Barsha, Dubai Engagement – Mohamed & Maryam J.

She smiled and lowered her eyes in shyness. Then smiled even wider. Knowing how he felt.

With mesmerizing big green eyes, she looked like a goddess in her pink gown. Mohamed entered the room for photo-shoot but stood still for a solid couple of minutes to collect himself. I couldn’t decide if he was simply struck by her beauty or he couldn’t believe that this gorgeous girl is finally his. And the entire universe can guess what happened to my dear heart – it melted!

Most of the brides enquire if I’m available for their engagement/wedding date. Maryam was different. She asked me when I’m available and then arranged her entire engagement around my availability, leaving me both stunned and grateful with her utter thoughtfulness. I couldn’t have been happier to be a small part of her elaborated engagement party because it was full of carefully put together details.

Maryam & Mohamed’s engagement party was celebrated with immense love & joy by their close family and friends in Barsha, Dubai. Maryam’s vision of having a rustic themed party was brought to live by Fiftyfive Degrees who did a marvelous job at decoration the stage, centerpieces, and a beautiful entrance. She wore a pink dress by Dar Sara Fashions and Nine West shoes. Oh and a super cute bouquet of real flowers by Royal Armani Flowers.

Dearest Maryam & Mohamed,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughtfulness, consideration, and for your friendship. Photographing your engagement party, meeting your families, and watching you two together made me realize – yet again – how beautiful love is. I can’t wait to see and document your wedding because I know it will be nothing short of perfection & love.

Stay Fabulous,
~ Rima

Happy New Year – 2016

2015 – My oh my…. (phew)

This past year has been nothing short of a blessing.
The journey wasn’t a carved straight path. And it definitely wasn’t all happy-happy. I cried a few times at the verge of giving up, missed a few goals, stayed up late half the year to keep things on track, tried to avoid blunders (okay I wasn’t 100% successful in that but the key word is tried 😉 ),  but celebrated each failure.

I am proud to exceed my goals of weddings this year, booked weddings that felt right, got to meet amazing couples & some extremely creative wedding industry vendors, completed my lens kit, extended my team, the blog-visitors increased exponentially, and I explored 4 new countries with 10 destinations in 5 international trips throughout the year *high five*.

I feel so grateful for experiencing life in so many new ways & also feel overwhelmed by how gracious God has been. I can’t thank HIM enough.

I am so incredibly excited for what 2016 has in store. The calendar is filling up with fabulous weddings, new business ventures, goals to be achieved, and dreams to be chased. I feel a stronger desire to be a better wife, daughter, friend, and artist.

Thank you so much for being a part of journey. I wish you a super Happy New Year – 2016 – from the bottom of my heart. May it be filled with joy, love, peace, & success, ameen.

Cheers to a Fearless & Fabulous year!

Wedding in Sharjah Ladies Club – AbdelRahman & Khadija

I have never, in my 3 years of business, ever, witnessed anything like that.

As my assistant opened the door for him, the bride waited for him to enter the room.
He entered and paused as she slowly turned around, radiating in her bridal gown.

He just stood there, staring at her, unable to hide his meaningful smile & spark in the eyes.
It felt like a thirsty man finally found oasis in the desert. A tree in scorching heat. Cool breeze on a summer night. As if he found hope. Direction to his dreams

The time seemed to be moving very slow. My palms got sweaty, thoughts went blank, and after taking several shots of their first look, I felt frozen myself. The bride, my assistant, and I were as much speechless by his reaction as he was by his life-partner’s beauty.

Several moments passed by when I asked him “ummm….are you okkaay?”
I felt guilty of bringing him back to reality. Without moving his head, he walked towards her, held her hands in his, and said “I waited five years for this day….”

