Laila and Bassam at Newcastle Golf Club

A dreamy Seattle Sunset is supposed to be the shining star at Newcastle Golf and Country club. True to form, it was at the picture perfect sunset that made our Grand Finale photograph. Equally glowing were the joyful faces participating and listing to the rhythm of drums, clapping of hands, dancing and laughter coming from the dance floor in celebration of the Taji’s and Saliba’s wonderfully Arab-inspired reception.

The chocolates were unbelievable, made by Seattle’s own Theo Chocolates

The Engagement Story, from Laila’s perspective…
Bassam had told Laila that since his brother George and his sister-in-law Cina were in town that they should all go out for a fancy lunch. “I’ll pick you up at 1pm. Be sure to dress up,” Bassam told her. (Clue #1) He picked her up at 1:30pm, which is 1pm BST (Bassam Standard Time) and casually mentioned that Cina wanted them to pick up some Theo chocolate for her. “Remember I brought her some last year when we visited in October. I am so glad she liked it.” Not remembering at all Bassam quickly responded, “Oh, right . . . yeah she loved it.” (Close call #1)

As they walked towards and into the factory Bassam wondered a loud if the owner, Deb Music was there. Deb was friends with Bassam’s friend Alma and had previously met her at a party . Laila was doubtful. “I’d love to meet her but it’s Sunday. Do you really think she’ll be here?” The factory show room was bustling and sure enough Deb was there. (Clue #2). Despite having a whole script planned, Bassam jumped to the next phase of the surprise and asked. “Do you guys do tours?” “Yes, but we’re really full,” Deb began. “But, I’d be happy to give you a private tour.” Deb grabbed some stuff for us handed them hairnets and escorted them into the factory. She gave a cursory description of the chocolate equipment before saying, “Laila, I know a place you haven’t seen before. We just opened our dinner-theater space. Let me show you.” Suddenly, Deb realized that she forgot to do something very important. “Here take these chocolates,” she said as she handed Laila a rectangular Theo chocolate box labeled with a nice brown ribbon around it. “I have to run. Go ahead and peek into that room. They are setting up in there so you can’t stay long but, I’ll be right back to come and get you.”

Bassam and Laila walk into this space that is set up in a warehouse. “Wow what a beautiful space,” Laila remarks. “Where do you think the acting happens?”, Laila pondered as she scanned the room. “I’m not sure, but let’s have some chocolate.” (Clue #3) Bassam does not have much of a sweet tooth but his desire for chocolate was not of any concern. Laila’s concern was that if they ate from this box of chocolates than they would have to go pick out and buy another box of chocolates. And why do that when they had a perfectly good box of chocolates right here. So she said, “Let’s not and just give this one to Cina.”

“Well, I want to try one” Bassam said as he undid the brown bow. Seeing that it would be impossible to return the ribbon to its original state, Laila happily conceded to eating some chocolate. She lifted the top of the box revealing the protective top layer of crinkly white paper which Bassam then removed with his other hand. Laila’s eyes, immediately went, not to the beautiful diamond ring in the center of the box, but the oh-so-precious piece of chocolate that had stuck to the white paper in Bassam’s other hand. She stuck her hand out to catch it as Bassam said, “why don’t you pick a piece of chocolate”, as he delicately shook the box. She finally turned to him and then the box where she saw the ring sitting in a rose petal amongst 11 truffles. Laila still did not realize what was happening. She stared at the ring as these thoughts ran through her head, “It’s not my birthday, Christmas is still a month away, that’s a really nice ring for just a random present . . .” Until Bassam said, “So . . .?” “So . . .?,” she replied when it suddenly clicked. And she screamed “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Vendor Details with Laila’s comments:
Venue & Catering: Golf Club at Newcastle: “Great at letting us add a few of our Middle Eastern spices and foods to help make the food unique to our families and culture.”
Florist: Aria: “John was great at utilizing a few of my crazy ideas while keeping everything sharp and beautiful. The arrangements were perfect and the purple runners really made the room!”
Favors: (organic, fair-trade chocolate-dipped-and-stuffed figs) Theo Chocolates
Cake: Creme de la Creme Cakes
Photography: Janet Klinger Photography
Ceremony Music: Seattle Strings
Reception Music: DJ Saed from Los Angeles: “He was great at mixing Arabic and English and Latin music – he even got out on the dance floor and did dabkeh (a Lebanese dance) with the guests.”
Bridal Gown: Belltown Bridal
Stationer: Paper Moxie: “Sheryl did an amazing job of creating a unique design that matched our personalities exactly. We could not have asked for a better design and received so many compliments from everyone”
Makeup: Areen Al-Attal
Video: Bogle Productions

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  • Laila Taji Saliba - What great memories!! Thank you Janet for capturing the energy and excitement in your photographs.ReplyCancel