Norhan + Sam by Sapphire Studios

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love… 

Sam and I have been together for almost 7 years now. Sam works as a doctor and I work in Policy at a Ministry.

Our relationship is pretty unique in that we are so different, but we complement each other perfectly, he is very calm and reserved and rational while I am every emotive and loud. He has always been able to calm me down and support me and I have been able to push him out of his shell. We both love to travel and are big foodies, so we are often found trying out a new restaurant.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions? 

We first met at a Hall of Residence in our first year of University in little cold Dunedin. I really wanted a study buddy to drag to the library for long hours (mainly for the warmth of the library) and Sam was one of the few people who didn’t seem to hate the idea. I like to think it was because he wanted to spend more time with me.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

We went away for the weekend and at the time I was completing my professional legal studies, so I left Sam to do some study in a café. The plan was that he would pick me up and we would go on a bike ride through different wineries and restaurants. He told me he forgot something back at the accommodation so we would need to pop back. He asked me to come inside and me being a bit lazy said, “no, no I’ll wait in the car” and after a few back and forths, I went inside to find the place filled with my favourite flowers (Gypsophila – we ended up drying those flowers and using them in the wax seal of our wedding invitation) and lots of candles and Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton was playing. Sam, who has never spoken Arabic in his life (my mother tongue) said his speech in it and I couldn’t help but tear up.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

If it wasn’t for Covid-19, we would have loved to have a Countryside Wedding in Tuscany. We tried our best to recreate the same feel here in NZ. We wanted our wedding to feel like an intimate Italian dinner with family and friends. We choose a venue that had the old brick style with lots of vine leaves. We had long soft white linens with pastel accents and beige linens to give an ethereal feel. We were over the moon with how beautiful everything turned out.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

For our first wedding (Islamic/traditional wedding), we had ballerinas to lead me down the aisle, my old ballet teacher orchestrated a dance for the girls to walk down to. It was my mum’s idea and we both love ballet and it turned out beautiful! I was so nervous that the little girls were telling me everything would be fine! For our second wedding (western/legal wedding), I love florals, so we were happy to splurge on that and we wanted a beautiful accent arch for our ceremony as it is ultimately the most important part of the day. We had white Colombian roses, quicksand roses, gypsophila, hydrangeas, hand-dyed Orchards and a mixture of dried florals. 

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

We were quite lucky that nothing too stressful happened on the day. The one minor thing that happened was that as I walked down the aisle with my mum, a big gust of wind came and swept my cathedral length veil in front of my face and I couldn’t seem to move it and started to panic a little bit but my mum grabbed it and fixed the issue.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

I really wanted my dresses to be unique and couldn’t find anything I loved, so I worked with Brooke to create two bespoke gowns. I fell in love with Hailey Beibers reception dress and wanted to create something similar for myself and Brooke did an amazing job and I absolutely loved it. For my ceremony dress, I wanted something that was unique and form-fitting, so we created a beautiful off-the-shoulder hand-beaded dress. Sam just wanted a simple classic black suit, so we went with a Barkers suit for him and the groomsmen.

Ceremony and Reception location Mudbrick / Photographer Sapphire Studios / Celebrant Father in law / Entertainment DJ For You / Styling and Flora PS I Love You Event / Catering + Beverages Mudbrick / Cake Sweet Talk / Registry Mildred and Co / Bride’s Dress Brooke Tyson Ritual / Groom’s Attire and shoes Bakers / Ring/s Good as Gold and Walker & Hall / Bride’s shoes Lana Wilkinson / Brides earrings Bespoke by Frank & Peggy / Makeup Dani Froude / Hair Alison Brewer Makeup & Hair / Fragrance Gentle Fluidity Gold by Maison Francis Kurkdjian from Mecca / Bridesmaids Attire Bespoke by Brooke Tyson Ritual / Groomsmen Attire Bakers