Kuwait based Sama and Mo had themselves one seriously chic and unique destination wedding and we’re thrilled that we get to share it with you today!
Not least because I (Elizabeth) had the pleasure of meeting Sama a few years ago at another friend’s wedding. And, in case you’re wondering, she’s just as stylish and fun as you’d expect from these beautiful photos by Jeremy Standley Photography.
Read on for Sama and Mo’s checklist of wedding awesomeness – all arranged in just four months!
Historic mansion in Barcelona? Check.
Uber creative photographer (see above) and wedding planner/miracle worker, Carole Bipot from Marry Me In Spain. Check.
A groom in the sharpest of Giorgio Armani suits with the biggest of smiles? Check.
A unique, emerald and coral colour palette, an array of retro fabulous touches (VW campervan getaway car anyone?) and a plethora of pretty paper goodness in English and Arabic script. Check.
Plus a beautiful bride in a sparkling Jesus Perio lace wedding dress with a pearl adorned halo braid sporting lime green Christian Dior heels during the day and hi tops on the dancefloor? Double, triple, heck yeah check.
From The Bride
We planned a 115 person, destination wedding in Barcelona with guests all the way from Japan to San Francisco to Kuwait in less then four months. We both have full time jobs, and honestly this was not an easy task. HOWEVER. We had so many romantic, beautiful and emotional moments that made up our wedding day.
I think the most amazing thing about our wedding had nothing to do with the amazing food, or the fantastic flowers, or the band or the chair. It had to do with the fact that throughout this process our relationship only got stronger. The whole process was fun, exciting and although most of the time it was nervewrecking we both realized that holy moly we are a GREAT team. I am the lofty dreamer, and Mo is the brass tacks guy. Most importantly we are both very understanding, positive and flexible with each other and all our vendors.
The fact that so many of our beautiful friends and family were willing to travel on such short notice to be with us to celebrate this day was also another aspect of what made this day so special for everyone. Our wedding planner Carole, was another beautiful part of our wedding because she managed to pull this all of without jumping off a cliff!
Our Wedding In 3 Words
Emotional, Nostalgic and FUN
The Theme & Colour Palette
Our wedding theme was very much inspired by the past, everything had a distinctive vintage vibe to it. But rather then keeping it formal or classical, we really tried to have fun. Our wedding invite was a survival kit with a vintage movie poster of Mo and I, the wedding car was a VW bug, the jazz band was playing awesome reworked hits like a bossa nova version of Billie Jean, our guestbook was Barcelona postcards that you stuck into a vintage mailbox. Our color theme was emerald and coral.
We don’t have the culture of bridesmaids in Kuwait, so I just told my five closest friends and sister to wear whatever dress they wanted in emerald and forest green shades and it worked out really well!
The flower girls wore bespoke gold floral hair bands created by Ninas De Papas, a local Kuwait brand.
My mother and my father in law gave us advice about how to maintain successful marriages and advice about love etc. My mother gave a speech in Arabic and made everyone cry when she recalled something my late grandfather told her, which was “never let your love shackle you down, let it always be the key that sets you both free” My friends loved it so much they turned the quote into a meme and were sending it around Instagram and What’s App.
Our processional was a traditional Kuwaiti Song called hab il sa3ad which was customized with our names. We didn’t have a first dance because we didn’t like the cheesiness of it.
We loved Jeremy, he had our same sensibilities. If you notice we barely did five minutes of “posed” photography. HE got that…we wanted to capture moments as they happened, rather then spending half our day fabricating moments that would take us away from our wedding day and keep us from capturing the real moments themselves. We both loved that aspect of it! We are naturally very romantic and I think Jeremy caught some beautiful moments without us even noticing.
Décor & Details
My favorite part of the wedding was the family trees section where we put pictures of mo and I, My parents, His parents, and both sets of grandparents up on the tree. My Iraqi uncle painted the wedding signs (near the bicycle). I loved the small touches we worked out, that represented the whole nostalgic vibe we were going for. I had my heart sent on a VW bug for the wedding car, but Carole managed to find only a bright orange one which I though was a bit ugly. A few days before the wedding, she someone managed to find a GREEN one which fit in our palette. One of those magical moments where everything works out if you don’t stress about it.
When guests first arrived we took their picture with a polaroid camera. Of course we had a table seating chart with your table section and number (placed in vintage white frames) , but in order to find your seat you had to look for your polaroid picture on the table….it was a pretty cool memento and everyone loved it! Best news is it cost us very little to do!
Because a lot of our guests don’t drink alcohol we had two signature cocktails Drunk on Love (White peach and rum infused with mint) High on Life (White peach and Mint!). There was an amazing cocktail hour with everything from Fois Gras to Sushi. Followed by a three course dinner and a late night snack.
One of my very good friends forget what day the wedding was on so he had booked himself the day of the wedding instead of the day before, he arrived at 12 am all the way from SF but we partied our brains out. I think the dance moves were probably the most “us” we just sort of exploded on the dance floor.
Tips and advice for other couples
When it comes to wedding planning, Instagram can be your best friend or worst enemy. Following a bunch of wedding photographers, wedding planners, designers etc is great for inspiration, but boy can you get what I call the “ copy paste effect”. Stay true to yourself, be creative and be sincere with your design elements and touches. Create a folder on your phone to put snapshots of all the images you see you like. Then keep revisiting them until you see what resonates with you the most. Create a mood board and a color palette, stick to it but don’t stress the small stuff. Things have a MAGICAL way of working themselves out if you stay flexible and positive.
If you pick a wedding planner ALWAYS pick them based on how you mesh with them from your first few phone calls. Never hire a wedding planner right off the bat without hearing and seeing some of their ideas and work. With destination weddings, your wedding planner is the NUMBER one person in your life. We must have sent Carole, 3,000 emails in the 3 months and at the end, we had very clear expectations and got almost everything we asked for simply by staying positive, flexible and open for new ideas!
Congratulations Sama and Mo!
Thanks for sharing your beautifully unique wedding with us, we hope you’re loving newly married life.
By the way we are obsessed with Sama’s bridal hairstyle. Absolutely obsessed.
If you are too then I suggest taking a peek at this hair tutorial so that you can perfect your own bohemian halo braid.
If you’re looking for more destination wedding inspiration step this way.