Photography by


SHENEH & ABRAHAM SWAIDAN

May 7, 2016 in Newport Beach, California


 
It was Abraham Swaidan’s birthday in 2005 when he met his future wife, Sheneh, at a mutual friend’s party. “My friend Charlene introduced us, and we were both pretty taken aback,” Sheneh states. “We both agree that it felt like love at first sight. When I was leaving, Abe said he would get my number and call me. He actually called the next day, and we went out on our first date that night to Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles.”
 
Five years later, again on Abraham’s birthday, the couple was preparing  to fly out for a trip to Saint-Tropez. Sheneh was in the middle of packing when she noticed a bow around her cat Pambeh’s neck. “Not thinking anything of it, I told Abe to please take it off and stop playing around, because he might choke,” she recalls. “Abe would not take it off, and kept telling me to do it. I came to take it off in an annoyed manner, when I noticed my dream heart-shaped ring hanging on the ribbon. I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was so obsessed with my ring, I spent the whole flight to Europe taking pictures of the ring while Abe slept in peace.” Abraham and Sheneh enjoyed an extended engagement over the span of several years. During that time, the pair traveled to dozens of destinations together, including Miami, Cabo and Mykonos, in search of the perfect wedding venue. In the end, they decided to host their wedding at the first location they visited—which they loved from the very beginning—the Resort at Pelican Hill.
 
“Since we hadn’t done things conventionally, we wanted to keep that momentum going,” Sheneh adds. “I’m a graphic designer and I wanted to do something special for my save the date, because I knew it would set the tone and theme. I designed a 34-page People magazine issue about the two of us and our long journey to the altar.” Six months later, the wedding day arrived. Stormy skies cleared up just in time for the wedding ceremony, and idyllic California weather complemented the gorgeous ambiance created by White Lilac Inc. “The flowers were so breathtaking,” says Sheneh. “And the fact that it was Mother’s Day weekend—and they filled the whole place with such an abundant amount of the most beautiful flowers—really meant the world to me. I had never seen so many orchids, gardenias and peonies in one place!”
 
To ensure the wedding guests had a memorable experience, everyone was greeted with a welcome gift box filled with treats to make their stay more comfortable. The bride and groom also surprised their guests by performing a special duet together. “We sang ‘I Hate You Then I Love You’ by Céline Dion and Pavarotti,” says the bride. “It was a hit because it really describes our relationship—and most couples, in fact!”
 
Not wanting to miss out on any special moments that night, the newlyweds spent most of their time with guests, chatting and taking pictures. “After the reception, we invited everyone back to our villa for a nightcap,” says Sheneh. “We stayed up until the sun came up. It was truly a magical, unforgettable night.”
 
> Written by Lauren Malamala
Location: The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach, CA; Floral and Event Design, Planner and Rentals: White Lilac Inc. Costa Mesa, CA; Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror; Bridal Salon: Panache Bridal Pasadena, CA; Groom’s Attire: Burberry;

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SHENEH & ABRAHAM SWAIDAN