Real Brides: Halima

How she met her husband: I met my husband through a study abroad trip to Italy. The first day in Italy, I knocked on the door and there he was. I was looking for my friend who happened to be rooming with him, kindly he invited me in, little did we know that’s where our story began. We spent the next 5 weeks in this foreign land learning about each other and unknowingly falling in love. As a hopeless romantic I never would have imagined in a million years I would marry the guy I walked around with in the streets of Italy indulging in gelato and endless cups of delicious coffee. Our paths had never crossed in school before that trip, but ever since then we grew closer and closer. Almost became each other’s escape. Three and half years later, endless cups of coffees, and multiple trips together, he insisted on one more trip to Italy once again. As a celebratory graduation trip we had planned on visiting several cities in Spain and France but I wasn’t planning on going back to Italy. We had already been there! Naturally after some convincing we agreed to make a few stops starting with Rome on NYE. We started the day with lunch at the restaurant where we celebrated my birthday three years earlier, then planned to do dinner, walk around the city stoping at Piazza Navona, and planned to make our way to the Spanish Steps, Piazza di Popolo, and the Trevi Fountain. After we finished dinner I convinced him to stop at the Trevi Fountain first instead, then make our way to the Spanish steps and so forth. Evidently, he had other plans. Still a bit hesitant he agreed and said he would have some one take our video to document us tossing our coins into the Trevi Fountain once again since after all we did find love, good health, and finally our way back to Rome. Slightly surprised by this I walked down to the fountain and found a good place where we could do our coin toss. He handed over the phone to a couple sitting on a bench and asked to take our video. After tossing the coins he turned to me and said "wait," as he reached in his coat pulled out this little black box I started to panic. He got down on one knee and said I was the one. Tears started streaming down my face, I looked down at him and he was holding this box with a diamond ring shining bright at me. So in awe of what was happening I could hardly speak. All I remembered was seeing flashes all around us going off everywhere. I had no words and when he asked if I would marry him I could only murmur "uh huh" the tears continued to stream down. It felt as if we were the only ones in front of that fountain despite how full of tourist it was. He got up and kissed me with a big smile on his face. I was left completely speechless that it took at least ten minutes to be able to articulate any words and finally say “yes”. How she knew her dress was "the one": I had to try on dress after dress until I found the one! I would take my bridesmaids and mom to appointments and found a handful of dresses, but they didn’t quite check all the boxes. I kept wondering if finding the dress that would make me feel like a bride was just an idea in my head and started to think choosing one of the dresses I tried on already would not be too bad after all. I scheduled one last appointment at another bridal shop in the area and thought to give it a try. My mom and my bridesmaids were not able to join me that day, so I ended up making the trip with my grandma, slightly disappointed the rest of my party couldn’t join we still made the trip. The bridal attendant helped pick out some dresses and set us up in one of the fitting rooms. While doing that my grandma and I kept looking around in the showroom when I heard “Halima! Look at this! You should try it on.” My grandma pulled out this dress that seemed to be so simple, even for me! I’m a simple and elegant kind of girl and generally gravitate towards subtlety beautiful designs with little to no embellishments. She pulled out this dress that was covered in a soft elegant lace, had buttons running down the back and a soft sweetheart neckline with French lace peeking out. I tried it on and it fit almost perfectly! The attendant helped adjust it to get a better visual of how the dress would fit tailored to my size. I looked in the mirror and absolutely fell head over heels with it. I loved it! It made me feel like a bride so much that I pictured the moment my groom would see me, and I would say “I do!” It was completely serendipitous. The dress had a beautiful gold shimmer that made it the perfect color. It was soft, elegant, and romantic, just what I pictured wearing while marrying the love of my life and best friend. Filled with emotion I knew it was the one. My grandma loved it and I loved it too. We FaceTimed my mom to share the news with her; Even through a small iPhone screen she too loved the dress. I will always cherish that moment I was able to share with my grandma and know that day was special for her too. Photography: