The Wed­ding

Emirates Bride - - REAL-LIFE / WEDDING -

Venue/lo­ca­tion: “Our venue was the stun­ning back­drop of Le Palais Paysan – a bou­tique ho­tel in the At­las Moun­tains of Marrakech, Morocco. It has un­spoilt views of the moun­tains and com­plete seclu­sion from any­one who isn't a guest. We hired out the en­tire place and had the ma­jor­ity of our friends and fam­ily stay there. It was the per­fect venue for what we wanted. We held the cer­e­mony in the gar­dens at the front of the venue by the olive groves, a re­cep­tion in the back gar­dens and then our din­ner by the stun­ning pool. Each el­e­ment of the wed­ding had its own re­veal, it was beau­ti­ful.”

Num­ber of guests: 46. “Jenai and I had al­ways wanted an in­ti­mate set­ting for when we ex­changed our vows so we kept our wed­ding guest list tiny.”

Theme: The cou­ple de­cided not to go with a spe­cific theme, how­ever Reem wanted to pay homage to the beau­ti­ful city of Marrakech so the wed­ding plan­ners and pro­duc­tion team en­sured there were rich colours as part of the flo­ral styling, and gold and earthy tones for the din­ner set­ting. There were hun­dreds of can­dles placed all around the venue “to give a 1001 Nights feel which also added to the ro­man­ti­cism of the en­tire evening beau­ti­fully,” says Reem.

Dress: “I al­ways knew that I'd keep my dress sim­ple, I've never wanted a ‘princess' look or feel, I wanted some­thing ro­man­tic, some­thing el­e­gant and some­thing I would feel com­fort­able walk­ing and danc­ing in. I found my dream dress by In­bal Dror at Es­posa and it suited the vibe and lo­ca­tion of our wed­ding per­fectly.”

Veil: “I was orig­i­nally go­ing to opt for both a tiara and a veil but, last minute, I de­cided to take things down a notch and re­moved the tiara and only just keep the veil. I'm so happy with the out­come as my dress has so much em­broi­dery and em­bel­lish­ment on it.”

Shoes: Reem found her dream shoes on sale from Manolo Blah­nik at Bergdorf Good­man when she was in New York, a few months be­fore the wed­ding.

Wed­ding rings: Both our rings were cus­tom de­signed by Ta­rina Jew­ellery based in Le­banon.

Brides­maids: Reem didn't want match­ing brides­maids dresses. “I wanted each of my girls to look and feel like them­selves and fi­nally we de­cided on a colour scheme and then chose dresses from dif­fer­ent de­sign­ers. It was a mix of Zim­mer­man, ASOS and Ref­or­ma­tion.”

Flow­ers: The flow­ers were a favourite part of the bride's big day. In place of a tra­di­tional arch Reem chose a large cir­cle cov­ered with pink and red flow­ers with green fo­liage to match the cer­e­mony chair dec­o­ra­tions. “Our din­ner ta­ble had hun­dreds of vases filled

with the most beau­ti­ful ar­ray of red and pink blooms,” Reem ex­plains.

Mu­sic: “Jenai used to be a DJ so he or­gan­ised the mu­sic for the en­tire wed­ding, from the cer­e­mony to the party,” says Reem. “We had a set playlist for ev­ery mo­ment of the wed­ding and al­though a lot of peo­ple ad­vised us to go down the tra­di­tional route and get a DJ, we knew that the mu­sic had to be ex­actly what we wanted, so we kept con­trol of that el­e­ment and I'm glad we did – it was our per­son­al­ity, through and through.” First dance: Noth­ing Can Change This Love by Sam Cooke.

Food: “The food served at our din­ner was con­tem­po­rary Moroc­can” Reem ex­plains. Guests were served a mezze of Moroc­can sal­ads for the starter, fol­lowed by a leg of lamb with chick­peas for the main. To fin­ish, guests en­joyed a trio of desserts and self-serve French pas­tries from the dessert ta­ble.

Cake: “Our wed­ding cake was de­li­cious. We had a vanilla and pra­line three-tier cake. It lasted us from the wed­ding evening to the pool party the next day.

Favours/guest gifts: When each guest checked into their room at the venue, the cou­ple had placed per­son­ally cho­sen gifts from the lo­cal souks inside. They in­cluded, olive oil, black soap, dates and a mini tagine. Ev­ery­thing was del­i­cately wrapped in a mini raf­fia beach bag.

Unique touches: Reem and Jenai had their re­li­gious cer­e­mony (katb-al-kitab) two years ear­lier. For their wed­ding in Morocco they wanted it to be a cel­e­bra­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the peo­ple close to them, so they en­listed a best friend to be the of­fi­ciant. “It felt so much more nat­u­ral for some­one we knew to be the per­son who hosted such an in­ti­mate mo­ment of our lives. It made it even more spe­cial for us,” says Reem.

“Af­ter the cer­e­mony, our guests walked over to one of the olive trees where we had rib­bons hang­ing from the branches with each name and a num­ber at­tached, this was our way of let­ting every­one know where they was sit­ting for the din­ner. It was a great talk­ing point and looked beau­ti­ful for pho­tos.”

“We also had a sur­prise live show of fire eaters. It was our ver­sion of fire­works. And an­other unique touch would be our Moroc­can lounge where guests could take a break from danc­ing, or en­joy a shisha.”

Hon­ey­moon: We flew to the Amalfi Coast a few days af­ter our wed­ding and spent a min­i­moon in Amalfi and Capri be­fore gear­ing up for our hon­ey­moon in the beau­ti­ful Mal­dives a few months later.

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