Sara Ghassemi & Saalim Jumani
September 3, 2016. London, England
Planner and Event Design: By Bruce Russell London, England; Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera; Bridal Salon: L'Elite Bridal Boston, MA; Groom's Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna; Enagagement Ring: Harry Winston; Linens: Luxe Linen Los Angeles, CA; Cinematography: Filmatography London, England
Sara Ghassemi is a Boston native and Saalim Jumani grew up between Karachi, Pakistan, and London, UK. This, however, didn’t stop them from crossing paths in Boston at the Mandarin Oriental’s Bar Boulud, after Sara’s sister had met Saalim through mutual friends a month prior.
“I immediately thought he was a playboy,” says Sara. “He did ask me to marry him on our first date! I guess I initially came across as quite serious, but as we spent more time together, we quickly learned that our first impressions of each other could not have been further from the truth.” A year later, Sara received another proposal – the “official” proposal – when Saalim popped the question in Paris at a restaurant called L’Ambroisie.
With the couple living in opposite corners of the world and only three months to plan a destination wedding in London, Bruce Russell was the perfect choice as their wedding planner. “Although I was based in Boston, the planning process was the best time of my life,” Sara recalls. “Bruce and his team were amazing and managed everything perfectly. We had a blast planning all the details together – no matter how many times we changed our minds! Bruce is such a wonderful and special person, and we are fortunate that he’s become a good friend.”
Taking place at London’s Dorchester, the wedding day surpassed all expectations. A traditional Persian ceremony was held, featuring an exquisite Sofreh Aghd. For the reception, the Dorchester ballroom was transformed into a romantic setting with floral clouds of white and cream, crystal accents, and touches of gold. A bespoke a la carte menu included touches of the bride and groom’s nationalities, as did the music and entertainment. There were also gold thread monogrammed napkins, which Sara and Saalim now use in their home.
“Our wedding cake was the most beautiful and delicious we’ve ever tasted,” Sara reflects. “There were of course some funny moments – the one that stands out most was when Saalim’s best man fell off the stage at the end of his speech! It wasn’t intentional, and thankfully he was fine. It was caught on film and we still laugh about it today!”
The newlyweds now spend their time between Boston, Karachi and London, but always look forward to their London returns, as the city holds so many special memories of an incredible wedding celebration.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala