Dalia Nsouli is a Lebanese American banker, who's currently based in Qatar, with an impeccable personal style. Having quite the petite figure, Dalia masters wearing what suits her body type, without losing her unique sense of style. You could spot her in an outfit, look at her and (really!) admire it, and think that only she can make that look work. She loves clashing prints and patterns, and she does it in a very effortless way. However, on her wedding day, Dalia chose to go the classic way and aimed for a timeless bridal look. Read along to uncover all the details of Dalia Nsouli's pathway as a bride.
When did you start your bridal gown shopping journey?
Around six months before the wedding. Like most people, I started looking online. Opposite to my daily style, I knew I wanted something simple with a hint of old glamor. I didn't want the usual beading found in most bridal gowns. I love it, but I just didn’t think it was for me. I wanted something a bit more structured with thick silk/satin that was popular in the 50s, so that’s how I started.
How many wedding gowns have you tried on before finding 'The One'?
I wouldn’t say too many, perhaps around 5-6 before I realized that I wouldn’t find what I was looking for, since it was very specific. That’s when I knew I probably had to get it custom-made. So the next step was looking for a designer, and the best place to start was back home in Beirut.
You knew you found 'The One' when...
I saw a really fancy top at Moe Shour's atelier in Lebanon, while looking for wedding dresses, and fell in love with it. It had the thick silk I wanted as a base, with layered crepe ruffles and I asked if it could be extended (by adding more layers) to effectively turn it into a wedding dress, and that’s what ended up happening. I switched the crepe layers into the thick silk I had in mind, and it turned out perfect.
Tell us all about your wedding day look.
Some people look amazing in makeup, and some not so much. I think I'm the latter. I wanted someone who would understand that, and didn’t use traditional heavy kohl and eyeshadow, which is the reason I chose Fady Kataya. He really studies your face well, and knows what suits you best. I completely trusted him and was very happy with the result.
As for my hair, I had been growing it my whole life, and wanted to wear it down. Usually, they say brides should have a chignon, but I didn’t think that was for me. My wedding day hairstylist was Steve, the owner of The Hair Avenue by Steve, and we agreed to wear my hair half up, and half down to please my mother. Looking back, I'm happy I did that, because I think I'm way too small and my dress was way too big to have a beehive-looking hairdo.
Your all time favorite celebrity bride is ... , were you inspired by her?
My favorite bride is Bianca Jagger, in her civil ceremony wedding suit when she married Mick Jagger; I wish I could have been inspired by her, but I would never get away with that being Lebanese - it's all about that big white puffy dress. Of more recent, my favorite bride is Poppy Delevingne, her Chanel dress was beautiful, yet her Emilio Pucci dress from her Marrakesh wedding was everything.
Did you always know how you wanted to look on your wedding day?
Not at all, I just knew I wanted something fresh and different. I knew I didn’t want embroidery, and wanted the material/structure of the dress to speak for itself. So with that in mind, I knew that custom-made dress by a fashion designer would be my only option. Luckily, the designer I was working with in Beirut, Moe Shour, was very kind, and young spirited, and we were always on the same page. This made it very easy to turn what I wanted into a reality. The most important thing for you, is to voice out your opinion and trust the designer. Have patience, because it really is a long process, full of trial and error. Luckily for me, it was more trial than error.
Looking back at your wedding photos, is there anything you would have done differently?
Not much at all, but I would have for sure worn a headpiece, and maybe had a splash of color in my wedding dress. I think the most important thing is not to dwell on what you could have done differently, but to appreciate what was done that evening.
Share your tips for brides-to-be shopping for wedding gowns.
- Don’t think of what's in right now, think of whether you will still enjoy looking at your wedding pictures 20-30 years down the line.
- Dress for you and not for others, and definitely for your body type.
- If you have something very specific in mind, and you're creative, I would suggest having the dress custom-made, because I think it’s the most fun and fulfilling experience as a bride.
- Lastly, if you have a budget, stick to it, because it's way too easy to lose yourself in the whole process.