Farah El Alfy and Omar Shuker

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / May 7 2017 / 16:02 PM

Barefoot luxury and dancing under the stars was the story behind this couple’s destination wedding

Farah El Alfy and Omar Shuker
Farah El Alfy married Omar Shuker in Bodrum, Turkey
Farah El Alfy and Omar Shuker
Farah and Omar join their guests
Farah El Alfy and Omar Shuker
The couple's first dance
Farah El Alfy and Omar Shuker
The happy couple walk off into the sunset

Barefoot luxury is the phrase that describes us perfectly,” says Farah El Alfy, 33, of her relationship with now-husband, real estate agent Omar Shuker, 37. The Egyptian PR manager  first met her Iraqi-British husband on a beach in Athens where they were both attending the wedding of childhood friends – her a guest of the groom, him of the bride. “We went for a walk in the sea and have been together ever since,” she says.

This whimsical meeting was the start of a whirlwind romance, and only five months later over dinner at Hakkasan, Omar proposed to a surprised Farah. “He first called my parents and asked for their blessings, and then took me out to dinner on a Monday evening. I didn’t expect it as we had only been dating for five months, but he pulled out the ring after dinner and asked me to marry him. I said yes before he even opened the ring box.”

Farah leaving her room to walk towards the venue.

Photography by Ayse Kaya

The couple set about planning the wedding of their dreams, choosing a venue that mimicked that of where they met – a beach – and the barefoot luxury aesthetic they both favour, settling on Maçakizi beach club in Bodrum, Turkey. “We started researching destinations based on proximity and fell upon Maçakizi, a popular beach club and boutique hotel known for its bohemian chic vibes, and we instantly knew that this is where we wanted to get married.”

Omar and friends wait for Farah to arrive by the boat.

Photography by Ayse Kaya

Eight months later 200 of their closest friends and family joined them to celebrate their Mediterranean nuptials, planned by Farah with a little help from her wedding planner Tala, “I relied mostly on my own instinct and had Tala to throw ideas around with and to stop me when I was going too far.” she recalls. 

Farah's father escorts her down the boardwalk.

Photography by Ayse Kaya

With such a stunning setting to begin with, the theme of the wedding was simple, “Very rustic with wild trees and flowers everywhere, and a backdrop of the sea and mountains in the distance. I wanted the décor to complement the scenery instead of distracting from it. I focused more on lighting choosing a combination of fairy lights, spotlights on the trees and lots of candles to create a laidback ambience.”

Omar sees his bride for the first time.

Photography by Ayse Kaya

For her dress, Farah was adamant she would find it in Dubai, and after two visits to Esposa bridal boutique found her perfect match in a strapless Enzoani column dress. “I loved mine instantly because it was everything. It was contemporary and classic in the same time. I wanted something timeless with a little edge, and also something that fit the beach vibe but was still elegant.”  In hindsight, Farah says, “I would have also bought a short white dress to change into after all the formality was over.  I ended up changing into denim shorts and a white tank top so I could dance freely.”

Farah and Omar laughing at the best man's speech.

Photography by Ayse Kaya

And dance they did, thanks to the groom’s music edit and a surprise set from Omar’s friend and Ibiza resident DJ Bas Ibellini. “At midnight we moved to a deck by the sea set up like a club and danced our hearts out under the stars. It was epic.”


DRESS: Enzoani at Esposa, +971 4 385 4477

SHOES: Saint Laurent, Level Shoes

MAKE-UP: Ozlem Yildiz, Bahcecik.com.tr

GROOM'S SUIT: Parmar Tailors, +971 4 428 9494

VENUE: Macakizi Hotel, Turkey, Macakazi.com

MUSIC: Asad Naqvi, AN Entertainment, Djasad.co.uk

FLORIST: Nature Bodrum, Naturebodrum.com

WEDDING PLANNER: Tala Tohala, UCG Luxury Events, +44 7733 012 304, ucgluxuryevents.com

PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER: Ayse Kaya, +90 212 232 1180, aysekaya.com