Her story: Zaineb Makhzoumi, 33, grew up in Lutherville. She is a dermatologist, Mohs surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her parents, Hassan and Rayya Makhzoumi, emigrated from Beirut in 1978. They moved back to Beirut in 2008, though Rayya returns to their Lutherville home several times a year.
His story: Ayman Tomhe, 34, also grew up in Lutherville. He was a 7-Eleven franchisee for 10 years before opening a State Farm office in Baltimore last month. His parents, Dr. Yaseen Tomhe and Amal Tomhe, came to the U.S. from Syria in 1970 and live in Lutherville.
Their story: Zaineb and Ayman often crossed paths while growing up because their parents are best friends.
They lost touch until May 2012, when Ayman saw a picture of Zaineb at his parents' home.
"I was like, 'She's really grown up and she's a doctor now,' " Ayman says. "I was very impressed, so I decided to give her a call."
The two spent time catching up over the phone and made plans to meet that week.
Zaineb was finishing her residency at the University of Virginia at the time, so Ayman drove 21/2 hours to meet her. They spent four hours talking at a Starbucks before going to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner.
Shortly after, their relationship became even more long-distance when Zaineb moved to San Francisco for a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She lived there for a year before moving back to Maryland last June.
The proposal: In fall 2012, Ayman planned to visit Zaineb in San Francisco for New Year's Eve. With the help of Zaineb's brother, who was also living in San Francisco, Ayman began planning a proposal.
But about a month before New Year's Eve, Zaineb suggested to Ayman that they instead spend the holiday in London with her parents and siblings. Ayman agreed, and they met in London a few days before Zaineb's family arrived.
On the night before New Year's Eve, the couple was walking around Big Ben and Parliament when Ayman led Zaineb onto a bridge over the Thames.
"He just got down on one knee and pulled out a ring and said that there was a specific reason he came to London," Zaineb says. "He planned a proposal in San Francisco that I botched, so he planned this actual proposal that happened in London."
The venue: An Islamic wedding ceremony took place at Zaineb's parents' house in Lutherville on Dec. 6. An imam read passages from the Quran before Zaineb and Ayman exchanged vows in Arabic.
"Ayman and I are both very proud of being Arab-American," Zaineb says. "We definitely wanted a mix of Western traditions, and then we wanted to keep our own traditions in there as well."
Men's attire: For the reception, the men wore black tuxedos from Jos. A. Bank. They also wore Ravens cuff links from Nordstrom, which were given to the groomsmen as gifts.
Music: The couple entered the reception escorted by a traditional Arabic zaffe band. DJ George Haddad of Baltimore played a mixture of Arabic and English songs throughout the night. Ayman and Zaineb's first dance was to "La Vie en Rose" by Edith Piaf.
Food and dessert: The Four Seasons provided beef short ribs and crab cakes for dinner. Patisserie Poupon of Baltimore made a five-tier hazelnut cake.
Favors: Following Arabic tradition, Zaineb says, only their female guests received favors — pashminas from Beirut.
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