Fulfilling Half My Deen

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YazTheSpaz fulfils half her deen and marries the man of her dreams – with the help of her family and friends, who were with her every step of the way.

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Most girls dream about their ‘big day’ from before they even start looking at boys. Not me. I never gave it a second thought until I was engaged. Thus I was woefully unprepared when I was suddenly thrust into the middle of it. Fortunately, I quickly realised I was out of my depth and needed help. Enter, stage left, my wonderful, creative and unendingly enthusiastic mother! Many people would hire a wedding planner in such a predicament. I didn’t need to. Right from day one it was clear that there was nothing they could do that my mother couldn’t do better – with a smile upon her lips as well as love within her heart.

The Wedding Dress

Now before I got into this, I thought there might be a few dozen different designs of wedding dresses – maybe a couple of hundred at most. I now know better. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more possibilities than there are stars in the sky! I had no idea where to start and what style dress would suit me best. My now husband Zeyad had only one request – that my dress not be too puffy. Not the most helpful of requests, but there you are. At least we were able to fulfil his wish, with a dress from Bellizima Bridals in Coral Gables, Florida.

Choosing the dress was just the first step along a long and gruelling road towards perfection. To get the dress to the shop took six months. Once there, the customisation began – to name but a few, the chest and sleeves needed adjusting, a five-foot-long train needed to be added and lace was required to let the sleeves blend seamlessly into the frills at the bottom. It took around five to six dress fittings before ‘perfect’ was finally detached from ‘not yet’. Eventually I only got to take it home two days before the wedding. All the work was worth it though, as the end result was gorgeous.

Picture Perfect Colour Schemes

I knew I had to incorporate pink into our wedding and Zeyad loved the thought of using black. Those two choices led to a colour scheme of blush pink, black and off-white. Truth be told, it was the centrepieces and up-light fixtures that raised the room’s decor from good to high art. Many people forget the importance of lighting – but it is so vital to making it all work! The final touch was the asymmetrical vases, with large well-rounded flower arrangements full of hydrangeas and roses, which were offset by crystals that hung from the centerpieces.

Of course, however much time you plan, you never seem to have enough. As the day was fast approaching I realised I still had to book my videographer and photographers. Fortunately, the choice of photographer was easy, for there could be none other than my dear friend and personal photographer Lisa Vogl-Hamid. Lisa and her assistant Michelle Sarkissian captured every moment of our special day, from the makeup to putting on my headpiece and veil, and even our first dance – managing to capture not just our physical wedding, but its soul as well.

Finding the right videographer for the wedding was a bit more difficult, at least until I saw the work of my friend Ricci Ocampos. Once I’d seen that, however, it was not a hard sell. I will be sure to share their work with you once I get my hands on it!

The Day

And then, suddenly, the day arrived. They always talk about nerves and fears in the movies, the books, the stories. Funnily enough, for me it wasn’t like that at all. I was relaxed, happy, and filled with excitement at the knowledge that that day I was getting married to my best friend and partner for life, Zeyad – Alhamdulillah! I was surrounded by my beautiful bridesmaids: Aysun, Eman, Dina, Adriana and Mohga, who stood by my side every step of the way, both literally and emotionally.

Our makeup was supplied by Nura, better known as NuraLailaLov on YouTube. She has mad skills, giving me that bridal glow without making me look like I was even wearing anything. Since I wasn’t in a position to help others get ready, my dear friend Dina from Vous Etes Belle Fashion stepped up and styled my bridesmaids’ hijabs, even going out of her way to help me out when the situation threatened to become overwhelming.

Simply put, my wedding was stunning. Some special friends came from out of town, one being Zamena and Anam from Hijab-ista, Inc, who flew all the way from Georgia, while DJ Khalil and a traditional Zafaa group (Firqet Zaatari) drove all the way from Tampa, Florida. They put on an amazing performance with live dabka and drums.

Since Zeyad is Egyptian and I am Turkish, we chose an array of Arabic and Turkish cuisine for our buffet. Initially we were concerned that we might have too much. But we need not have worried, for everything was attacked with relish – our already beatific smiles grew ever larger as more and more guests got up for seconds and even thirds.

 

After Glow

All in all, Alhamdulillah for it all. I’m so happy I was able to share this special day with so many people, even while we managed to keep it secret for so long. A special thank you goes out to my amazing mum for her role in all this. I have no doubt she could give even the best wedding planners a run for their money! Everyone loved all the work and detail she put into our wedding and I don’ think there’s a single thing she could have done better.

Zeyad and I will now leave for Egypt and Turkey for our month-long honeymoon. After that I’ll be back to share all our amazing adventures and travels with you. Thank you all so much for being so understanding about my absences for the last couple of weeks. I promise I’ll be back soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more pictures and videos which should hit the web shortly!

I pray that our marriage is full of blessed moments and memories and, insha’Allah with Allah swt by our side, we will have a beautiful, long and prosperous marriage, Ameen.

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