Southern Style Wedding with Middle Eastern Flair

Only fate could bring a groom born in Jordan and a bride born in California together. Assad and Hillary met in Washington, D.C., while working at the same architecture firm, and it just took one game of skeeball at a group happy hour to realize they would soon be inseparable. It was only a matter of time until Assad dropped down on one knee and asked his bride to be with him forever, in front of that very first skeeball machine they bonded over.

Since Hillary spent most of her childhood in Hampton Roads, they immediately began planning their destination wedding at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk. Envisioning a beautiful cultural fusion celebration, they both incorporated Middle Eastern traditions such as Arabic calligraphy, henna party, and a fun entrance to Arabic music all alongside the old-school Southern style that Hillary had fallen in love and grew up with.

Captured by Parker Young Photography and coordinated by Sunkissed Events, it was a magical dream underneath the stars. Signature drinks (French 75 and Mint Julep) were garnished with Virginia peaches (from Charlottesville where Assad went to college), freshly shucked oysters in a repurposed boat were served to the guests, Doumar's ice cream (with the world's first waffle cone maker on site!), and Middle Eastern-inspired hors d'oeuvres completed the global ambiance through food and drink.

Some of our favorite personal details included acrylic drink stirrers that doubled as escort cards and a blueprint of the wedding reception seating which doubled as a guestbook so guests could sign and tell the happy couple where they say. With a style all their own and an elegance that is unmatched, this Middle Eastern meets Southern flair wedding had us swooning from the first details to the final sunset portraits overlooking the Lafayette River!

Photography: Parker Young Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. Paul's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: The Hermitage Museum and Gardens | Wedding Coordination: Sunkissed Events | Entertainment: Astro Entertainment | Hair & Makeup: Jess Barbini Hair & Makeup | Florals: Studio Posy | Sweets: Doumar's | Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals | Videography: Crystal Blue Productions | Transportation: Sand Shark Limos | Sweets and Catering: Sweetwater Cuisine | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design | Vintage Rentals: Paisley and Jade | Stationery: FabulousFancyPants via Etsy | Bridal Gown: Bridal Bliss Designs via Etsy | Beaded Bridal Wrap: "Ursa Major" by Carol Hannah | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss | Menswear: The Black Tux | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo