DUBAI: French fashion house Dior has shared details about Princess Iman bint Abdullah II of Jordan’s wedding gown, which she wore as she wed Jameel Alexander Thermiotis in a ceremony in Amman’s Beit Al-Urdon Palace last week.
Princess Iman, 26, opted for a traditional white wedding dress with a sheer lace panel at the neckline, lace-cuffed sleeves and a flowing skirt. The bridal look was completed with a matching veil and tiara by Chaumet.
“Take an exclusive look into the #DiorSavoirFaire behind the wedding dress specially designed by @MariaGraziaChiuri for Jordan’s princess, H.R.H. Princess Iman. The gown is imbued with beloved codes of the House like flourishes of florals on the lace neckline and sleeves,” the label posted on Instagram on Sunday.
Dior added that the elegant gown featured floral details and intricate lace work.
“For Jordan’s Princess Iman, @MariaGraziaChiuri incorporated delicate floral details into the collar and sleeves of her sleek wedding dress. Contemporary yet timeless, the white gown is adorned with immaculate lace work and precise tailoring as a testament to the refined excellence of the House’s atelier. The glowing bride beautifully embodied the irresistibly feminine silhouette for her special day,” Dior said.
Italian fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri was named the creative director of Dior in 2016, after stints working at Fendi and Valentino.
Jordanian, Saudi wedding traditions to look out for at the royal celebrations
Updated 1 min 1 sec ago
Haifa Alshammari and Hams Saleh
RIYADH/ DUBAI: With the spotlight firmly trained on Jordan’s royal wedding between Rajwa Al-Saif and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, observers might be wondering what wedding traditions the Saudi bride and Jordanian groom will choose for their big day.
Here, we take a look at wedding celebrations from the two cultures that have been passed down through the generations, in anticipation of the historic union.
Wedding practices differ across Saudi Arabia, but Al-Saif will most likely follow Najdi traditions since her family hails from Sudair and live in Riyadh, both of which are in the Najd region.
Born-and-raised Najdi Atheer Alhowaish spoke to Arab News about the region’s time-steeped wedding traditions.
“Tehwal is a dinner party at the groom’s house on the day after the wedding. The groom’s family invites the people at the wedding to Tehwal to welcome the bride to their family,” Alhowaish explained. Similarly, the zowarah is another form of celebration organized by either the groom’s family or the bride’s family after the newlyweds return from their honeymoon.
Another practice sees the groom gift the bride’s mother gold or other jewelry which is offered among a wider bouquet of gifts called the shabka.
While many cultural traditions have evolved, Abdulrhman Mashbri — the owner of La Memorias, a luxury events agency in Riyadh — told Arab News that he has seen some changes in recent years.
“Some families now request their weddings to be outside of the Kingdom, such as in Paris or Dubai. The budget can range from SR100,000 ($26,665) to SR25-30 million.
“In addition to that, some brides who are related to each other search for uniqueness, not by choosing the place nor by the originality of the design, but rather by celebrating their weddings together in one night,” he said.
Prior to the wedding, brides across the Arab world often take part in a henna night — but this is not typical of Najdi celebrations. It is, however, customary in Jordan, where both Al-Saif and her soon-to-be sister-in-law Princess Iman held henna night celebrations before their respective weddings.
In Jordan, the henna party sees women of both families come together to celebrate while the bride’s family also presents her with gifts for her wedding trousseau.
Fast forward to the wedding day and Jordanian staples include the zaffeh, zaghrouta and nukout.
The zaffeh, a traditional part of wedding celebrations in the Levant, is a live procession of music and dance that lasts for around 30 minutes.
The traditional, upbeat music the troupe performs features lyrics that praise the new marriage. Drums (darbuka), horns, bagpipes and sometimes men carrying swords also feature in the traditional procession.
Another mainstay of Jordanian weddings is dabke — a folk dance performed by professionals, before guests ultimately join in the fun.
The dance, which features synchronized powerful stomping of the feet, has different variations. In the most popular, the dancers will be led by a lawweeh (waver), a charismatic improviser who controls both the tempo and the energy of the line.
“Our Jordanian zaffeh is unique. The tunes, the dabke and the dances are one of a kind,” Iyad Albelbeisi, founder of Jordanian planning company Feelings Weddings, told Arab News.
“These traditions are also common in royal ceremonies,” Albelbeisi added.
Throughout the wedding, women perform the zaghrouta, a high-pitched ululation with their tongue that is commonly performed at wedding parties across the region. Another traditional practice at Jordanian weddings is the nukout — money given to newlyweds to help with their new life together.
When it comes to food, there is no question that Jordan’s national dish, mansaf — which consists of large chunks of meat, a yogurt sauce and rice — is a wedding staple.
At royal weddings, just like Princess Iman’s ceremony in March, as well as celebrations among the general public, the multi-tiered wedding cake is often cut with a large sword that is passed down to the groom from his family.
Royal fashion: Inside soon-to-be Princess Rajwa Al-Saif’s stylish wardrobe
Updated 2 min 49 sec ago
DUBAI: We take a look at Saudi bride Rajwa Al-Saif’s fashion choices since she has been cast in the spotlight after her engagement to Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II.
Al-Saif has made headlines around the world for her style, much like her future mother-in-law Queen Rania. Here, we take a closer look at her wardrobe — from designer duds to high street picks.
On Aug. 17, Al-Saif wore a cream-colored kaftan with gold floral detailing by Lebanese brand Orient 499 at the couple’s engagement. She added a gold belt that seems to have been borrowed from Queen Rania, who was spotted wearing the piece in 2019.
In a set of engagement photos, Al-Saif showed off the Brennie Lurex Georgette Dress with blouson sleeves by Greek brand Costarellos.
In another set of images, Al-Saif wore the Ariza Skirt by Canadian designer Sara Roka and blue Valentino pumps.
For Al-Saif’s first official appointment she visited the Royal Hashemite Court and wore a shirt tucked into an Alexander McQueen midi-skirt, an Alexander McQueen belt and a white Gucci GG Marmont bag.
Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court shared an image of Al-Saif in a high-collared midi dress by Singaporean fashion designer Andrew Gn.
On March 7, Al-Saif attended her future sister-in-law Princess Iman bint Abdullah II’s henna party in a pink-and-orange kaftan by Saudi fashion house Art of Heritage, paired with olive green Gianvito Rossi pumps.
On March 12, she attended Princess Iman’s wedding in the Neolitsea Dress by Roksanda and a pair of Malone Souliers Marla 85 Mules from the brand’s capsule collection with L’Atelier Nawbar.
Al-Saif was spotted at the Tawasol: Dialogue on Reality and Aspirations forum in Amman wearing a hot pink pantsuit by high street retailer Zara.
Royal wedding: Jordanian, Saudi public recall the past as they gather to watch history in making
‘For Jordanians of my generation who watched King Abdullah II’s marriage ceremony in 1993, a great deal of memories are going to re-emerge,’ Amman-based Basel Quol told Arab News
A fan in New York is planning to host a special mansaf dinner for the occasion
Updated 2 min 10 sec ago
Saeb Rawashdeh and Sulafa Alkhunaizi
AMMAN/ RIYADH: With a public holiday underway in Jordan, residents of the country are gathering to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah and Saudi Arabia’s Rajwa Al-Saif.
Public screens have been set up throughout the nation and many will also settle down to watch the live broadcast from the comfort of their own homes on Thursday.
Arab News spoke to members of the public in Jordan and Saudi Arabia to find out what they had planned for the big day ahead.
Amman-based Basel Quol, a video producer with Xinhua News Agency, said: “Families will gather in a festive atmosphere, mesmerized in front of the TV set, watching the wedding ceremonies and related events.
“For Jordanians of my generation who watched King Abdullah II’s marriage ceremony in 1993, a great deal of memories are going to re-emerge.
“I can never forget watching King Abdullah’s wedding as a child when a Jordanian army paratrooper descended from the sky and perfectly landed before then-Prince Abdullah and handed him the sword to cut the wedding cake. Such an amazing manoeuvre captivated me as a child, and it lived with me as an adult.
“Now, 30 years later, a lot of people like me are eager to witness the crown prince’s wedding,” Quol added.
Tourism expert and radio personality Naffa Nazal likened the upcoming nuptials to the March 12 wedding of Jordan’s Princess Iman and financier Jameel Alexander Thermiotis.
“I and my girlfriends were sitting in front of the television and watched the royal wedding of Princess Iman and Jameel Thermiotis and we all admired the celebrations — from the decoration to the stunning gowns.
“Similar to that, most Jordanians and expats in Jordan will be glued to the television to share the magical moment,” she said.
Nazal, who is part-Jordanian and part-Palestinian Lebanese, noted the union of two cultures that the royal wedding would bring about.
“The young couple bring energy and excitement to Jordan as Saudi Arabia is opening up to the world and so many have wondered … about Saudi culture, community, and traditions.
“As a mixed Arab, I am an advocate of mixing cultures, heritage, and ideologies,” she added.
In Saudi Arabia, Jordanian medical student Abdullah Al-Khasawinah, said he would be watching snippets of the wedding in his free time.
“I have been looking forward to this since they announced their engagement, it is an extremely exciting time for all Jordanians. I am preparing for my final exams for medical school … but I will pop in and watch bits of it during my breaks.”
Al-Khasawinah, who has traveled back and forth between both countries for most of his life, added: “Even before this wedding, Jordanians and Saudis shared a lot in common in terms of traditions and customs.
“I feel like the wedding … entices each culture to learn more about the other.”
Riyadh-based Jordanian medical student Nour Odeh said: “What’s distinctive about this wedding is that it will not only bring Jordanians together, but Saudis as well.
“Since I’m a Jordanian living in Saudi Arabia, I am overjoyed for such a union as it will bring two nations closer and will further strengthen the political and social ties that join us.”
Saudi events coordinator Shahad Samman said: “This wedding will strengthen the bonds between both countries and make people accept that if two people understand each other, nothing can stand in their way, even if you’re royal, love still exists.”
The royal wedding has also found fans beyond the Middle East. Jacqui Taylor Basker, a professor at the New York Institute of Technology who lived in Amman for 16 years, said she planned to host a special dinner for the occasion.
“I plan to host a mansaf (Jordan’s national dish) dinner on June 1 and will try to watch the royal wedding on whatever media will show it in the US,” she added.
Whether it be for political, sentimental, or sartorial reasons, Thursday’s wedding will no doubt attract viewers from around the world. Basker said: “The public always loves a wedding between a beautiful young woman and a handsome prince.”
A tale for the ages: Looking back at the royal wedding of Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania
Updated 14 sec ago
DUBAI: It is the year of fairytale weddings for the Jordanian royal family with Princess Iman tying the knot earlier in March and the much-awaited nuptials of Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II and Saudi national Rajwa Al-Saif on June 1.
However, 30 years ago, another couple set the stage for royal romance with a wedding and ensuing partnership that captured the hearts of millions around the world — the current King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.
When the couple first met at a dinner party in late 1992, he was not yet the declared heir to the throne, and Rania Al-Yassin, who was then 22, was a young executive-in-training from a Palestinian medical family and had just moved to Jordan from Kuwait.
“The minute Rania walked in, I knew it right then and there,” King Abdullah said of their first meeting to People magazine in 2005. “It was love at first sight.”
“He had such a great smile and such infectious energy, we got on really well. And the rest, as they say, is history,” Queen Rania told Stellar magazine in 2016 of their first meeting.
Six months later, after a whirlwind courtship and a three-month engagement, they were married in a lavish ceremony on June 10, 1993, at Zahran Palace in Amman, where Crown Prince Hussein and Al-Saif are also set to host their religious wedding ceremony.
For the ceremony, the bride wore a custom gold-embroidered gown by British designer Bruce Oldfield with a matching silk hairpiece and veil. The groom wore his military uniform.
The wedding also made headlines around the world when then-Princess Rania broke tradition by not wearing a tiara, choosing to honor her non-royal Palestinian roots.
After the ceremony, the couple took part in a royal convoy in a vintage 1961 Lincoln convertible that took them through the streets of Amman.
For their reception in the gardens of Raghadan Palace, the bride changed into a second outfit by the iconic fashion designer, this time a sleeveless white gown with gold detailing. The multi-tiered wedding cake, which the newlyweds cut with a sword as is custom, featured tiers decorated with crowns and lace.
Yasmine Eissa, a celebrity stylist responsible for dressing A-listers such as Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak and Lebanese Netflix star Razane Jammal, said: “Dior is a very elegant and regal brand. The royal family is famous for its minimalistic approach to fashion and isn’t showy. This is the direction that Dior usually takes for its gowns which works perfectly with their personality.
“As a big fan of Dior and as a stylist who constantly pulls gowns from them, I definitely see why she may opt for the brand.”
Princess Iman’s custom-made Dior wedding dress featured a modest silhouette embedded with delicate floral embroidery on the lace cuff and the gossamer veil.
Meanwhile, Queen Rania opted for a timeless Dior Fall/Winter 2022 couture collection dress with flowy sleeves and a Victorian high collar at the March 12 wedding.
Celebrity stylist and costume designer Mai Galal said: “As one of the oldest fashion design houses, their designs are always graceful. Dior is always associated with elegance, and that’s why I think the royal family will go with the maison.”
Galal added that if not Dior, there was a strong chance Al-Saif may turn to Bruce Oldfield, one of the late Princess Diana’s favorite British designers in the 1980s.
“Bruce Oldfield is known for dressing royal families, which is why it would be a suitable pick for Rajwa Al-Saif,” she said.
Queen Rania wore an opulent Oldfield creation for her wedding in 1993, which featured an embroidered cropped bolero layered over a full-skirted gown. Princess Iman used the same wedding belt from 30 years ago to cinch the Reema Dahbour dress she wore at her henna party.
Given Oldfield’s existing association with the Jordanian royal family, it would not be a surprise if Al-Saif chose him.
More recently, the designer was behind British Queen Consort Camilla’s rich coronation outfit.
Eissa noted that other frontrunners could be Arab designers such as Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad, or even Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton who recently designed Princess of Wales Kate Middleton’s coronation outfit and the British royal’s wedding gown in 2011.