Prepare yourselves—this Palm Beach wedding at Eau Hotel and Resort serves all the romance. Let’s start with how Ellie knew she’d met her person: “Tariq has always been the one.”
These two have known each other since the 5th grade. Seeing Tariq on the school bus was something Ellie looked forward to every morning. Their friendship didn’t evolve into something more until right before senior year, but after that they were both all in!
Though they grew up in Chicago, Palm Beach is important to Ellie and Tariq. Ellie went to college at the University of Miami, and when her parents visited, they’d all spend weekends at the Eau together. Later, when Ellie and Tariq stole away on a trip to Palm Beach, Tariq proposed.
Shares Ellie, “We had planned a long weekend trip to Vermont (one of our favorite places) to see the foliage in October of 2021, but week of the weather was looking awful. Tariq suggested we change our trip to Palm Beach last minute so we could enjoy being outside more. We stayed at The Colony Hotel which was a pink paradise! They have adorable bikes you can take for a spin, so we went for a ride around the whole island. Towards the end, we stopped at a cute stretch of beach we had admired during the ride. He got down on one knee there on the beach—it felt like we were the only people in the world. It was perfect. “
Ellie’s gown search brought her to Bella Bleu in Chicago where she fell for two gowns, and to help her decide, she brought her dad along with her sister (who also wore a Lea-Ann Belter gown!) and mom to a second appointment.
“I knew I wanted something very feminine and very bridal looking. Given our wedding was in Florida during November, I wanted something that matched the tropical location and formal venue, while still feeling seasonally appropriate. I was so torn between my top two gowns that I had to book another appointment at Bella Bleu to go back and try on the finalists. I only brought my mom and two sisters shopping with me, but my dad came with the second time. I asked him which he liked better, and he said he “couldn’t think of Ellie without sparkles.” He was right—between the flower detailing and the sparkles, Lourdes felt so me and so perfect for mid-November in Palm Beach! I could picture it all after that.
Funny story is that my sister also wore a Lea-Ann Belter gown for her wedding 5 years earlier! It ended up being absolutely perfect and I’m so sad I can’t wear it again! I wore earrings with pink sapphires and pearls and pink Jimmy Choo heels with it. For the after party, I changed into a Bronx and Banco white mini dress.”
Get the full scoop about their day (there was a magician!) from our sweet bride below.
How did the two of you meet?
“We actually met in 5th grade! We were in the same friend group when we started high school, and we got really close. We used to take the bus to school together and I’d look forward to seeing Tariq first thing every morning and getting the chance to flirt. We finally started dating right before our senior year started. We went to different colleges, so did long distance for most of those 4 years, and then both moved back to Chicago after we graduated in 2018! We moved to New York City together 3 years later.”
How did you know Tariq was “the one”?
“Tariq has always been the one. He understands me more than anyone ever has, and I’m always happier when I’m with him. I admire every version of him I’ve gotten to witness, and it has been so amazing to grow together though this life. I feel so lucky that we met as young as we did.”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“I went to school at the University of Miami and have always loved the warm weather and palm trees down in Florida. My parents and I would actually spend weekends at the Eau together when they’d visit me in college. After getting engaged in Palm Beach, it felt really special to us. We really liked the idea of getting married by the ocean and somewhere that was warm and beautiful. Having the wedding in Florida also gave us more flexibility with booking dates coming out of the Covid 19 pandemic and control the size of the guest list. Plus, we didn’t feel super attached to having a wedding in Chicago. Getting married at the Eau was a dream come true.”
Tell us about your day!
“I found the planning process to be really stressful. I had a key vendor pass away the month of the wedding, a hurricane hit Palm Beach the week of the wedding, and both my parents got Covid the day before / day of the wedding. The roads were so flooded we couldn’t even make it to the courthouse to get our marriage license the day we had planned to!
Our first look was my favorite part of the day. I felt so grounded getting to see Tariq and have a moment together. Plus, it was practical as it allowed us to get all of the family photos out of the way right after.
We also had a magician at our wedding which was a huge hit! He wandered cocktail hour all the way up to the after party and it made it feel extra fun. People still talk about him. We incorporated as much color as possible into the day from the invitations to the monogrammed dance floor, to the flowers, all the way to my shoes! We also cared a lot about the food and making sure there was a lot and that it was good—the tasting was one of our fave memories of wedding planning. My mother-in-law used to own a jewelry store in our hometown, so my something borrowed was a beautiful ring of hers I wore on the day.
The resort made chocolate-covered strawberries with tuxes and white dresses which was my favorite food detail. We had asked my sister’s husband to officiate the ceremony, and that felt really, really special, as we are very close to them, and we admire their relationship very much. We knew he would do an amazing job and set the tone for the whole night. We had readings from both of our parents wedding featured which was meaningful. Our dads also did a joint toast at the reception which was a huge hit and brought them close together.”
What was your first dance song?
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice, by The Beach Boys. We had picked this song out years ago. Being high school sweethearts, it was perfect. I got so emotional during the dance!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went to Thailand! Hitting Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket! It was the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.”