An Enchanted Real Wedding in the Valleys of Mount Lebanon
Written by on May 27, 2014.
Tagged under: An Enchanted Real Wedding in the Valleys of Mount Lebanon, Lebanese, Lebanon weddings, getting married in Lebanon
An Enchanted Real Wedding ~ Lebanon
Weddings in Lebanon are almost always immaculately planned and mind-blowingly gorgeous. It’s in the Lebanese blood we think! The wedding we are featuring today is no exception, and due credit goes to the bride, who planned the whole thing herself. We are in love with the incredible outdoor venue, Domaine de Zekrit in Lebanon, which played host to the Dubai-based bride and groom Rana and Antoine.
Nestled between the lush valleys of Mount Lebanon, Domaine de Zekrit has seen the rise and fall of great empires dating back to Phoenician times. Remnants of these past eras can still be seen around the venue. Featuring lots of mood-enhancing candles, lanterns and flowing rice drapes inspired by the bride’s gown (rice is thrown at Lebanese weddings as it brings luck to the bride) with bunches of fragrant lavender entwined, this romantic wedding is simply breathtaking.
Talented Bride Club ME vendor club member Louma, of Design by Louma, was the stationery supplier and did a sterling job meeting her client’s requirements, as usual. Below, new bride Rana talks us through her special day and offers some wedding planning tips.
The wedding theme…
We planned a ‘champêtre’ wedding, as we say in French, “in the mountains”. Antoine and I wanted our wedding blessing to take place at an outdoor venue. Both of us love spending time surrounded by nature and enjoy being in the serene and peaceful mountains. Our choice of venue was the Domaine de Zekrit, as it was located 350 metres above sea level and had a small, enchanting medieval church that was ideal for the ceremony.
Antoine and I knew from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be fun, colourful and surrounded by natural beauty. Both of us work in the creative field, so we had lots of ideas and were lucky to know most of the vendors and suppliers who helped us achieve our wedding vision. Being perfectionists, we decided to plan the wedding ourselves, instead of hiring a planner. It was fun, but a lot of hard work and time consuming.
In line with our concept, our lovely invitation card was designed by Design by Louma. She exceeded our expectations with her creativity and professionalism. The combination of colours and choice of paper were perfect.
The wedding cake…
We wanted one main cake and three smaller ones placed around it. The cake had a variety of flavours (chocolate, vanilla and lemon) and the design – white coating decorated with pastel-coloured flowers – was inspired by the overall nature theme of our wedding.
My wedding dress was a silk white Chantilly lace drop waist corset gown with an asymmetrical peplum skirt designed by Monique Lhuillier, purchased from Esposa in Jumeirah. To be honest, my wedding gown ended up being very different from the dress I’d imagined in my head. I just fell in love with all the detail on the gown – the corset, lace bow and asymmetry – as it made me feel so special.
Being a creative person who loves colours, I didn’t want to wear a white bridal shoe. I chose a pair of light pink glossy open-toe platform pumps by Valentino, purchased from Level Shoe District at the Dubai Mall.
Most enjoyable part of the planning process…
The most enjoyable part of our wedding for me was being able to share such a great moment with our families and friends. Our ceremony was just wonderful and ended with Oh Happy Days. All our guests had a pastel-coloured satin ribbon stick on their seats and started waving in time to the rhythm.
I also enjoyed all our personal touches during the wedding. After the ceremony, our guests were served traditional refreshing juices (rose water, mulberry syrup and fresh lemonade) in mason jars with pink-and-yellow whimsical straws purchased from Etsy.
We also had a dedicated area for live stations so we could keep up some traditions. There was a live nut roasting station, where nuts were served in recycled paper cones, and a live saj station serving labneh, zaatar, kechek … and, of course, some canapés displayed on a slanted table.
The welcome drinks area, designed by Ma.Sa.Ha, added a special touch to the venue. They designed a long slanted wooden table with flowers and running water between the blossoms. Water fell into a copper bucket placed on the floor; Ma.Sa.Ha also provided wooden benches, a baldaquin and lots of candles and lanterns that created a magical effect.
Most testing part of the wedding planning process as an expat bride…
Planning the wedding from Dubai and flying to Lebanon several times to make sure things were going the way we wanted was tiresome. Not having my mom or sister around when choosing my dress was also not easy. At the same time, I’m so grateful I had my mother-in-law and best friend, who helped me choose my dress.
We had a lot of personal and special touches at our wedding. Design by Louma worked on our cocktail menu, which was displayed on the tables. Guests could order from a selection of cocktails mixed by Butler’s Bottle. This part of the wedding was the best, as it was fun, entertaining and all the guests were dancing and singing with the band.
Antoine wanted to surprise everyone with a car hanger (a thank you note and map) designed by Louma. On one side, it thanked our guests for making our day so special, and on the other side we’d printed a map to help our guests make their way back home.
Joe the DJ, who is also a friend, played hits that kept our guests dancing the whole night, and Chris B and the Band played a selection of ‘oldies’ songs during dinner. Loud Arabia impressed our guests with their fire show. And, finally, Wassim on the tabla (percussion) added a touch of Lebanese music.
With the help of my mom and dad, we produced photo booth props that our guests enjoyed when posing in front of the camera.
Top three tips for a bride-to-be…
- Plan your wedding ahead of time (at least eight months in advance), especially if you’re not hiring a wedding planner.
- Enjoy every moment pre-wedding and, most importantly, don’t stress. If you both know what you want, your wedding will go smoothly.
- Choose your vendors carefully, based not only on their skills, but whether they understand what you want, and have the same vision and creativity as you. They are part of your wedding and are the key element in its success.
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Wedding venue: Domaine de Zekrit // Stationery design: Design by Louma // Wedding flowers & decor: Ma.sa.ha // Wedding dress by: Monique Lhuillier, purchased from Esposa Dubai // Hair: Toni el-Mendelek // Makeup artist: Roula Riachi // Photographer: Joe Chedrawi // DJ: Joe Abou Charnek // Entertainment: 8eme Art : Singer: Chris B and the Band Fire show: Loud Arabia Tabla solo: Wissam // Hostess agency: Diffa // Pastry at home: Noura // Photobooth props: Mom and dad helped me produce these // Napkin ring: Assembled by my two lovely aunts // Ceremony satin ribbon sticks: Produced by mom and myself.
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