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Lola & Amar

It’s the only wedding to ever take place at the Winspear Opera House. Here, the tale of a multicultural four-day fete.

Amar and Lola share a sweet moment.

Lola Hashem and Amar Ali’s wedding was a resplendent four-day event that combined two rich cultures—Amar is from Pakistan and Lola is Syrian. Bella Flora wedding planner Julian Leaver recalls, “They didn’t want anything like either of them had ever seen before.” And the wedding delivered, offering one unique spectacle after the other.

On the first day, a colorful mehndi (skin decoration ceremony) and lots of dancing—thanks to a Pakistani DJ and traditional drummers—celebrated tradition. On the second day, the couple hosted a welcome party, rather than a conventional rehearsal dinner, at Sambuca. There were delectable Pakistani and Syrian dishes on the menu, and a hookah bar brought additional Middle Eastern flavor. The wedding ceremony took place against the stunning backdrop of the Winspear Opera House in Annette Strauss Square—it is the only wedding ever hosted at the Winspear. The reception at The Ritz-Carlton featured belly dancers, Bollywood dancers and a breathtaking cake that was cut, according to Syrian tradition, with a sword. The event ended with the bride and groom presenting the bride’s father with a giant gift-wrapped surprise on the stage. “My father always said that once he got me married off, he’d buy himself a Harley to celebrate. So we thought we’d get the celebration started and surprised him with one,” Lola says. She and Amar then threw a wedding party at the Four Seasons for 200 additional friends that featured highlights from the previous three days.

The couple, who spoiled their guests with every imaginable luxury, are “easygoing and laid-back,” says Lola as she tells the story of how she and Amar met. “We met at SMU in 2000. We had some classes together, and I had a crush on him. He says that he knew he wanted to marry me from the moment he saw me, but I’m not sure how true that is! He asked me to be his girlfriend on Lakeside Drive in Highland Park where all the teddy bears are, and one day, insisted we take a bike ride on matching bikes up there. That’s where he proposed, it was an amazing moment,” she fondly recalls.

Both Lola and Amar are still enjoying wedded bliss after a honeymoon in Greece and Turkey. Even months after the wedding, Amar says, “It was a magical weekend filled with everything we could have ever wished for.” As for the best part of his wedding, Amar is quick to reply, “That I get to spend the rest of my life with Lola!”


Ceremony Venue Annette Strauss Square, Winspear Opera House
Reception The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
Invitations Missing Q Press
Planner Julian Leaver, Bella Flora of Dallas
Florals & Decor Bella Flora of Dallas
Cake Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Ceremony Gown Carolina Hererra, CH Highland Park Village
Reception Gown Vera Wang, Neiman Marcus
Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Lela Rose, Stanley Korshak
Groom’s Suit Tom Ford, Neiman Marcus
Music & Entertainment Limelight