Choosing THE Wedding Photographer

Dear Brides-to-be,

You are probably on a hunt to find the best person who can document your wedding day. Let me take a minute and explain why choosing a wedding photographer is a lot more than choosing someone to take good photos.

Wedding photographers are the only wedding vendors who will be with you throughout the day, witnessing your love story unfold, and documenting the union of two people beginning a new journey. We are in the business of love.

To enhance your experience and to make sure that your day goes smoothly, here are some tips to make sure you choose the right wedding photographer to document your big day.

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  1. Research Well – during the tiring wedding planning, don’t just hire a photographer that your best friend and/or cousin hired. Make sure you choose someone who fits your budget as well as your aesthetic vision. If you are planning an indoor wedding, do NOT choose an outdoor photographer merely based on how much you like their photos. Choose someone who’s style matches yours especially based on the type of wedding you are planning.
  2. Meet the Photographer – after cutting down the list of best choices, email the photographers to set up a meeting (given that they live in the same city). If you are planning to have a destination photographer, make sure to have a Skype session to explain your wedding planning and requirements.
  3. Personality Matters (a lot!) – Once you meet/Skype with the selected photographers, then decide to hire one you can imagine having around on your big day. If you gel well with the photographer during the initial meeting, chances are they are the ones you want to spend your special day with.
  4. Communication is the Key – make sure to keep your photographer in loop via email sharing special details, décor design, asking for their feedback. Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding lighting, timelines, and stage layout. Also, make sure you are comfortable enough with the photographer to discuss any family and/or timeline issues that may occur on the wedding day.
  5. Timeline is Essential – If a photographer is not asking for a timeline, make sure you take things in your hands and discuss how your day will go. Discuss what time you expect them to arrive and for how long you will need them for. Ask them how much time they need for bride & groom’s formals and family photos.
  6. Trust is a valuable asset – when you choose a photographer after research, trust them. Refrain from asking to see every photo that they click.What you see is unedited and may make the photographer hesitant and under pressure.
  7. Go with the Flow – it is crucial to understand that things will go wrong on the wedding day. They always do. The bouquet is not the right size, the makeup artist is late, the centerpieces have pink peonies instead of white. Don’t let things ruin your day (and photos). Brides who are angry will look angry in the photos despite of the efforts to smile. Believe that your wedding day will end well and it will.

May you find the best photographer who’s intention is to provide you an experience along with beautiful photos. May the photographer with happy memories of your wedding day. Oh and in case you want to get in touch with me, fill out the contact form to holla at your girl 🙂

Love,
~ Rima

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Saint Regis, Abu Dhabi Wedding – Ayesha & Tariq

As I looked from my camera’s viewfinder to photograph her getting ready shots, she looked up in the mirror and I gasped for breath. She looked so breathtakingly beautiful (mashaAllah) with the hair and makeup done although she was still in a t-shirt and yoga pants.

She smiled then asked “Chee wa choo?” leaving me utterly confused. I asked her what she meant by ‘chee wa choo’ and she looked in the mirror with wide smile saying this is ‘chee’ and then smiled a little less and said ‘this is choo.’ I bursted into laughter and told her she looks stunning with either ‘chee wa choo.’ It became our inside joke, made us laugh for the rest of the night, and oh yes, the photos came out amazing (courtesy of both chee & choo).

Ayesha & Tariq celebrated their wedding in Saint Regis, Abu Dhabi. Their ballroom was decorated by Hamasat weddings. Ayesha wore a gorgeous bridal gown by Ezra Fashion, Dubai & shoes from Saint Laurent.  I really liked her idea of party favors with roses in a glass jar and logo of her and Tariq’s initials in Arabic letters were found in different details.

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Thank you for inviting me and trusting me for documenting you wedding. You two are so sweet and totally amongst the most politest people I’ve ever met. I pray that the Almighty showers his endless blessings & bounties on both of you. May you both live a life full of happiness, love, and laughter with Chees wa Choos 😉

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Al Ain Rotana Wedding – Fatin & Obaid

Both of them had the same smile.
The same way of smile.
Or may be the same reason to smile for…
To be together…forever.

