Jehan and Mahmoud live in California but decided to have their wedding back home in Detroit, at the Fillmore Theater. They had a 500 guest muslim Wedding.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Our wedding theme inspiration was from the roaring 1920’s era. We loved movies such as “The Great Gatsby” and “Anastasia” and we tried to incorporate elements of those movies into our wedding. We thought it would be fun to celebrate our love at a theater that was vast enough to accommodate our 500+ wedding guests and highlight our appreciation for the arts. Our color scheme was gold, black, beige, and ivory. We both are Lebanese-Americans and wanted to celebrate our culture from the live entertainment to the food. We had a “zaffa”, or wedding procession, which is a tradition where close family members/friends meet at the bride’s house and escort the bride and groom to their wedding. The drummers dressed in traditional Lebanese costumes, and traditional music played as the Bride’s father walked her out of the house to her husband while everyone cheered and danced. We had a cocktail hour and played 1920’s themed music as our guests mingled and were served hors d’oeuvres. We had traditional dabke dancers perform a routine before we made our grand entrance on stage. We performed a Viennese waltz for our first dance. We danced throughout the night from traditional Lebanese music to throwbacks and modern music with a DJ and passed out glow sticks to add some fun! It was truly a magical evening with our loved ones that we will never forget.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: The theater had beautiful art-deco architecture so we were lucky to have a reception venue that did need much decorating. We had our proposal video playing on a big screen in the theater as guests were accompanied to their table seats in the theater. We had a Gatsby inspired gobo monogram that flashed on the red curtains of the theater and on the floor where guests entered. We had professional posters from our engagement session hung up throughout the lobby of the theater. Our decor team hung up different sized chandeliers from the top of stage ceiling. The table centerpieces arranged from tall candle-bras, ostrich feathers, and white roses. We had a long dessert/fruit table that was decorated by our caterers. The theater marquee had our names and wedding hashtag displayed.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: My bouquet had ivory roses with hints of feathers and crystals.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: We had a balloon drop from the theater ceiling which was a really exciting moment for us. Since we got engaged in December, we danced to the song from the movie “Anastasia” called “Once Upon a December”. We took dance lessons to learn how to viennese waltz for our first dance. Our first dance was the highlight of our the wedding in our opinion. Our favorite part of the wedding was dancing with all of our loved ones until 1 in the morning!
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: I wanted a ballgown that I could also dance in. My gown was by Stephen Yearick and was off-the-shoulders and had crystal sequins and lace throughout the dress. I had a very long 25 ft veil that was custom made with lace. I wore a crown with the veil draped over my low up-do. My make-up had hints of gold and shimmer.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We first met during college at the University of Michigan. We were in a long distance relationship for a few years, as Jehan worked at a law firm in New York City and Mahmoud was a medical student in Michigan. On December 25, 2016, Mahmoud flew to NYC with his and Jehan’s family members and planned a surprise proposal in Central Park. He hired a film crew to follow Jehan and Mahmoud around for the day to capture the moments leading up to the big question. A few friends were in on the surprise and distracted Jehan as he sped off to change into a black tuxedo and meet her at Ladies-Pavillion gazeebo where he he got down on one knee to ask if she would spend the rest of his life with him.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: The most anticipated moment our wedding waltz. We never practiced our routine in my dress so I was very nervous but it turned out to be the absolute highlight of our wedding and was worth all of the dance lessons and practice!
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Enjoy the planning leading up to the big day but don’t get too bogged down on the details as not everything will always go as planned. Embrace the planning and truly enjoy every moment of your wedding day because it sure does flash by, especially when you’re having fun!
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