Jennifer Gates, billionaire Bill Gates’ daughter, recently got engaged to Egyptian millionaire Nayel Nasser, according to Gates’ Instagram.
Jennifer Gates and Nayel Nasser's wedding
Details of their upcoming wedding remain unknown, but Arab weddings are often large-scale, over-the-top events with brides decked out in designer gowns and grooms dressed to the nines. Brides make grand entrances down stunning staircases. Cakes often tower over the couple using a sword to cut into their wedding cake. And dancing, like the traditional dabke, is a must.
The lavishness of these wedding can spark intrigue and irk when hosted outside the Arab world. One wedding of a deputy mayor of Arab descent in Australia in 2015 drew the ire of locals as the celebration closed roads.
In preparation of what the world may expect to see with Gates and Nasser’s wedding, here are some of the top recent Arab weddings.
Christina Mourad and Elie Saab Jr.
In July 2019, Christina Mourad and Elie Saab Jr., the son of well-known Lebanese designer Elie Saab, tied the knot as the bride wore an extravagant gown designed by her father in law.
She also wore a second, equally extravagant dress, also designed by Elie Saab.
Hana El Zahed and Ahmed Fahmy
In September 2019, Egyptian actors Hana El Zahed and Ahmed Fahmy said I do in one of Cairo’s most upscale hotels and their wedding was attended by others in the industry. Zahed’s dress was designed by Samo Hagras, an Egyptian designer. Zahed met Fahmy in front of a castle-shaped alter for the ceremony.
Rania Fawaz and Sammar Sommers
Later in the year in December, Iraqi influencer Rania Fawaz wed Sammar Sommers, founder and CEO of Altitude Mask in Dubai at the lavish Melia Desert Palm. Three hundred guests attended the winter-themed wedding where the bride wore a dress made by her mother, Iraqi fashion designer Zeena Zaki. Fawaz also wore a second dress that was also designed by her mother.
Alice Abdel Aziz and Ali Tliess
In 2018, Alice Abdel Aziz, a Lebanese reality star, wore an Alice in Wonderland themed dress for her wedding to Ali Tleiss. The light-up dress, designed by Rami Kadi featured motifs from the popular tale.
While the bride’s dress is often a focal point of weddings, the décor and details are equally important.
Abdel Aziz’s cake weighed over 1 ton and was lined with 7,000 hand-made flowers, according to her blog post from the event.
“Ali and I were levitated from behind the cake to its top layer, creating the illusion of us both as the traditional bride and groom figures capping the cake…”