She was all smiles when I reached her bridal suite. Sitting in the makeup chair, she was radiating a positive energy. He was smiling and seemed so very happy when I went to the ballroom to photograph it. I was in awe when I saw both of them together. Their smiles got wider, more meaningful, and full of life. The happiness along with positive energy was filling the rooms. Bright, lively, illuminating. Like rays of love.

Fatin and Obaid celebrated their wedding at Al Ain Rotana Hotel with their loved ones. Their beautiful kosha/stage and ballroom was decorated by Dream Wedding Services. Fatin wore a gorgeous bridal gown from Hazar Fashion. I was in love with her bouquet because the real flowers were not only pretty but had an amazing smell as well. My personal favorite was the O&F logos for thank you note holders that she got made on order all the way from India.

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Dear Fatin & Obaid,

You two are so0o0o0o0o cute. I throughly enjoyed photographing both of you and documenting your wedding day. Thank you for having me and my team and honoring us to be a small part of your big celebrations. I pray that the Almighty showers you with all his blessings, bounties, and all the things that make both of you smile, ameen.

Love,
~ Rima

Sharjah Engagement – Mahra & Ammar

I only clicked a few photos of him when he asked “…are we done?!?”
While trying to recover from the shock I said politely “but I just started your photos…” He replied back innocently “…but I just wanna talk to her!”

I smiled and told the groom that photos won’t take long and he can have all the time to talk to her. Mahra looked so beautiful in her blue gown that I didn’t blame him for his request. They looked like two peas in a pod. Absorbed in their own world. In love…

Mahra & Ammar’s engagement was celebrated with lots of joy at Mahra’s villa in Sharjah. The decorations were done by Forever Events.  Mahra looked like a Cinderella, in her blue gown and matching shoes by YSL, sitting on the kosha/stage which looked like twinkling stars. She had an extremely unqiue bouquet was from Fiore designs. My personal favorite thing was the spectacular flower display for her gifted jewelry.

Dear Mahra & Ammar,

Thank you for your trust and for giving me the opportunity of documenting your engagement. I had immense fun photographing the beauty of Mahra & the love of Ammar. I am excited to see what you two are planning for the wedding because I know it’ll be amazing, inshaAllah.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Al Bustan Rotana, Dubai Wedding – Eissa & Roudha

They spent their entire lives as neighbors.
Not knowing that that the orbits of love were revolving around them – waiting for them to meet and be each other’s forever.

Once I heard that if you want to see how a man will treat his wife, see how he treats his mother. When I saw the relationship Eissa shared with his mother and sisters, I knew for sure that Roudha will be treated like a queen.

Roudha certainly looked like a queen as she sat on her wedding stage. I couldn’t wait till Eissa sees her because I knew the feeling from their engagement and henna party. As he entered the ballroom and walked towards the brightly lit stage to take his place, he didn’t take his eyes off of her – not even for a split of a second. There was something spectacular about the way he looks at her. As if no one else exists but her.

She looked shy but her smile was dazzling, reaching the corners of her eyes; knowing that the love in his eyes is absolutely raw. My little heart did a happy dance. It made me believe that no two people in the history have ever looked happier than they did in that instant. Couples like them make me fall in love deeper with what I do. I literally took their wedding booking so I can watch them look at each other. To watch love in its purest form. Young, without boundaries, audacious love….

Eissa & Roudha got married in Al Bustan Rotana, Dubai. Their black and gold kosha/stage and ballroom was decorated by Special Moments. Roudha looked breathtaking in her customized bridal gown from Arushi Couture. She carried a beautiful bridal bouquet from Fiore Designs and her Menbur shoes carried her elegantly. I loved the mini dresses, shoes, and crowns for the flower girls.

