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How a Saudi couple’s passion for F1 made for a ‘spectacular’ wedding entrance

RIYADH: Saudi newlyweds Abdulaziz Khashogji and Amirah Al-Bassam tied the knot in style as the first-ever couple to have their “zaffa,” or wedding entrance, on Jeddah’s F1 circuit.

“Both of us have unconventional ideas when it comes to our lifestyles,” the 32-year-old groom told Arab News.

“The shoot and the location were both iconic and really special; we’re both so grateful we made our night as special as our relationship,” 26-year-old bride added.

The Saudi newlyweds recently made their first entrance as husband and wife on a red 2024 Ferrari Roma Spider waving to their guests and driving across the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. (Supplied)

Last week, the newlyweds made their first entrance as husband and wife on a red 2024 Ferrari Roma Spider waving to their guests and driving across the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, famed as the fastest and longest street circuit in F1 at 6.175 km.

When approaching the planning of their reception and entrance, the couple’s vision was simple, with a slogan of “less is more.”

“I proposed the venue and Amirah thought it would be cool to just have a simple wedding dinner that was iconic. Adding the Ferrari for our entrance was the touch that made it extra special,” Khashogji said.

HIGHLIGHT

Photos and videos of the unique wedding reception has been circulating on social media, with many commenters showing interest and excitement over the extraordinary Saudi wedding entrance.

Photos and videos of the unique wedding reception circulated on social media over the weekend, with many commenters showing interest and excitement over the extraordinary Saudi wedding entrance.

When asked how the idea of the F1 wedding photo shoot came about, Al-Bassam said: “Given that the wedding reception was at the circuit, and my husband is a car and motorsport fanatic, it would have been rude not to,” she said.

“His lifelong passion is Formula 1 and his favorite manufacturer is Ferrari, so we had to do the shoot in a Ferrari at the F1 track,” she added.

A new benchmark for wedding venues has been set, and it’ll be a tough one to follow.

Zaid Khashogji, Relative

Khashogji told Arab News that the decision to hold the wedding reception at the Jeddah F1 circuit “was a mutual decision” driven by the couple’s “love for unique experiences and cars in general.”

The groom works in Saudi Motorsport and manages the circuit, hosting the F1 race along with the other events that take place at the track all year round.

“I’ve been with Saudi Motorsport since the first F1 race in 2021 as part of the hospitality team running premium hospitality. Since that day I knew I wanted to have my wedding in this venue, and when I met Amirah and fell in love with her, we both knew that it would be the perfect place for both of us,” he said.

There was some initial skepticism when the couple first told family and guests about the location they had in mind, Al-Bassam said.

“But everyone was blown away as soon as they showed up. The guests loved the venue, the idea, and everyone had an amazing time, which felt very rewarding to share our joy with everyone,” she added.

Rema Al-Yahya, a close friend of the bride, shared her experience of the unique ceremony. “I’ve never seen a wedding entrance like this before. It was really unexpected and everyone loved it. It was a truly memorable experience that perfectly captured the couple’s personality,” she said.

The groom’s brother, Zaid Khashogji said that the entrance was a “spectacle.”

He added: “For my brother it was a dream come true. Growing up, Aziz used to always say ‘Hawaii? Como? When I get married, it’ll be on an F1 track!

“Subhan Allah, he manifested it from a young age … back when the idea of having a Formula 1 track in Saudi Arabia was nothing more than wishful thinking! And it was amazing to see it happen in our hometown, no less.

“A new benchmark for wedding venues has been set, and it’ll be a tough one to follow!”

 

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