BCME Diary Of A Real Bride – Dana Hajjaj – Engagement Shoot
Back in August, we introduced you to our brand new BCME Diary Of Real Bride Contributor, Dana Hajjaj. Each month, Dana has been giving you, our readers, access all areas into her personal journey of planning her dream wedding, and all the ups and downs that go with it!
Dana is getting married in July 2020, (location TBC – we can’t wait to find out where!) so each month she’ll be keeping us up to date on all her exciting wedding developments via her BCME Diary Of A Real Bride features. Along the way, Dana will also share her experiences and top tips for other brides to be, which we hope will ease some of the stress, and answer some of the questions you may be facing in the lead up to your own big day.
Last month, Dana gave us a real and honest account of feeling rather overwhelmed. This month though, Dana’s back to tell us all about her fabulous engagement party photo shoot!
Over to you, Dana!
Happy New Year BCME Readers! Ending the new year having celebrated my engagement is such a beautifully overwhelming feeling, and whilst the pictures and videos from the party are still developing, I thought I’d share with you our outfit details.
♡ The Dress ♡
The perfect dress = a mad hassle! The theme for the party was ‘rustic floral garden’ and I wanted my dress to match the elements I was carrying throughout. The search was agonizing, so I decided to resort to my trustee favourite platform, Instagram! I was already following a lot of designers from around the globe, so after checking numerous pages I stumbled on a page that carries dresses so whimsical you feel like they were made for a Disney princess! The dresses belong to the designer Teuta Matoshi and the dress I found was everything; peach undertones with leaves and flowers.
On the website you get to choose your size or a customized size should you need so and then proceed to pay; the package should be shipped to you via DHL within two weeks, if not less.
But, at the peak of every happy story there comes a downfall. When I received the dress I ripped through the packaging to find that the bodice was completely unlined and that the embroidery that should’ve been on the dress as displayed on the website, did not match the reality. And to my horror, the dress would not even zip up. I straightaway went to email the customer service of the brand, they asked me to re-ship the dress back to them and then they went forth with re-stitching a new one from scratch. The second time I received the dress everything was so perfect my eyes filled up with tears, the embroidery was doubled, the bodice was lined and I was even told that the designer herself stitched the flowers on one by one for me!
* Pro tip: Don’t be afraid of ordering your dress online as long as you’re ordering from a place that you trust, they’ll come through the right way should anything go wrong. Another pro-tip would be to order your dress a couple of months in advance so you give yourself the time needed to adjust anything if needed.
♡ The Suit ♡
The suit – the one thing I wasn’t really involved in. I had given my fiancé full and obsolete trust on picking his own suit whilst supervising via WhatsApp (you can’t be too careful ladies!) on the colour of the suit and the shape of the blazer. He didn’t want to go for something high-end just because he wanted to save that experience for the wedding. After going through numerous shops around the capital, he bought his suit from the Abu Dhabi Mall.
* Pro tip: Let him pick the suit, he’ll more likely be comfortable and confident throughout the whole party. That way he won’t have an excuse to not get on the dance floor!
♡ The Rings ♡
Unfortunately, when we took the first batch of pictures at the studio we didn’t get the opportunity to snap our rings, but I’ll make sure to include a photo when we publish the engagement party details later! Let’s start with the good stuff, my ring. I got my diamond ring from Sarky Jewelery in Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi. I wanted to get a piece that was timeless so I opted for an oval cut twin ring at 2.15 carats and I kid you not, this brand’s rings have a shine like no other.
My fiancé got his engagement ring from Bulgari. It was a very quick purchase which he’s actually proud of. It’s your basic silver ring with a black lining on the inside. It’s very timeless and very unique just because it has the right amount of modernity to it whilst having that classic crisp silver look.
* Pro tip: Set your budget and stick to it. As cliché as it may sound, and is repetitive as you’ve probably heard this so many times, but setting a budget will save you so much heartache. You don’t want to try on a beautiful big ring knowing that you can’t have it, it’s truly the worst feeling ever. Another pro-tip for you girls is, if you to get the most out of the ring in terms of carats and shine, opt for an oval cut or a round cut.
♡ The Accessories ♡
I decided to go for my Mom’s diamond earrings and bracelet; I wanted to wear something with strong sentiment and it truly felt special beyond words. I also wanted to wear a simple headpiece to compliment my dress and I happened to find an Instagram account that specializes in bridal accessories called SISI Headpieces. The shine and texture is luxe for what they charge; they’re based in Bahrain but their service is faster than light, I got my order a day or two after placing it. As for the shoes, I got a clear strapped midi heel that’s crystal encrusted from a brand called Simmi on ASOS.
My fiancé had a silver Cartier watch on that matched his industrial cuff links from Tateossian. His tie was from Massimo Dutti, and we’re quite thankful we found it 3 days before the party, it was quite difficult looking for a champagne coloured tie to go with my dress but luckily enough, Massimo Dutti carried an array of white/brown tones.
* Pro tip: Try not to leave the tie shopping until very last minute, best if you have an extra little piece of fabric from the dress to match to the tie in real-time as store lighting can be deceiving.
♡ Hair, Nails & Make-Up ♡
My hair was the highlight of my look, it was exactly as I envisioned. All the credit goes to the Definition Salon’s Co-founder and Davines Brand Ambassador, Bassam. I was really specific with what I wanted and with suggestions from his end, the curls and fish braid were so professionally done they lasted through sweat and non-stop dancing!
My nails were a courtesy of my favourite nail parlour in the capital, The Nails Studio. They looked so good, you wouldn’t be able to tell that I broke 3 of them that same day. I was seated in a VIP room to get my ombre nails going, words can not do justice at how skilled their team is.
My make-up was done by Mirna Mustafa and she was kind enough to test-try the make-up on my face weeks prior to the engagement to see what she’ll be working with. We used her own line of lashes on my eyes, mind you I have droopy-hooded eyes so any form of lashes is bound to bother me, but her brand is so luxe and light I didn’t feel them at all. The make-up just looked flawless, and did not budge with all the happy tears and sweat!
Pictures shot at the Loft Studio, Abu Dhabi.
Your 2020 Bride,