A Romantic Burgundy-and-White Wedding at the Durham Convention Center in North Carolina
For Deema and Khaled it was love at first sight, at a grocery store! "Believe it or not, I met Khalid at a Harris Teeter about 9 years ago. I never thought I was going to meet my future spouse in a grocery store—I always thought that was just a running joke that people made. I was with my best friend, Amanie, getting some snacks for a movie night and he happened to be there. Amanie went to school with him so they stopped and talked. It was definitely love at first sight for both of us (at least it was for me). I knew there was something very different about him. It turns out I was also good friends with his cousin but oddly enough I had never met him before. As the years went on, we reconnected, our families got to know each other and the rest is history! He proposed at Duke Gardens, the same place we ended up taking our wedding photos," Deema shares.
Seven years after their serendipitous grocery store meeting, the couple celebrated their relationship with a romantic burgundy-and-white wedding in North Carolina at the Durham Convention Center. "I've always dreamt of having a wedding that was regal, classy, yet modern at the same time. Since our wedding was in December, I loved the idea of having a winter wedding theme with a color palette including dusty blue, gold, and touches of burgundy. We both cherish our Palestinian culture and religious traditions, so those were definitely a priority to carry out on our big day. We had already completed the 'katb kitab' or Islamic marriage ceremony back in April. Because I wear the hijab (head cover), it was important to me that we find a venue that could accommodate separating the men and women guests for a small portion of the wedding. The Durham Convention Center made this very easy for us as they were able to install an air wall for that portion. A cultural tradition that we wanted to honor was having a 'zaffeh' or a wedding march to start our wedding. As soon as we arrived at the venue, we were greeted by our zaffeh, filled with drums, other cultural props, and most of our guests, who then led us all the way to the ballroom. It's basically like a huge parade to get everyone excited for the start of the wedding! I still wanted to have a grand entrance, so once we reached the ballroom, all of our guests took their seats and prepared for our announcement. As we entered, we circled the dance floor hand in hand as bride and groom (another cultural tradition) before dancing with our guests. After an hour into the wedding, we carried out another tradition of a 'dabke' performance for our guests. Dabke is a type of dance which combines circle and line dancing commonly performed at weddings. One of the most special parts of the night was having a huge dinner buffet catered by my father-in-law's restaurant, Baba Ghannouj Mediterranean Bistro in Cary, NC filled with decadent Mediterranean cuisine. We were so lucky to have delicious wedding food made with love. After dinner, we cut our delicious cake then danced until the end of the night. Our wedding ended with a magical snow exit and my groom and I drove off in a white Corvette Stingray with red interior. Best day of our lives!" Deema says.
When it came to the aesthetic of Deema and Khaled's Durham Convention Center wedding, Deema "really wanted our reception space to be decorated with a design that would stand out from decor at other weddings. I love being different. I fell in love with the idea of hexagon arches for the stage after countless hours of scrolling through Pinterest. It hadn't been done before in my community, so I was definitely intrigued by the idea. The arches were covered with breathtaking florals and tea lights hung from the center to bring it all together. There were also floral arrangements on each side of the stage. A must for our wedding was having a HUGE dance floor so that our guests could have plenty of space to have fun. Family is important to us, so we wanted to honor our families by placing head tables for them that surrounded the dance floor. To tie the hexagon arches on the stage with the rest of the space decor, I wanted smaller hexagon arches with chandeliers as centerpieces for the head tables. We were in awe at how it turned out. The centerpieces for the rest of the guest tables were a mix of tall and short centerpieces. Mixing two styles helped fill the reception space beautifully. I wanted the stands for the tall centerpieces to be simple, yet elegant. I wanted the florals to be the star of the show and they definitely were with the dainty gold geometric stand that we chose. Our decor was done by Hannah Mohamad and her team at H&L Event Designs. They did a wonderful job at bringing my vision to life. There were some DIY decor incorporated including a white wooden chest for gifts and the snow that was put together in small baggies for the snow exit," Deema says of the decor for her romantic Durham Convention Center wedding.