Often we receive beautiful, emotion evoking Washington DC weddings that make us really fall in love with what we are sharing with readers all over again; today is no exception! Anny Photography shared Sahara and Saad’s romantic and sweet Herrington on the Bay wedding with us. Their love story paired with pretty details made us swoon instantly! I will let the newlyweds tell their story in their own words below and check back this week for holiday party décor must haves and a killer Shenandoah Valley engagement session!
Tell us about your love story:
“Saad and I first met at Seacrets in Ocean City, Maryland on Memorial Day Weekend in 2011. This was the first time I had ever been to OCMD and one of Saad’s many adventures having gone to high school in Salisbury, MD. I was separated from my girlfriends so I awaited their return at the end of the dock and was approached by a fairly good looking guy. Saad asked me if I wanted to take a photo and I agreed. We exchanged numbers and texted each other the rest of the weekend.
When I returned from Ocean City, we made plans to meet in Georgetown and spent the rest of the summer getting to know one another before making our relationship official in October. We got engaged on Thanksgiving Day in 2015, surrounded by our immediate family at Saad’s sister’s house. We had been planning our engagement with our families for a couple weeks, so there was no surprise proposal. My father was re-diagnosed with cancer the summer prior. It had become such an emotional and difficult time for my family, as my father was now told, after numerous chemo and radiation treatments, that he was inoperable and would be lucky to make it to Christmas. He wanted to share in our joy and to get to know Saad’s family, who had similar histories in having left their home country to give their children greater opportunities. We feel blessed that we got to have the engagement with my father present, with Saad’s father singing versus of the Quran, and exchanging cultural traditions and food with all our loved ones. ”
Tell us about the wedding day:
“Saad and I both grew up living in coastal cities. He was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco and I grew up in South Florida. The two of us always knew we wanted a waterfront venue, as the water calms and comforts both of us. We found Herrington on the Bay through our good friends, who invited us for sunset sails on the Chesapeake Bay from Herrington’s South Marina.
We decided to have the wedding in the summer, as we love warm weather and specifically the weekend of August 19th to commemorate my father, whose birthday is August 18th and who passed away from his second battle with cancer on October 19, 2016. It very was emotional not having him there to walk me down the aisle or join us in all the celebrations, but we kept true to his requests for a big wedding with all of our family members invited and cultural ceremonies honored.
The day included both an outdoor American ceremony with our good friend marrying us on the waterfront and a fusion between our Afghan and Moroccan backgrounds in a cultural ceremony indoors. The cultural ceremony involved several traditions, including a slow walking entry called “ahsta burrow” to signify the daughter’s departure from her father’s home and the exchange of henna and sweets to symbolize the sweet and blessed beginnings of the couple’s life together.
In Afghan culture, there is also a tradition called the “aayna masaf”, in which the couple is covered with an ornate cloth and look into a mirror together. Historically, in arranged marriages, this may have been the first time ever that the bride and groom would have seen each other. The couple opens the Quran, reads a few verses, and then looks into the mirror to gaze at their reflection as a married couple. These traditions were very important to both of our families, especially as we are the youngest children and marrying within the same religion. “
Tell us about personal details throughout the day:
“We especially loved the beautiful calligraphy, which was romantically written. Adding a spark of “us” brightened up each table from the detailed agenda welcome sign to our playful polaroid guestbook and hashtag (#moroccanmecrazy) chalkboard signs. Saad’s aunt, Amel, who traveled from Morocco from the wedding, personally hand-sewed the henna wraps and mirror cover for our cultural ceremony, all in theme to match our colors and for us to treasure for years to come!
I wanted to incorporate succulents in our floral designs as these are Saad’s favorite type of plants. We have about 12 terrariums and pots featuring various types of succulents and cactus plants in our apartment and on our balcony. I even included a succulent in Saad’s boutonniere and we provided small succulents in pails as favors for our wedding guests! The centerpiece design included a copper lantern to pay homage to Morocco. We carried this theme of florals and eucalyptus throughout the wedding, including a gorgeous garland at our ceremony site and a cascading display on our head table, accented by 4 large Moroccan lanterns. We were so happy with how gorgeous all these displays turned out!”
The following wedding professionals contributed to their Herrington on the Bay wedding:
Venue: Herrington on the Bay | Photography: Anny Photography | Floral Design: Pure Lilies | Makeup: Valerie Hammer Makeup Artistry | Hair: Total Babe Hair Co. | DJ: Crow Entertainment | Cake: Fiona’s Cakes by the Cake Faerie | Wedding Dress: Casablanca from Bridals by Elena | Grooms Attire: Bonobos | Calligraphy and Signage: peach + Paperie & Joanna Hope Art | Invitations: Minted