Aya and Hadi, Dead Sea, Jordan
Against the serene backdrop of the Dead Sea, this couple’s dream wedding was brought to life.
Built on seven hills, the cityscapes of Amman maintains a fine balance between Middle-Eastern flair and Western influences. The city’s ancient structures, evocative of its rich past, mingle with modern restaurants, malls and galleries, making this city of contrasts one of the most versatile places to explore. Eager to invite their loved ones to a wedding that would allow them to experience this wonderful destination, Aya and Hadi threw a week-long celebration that took them all across the capital of Jordan. The bride shares the highlights of their big day.
How They Met
“Hadi and I met in high school and immediately became close friends. Our bond grew over many years before we started seeing each other romantically. We always felt a connection between us but wanted everything to happen at the right time! Hadi became a financial analyst and I’m a wedding photographer. We had talked about marriage and its significance in both our cultures. After being together for a while, we wanted to honour those traditions and beliefs, and decided that it was time to tie the knot.”
“Hadi proposed under this tree where we would sit under for hours to disconnect from everything and connect with each other. He decorated it with fairy lights and, as soon as he popped the question, I said yes!”
“Hadi’s background is Pakistani but he was born and raised in Toronto. I grew up and spent half my life in Jordan. My parents still reside there. Having my grandparents present on my big day was one of the primary factors that contributed to our decision to host our wedding in Jordan as they can’t travel. That said, we also wanted everyone we love to be present with us on this occasion. After several rounds of discussions, the destination was decided.
We chose the Dead Sea as our wedding location because we wanted an outdoor ceremony in December and the weather in that area happens to be much warmer than in the city! I grew up visiting this place with my family and know how special it is. It felt right to let our guests also experience this feeling, which you can only get when you’re there.”
“Piecing all the details together took us a lot of time, however, we managed to plan a full week of activities for our families and friends who were coming from out of town and out of the country. What made our wedding so special was that we had everyone we love in one beautiful place, exploring and doing all sorts of activities together for a whole week, before wrapping up with two boisterous celebrations.”
“We both come from such unique cultures and wanted to emphasize this while celebrating. The henna night was quite simple and everyone wore gorgeous traditional outfits. The room was full of colourful dresses representing our respective ethnic backgrounds. Stunning henna designed were drawn on our hands and family members performed!
In Pakistani culture, the henna night is full of beautiful traditions and we wanted the event space to embody that! When we found our venue, we knew it was the perfect match. It’s is a historical home that has been transformed into an art gallery; it lent itself wonderfully to the mood of the celebration.”
“Our intention for the wedding was for it to feel intimate despite it being a relatively big celebration. I envisioned the space to be romantically lit and have the floral arrangements on the tables set low so people would able to connect and talk comfortably without having anything in the way. I loved the idea of having dark tables and colorful flowers instead of the softer palettes that have been trending lately. Although I spent a fair amount of my childhood in Jordan, my roots, like most migrants in the country, are Palestinian. Therefore, we added olive branches on each plate to signify our Palestinian heritage.
We wanted the wedding ceremony to have a quiet start so that we could take it all in. The space where we exchanged our vows afforded a panoramic view of the Dead Sea and the setting was absolutely perfect.
This was followed by a quick photo session, after which we headed back to the resort to meet everyone and proceed with the zaffeh – the traditional giving away of the bride. With some delicious dinner and lots of dancing, we concluded our big day!“
Advice for Couples
“The tiny things truly don’t matter! Let your wedding feel good instead of focusing on making it look good. Make decisions with a level head so there are no regrets afterwards and, on the day of the wedding, just focus on your partner, your family as well as friends and forget about everything else. The day should be a celebration of love, that’s all.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: NOFA Creative Space (Mehndi), Dead Sea (Wedding)
Wedding Planner: Shahin and Shahin
Décor: Shahin Flowers & Balloons
Bride’s Outfits: Pronovias (Wedding)
Jewellery: Gain Jewellery (Weddings Bands)
Makeup: Alia Bitar Makeup
Photography: Eric Ronald