Raian and Jalal

How We Met

Jalal ( my now husband) seen me 4 years ago he came into my workplace and I assisted him with his pick up, I stapled my business card to his paperwork and sent him on his way! He recognized my last name and knew I was Lebanese and from a very small community. He asked his best friend which happens to be from the same community as me if he knew who I was…..he told him I was engaged ( but I wasn’t he had me mixed up for my sister). A year later we both happened to be at a wedding once again he spotted me and asked someone about me, but I had left and no one could tell him who I was!

Two years later Jalal was getting his car serviced it just so happened his friend (Zee) was working at the dealership. Zee told Jalal that she was going out for wine and cheese with a girl named Raian! And that’s when the questions started… what’s her story? How do you know her? She told him I will find out tonight and keep him posted!

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A couple of days after our get together Zee texed me asking me telling me she had a friend she wanted me to who asked her about me and was interested in me. I said no right away, she then sent me the profile of him lolol. I still said no. She sent a picture, and I still said no! I said I’m too busy with work and I’m in the middle of getting promoted and I’m leaving for a few weeks to Lebanon I’m not interested at the moment!

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After I got back from my vacation mid-August and headed into my busy season at work Zee kept trying to set something up and i kept giving her excuses, finally I’m like you know what just give him my number! ( In my head I thought id just say hey nice to meet you, but I’m just not interested right now).

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A few days went by and I Jay Jay (Jalal) texted me! Obviously, I waited a few hours before responding. i was on my way to meet one of my best friends for dinner and i told her the story. I said I’m not interested right now I’m just gonna tell him. She took my phone and started responding on my behalf! She convinced me i had nothing to lose he seems like a sweet guy and I should give him a try. SO i did we texted and i finally agreed to a dinner.

I’m not gonna lie dinner was a bit awkward at first, everything was perfect nice restaurant busy, he was a gentleman great conversation. I left feeling ok… I’m like if he calls he calls if not it was a nice dinner…. it wasn’t love at first sight! after i got in my car he called me saying both of my tail lights in my car a burnt out to text him when i get home. ( I laughed a little because he already knew that I knew my lights were burnt out, but it was sweet of him!

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Raian's Proposal in Ice Castel in edmonton Alberta

We kept texting and the conversations just got better and better, I agreed to a second date so we went for lunch and that’s where we felt the spark! I knew he was actually interested in me, he was a good listener and before I got to the restaurant he had already ordered my favorite wine…. being a designer the small details matter to someone like me.

When Jalal’s mom came over for the first time to meet my parents Just a few weeks of us dating and she said that she has seen my dad before, but couldn’t quite pinpoint it. after they got talking my dad asked her if they were ever at this small social gathering that happened almost 30 years ago, she said yes me and my husband were there and so was 10 year old Jalal at the time. My dad said that Jalal’s dad actually took me from my mom’s lap and carried me for a while I was 6 months at the time. Jalal’s father passed away 7 years ago so I never got the chance to meet him.

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Raian and Jalal's Engagement in Ice Castel in edmonton Alberta

how they asked

Jalal and i met in late August 2017 things were going great spending as much time together as possible with both our crazy work schedules, being a corporate event planner the winter time is one of my busiest seasons.

Jalal had started ring shopping in late November and i had absolutely zero clue. at the end of December, he had asked my dad and brother for there blessing. My dad had to fly out to Lebanon on new years to go see my grandpa who was not doing to well. a few days later my grandpa passed away and Jalal wanted to wait a few weeks before proposing.

Jalal knew surprising me would be very hard and im a very nosy person! He avoided every serious conversation about our future and i was starting to get frustrated. I had a business trip in early February and while i was there i did some serious thinking and was planning on having the talk with him when i got back!

I was in Toronto Jalal had told me that he made plans for the Saturday i was back! He wants to go see the Ice Castles that comes to the city once a year and that his aunt that I haven’t met yet has invited us for dinner after ( in other words dress up). I woke up and went and got my nails done only because a few of them broke on my trip. I ran a little late at the nail and was headed home when i got a work phone call telling me that i have been nominated twice for an award in my industry. i was over the moon! I was nominated twice the people i was up against have been in the industry for years so it was kinda a big deal! I got home and started changes as quickly as possible, because now were late! and Jalal was freaking out, I ran out the door not really thinking since it was – 15 and i decided to wear a t-shirt under in thin jacket! Clearly, I wasn’t thinking clearly!

On our way, all I could think about was the nomination! As were waiting in line to get in Jalal finally noticed that i was not dressed properly and i was shivering, he gave me his scarf and told me we wont be long.

We wondered around in the castle took a few photos and Jalal kept asking me if i knew where the highest part of the castle was ( since iv been there before) i told him on the other side were almost there! as were walking i hear someone say ” Hi beautiful” i look back and it was a cousin of mine that i haven’t seen in a while, i was so happy to see her started talking and i kina felt that she was not as engaged in the conversation I was! under her breath she asked me to turn around! I kept talking! She asked me again, but I thought I was hearing things! finally she put her hands on my shoulder and turned me around!

I hear someone say “Hi baby” I look down and find Jalal on one knee!!!! I was in complete shock I started shaking and couldn’t feel my legs I instantly hugged him ( because I felt like I was gonna fall). Obviously, I said yes! Having my cousin there was the diversion as her partner took the shot!

My favorite part about having a photographer there is that it captured all our emotions including how nervous Jay Jay was……. the ring way upside down in the Box!!! Even tho he proposed in a public place with two photographs it truly felt that it was just him and I! I also won an award! Jalal and I got married this summer, with less than a year of knowing each other!

Special Thanks

Shantelle Jammaz
 | Photographer
Mimi Siffledeen
 | Photographer