She stared back in his eyes and said “…..more like twenty-five years!”
He took her in his embrace. She happily gave her soul & existence to him.
I held my camera up and clicked through. Smiling. I live for moments like this…

I knew both of them since their beautiful engagement party and ever since, I felt part of their wedding planning process. Whether it was discussing timeline and perfect wedding dress over mouthwatering lunch at P.F. Chang’s, or sharing macaroons while we spoke about the lighting on the kosha, Khadija thought keenly through every detail. And I mean, E-V-E-R-Y DETAIL! (yes, in big bold capital letters).

Khadija & AbdelRahman’s wedding took place at Sharjah Ladies Club and depicted their months of hard work. The ballroom was beautifully decorated by one of my favorite kosha/stage wedding planners Dream Wedding Services. Khadija got a beautiful, easy-to-move-in dress from Esposa, her bouquet was made by one of my favorite florists in Dubai & Abu Dhabi – Crochet Flowers, and the delicious cake was made by Sweet Lane Cakes. I personally loved the perfume table outside of the ballroom with extremely beautiful decoration and fragrances by Rose Kazan Perfumes.

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Dearest Khadija & AbdelRahman,

Thank you for making me a witness of your first day as husband & wife and adding moments to cherish for a lifetime in my memory. Your wedding day is a definition of Perfection! I felt like I was watching a love novel come to life. I feel extremely honored, yet again, that you both chose me as your wedding photographer to document real life moments. I’m still stunned by how this much awesomeness can be condensed into one day? And how this much love can be condensed into two hearts? Looking at both of you, my heart assures me that love alone is worth waiting & fighting for.

Much appreciation, dua, & love,
~ Rima

P.S.  Enjoy The City of Love! You two picked a perfect place for honeymoon – Paris.

Sabahiya in Markaz Al Rasool, Dubai – Hassan & Sara

She is a walking-talking definition of elegance.
He has a heart full of love for her.
Ever since the first day I met them, the experience was nothing short of amazing. Their wedding was full of beauty, love, flying butterflies, and indoor fireworks.

I was thrilled when she told me about her Sabahiya (valima).  I’ve always liked those. The valima day is generally relaxed. I was excited to see what Sara & Hassan have planned for the celebrations after the wedding. I wasn’t wrong to be so excited when I saw that Sara chose a gorgeous pink dress & pearl jewelry that enhanced her beauty. My awesome associate photographer documented Sara’s smile while she twirled in her dress, which made her look like a fairytale princess.

Sara & Hassan’s sabahiya (valima) took place at Markaz al Rasool, Dubai. The interior and huge chandeliers gave an edge to the beautiful kosha/stage. The choice of hot-pink, baby-pink, and green flowers made the decoration look more extravagant.

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Dear Sara & Hassan,

Thank you for being the best!!! I found not clients but friends in both of you. Lifelong friends that I love and will cherish forever. You both are adorable and make this world a good place to be in. I can’t wait to see all the great things the future holds for both of you. May you love each other more and more each day, everyday! Ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

Wedding in Sharjah Ladies Club – Sara & Leon

We sat in a coffee shop, laughed constantly, and talked about zodiac signs. That’s how I remember our first meeting. On the wedding day, we discussed how ghetto of a bride she was for wearing her gorgeous heels in a hurry as if she was a school girl about to miss her bus. Yes, the topics of the conversation were totally different yet we laughed the same. Or may be more….

I tend to enjoy documenting & photographing parties where either there are tons of details or each member of the family seems to be genuinely happy. In Sara & Leon’s case, both were true. She made her entrance and totally rocked the stage. Sara looked so gorgeous that Leon couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Sara’s friend sung such a beautiful song for her and later all their family and friends danced and the party was lit up even more by everyone’s smiles.

I totally loved how she chose a dark purple theme for her wedding decoration. Many thanks to Ekleel Designs for transforming the ballrooms of Sharjah Ladies Club with gorgeous purple flowers, candles, and countless details. The menu cards, little flowers, table setup, tableware, party favors, jewelry, and shoes, everything was keenly put together and seemed magnificent.

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Sara & Leon,

Your day was incredibly fun. Your party pulsed all night with all the dancing, happiness, toasting, cheering, and celebrating your union. I adored how in the midst of all the dancing, Sara was able to enjoy some special moments with her mom. Leon, something makes me so sure that your life is about to rock with Sara’s presence in it. I wish you both a life full of happiness, fun, laughter, and loads of more celebrations. In short, I wish you both your own version of happily ever after….

Love,
~ Rima

 

Wedding in Dubai World Trade Center – Yazan & Amna

He was polite. Soft spoken. Respectful.
She was outspoken. Hilarious. Bubbly.
I thought to myself….Opposites DO Attract.

As he patiently listened to my posing directions, from the corner of my eye I saw her cracking jokes, laughing out loud, dancing in front of the cameras. I smiled and continued to take his photos while my awesome team documented her beauty.

The fun began when they were put in front of my camera. Together. It was amazing to see how she calmed down into a girly-girl and he couldn’t hold back his wide-smile. Her laugh turned into shy giggles and his calmness was turned into charm. It was like a chemistry lab experiment. When two totally different elements put together – like H2O, made a universal symbol of survival. In their case, they both put together in the picture made a symbol of love.

Bubbly, respectful, classic love.

He was careful when holding her hands. She seemed more cautious by his touch. Their eyes spoke a thousand words – all beautiful adjectives – without actually saying them. My heart did a little dance and I smiled through the rest of the night.

That’s how I remember them. Both Amna & Yazan. That’s how I recall their perfect wedding day which took place in Zabeel Hall of Dubai World Trade Center.  To top things off, their wedding was beautifully decorated by Joelle Wedding. Amna’s gorgeous bridal gown was by Elie Saab. I absolutely loved Amna’s unique Manolo Blahnik shoes and her beautiful bouquet by Fiore Design. Her makeup was done by Haifa Safar and I was honored to document Amna & Yazan’s flawless day along with my team.

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You two…you two should be in a profession that has to do with chemistry. Seriously! With the sparks you share when in each other’s presence has affected my heart. In a great way. Your love made me believe in love all over again. And I love my job even more. If it revolved around meeting such amazing couple who are immensely in love, I wish and plan to be a photographer even at the age of 187.  I wish both of you endless success in every step of life. Both of you are beautiful in your own unique way and I love it even more when you guys are together. Never, ever, change! Ever…

Love,
~ Rima

Wedding in Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai – Yousef & Khadija

He turned around and his bisht (Arab’s traditional robe) did a full swing.
It looked like a cape. Then he fixed his ghatra (white head piece for men) and flashed a smile at his princess. Everyone knew the new Arab super-hero was there to take his princess with him. To make the fairytale story more authentic, I gave him a name –  ‘The Ghatra Man’.

From the time Khadija sat on the super talented makeup artist Zareen‘s makeup chair, I remember nothing but laughing. It was a laughing riot. Without a single dull moment. Khadija’s much-anticipated-wedding was a dream come true. Zareen’s magic made her look even more stunning. Everyone who looked at Khadija couldn’t take their eyes off of her (mashaAllah times a billion).

People gasped for breath when Khadija made an entrance wearing her breathtaking wedding gown by Michael Cinco and holding her gorgeous bouquet by Fiore Design.  With tons of details such as bird-cages, park benches, flowers, water-fountains – my favorite – cushions that looked like wood-logs, The Great Ballroom in Le Meridien Hotel was spectacularly decorated and turned into a magical garden by Al Mahad Events.

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Here is a quick video trailer with decoration of their beautiful Dubai wedding.

Mr. & Mrs. GhatraMan

I can’t express how happy and emotionally invested I was throughout your wedding celebrations. Yousef, I’m sure you are super happy to have your princess always by your side. I can see the happiness through your SnapChats. Khadija, your family is the mosttttttt welcoming one I have ever met. From discussing the packages over amazing karak-chaye at your house to inviting me for food-tasting at the hotel way before your wedding, it was always a party hanging out with them. You are an incredible friend+sister who finds & spread the joy in life’s simplest moments. Always. I’m sure you’ll make Yousef’s life full of love, care, and laughter with your awkward awesome dance-moves 😀

Love you to the Pluto and back,
~ Rima

Click on the respective links to see Yousef & Khadija’s engagement/milcha party and henna party.