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Dearest Roudha & Eissa,

Thank you for choosing me to be a part of your wedding day and letting me witness your love. I feel beyond honored to be able to photograph you both three times (engagement, henna, and wedding) and my heart feels so content with watching your love story unfolding before my eyes. You both are gems & shine more in each other’s presence. May your love grows exponentially but stays as pure & raw as I saw it…

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

P.S. A hugggggggggge shout-out to all the ladies of both AlJassmi families!!! I know you all have been waiting for the blog. I can’t thank you enough for the hospitality you girls show towards me and always make me feel like a part of the family. I adore all of you from the bottom of my heart ❤

Uptown Mirdif Henna Party – Eissa & Roudha

I loveeeee themed parties.
They are full of details and if done right, they are true to the traditions of the theme. I feel fortunate enough to photograph the following henna party of Eissa & Roudha in Uptown Mirdif.

It wasn’t my first time meeting them. Last year, I was honored to photograph these two lovebirds in front of my camera on their engagement party (and their absolutely amazing wedding will be featured on the blog next week).

Here are a few details from their traditional Arab henna party with tons of colors, details, a well made, oil lanterns, floor cushions, and loads of party favors.

Dear Roudha & Eissa,

Thank you for giving me another opportunity to photograph you both. My heart feels so full and I just can’t wait to write and share all the love I’ve witnessed. But for that, you have to wait just a little more until I figure out how to express my heart the right way, enjoy the photos from your henna party and keep smiling & dancing…

Love,
~ Rima

Best Piece of Advice

Dear Brides-to-Be,

For this installment of UnOfficial BridesMaid, I am bringing you advice from none other than actual brides of mine. They have been through the wedding planning process and give some incredibly useful tips based on their personal experiences.

I asked them for their best advice to help you with the wedding planning and this is what they have to say…..

  1. A Checklist is a must!!! ~Afra
  2. Budget wisely. ~Sara Rouab
  3. Plan ahead this way you will not get worried about thigs popping up all of a sudden on wedding day! ~ Aysha
  4. Invest in PHOTOGRAPHY and lower the budget for other things as photos r the only thing that the bride gets to keep as a memory from her wedding day. ~ Maram
  5. Relax and enjoy every single moment. Stressing out will make things worse and hard to get. ~ Reem AlHosani
  6. Run! ~ Amna (lol. Amna, you are hilarious).
  7. 1. Do. Not. Panic !
    2. Let your first priority on your wedding day be to having fun with your groom and family. Forget about the formalities.
    3. Eliminate sources of distraction and don’t let others interfere.
    4. The last few weeks before the wedding should be about relaxing, spa days and just day dreaming…..no stress….no staying up late! And drink lots of water.
    5. Practice! Try on your shoes, dress, veil and practice moving in them. ~ Meera
  8. Once you know the wedding date:
    1. Find your perfect wedding gown
    2. Book your photographer, makeup artist & hairstylist immediately.
    3. Pamper yourself.
    4. Relax! everything will be ok! ~ Hind
  9. The first process is to search the good makeup artist. And then go to the super hero (RIMA) ~ Mahra  (I swear, I didn’t pay her to say that :D)
  10. 1. Finish everything about your wedding  1 week before the wedding , keep the last week for RELAXING !
    2. Write every small thing and take the list to the venue so you won’t forget anything.
    3. Keep extra money in your handbag for last minute things.
    4. Keep the room clean, where you will be getting ready.
    5. Try to stay alone in your room till you finish everything (makeup, photography, etc). ~ Moza
  11. No matter what happens, you should be calm, happy and confident. Don’t stress your self over few decoration or makeup mistakes. Don’t be sad nor cry over silly things. People should think of the meaning of this day not the over look – Meera AlNuaimi

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So brides-to-be, plan ahead of time to avoid any mishaps, relax and everything will be great! Look at the bigger picture, go with the flow, and enjoy your day to the fullest. May this day be the better than what you have planned it to be.

