As the first celebrations ahead of next week’s royal wedding took place in Jordan, bride-to-be Rajwa Al Saif and her future mother-in-law Queen Rania turned to regional designers.
For the henna party, which took place at Zahran Palace on Monday evening, both women had bespoke dresses created for them, dazzling in embellished gowns that featured personal touches.
Al Saif, who will marry Crown Prince Hussein on June 1, opted for a designer from her home country, Saudi Arabia, to dress her for the occasion.
She wore a silk white dress decorated with intricate gold beadwork, custom made for her by designer Honayda Serafi, who said she was “honoured” to create the look.
Sharing a closer look at the design process on Instagram, Honayda revealed the inspiration and symbolism behind the dress.
“The dress draws its inspiration from Miss Rajwa’s modern personality and her elegant allure, combining each of the couple’s rich civilisations in a contemporary spirit,” the official account for the house wrote.
“The design mirrors traditions and merges rich heritage imbued with Arabic elements and touches of cultural beauty of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Some of those elements incorporated into the two-piece dress, known as the Sahabi Thoub, included the famous palm of Saudi Arabia, created in 3D through a mix of silk, metallic threads and traditional reed strings. The gown was also decorated with seven stars, symbolising the seven-pointed star of Jordan.
Her veil paid homage to “the couple’s eternal love story”, embroidered with a famous verse from Tunisian poet Abu Al Qasim Al Shabi, speaking of the beauty of life at one’s sight.
Queen Rania, meanwhile, wore a bespoke look by Lebanese designer Saiid Kobeisy. The floor-length powder blue kaftan featured a belted waist, high open collar, and beadwork in shades of blue and silver.
“We feel truly honoured to have dressed her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, who mesmerised guests at Princess Rajwa Al Saif's henna party, in a stunning bespoke Saiid Kobeisy couture floor-length kaftan gown, that featured celestial shades of blue, gracefully highlighting the Queen's natural charm and allure,” the brand’s official Instagram page wrote.
On Tuesday, Queen Rania shared several pictures and videos from the henna party, which kicked off the countdown to the wedding.
“No celebration would be complete without our Jordanian family. Celebrating our beautiful Rajwa,” she wrote.
In one of the pictures, Queen Rania is seen embracing Al Saif, while in another, she is pictured making a speech as the bride-to-be wipes away a tear.
In a second set of pictures shared on Tuesday, Queen Rania can be seen talking to attendees and embracing Al Saif's mother, Azza.
Jordan's Queen Rania shares footage of Rajwa Al Saif's henna party
“Thank you all for sharing in our happiness at Rajwa’s Henna party last night,” she wrote.
Last week, the official logo for the royal wedding was revealed, with the words “we rejoice” written in Arabic calligraphy. A bilingual version of the logo has the Arabic calligraphy along with the words “Jordan's Royal Wedding” and the date, “1-6-23".
Al Saif, 29, is the daughter of Saudi businessman Khalid Al Saif. She was educated in Saudi Arabia before moving to the US for higher education, where she studied architecture at Syracuse University.
The couple announced their engagement in August, when their families gathered at the Al Saif family home in Riyadh.