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This Couple Shared Their First Dance at The Mehndi Party During Their Summer Wedding Weekend in Portugal

By Sara Dial | Photography by 

Alice Vicente

|Planning by 

Dream Weddings Europe

Sparks flew when Diogo Infante Ossemane Ringler met content creator and independent fashion designer Zahra Mussa Omarji in South Africa. Six years later, he proposed during an afternoon picnic in the Monserrate garden in Lisbon. “It was intimate and simple without anything too fancy and pompous,” she shares. 

The couple returned to Portugal for a week of wedding celebrations. “I wanted something more on the modern and industrial side but with greenery,” Zahra explains. The pair chose Anastasiia Hala of Dream Weddings Europe to execute the details and Alice Vicente to photograph.

While in search of her wedding dress, Zahra realized she’d rather create something that was truly her own. With a background in fashion, the creative vision and textile knowledge were there so the bride-to-be designed her own dress for the day of. “I wanted something simple but with a statement,” she shares. “I focused on the fit and material more than anything else because when working with simplicity, the eye can easily spot flaws. The simpler the dress, the harder it is to make it, so I did multiple fittings to be sure that the dress fit perfectly and the fabric fell in place.” Nuno Abrantes Atelier brought her vision to life. 

Mehndi by Hemali’s Mehndi and sparkling emerald earrings accented the final look—“It’s my partner’s birthstone, and it’s said to be a prosperous stone,” Zahra explains of her jewelry choice. Let’s Hair styled her chic low bun. Diogo donned a modern but classic take on traditional groom-wear—a polished black tuxedo complete with Dior derby shoes and a bow tie. 

The week began with a mehndi party to which the bride wore a stunning Zoya Fashion House ensemble of light blue and various jewels of the same tone. Makeup by Balu applied shimmering blue eyeshadow and strong liner while Blue Velvet styled a braided updo. “We had our [first] dance at the mehndi party and it was so much fun!” she recalls. 

On August 20, 2023, Zahra and Diogo said, “I do,” surrounded by loved ones beneath a stunning collection of white Atelier Decorelle florals. Little ones happily preceded the bride before she walked down the aisle with a bouquet of roses. Guests smiled and the groom shed a tear as the two exchanged vows. “It was a mix between modern and traditional,” she recalls. “It was fun and light on a summer afternoon. Nothing too uptight or stuffy. Exactly like me and Diogo, simple and down to earth.” Zahra felt relaxed and calm during the ceremony which served as a beautiful ending to a week of cultural celebrations.  

Afterward, the newlyweds shared a moment alone and delighted in a few lighthearted portraits, while guests indulged in passed hors-d’oeuvres as the sun set and golden hour illuminated the space. “We are also big foodies, so the food was very important for us and we had an oyster bar and lots of little snacks to enjoy so it was super fun!” the bride notes. 

Inside, white linens draped the tables and white bouquets made for elegant centerpieces. Everyone took their seats before greeting Zahra and Diogo with roaring applause in celebration of their nuptials. Indian fare was served as the bride’s father and brother delivered speeches before the couple cut their Edelweiss cake. A curated setlist set the tone for the night to come. “It was laidback and fun with the perfect summer weather,” she smiles. “Seeing all my loved ones in one place meant so much to me.” When the wedding week festivities came to a close, Diogo and Zahra took off for their honeymoon in Mallorca.