Zoe Win Shewer and Sameh Elamawy first met in San Francisco, where they’re both C-suite execs in the tech space. “We met in September 2016 in Mission Dolores Park,” Zoe remembers. “I had recently relocated from Denver to San Francisco. I was with an acquaintance getting coffee and she mentioned that her friend Sameh had cut a trip short and was going to meet us in the park. The rest is history.”
Three years later, Sameh proposed to Zoe in another park—this one across the pond—and the orchestration was no small feat. “Sameh proposed via a surprise flash mob in Hyde Park in London,” Zoe says. Zoe thought she was in the country for a girls’ trip. On the way to meet her best friend, a couple stopped and asked her to take a photo. As Zoe recorded, the man got down on one knee, making her think she had stumbled into someone else’s proposal. But then, the couple began singing, and more people and musicians joined in. Then, out of nowhere, Sameh appeared. It was her proposal she had been filming.
Their wedding on September 18, 2021, was a continuation of the fun and celebratory nature of their entire relationship. “We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of us as a couple,” Zoe says. “We wanted it to be colorful, festive, and FUN.” They enlisted a group of vendors accustomed to working in vivid color, and thoroughly enjoyed the planning process.
It was a lot of fun!” the bride recalls. “We loved the design process in particular—working on the save-the-dates, invitations, signage, flowers, table settings, writing our vows, and, of course, the food.” She continues: “The process only became a tad stressful at the end—crunch time—finalizing the seating charts and working through COVID protocol to ensure our guests would feel safe celebrating with us.”
In the end, all 105 guests were safe and comfortable—and living a little more colorfully for having experienced Zoe and Sameh’s joyous love. Read on to see the big day in all its glory, planned by Jove Meyer Events and photographed by Sylvie Rosokoff.
The tone was set early with invitations by Julia Bez featuring geometric watercolor designs, an explosion of color, ombré calligraphed addresses, and chic stamps. “Julia created our save-the-dates, seating chart, menu, and table numbers,” Zoe says. “She is the best.” When guests arrived they received welcome bags with items hand-selected by the couple. “One of my favorite additions were Fat Witch brownies,” Zoe says.
Their venue—a historic Brooklyn factory that was transformed into the Wythe Hotel a decade ago—offered a stunning view of the skyline. “We picked this venue after looking at about 15 venues around the city with our wedding planner,” Zoe says. “We wanted an outdoor component to our ceremony—but one that provided a rain plan that equally excited us. Plus, not only is the Wythe gorgeous, youthful, and fun; it also has fantastic food and we’re big foodies.”
The morning of the wedding, Zoe’s parents presented their soon-to-be son-in-law with a special gift. “They gave him cufflinks that were originally given to my father by my mother’s parents—and now to Sameh—so they held a lot of meaning,” the bride says.
“I told our wonderful makeup artist, Sarah, that I wanted to look natural but like the best possible version of myself—she did all the magic!” Zoe says. They opted for a simple ceremony look and added more dramatic liner for the reception and party. As for hair, “I’m a huge Blake Lively fan when it comes to all things beauty and fashion. My dress definitely suited an updo, but I wanted something a bit lighter and more modern and playful.”
It was the first dress I tried on, and it just felt right.
Zoe wore Oscar de la Renta all weekend long, from rehearsal to reception. For the big day, she chose a crepe wool little white dress with a domed skirt and stucco-inspired detailing. “It was the first dress I tried on, and it just felt right,” she remembers. “I still went through the motions of trying on other dresses and styles—hey, you only get to do this once!—but I couldn’t stop thinking about how I felt in that first dress. It was magic!”
She accessorized with “jewelry that had sentimental value,” she says. “A pearl and diamond ring from my mother, a diamond tennis bracelet that my parents gave me on the wedding day, a pair of yellow diamond earrings borrowed from my mom, and, of course, my wedding band, which was my mother’s on her wedding day. She had it engraved with the date of her and my father’s wedding and the date of our wedding.” (The vintage band? A chic Trinity ring by Cartier.) Her bouquet was likewise a statement accessory, featuring all-white blooms with a bright fuchsia flower in the center for a pop of color.
I had such a rush of emotions that I could feel throughout my entire body.
“Wow! What a moment,” Zoe says of the couple’s first look. “Honestly, I never thought I would get emotional during the first look, but it really was. I had such a rush of emotions that I could feel throughout my entire body. I remember taking a deep breath walking up the stairs to meet Sameh because, after that moment, it was all really happening.”