Wedding in Atlantis the Palm, Dubai – Nikki & David

Soulmates. Instead of their names, that’s how they both should be referred to as: soulmates. Their union was nothing but love. Inspiring True Love. Full of devotion & passion. For which the greatest sacrifices may seem as sweetest delights.

Nikki contacted me few months ago from UK and expressed that she was having a wedding in UK but the couple wanted to have their blessing done in Dubai as they both love the city and its culture. Sharing her love for Dubai, of course I had to say yes! Upon meeting her, I realized that she’s even more lovely in person and she made an absolutely stunning bride. Her prince charming, David, was in awe by her beauty. These love-birds were surrounded by their close friends who witnessed them make vows of eternal love.

Nikki & David chose to have a destination wedding and celebrated their union, fiery and as pure as they themselves are, at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.

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Dearest Nikki & David,

Thank you for your trust in my work & for letting me share the joys of your wonderful day. I feel beyond honored to document your wedding. You two have everything before you. You shall do very great things as I have perfect faith in both of you. I pray that you love each other more passionately. Share each moment of your lives more cheerfully. Embrace each other more tightly. Fulfill each other’s existence with more strength, faith, happiness, and love. Always….

Love, ~ Rima

Wedding in Al Boom Tourist Village, Dubai – Marwa & Jassim

It felt like their thought process was aligned.
They were reading each other’s mind without uttering a single word. They knew what the other one wanted without asking. There were times they were naughty and annoyed each other but it always ended with laughter and embracing each other. With love.

Marwa, the quite yet friendly bride had exquisite eyes & gorgeous features. She had the personality anyone can easily talk to. No wonder she had Jassim head-over-heels for her. As much pleasure as it was capturing Marwa’s gorgeous face, Jassim – the tall handsome groom – was truly natural in front of the camera.

Their beautiful wedding took place at Latifa Ballroom in Al Boom Tourist Village, Dubai. As fun & colorful their henna party was, Marwa & Jassim had an elegant wedding with all things pretty. A printed-circle dance floor was creatively made a step below the actual stage so the bride’s friends can cheer and dance without blocking her view of the ballroom. I particularly liked their initials [MJ] on the details.

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Dear MJ,

Thank you! It was an honor to document your big day. Your love inspires me. The day was perfect in every sense and I couldn’t be more happier to be a part of it. I’m sure great things are in store for both of you. May you always find each other by your side & realize how lucky you both are. May you never take each other for granted & conquer the world – together!

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Wedding in The Meydan Hotel, Dubai – Nabil & Haneya

It was my first time meeting her because she hired me on the phone. Haneya is a cousin of my past bride who referred her.  Her too much calmness was surprising.  I asked her if she’s nervous and she said “It’s not hitting me that today is my wedding.” We both smiled and I assured her that was about to change as soon as she’ll get into her wedding dress.

True as it was, Haneya’s smile got wide as she got into her wedding dress and even wider with each delicate piece of jewelry she wore. From behind my camera, I enjoyed watching her intense nervousness turned into streams of happiness.  Her grace, gratitude, and love showed in every move – especially when Nabil made his entrance into the bridal suite. I think that’s what love does to people – it gives them power.

Their intimate wedding was hosted at the very tech-savvy Meydan Hotel, Dubai. Surrounded by family & friends, Haneya & Nabil announced their I DOs, shared some custom-made delicious chocolates, and promised to be at each other’s side forever….

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Dear Haneya & Nabil,

Thank you so much for your trust and for the opportunity to document your big day. I loved how each of your family member and friends present at your wedding joined in your happiness and celebrated your union cheerfully. May you both always hold hands, give each other strength, bring positive change into each other’s life, and try to be the better half of the other.

Much love,
~ Rima