Inside Lana El Sahely and Ali Awada’s Wedding of the Year

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The Wedding of the Year: Lana El Sahely and Ali Awada Tie the Knot in a Fairytale, Fashion-Inspired Ceremony
20 OPEN GALLERY

While plenty of women spend a lifetime dreaming about and planning their dream wedding, we doubt any have ventured to think as big or as theatrically as Lana El Sahely, the fashionable Lebanese blogger behind L’Armoire de Lana. Following El Sahely throughout her romantic journey, Savoir Flair was privy to all the details and exclusive images of what is being dubbed “The Wedding of the Year”.

Before getting married, Lana and Ali had known each other for four and half years, having met through his sister. Last September, Ali took on the challenging task of finding a special place to propose to Lana in Paris – a city that she knows very well. Looking specifically for somewhere she had never visited before, he settled on La Petite Ceinture, a romantic and beautiful 20-mile stretch of abandoned railway that had been taken back by nature.

After Ali won Lana’s heart and hand, the rest was up to her, her mother, her sister, and the team at Caractere Events, as he had to return to work abroad. “It took me approximately six months to plan, but the last three months were the most intense,” she shared with Savoir Flair. “What made it easy was the fact that I knew exactly what I wanted”.

All things considered, six months is not a lot of time given the extraordinary details that went into every aspect of planning. Naturally, the detail-oriented bride left no stone unturned when it came to the minutiae of engineering the event – the wedding not only had its own hashtag (#lanasfairytale), but the reception was hosted in a space big enough to have its own zip code. Lana decided on Biel Hall 1 in Beirut, which is an empty air hangar big enough to hold her 1,050 guests, multiple ferris wheels, buffets, and flower walls. A fashion girl at heart, she drew heavily on her favorite runway shows for inspiration. The area that held the welcome drink and later the dessert buffet was based on Dior’s Fall/Winter 2014 Couture show, with white orchids covering the walls. The two ferris wheels that adorned the hall were inspired by Louis Vuitton’s carrousel and fountain. A wall of light was designed to resemble Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2012 set, and the main buffet area was inspired by Chanel’s Paris-Bombay show. Guests were also treated to exquisite wedding souvenirs. Lana chose L’Atelier Nawbar to prepare pins for the male guests and bracelets for the female guests, which were enclosed in Plexiglas boxes filled with chocolates from Patchi.

But for all of the glamorous decorations and thoughtful accouterments, the real star of the wedding was the bride herself. In true fairytale fashion, she emerged in a dramatic wedding dress by Elie Saab Couture. She began working with Saab on details in March, and approved the sample dress in July. Lana lends an in-depth look at what it was like to receive her dream gown, saying, “As we were finalizing the sample, Mr. Saab convinced me to add pearls, which he had been using on his couture creations. I have to say it wasn’t easy to immediately accept the idea. However, I fell in love with the end result and with how different sizes of pearls were used. The colors of the pearls were also changed to perfectly match the ivory shade of my dress. In the end, I was extremely thrilled to be the first to wear a pearl-embellished Elie Saab wedding dress. My dress took a lot of work, and my last fitting was actually at 8:30 p.m. the night before my wedding!” Elie Saab’s princess-cut wedding dresses are typically made from a maximum of 54 meters, but he used 100 meters of tulle for Lana’s gown, which explains its incredible volume and fullness.

For a closer look at The Wedding of the Year in all of its glamour and glory, visit the photo gallery above for exclusive photos, never before seen anywhere else.

Photos: Courtesy of Candid Image

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