“Walking down the aisle with my father and dancing at the after-party until 9:00 a.m. were two of my favorite moments, Lebanese jewelry designer Noor Fares tells Savoir Flair of her magical wedding, which took place this past summer, and was brought to life on the grounds of her family’s French countryside estate, courtesy of the brilliant Etienne Russo, the producer behind some of the industry’s most memorable fashion shows.
The opening night party, which was inspired by “tales of One Thousand and One Nights”, marked the beginning of the celebrations surrounding Fares’ marriage to Alexandre Al Khawam. Far Eastern, Indian, North African, and Middle Eastern influences collided in a dream-like bazaar setup – the floors were strewn with marigolds and glitter; food stands offered fresh saj, spit-roasted lambs, and traditional Lebanese bouza ice cream; the surrounding stables had been turned into fortune-teller booths and glow-in-the-dark face paint stations, and belly dancers shimmied the night away on stage. The tribute to their homeland wasn’t only a surface one, as the bride and groom had flown in everyone from the musicians to the caterers (think iconic names like Hallab and Souk al Tayeb). After midnight, Fares, who wore an iridescent two-piece look from Manish Arora and carried a bouquet of multicolored dyed roses, and her husband-to-be led their guests into a nearby barn to continue dancing the night away.
On Saturday, guests including Lebanese politicians, Monegasque royalty, and fashion VIPs were escorted by local police to the picturesque town of Honfleur, where the wedding ceremony took place in the church of Saint Catherine. In front of their closest friends and family, and to the sounds of a church choir, Alexandre and Noor exchanged their vows. The bride wore a breathtaking lace number from Giambattista Valli and a diamond tiara, and her hair was done by the legendary Alexandre Zouari.
The second party of the weekend was also held on the ground of the Fares estate, this time closer to the family manor. Amidst illuminated trees and colored smoke, a tent had been erected from which hung dozens of crystal chandeliers. After a quick change into an equally beautiful, but simpler, pearl-adorned Alaia gown, the bride made her entrance with the groom accompanied by a traditional zaffeh troop, flown in from Lebanon. Guests dined on a three-course meal of Levant-inspired starters, sea bass, and cheese selection, followed by individual heart-shaped wedding cakes from iconic French baker Le Nôtre. Before inviting guests to join them on the dance floor, Al Khawam gave a speech, thanking his new bride for agreeing to marry him and thereby granting him a lifetime of happiness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.