This July, I celebrated my first wedding anniversary! It was my first and last wedding anniversary just me and my hubby- next year we’ll have (cute) company!
We were privileged to have a stunning outdoor summer wedding in Lebanon. We chose one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in Lebanon: Bois de Roses, Faitroun. And we specifically chose this location because the weather in Faitroun is ideal for a summer wedding. To all the new brides who are planning a summer wedding in Lebanon, make sure you choose a venue that’s on a higher elevation and avoid the city. That way you’ll avoid the heat and humidity of Lebanese summers.
We were lucky all went smoothly; we had chosen an excellent wedding planner and suppliers, which I highly recommend. Here is a list of everyone who was involved in making our wedding flawless and memorable.
It all started at home, the bride’s house. This beautiful table was set up and provided by Remiel, an excellent chocolatier that designs beautiful wedding arrangements. All their sweets were delicious and we loved the presentation.
My hubby’s family hired Péché Mignon, who also did an incredible job on their end!
On the day of the wedding, the photographers and videographers came to my house super early, around noon, to take footage of me getting ready, and with the rest of my family. That morning, on top of getting my hair and makeup done, I had to make sure my bedroom was also decorated and ready for the photoshoot.
I had bought two pairs of shoes: the heels for the ceremony during the day, and the converse for the reception at night.
I simply bought plain white converse platforms and fully customized them! I strongly recommend switching into comfortable shoes during your wedding reception so you can dance freely and comfortably. Because you’re wearing a long dress, platforms can prevent you from tripping on your dress, while keeping you at a consistent height during the night.
After a long search for the perfect wedding dress, I settled for a simple, elegant, summer-style wedding dress from Maison Lesley boutique. As a bride, I wasn’t interested in lavish and over-the-top. I was aiming for elegant and comfortable. I wanted to enjoy my wedding rather than feeling heavy and trapped in a large, ornamented dress. So I found the dress that was just right for me.
The only issue – that I wish I had thought of before- was that the lace on my dress didn’t show much in the photos. My dress looked stunning in person, and looked really plain in photos. I highly recommend new brides to take lots of photos in their dress beforehand just to make sure their dress looks good on camera. It’s one thing to look good in person, and another to look good in the photos that will last a lifetime!
I did my hair at Tony El Mendelek. I wasn’t super impressed with my hair to be honest, as it wasn’t exactly what I had requested, but I wasn’t going to make an issue on my wedding day. Plus I received lots of compliments on the hairdo, which made me feel better about it.
On the other hand, Roula Riachi did an excellent job doing my makeup. I had specifically requested that my makeup not be overdone and to make me look simple, natural and beautiful. And I loved the result.
Most brides I’ve seen choose a fully white bouquet to go with their wedding dress, but I chose my bouquet to suit my wedding theme – so that it goes well with my photos at the venue. I included the same type of flowers and threw in some pine cones for the garden/ rustic effect.
The rest of the bouquets followed the theme.
Now this is a brief look into the venue. Because we had a large, beautiful venue, we didn’t need to decorate much – the place was already naturally decorated. But all our decor was rustic-style down to the smallest detail.
This was the entrance, down to the welcome area.
These lanterns lit up during the night and produced such a warm, inviting effect.
Since most of our guests had traveled to come to the wedding, it was difficult to choose a giveaway that wouldn’t be inconvenient for them to take back. So we decided to go for a Photo Booth, with live printing that would give guests their photo on the spot. Photo Booths are a trending giveaway, because you’re almost guaranteed that your guests will actually leave with their gift in hand- after all, who doesn’t want to take their own photo?
The welcome area was a short distance away from the actual reception venue, which was where the night would officially begin! This is an overview photo of the entire venue. We had a stunning view of Lebanon, and a vast space that we could furnish and decorate as we please.
Our furniture was a mix of glass tables with tree bark stands, and wooden and perplex chairs. Every table had a different look- a different table type, chairs and centerpiece, which were a mix of flowers, candlesticks and vintage vases. We rented our furniture from Moodz and our flower decor was from Ikebana, probably the best in Lebanon!
One of the best parts of planning your wedding is choosing the caterer- and food tastings of course! We were recommended the best caterers in Lebanon: Faqra catering, Saveur de Monde, Saveur Plus, and Cat and Mouth. Not all caterers in Lebanon provide a food tasting prior to booking with them, but we were lucky that Saveur de Monde and Saveur Plus were from the ones who did. Saveur Plus was delicious, and their presentation was excellent; it definitely made it to our shortlist. We weren’t so impressed with Saveur de Monde’s food, although they had a nice variety of food, but it’s all a matter of taste in the end.
Then we visited Faqra, the most famous of them all, and the one with the best reputation in Lebanon. Faqra doesn’t do food tastings till after you book with them, which makes sense for a company of its reputation. We fell in love with their menu and food display, as they know exactly how to tailor the presentation to suit your theme. They were pricier than the rest, but we knew we could trust them to provide our guests with high quality food that looks just as good as it tastes. We wanted to visit Cat and Mouth but heard it was even more expensive than Faqra, without a guarantee that the food would be better, so we went ahead and locked down on Faqra. And we had no regrets!
Till now we have guests talking about how good the food was at our wedding! Trust me you can’t go wrong with Faqra! They’re worth every dollar.
For entertainment, we hired a dance group we had seen on TV, called Cavaleiro dance group, led by Joseph Salloum. They’re a talented and versatile group that can pretty much choreograph any type of dance you desire. They provide you with a package of four dances, and you get to choose what that package entails. We went with a traditional Lebanese dapke (cultural dance performed as the bride and groom entered), a contemporary dance (performed during dinner), a waltz (as an intro to our first dance), and a parade show (after cutting the cake).
In the midst of all the commotion, Rara and I managed to sneak a couple pictures in!
For our photos and videos, we hired Hisham Saba and his team! They’re an excellent team, and we liked the majority of the photos. If you like spontaneous photos, they’re definitely good at that. We just hoped there had been more planned photos, because out of all the spontaneous photos, we could only realistically use a third of them in the album. I strongly recommend that new brides brief their photographer’s team on what they want. For instance, if they want more planned photos than spontaneous photos.
Nonetheless, the night was truly amazing. And it was all thanks to this lovely gentleman, Nicholas Menassa, my wedding planner and owner of Tokota Weddings.
Nicholas did such a wonderful job that we’ve recommended him to lots of new couples, including my brother in law and my first cousin, who are both using his services for their summer weddings next year!
If you want any more information or tips for a summer wedding in Lebanon, please don’t hesitate to ask! It feels like just yesterday that all this was planned, and it’s all still fresh in my mind.