BCME Diary Of A Real Bride – The Engagement Party – Finer Details
Have you been following the journey of our brand new BCME Diary Of Real Bride Contributor, Dana Hajjaj? Since August, she has been giving our readers ‘access-all-areas’ into her journey of planning the dream wedding – the up’s, the down’s and sometimes even the upside-downs that go along with it.
This month Dana is delving into the more romantic side of pre-nuptials planning by way of her DIY ‘Rustic’ vibe, garden engagement party! With a little bit of magic thrown in from BCME vendors Goldfish Photography and video, we’re transported back one fine beautiful day where style, romance and laughter came together.
Over to you, Dana!
Hello Bride Clubbers!
If you couldn’t tell by my dress from my last article in January, My engagement theme was centred around a ‘rustic garden’ theme (on a budget). With the help of the Bride Club ME concierge and many an hour spent on Pinterest and Google searches, I decided to bravely go where many a bride has attempted before – to DIY my engagement party.
As Palestinians, we kept to our roots and included the traditional ‘Jaha’ along with a celebratory dinner as part of the event. For those of you not familiar, a Jaha is a Palestinian tradition where the men of the groom’s family (usually around 20+ men) will come to the men of the bride’s family to ask for her hand. As long as all are in agreement, both sides recite verses from the Holy Quran to bless the union and our traditional sweet ‘kunafa’ is distributed. As is often the case, men and women are separated into different rooms during this process, but we preferred to modernize this practice by including the women as onlookers and witnesses. It was an extremely emotional moment and barely a dry eye was in sight.
Watch The Video Below By Goldfish Photography & Video
Letters of Love & Lasting Memories
This had to be my most favourite part…
Through my journey down the rabbit hole of Pinterest boards and online research, I came across a trend, whereby you can display messages that are personal to the bride and groom by either printing them onto the table runner or as a tapestry for the decoration. Choosing a quote by E.E. Cummings that perfectly expressed how I felt about Hassan, I reached out to Bide Club ME’s vetted vendor, E-Walls and together we designed a long banner that was hung outside the door of the ballroom for guests to read as soon as they arrived, it was definitely an eye-catcher.
I didn’t want to splurge on favours for my engagement; so instead, I had photo holders made with a tree bark base that were placed on top of newspapers containing and messages from and to my friends and family. These were incorporated as part of our table decorations and really showed how important those we loved were to us as a couple. The best part of the newspaper was the personalised crossword puzzle for everyone to have a go at during the night. It took a while to create, but thanks to a very talented friend/Graphic Designer, we nailed it.
The Candy Corner
This really hit the sweet spot! It was the one place that had a constant crowd throughout the whole event and truly gave my party the rustic vibe I aimed for. The seemingly hardest part about executing this was wondering how I’d source a wooden cart for the candy to be displayed on. Luckily, I found exactly what I wanted from Pinch Me Rentals. By using their cart and the hotel dividers, we created a corner where people enjoyed the candy of their childhoods like sour gummies, smarties, big round lollipops, cookies, cotton candy and so much more. People loved the fact that they could grab whatever their heart desired and eat them then and there.
And as I’m a sucker for personalization, we had a lot of customized goodies too. I had a beautiful green sticker placed on each of the plastic bags that people filled with candy, bubble wands with holographic text and matchboxes to complement our sparklers for the guests to use when we came to cut the cake.
The Neon Sign
As soon as I got engaged I knew that I wanted a customized lit sign for my party. I decided to buy one because I knew it would be a keepsake we could display in our home as a reminder for years to come. I stumbled across this website/Instagram page (@mk.neon) and instantly e-mailed for a quote. They can create any sign you want; in the font you want and the size you want; it’s truly brilliant. The designer uses really cool techniques, like intensifying the brightness to your liking, including different modes like blinking or strobe as well as interchangeable colours! I went for a plain white, classic initials sign, so it stood out. I can’t wait to reuse it at the wedding.
The Marquee Letters, Arc & Table Centerpieces
What is a rustic theme without rustic marquee letters? I managed to source these from Pinch Me Rentals alongside my sweet cart. Their installation was so quick and seamless, I was not anxious one bit. I chose our initials in a wooden colour, instead of plain white and they lit up the whole room. It really added to the theme of the party a whole lot more.
Our humble arc was made from scratch, we found a trusted woodshop and sent them pictures and measurements of what we wanted and it only took a day to finalise. It’s actually so cool because the way in which it was designed made it easy to dismantle, so we can store it away and re-use for our upcoming events as a couple.
Decorating the tables and the arc was no hassle. We had everything sourced from Dragon Mart in the span of 2 days. We did have two different sets in mind for the tables, but the overall idea was lots of glass and candles so that we could create a soft, warm, romantic vibe. We glued little flowers glued to the bottom of some of the glasses in a dusty pink shade, to make the arc stand out. The different centrepiece sets and flower colours that we chose made everything come together in a simple yet elegant aesthetic.
The Sparklers, The Barrel & The Cake
I felt as if I’d been to Jupiter and back looking for decent sparklers to use. I had this vision that everyone would light them up as we cut our cake on stage and after searching for about a month and a half; I had a very special friend bring them for me. It was quite the struggle but was definitely worth it.
After seeing so many pictures on Pinterest of beautiful cake & barrel displays, I just couldn’t resist. The BCME concierge service saved me so much stress by recommending Mint Event Rentals. They’re such a blessing to deal with, the process of collecting and dropping off the barrel was so smooth. The barrel and the cake looked so good together that unfortunately, I feel the pictures can never do it justice.
Now personally, I’m a cake girl, and while I know that cake is not an important segment of an engagement party, I will genuinely use any excuse, at every opportunity I can find to squeeze in a cake-cutting segment. What convinced me, was the fact that the hotel came with a built-in stage – perfect for cake-cutting. I wanted a naked cake to match the theme and so we did with Rosel from Magic Party Cakes, we went for a caramel/Cinnabon fusion cake with green leaves only, my mouth waters every time I think of it.
The Dream Team
There were so many companies that helped to make this party a total dream come true. I couldn’t recommend them enough to any bride inspired by my party:
Photography & Video – Goldfish Photography & Video – Cart and Marquee Letter – @PinchMeRentals / The Neon Sign – @MK.Neon / The Banner and Cake Topper – @EWallsStudio / Cake – @Magic_Party_Cakes / Wine Barrel – @minteventrentals / Customized Matchboxes – @ForYourParty / Customized Bubble Wands Stickers – @Etsy
I’ll see you next month BCME readers…Your 2020 Bride, Dana – @dhajjaj x