Rana Abbasi and Elias Fakhoury first met when their cousins got married; however, they didn’t consider anything romantic as they were only 18 and 20 years old at the time. Four years later, they attended a Louis Vuitton exhibit in Los Angeles with their siblings, an experience that allowed them to have a chance to really spend time together. Shortly after in the fall of 2019, Rana and Elias went on their first date to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. By December 2020, they were promised to one another and engaged.
The romantic proposal at a posh hotel in Downtown Los Angeles was so special to the couple that they chose the site of their engagement as their wedding reception venue. “It’s a stunning hotel downtown, where we would be living, has beautiful views of the Los Angeles skyline, and had the services and rooms available to host such a large wedding,” the bride confirms of their large celebration with a 550-person guest list.
When deciding upon the theme for the big day, Rana knew what she didn’t want. “I always knew I didn’t want to have a very colorful wedding,” she describes; her bridal shower and pre-wedding parties were all decorated with bright colors for this reason. The wedding, however, were designed with a classic color palette of white and gold. “I like timeless elegance and extravagance, and that is really what our wedding was,” adds the bride. “I wanted to keep it traditional while adding our special touches… and most importantly, I wanted it to be a memorable night for everyone involved.”
Guests took their seats inside the Greek Orthodox church, which was decorated with verdant greenery, white lilies, and candles, for the traditional ceremony. The bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father – one of her most cherished moments. “It felt very surreal… also, seeing my husband standing there and the church filled with all our loved ones was very special,” she shares.
Rana looked like royalty in a custom ball gown designed by Sahar Fotouhi of Panache Atelier, which she accessorized with a sparkling tiara and gorgeous veil. The striking gown featured a trailing vine motif, along with shimmering embellishments that adorned both the strapless bodice and full skirt.
“I wanted to keep it traditional while adding our special touches… and most importantly, I wanted it to be a memorable night for everyone involved.”
Following the wedding ceremony, attendees traveled to the nearby reception venue for a grand formal wedding celebration. The ballroom was decorated magnificently in shades of vanilla, green, and gold, just as the bride envisioned. Towering tree-like centerpieces embellished with white roses and greenery appeared to be growing through the middle of mirrored golden tables. Additional tablescapes showcased centerpiece designs including a gold arch covered with white roses, tall gold vases filled with greenery, and of course, glimmering candlelight.
Most impressive, however, was the stunning dance floor in the center of the ballroom. “Our main floral arrangement was the custom-built structure that we had over our dance floor,” affirms the bride of the pièce de résistance. White beams were positioned around the dance floor, which featured the pair’s golden monogram, and a lush ceiling installation of cascading florals and suspended crystal chandeliers wowed guests.
The couple’s towering 10-tier wedding cake was another wow-worthy design element of the day. Ivory layers were embellished with white sugar flowers, and a glass vase illuminated with a candle was positioned between the top and bottom of the striking confection.
Though the couple wanted to focus on tradition for most parts of their wedding day, they also hoped to incorporate personalized elements and fun additions throughout the nuptials. Friends and family experienced an array of culinary surprises and delights at cocktail hour, including a sushi bar, grazing table, a station filled with Middle Eastern appetizers, and more – all while enjoying varying wedding entertainment.
Guests were also treated to a strolling Champagne server and photo booth, a light-up drum band that performed before the newlyweds’ grand entrance, and a midnight snack, which helped everyone dance until 1AM. “The day played out exactly how I had hoped it would,” smiles Rana.