May 2013 was the most memorable month of my life. My wedding took place overseas in Jeddah between May 15-30, 2013, and it was truly magical. After a year of careful planning, and my entire life leading up to this moment, I was filled with excitement and nerves. My family and I embarked on a journey of a lifetime, Umrah combined with my marriage ceremonies. I still remember being at JFK airport the night of the 15th, ready to board and not knowing what would happen in the weeks ahead. None of my wildest dreams could come close to my wedding. I truly felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
The first event of the wedding festivities was the Nikkah ceremony that took place on May 19, 2013 at the Holy Ka’aba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This was a very spiritual and holy place to begin our journey, and we are truly blessed we had that chance. The ceremony was done in a simple manner, with just family and close friends. Everyone wore traditional abayas and thobes. My mother-in-law designed a lovely blush pink abaya for this special day. With the backdrop of the Holy Ka’aba and our closest loved ones around us, I think this was the most memorable moment of the entire two weeks. It still feels like a dream!
After the Nikkah ceremony, the mehndi ceremony took place on May 26th. This is the traditional henna ceremony where they apply henna, sing spiritual poems and the bride and groom receive the blessings of the elders. Everyone wore bright, colorful clothing and the stage was beautifully decorated with splashes of colors and beading. I was adorned with rose garlands and gorgeous jewelry gifted to me by my parents-in-law.
Following the mehndi ceremony was the Shaadi or actual wedding ceremony. I was absolutely blown away by the venue which was called Alf Layl, which means A Thousand Nights in Arabic. The high ceilings were so intricate and classic. The grand ballroom were so vintage and just magical. All I could think of were Disney fairytales of Aladdin & Jasmine and of course Beauty & the Beast. My parents-in-law had carefully thought out our grand entrance on the basis of this venue. The ballroom had two staircases that joined at a balcony, where we stood in the photograph below. I still remember the loud cheers and clapping while we stood there. Our eyes were covered so we relied on sounds. It was truly memorable!
The venue for the Valima Reception was nothing short of chicness. The Crowne Plaza by the beaches of Jeddah was sleek, modern and absolutely breathtaking. And my gown matched it perfectly. My mother-in-law (again!) designed a gorgeous peacock green dress with a train that followed me as I walked. I have never felt more like a princess my entire life!
Following the two weeks in Saudi Arabia, we flew back to New Jersey, then went on to our Honeymoon in Dominican Republic. My reception in New Jersey took place on July 6th, which is what I had been planning for a year. Everything in Saudi Arabia was taken care of by my parents-in-law, and they did an absolutely amazing job. Stay tuned for my next posts about my honeymoon and reception!