“If you’re happy and having fun, your guests will too,” Zoe advises other brides. “That’s the most important part of the day—not the food, decor, linens, music, or whatever is stressing you out. Just relax and enjoy yourself; everyone will follow.” Stolen moments to capture playful portraits like these were all part of the fun.
Their color scheme was explosive: “Lots of bright colors—blue, fuchsia, periwinkle, orange—everywhere!” Zoe says. They even carried the theme intro to their portraits, finding bold murals around Brooklyn to pose against.
“Flowers were the focal point of the decor and were designed to look more like installation art than traditional floral arrangements,” Zoe says. Designs by Ahn brought the couple’s vision to life, with a rainbow of florals in a heart-shaped arch for the ceremony. “It was incredible, and also served as a great photo op for both us and our guests.”
Wear what you love and feel comfortable in, regardless of whether it’s traditional or unexpected.
For the ceremony, “We had an amazing modern string quartet, Sterling Strings,” Zoe says. They played “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane as the groom entered with his mother, then took up Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” for the bride’s walk down the aisle with her father.
The ceremony, officiated by Zoe’s best friend since the age of five, Alyssa Puccinelli Browne, was a favorite moment. “It was so personal, full of energy, full of love, and a true representation of us as a couple,” Zoe remembers. “Alyssa did an outstanding job; we also had some of our nearest and dearest friends do readings that we chose.”
“We wrote vows together as a couple, to share what we promised each other as partners,” Zoe says. Among them: “I promise to treat every moment we spend together with the excitement of a first, and cherish it as if it’s our last,” and “I promise to love you each day more than the one before, and in every way I know how.”
The ceremony was made personal in another way, too. “We incorporated aspects of both of our religions into the ceremony—Zoe is Jewish and Sameh is Muslim,” the couple shares. “At the conclusion of our ceremony, Sameh smashed a glass and Zoe broke red clay, both symbolizing good luck for the future.” They recessed out to “Love on Top” by Beyoncé.
Selecting bold design components—from floral arrangements to signage to table settings—was among the easier planning decisions. “It’s easy when you have great vendors!” Zoe says. “Our tables were also very colorful, with periwinkle tablecloths, bright fuchsia napkins, orange notecards, lavender menus, and gold-toned flatware.”
“The focal point of the reception decor was our floral mobiles and table arrangements,” the bride says. “We had big color-blocked orbs hanging from the ceiling, and colorful flower arrangements on the tables to bring it all together.”
“We decided to serve dinner family-style because we thought it would be a bit more fun and less formal than a traditional plated meal,” Zoe says. On the menu? Orzo cacio e pepe, salmon with sauce vierge, and roast chicken with an everything crumble. For dessert, chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon sugar doughnuts accompanied cake.
“We wrote personalized cards in envelopes for each guest, which also served as place cards,” Zoe shares. “It was such an awesome experience taking the time to write these cards, because it reinforced how important to us every person attending was.”
The best part of the whole day? “Being surrounded by those we love!” the couple says. “It was such a treat to look around the room and see so many people we love all in one place. We loved seeing our friends and family from all walks of life connect and befriend each other.”
In addition to catering, the Wythe Hotel also took on the couple’s request for a custom cake. “It embodied our theme with bright, colorful paint strokes and said ‘Yippee!’ on top,” Zoe describes. The simple vanilla cake was iced with vanilla buttercream.
Some couples take dance lessons—Zoe and Sameh took things into their own hands. “We choreographed a dance for our first dance, which was surprisingly fun!” they share. The tune? “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.
“Our dance floor was poppin'!” Zoe says. “Toward the end of the evening, the air conditioning broke, so everyone moved outside into the courtyard and continued to dance under the stars. It was one of those perfectly imperfect moments.” The party continued late night at the hotel’s speakeasy and theater. She notes, "We offered craft cocktails and popcorn, and screened When Harry Met Sally.” Next up for the newlyweds? A honeymoon to New Zealand and Bora Bora—“the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.”
Venue Wythe Hotel
Planner Jove Meyer Events
Bridal Gown Designer Oscar de la Renta
Bride’s Hair Christophe Belkacemi at John Frieda
Bride’s Makeup Sarah Bellagamba
Bride’s Shoes Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Earrings Van Cleef & Arpels
Groom’s Attire ISAIA
Bride’s Wedding Band Cartier
Groom’s Wedding Band Jennifer Fisher
Floral Design Designs by Ahn
Invitations & Signage Julia Bez
Catering Wythe Hotel
Rentals Broadway Party Rentals
Videography Modern Love Productions
Photography Sylvie Rosokoff