Your unofficial bridesmaid,
~ Rima

InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Wedding – Khalid & Aysha

She was on top of her game.
Way before the wedding, we hung out for a casual coffee and she told me that she was done with all the wedding planning. Everything was checked off the list. I was both surprised and impressed at the same time. Only if I knew that it was just a small portion of surprise….because her wedding day was jaw-droppingly surprise-fully beautiful (I mean it in every way possible).

Aysha is an absolute sweetheart. Confident, poised, caring, full of style, and a walking talking example of grace. I was thrilled to see what she had been planning for her wedding because I knew she wouldn’t settle for ordinary. More than that, I was excited to meet her lucky man, Khalid.

Khalid was absolutely what I imagined a soul mate for Aysha to be. With a confident walk, friendly smile, caring and respectful nature, and eyes with so much care & love for her that I felt short of breath (& words). They looked perfect together. Like moon & moonlight, flower & fragrance, heart & heartbeat. Incomplete without the other half. Giving a meaning to each other’s presence.

Aysha & Khalid’s wedding was celebrated with lots of dancing & love at InterContinental Hotel, Festival City Dubai. Haifa Al Marri from Afkar Events used a unique combination of blue, yellow, & white & real Calla Lillies to decorate their kosha/stage & the ballroom. Aysha opted for  a stunning bridal gown from Esposa, shoes from Gina, and a bouquet by Crochet Flowers.

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Dearest Aysha & Khalid,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For being who you are, the way you are, amongst yourself and to others. I feel incredibly grateful for meeting you two and for the opportunity to document both of you on your wedding day. I absolutely adore you two and wish you both a life full of happiness, success, health, and impeccable love.

Stay Fabulous,
~ Rima

Dubai, UAE – Wedding Inspiration

As a creative, my soul craves art. And inspiration.
Looking at art is one thing but creating it feeds my soul.
Without any pressure of the outcome, it feels great to create something just for the sake of creation. To test new horizons. To see the capabilities. To overcome the boundaries and limits. When 2016 started, I promised myself to make time for things that have been pending and a styled shoot was certainly on the top of the list.

I feel so very grateful for the team of creatives who brought my vision to life….

Makeup:  Maryam B.
Hair: Matilda
Dress:  Contessa, Dubai
Bouquet: Crochet Flowers
Model: Elena
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography

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Here is a video trailer from the shoot.

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding – Mohamed & Maryam Z.

Her thoughts were free to go anywhere.
But it was surprising how they were constantly directed towards him.
Thinking of him (& wanting him to see her as the bride) was making her smile.

She was smiling even when she was annoyed about something over the phone.
As soon as she put the phone down, the entire room bursted into laughter. Including her. That’s what love does to people. Taking them away from the sadness & making them happy. And hopeful. I could totally predict that Mohamed was just as anxious and excited to see her as she was.

As they exchanged first look, I was captivated by their calmness and assurance of their choice.  The room felt quite – under a love-spell as they stood in front of each other – except for the sound of the camera shutters. As if the entire universe was watching them speak through their eyes and smiles…..making promises of a lifetime.

Maryam & Mohamed got married at Grand Hyatt, Dubai. Their kosha/stage was decorated by Klassna Events. Maryam looked stunning in her wedding gown from Ezra Couture, shoes from Manolo Blahnik, and a beautiful bouquet of real flowers from Crochet.

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Since M&M were going to Japan for honeymoon, Maryam got these adorable Japanese dolls as props. I absolutely lovedddddddddd them.

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I call them Mr. & Mrs. Coffee Lovers…

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M&M – together as one!

Dearest Mohamed & Maryam,

Life is a beautiful thing. May yours be bloomed even more by each others’ love. May you always find each other by your side in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health – be the reason of each other’s smile as you were on your first day as husband and wife. May you both live a long healthy life & always love each other in all days of it. Forever…

Love,
~ Rima