A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in one hand and a ring box in the other were the essential elements behind 36-year-old Haydar Hussain’s masterplan when he proposed to girlfriend of four months, Reema Attyeh on September 20, 2019. “After dinner one night, Haydar held his closed fists behind his back and asked me to choose a hand. I had already seen him take the candy and put it behind his back and told him to just hand it over already, but he insisted I chose,” recalls 34-year old education consultant, Reema. “I picked his left hand but instead of the peanut butter cup I was presented with a little black box. I was floored when I saw the ring. I kept asking what it was and he kept replying, ‘it’s a ring’”. Reema admits that “yes” was a very easy answer.
The stylish couple pose for the cameras after saying ‘I do’
Having met through mutual friends just a few months prior to getting engaged, the couple’s wedding-planning journey mirrored that of their whirlwind courtship and their wedding was organised in just two months, following a civil ceremony at the Dubai Court. However, the couple had a secret up their sleeves… Haydar’s sister, Zainab Alsalih, is the founder and creative director of Carousel Events — one of the region’s most prominent event and wedding planners. “I didn’t even see the venue prior to the big day — I had no doubt that everything would be flawless. We were asked for our input on colours and based on our personal style, Zainab knew what would make us happy,” Reema explains.
Garden roses, spray roses, ranunculus, thistle, hypericum berries, calla lilies, and an assortment of greenery including eucalyptus leaves were used in the centrepiece floral displays
Falling in love with a colour palette of burgundy, blush, gold and green, navy blue was then added as an accent colour and used for the table linens and glassware. “While we wanted to keep the wedding informal and breezy, Zainab and her team knew we’d still want it to have an elegant and romantic touch.
Under the shade of palm trees, guests dined next to the beach at beautifully styled banquet tables
The wedding celebration took place at the Palm Grill restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai. The couple wanted a beachside venue and chose February 7, 2020 to take advantage of the cool weather. 100 of their closest family and friends joined them for the special day.
The four-tier cake was adorned with stunning sugar flowers. Inside was the groom’s favourite flavour — chocolate!
Guests enjoyed a banquet of live cooking stations, followed by a decedent ice cream station and chocolate fountain — which naturally, was a huge hit.
Reema and Haydar with their loves ones
“Haydar and I wanted to incorporate Arabic elements into our wedding so we decided to walk out to a traditional Jordanian zaffa followed by an Iraqi song, Qalb Qalb by Mohamed Alsalim which got everyone up and dancing,” Jordanian/ American, Reema tells Bazaar Bride, “We were so surprised to see the monogrammed dance floor that my new sister-in-law/wedding guru, Zainab, had secretly organised for us as a really sweet and personalised touch.”
Music played a huge part in the evening’s festivities with a DJ spinning a mix of contemporary and classic hits as well as Arabic favourites. “Towards the end of the night, we had a percussionist join in and he really took the party to another level. Our guests started drumming and dancing with him. He brought an energy that made everyone so happy.”
Reema and her sister-in-law/wedding planner, Zainab, hit the dancefloor beneath the stars
The loved-up couple danced the evening away, Reema in her stunning White One by Pronovias gown and crystal-adorned Gianvito Rossi pumps, and Haydar in a two-piece Tagliatore dinner suit and Armani tuxedo shirt with silk bow tie.
“The most memorable part of our wedding was seeing how happy our loved ones were for us, and we also adored the speeches. We didn’t know what to expect when friends and family took turns instead of a traditional best man’s speech — but they all shared funny and special memories. Our guests from either side felt like they learned so much more about Haydar and I through those touching words. It is truly something I will never forget.”
BRIDE’S BLACK BOOK
DRESS: White One – Pronovias Wedding Boutique, +961 45 539 010
SHOES: Gianvito Rossi, Gianvitorossi.com/ae
GROOM’S SUIT: Tagliatore, Tagliatore.com
EVENT PLANNER & DESIGNER, FLORIST & INVITATIONS: Carousel Events, Carousel.ae
VENUE & CATERER: Palm Grill, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Ritzcarlton.com
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Fadi Rashwani (hair), +961 50 115 5874. Yolla Mahfoud (make-up), +961 56 291 0432
CAKE: Sweet Lane Cakes, Sweetlanecakes.com
MUSIC: Off Broadway Entertainment, Offbroadwayentertainment.com
PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER: Daniella Baptista, Daniellabaptista.com
From the spring/summer 2020 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia Bride
All images: Daniella Baptista