Fairy-tale Como nup­tials for Dubai-based cou­ple BIANCA and HAZIM

COU­TURE, CASCADING FLOW­ERS AND CELEBRITIES AT A LAKE COMO FAIRY-TALE DO

Hello! Middle East - - THIS WEEK - PHO­TOS: DANIELA TANZI

When Hazim Mo­hamed first laid eyes on bub­bly blonde Bianca O’Donoghue work­ing in a bank in Dubai’s Deira quar­ter it was love at first sight.

Yet although the South African, who moved to Dubai 11 years ago, no­ticed the very reg­u­lar re­peat VIP client – who in­vari­ably came out of work hours, too – she didn’t re­alise she her­self was the rea­son he kept re­turn­ing.

“He used to come ev­ery day, and I didn’t re­alise it was to see me. He was too shy to talk to me,” Bianca laughs.

Fast for­ward two years, and fi­nally Hazim got the nerve to ask Bianca out – and the rest is his­tory.

“From the day we started dat­ing we knew we were go­ing to be mar­ried one day. Both of us just knew,” she con­fesses over cof­fee at her beau­ti­ful new mar­ried home in Da­mac Prop­er­ties’ The Fields. “We were both in it for the long term.”

PRAC­TIS­ING THE PRO­POSAL

The plan­ning took just five months from the mo­ment Hazim ca­su­ally sug­gested his other half wan­der to Cartier to pick out any ring she wanted; his idea of a proper pro­posal!

Her choice? A stun­ning Trin­ity ring with a two-carat soli­taire – as a sur­prise the Su­danese groom-to-be picked up the rest of the set for her to wear, pre­sent­ing it to her the day be­fore they jet­ted off to their wed­ding.

Luck­ily, the en­gage­ment had a do-over as he got down on bended knee – both of them re­splen­dent in one-off Dolce & Gab­bana -when the cou­ple flew to Lake Como to see the lav­ish lo­ca­tion of their wed­ding for the first time; Villa d’Este.

Anna K. from Just Amore Wed­dings was the mas­ter­mind be­hind the whole cel­e­bra­tion and Bianca ad­mits the biggest piece of ad­vice she can give to any bride-to-be is: “Get a planner! Ideally get Anna. You will have the ul­ti­mate peace of mind.”

The planner ex­traor­di­naire ad­mit­ted it was all pain sail­ing: “Bianca had a very pre­cise vi­sion. She wanted a truly ro­man­tic event with a white horse-drawn car­riage, pink flow­ers, a re­fined four-course meal, a sump­tu­ous wed­ding cake adorned with fresh flow­ers and a royal fire­work dis­play.”

DREAM DES­TI­NA­TION

It’s an A-list draw; Ge­orge Clooney lives next door and Bol­ly­wood stars Deepika Padukone and Ran­veer Singh got mar­ried at Lake Como – so this spot re­ally draws the rich and fa­mous.

Villa d’Este is the ul­ti­mate lux­u­ri­ous des­ti­na­tion; an artis­to­cratic palace trans­formed into a five-star re­sort on the lake shore. “I fell in love with it from the mo­ment a friend told me about it. I needed that venue,” gushes Bianca.

Anna elab­o­rates: “Given over 60 guests were fly­ing in from all four cor­ners of the world, this dreamy venue was a nat­u­ral choice for a fairy­tale-themed wed­ding.”

Vis­it­ing their pic­ture-per­fect wed­ding venue sealed the deal – and the cou­ple was able to tick another es­sen­tial off the list while there: the dress. The ho­tel sug­gested famed ate­lier Tosetti Sposa nearby and Bianca in­stantly found her dream gown.

A BIG SEND OFF

Bianca orig­i­nally hails from Durban so it was no won­der South Africa was the des­ti­na­tion for a blow-out bridal shower. The party of ten were given a full tour of Cape Town’s high­lights -- from the moun­tains to the beaches -- set­ting ex­pec­ta­tions sky high for the nup­tials.

THE MAIN EVENT

Their sum­mer wed­ding un­folded like a ro­man­tic movie.

There were a few sur­prises; Hazim, who lost his mother, had been given a sil­ver bracelet by her when he was 11. He car­ried it with him ev­ery­where.

Bianca se­cretly had it beau­ti­fully en­graved with both his and his mother’s name on it and pre­sented it to him -stun­ningly packed -- be­fore the wed­ding, re­sult­ing in in­stant tears.

Anna also con­jured up a belly dancer as Bianca was keen to pay homage to her new hus­band’s Egyp­tian roots at the re­cep­tion.

PER­FECT PLAN­NING

Ev­ery­thing went ac­cord­ing to plan; from the vin­tage Ex­cal­ibur car that ush­ered Hazim to the en­trance, and the Cin­derella horse and car­riage, to dove bal­loons at the vows and the bride’s top Dis­ney tunes played by an ex­pert vi­o­lin­ist – it was all ex­actly as the bride had en­vis­aged.

There were also some se­ri­ously starry touches; the wed­ding vo­cal­ist turned out to be a real favourite of Ge­orge Clooney, while fel­low ho­tel guest, ac­tor Adam San­dler popped into pro­ceed­ings to con­grat­u­late the cou­ple and fist-bump the bridal party.

Fire­works – the high­light for both the bride and groom – as well as a multi-tiered chocolate and vanilla cake, ended the night on the per­fect note.

“The fire­works were a real high­light. They were spec­tac­u­lar” Hazim

Bianca and Hazim were thrilled her par­ents (left) could join them in Italy as the cel­e­brant named them man and wife at the pic­turesque Villa D’Este re­sort

From the fire­works to the car­riage and the multi-tiered cake, Bianca’s wed­ding, which took place in dreamy Lake Como, had ev­ery fairy-tale el­e­ment The jewels were filled with sym­bol­ism; the groom bought his wife the rest of the Cartier set match­ing the ring she picked. Bianca had the bracelet his mother bought him en­graved (be­low right). The party started early with the hen do tak­ing place in South Africa (be­low far right) which is where Bianca is from

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