It was all organised. The huge reception for 280 guests. The dramatic wedding gown. The big band. The seven-tier wedding cake. And a bridal party consisting of two of each attendant – bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girl and page boy.
But when the sad news of a death in the family came just six weeks before the wedding, Melbourne-born Lebanese couple, Rima Assaad and Sammy Habib decided to cancel their wedding and organise a totally different one – a much smaller celebration of just 50 of their closest family and friends. “Guests were still RSVPing and I had to tell them it was cancelled,” says Rima of the difficult time.
A more intimate wedding meant a brand new venue – the couple chose The Langham Melbourne. They decided against having a bridal party at all, chose a new, more understated wedding gown, cancelled one of their wedding cars, downsized their cake to just two tiers and opted for a DJ over the big band.
The result: “If I could turn back the hands of time I would still do it the way it turned out, but with a few more people,” says 26-year-old Rima, whose glamourous modern vintage wedding photos look like something out of a fashion magazine.
Melbourne bridal designer, Anna Campbell, was accommodating in changing Rima’s gown to suit her new wedding. Using the base of her original “big and dramatic” dress, she was able to produce this soft and feminine slimline gown with glamourous beading through the neck and bustline. A matching headband and bracelet was a dazzling addition to her modern vintage look.
Rima’s gorgeous rose-and-baby’s-breath bouquet was by Magnolia Court Flowers. Adding sentiment to her posy was an antique brooch with a photo of her grandmother that hung from the stems with white ribbon.
Sammy, 29, looked dapper in a black velvet shawl lapel jacket by Zenetti, paired with a white Swiss pleat shirt and black satin bow tie. His style was classic, but with a fashion edge to it.
The couple had wedding photos by the steps of Melbourne’s Fitzroy Library, in a convertible pearl-pink 1959 Cadillac coupe de ville from Ace Car Hire.
On choosing The Langham Melbourne, Rima says, “We chose the Alto room which is located on the rooftop of the hotel and had beautiful skyline views from the balcony. It had a beautiful romantic feel – the perfect venue for an intimate wedding.”
“For the venue decor, I wanted to keep it elegant and simple – nothing over the top,” tells Rima. “We chose a long seated table – we felt it would be more intimate for all our guests to be seated together considering we had a small wedding. I wanted as many flowers and candles as possible.”
The Langham’s wedding co-ordinator, Zayna Fratto, became the couple’s pseudo wedding-planner. “She basically organised the whole event in just under five weeks and did and amazing job. I couldn’t have been happier with all her work. I told her exactly what I wanted and she made it all happen,” beams Rima.
Made by Cakes, Cookies and Cupcakes, Rima says, “My cake was a two-tier ivory cake with white daisies ad little love birds on top.”
Of her new husband, Rima says, “Sammy is my other half and I knew I’d found the one when suddenly I felt complete.”
Photos courtesy of Sakhi Photography.
Brides Accessories: Anna Campbell / Brides Gown: Anna Campbell / Brides Shoes: Tony Bianco / Ceremony Venue: Brides' house / Flowers: Magnolia Court Flowers / Grooms Attire: Zenetti / Grooms Shoes: Aquila / Hair: Murna Hairdressing / Invitations: Inspired Design / Makeup: Make Up With Me / Pageboy Attire: Bardot Kids / Reception Venue: The Langham Melbourne / Rings: Portobello Lane / Transport: Ace Car Hire / Wedding Night Accommodation: The Langham Melbourne