument, the Eiffel Tower, twinkling behind them, Omar proposed with a pear-shaped engagement ring.
Back in Abu Dhabi, the wedding planner went straight to work for her ultimate client – herself! As the founder and creative director of Cloud Nine Weddings, she didn’t need help conceptualising her grand affair. But with only a few weeks to pull together the elaborate plans, Mennat decided to bring in fellow planners and friends – Clare Ebbs, Olivier Dolz and his coordinator Lana Khoudari – to help her with the execution. The result was a magical wedding befitting a bride who spins fairy tales for a living.