When we think of the modern bride, we envision a bride with an intrigue for old world charm infused and overcome with the intrigue for cool glamour. She’s the epitome of all those things and more; Shouag Hayat is no doubt your ultimate modern bride.
Shouag’s father is a diplomat, so during her younger years they moved around a lot. Born in London, moved back to Kuwait after 6 years, just for a year, before embracing another 5 years in Washington DC, then it was off to Paris for 2 years, and Bahrain next for 3 years. It was then that she decided she did not want to move to Germany and decided to stay back in Kuwait to finish her last 2 years of high school, graduating from The American School of Kuwait. After high school Shouag went on to San Francisco to obtain her Degree in Fashion Design and Visual Merchandising, completing her degree in Mexico City; then started pursuing a Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, then proceeded to Ottawa, Canada to complete it. A short stay later in Boston, Shouag soon moved back to Kuwait, finally read to settle down back home.
Shouag started her career in fashion at Al Yasra fashion, and loved it! Work became her backbone. It gave her the chance to explore and utilize her skills for visual merchandising in Kuwait. After a year and a half of hard work and beautiful memories she started working at a publication in Kuwait. Shouag grew into an independent woman making her way to the top of the creative industry.
“I’m very independent, I’ve always been the one who takes the lead and dives into unknown territory, I can’t be held back as I like challenges.” Speaking of her husband, she tells us, “he’s my support system above else and I am his. When you get married it shouldn’t be “oh this is the man that’s going to stop my life”, its “oh this is the partner that’s going to support me through everything I do.””
“I believe in equality, you need to be the woman that you are and maintain your personality and individuality, no matter what. Continue to do the things that you love and adore. Just realize that this is a positive addition to your life, your support system. He’s the person that is going to lift you up and put you on a pedestal, and you’re going to do the same for him. I believe men and women are equal, we have our strengths and weaknesses, but you complete each other, no one is better than the other, and that’s one thing I wish society could understand and embrace. Getting married is creating a union that’s going to help each other grow. Stay true to who you are, its love that’s going to conquer it all!”
How does it feel to be a newly married bride?
It feels great! Butterflies and tingly still; but to be honest it still hasn’t hit either of us. It feels like we’re playing house. It felt like the wedding happened so fast, like 5 minutes. It’s such a good feeling when wake up, and when you’re out the whole day, you know you’re coming home to each other, to know that he’s there at home for me.
What was the biggest surprise after marriage that you did not expect?
Well, there are a lot of surprises! One that I didn’t expect was that he was really neat and immaculate. I was very taken aback, I was like “is this going to be you for the next year and then you’re going to surprise me with a mess or is this going to be you for the rest of our lives? ‘cuz I love it!” I’m OCD hands down, I’m kind of a perfectionist, especially with work and timings. It was a good surprise!
How does living as a married couple differ than the engagement period?
We were engaged for a little over a year which is not the norm in Kuwait. It was supposed to last 4 months but lasted much longer. It was good and relaxed in a way that it made you feel like you had more time. The engagement period is amazing but you’re still not totally comfortable because you’re still not going home together. It makes the biggest difference because your time is limited. We had to plan so much just to see each other.
Can you relate to the common rule “opposites attract”, if so, how?
Yes! Ok, so he’s very numerical and logical. I am too, but I’m more artsy, creative. I fall into the spectrum of the “artsy one” he falls into the spectrum of the “orderly one”, so it’s literally ‘opposites attract’. We complete each other. He’ll also try the things that he’s not used to with me, and I’ll try the things that I’m not used to with him. It feels like fluidity; we both interconnect into different realms that you’re not used to. So opposites really do attract. It works wonderfully for us! However, your ethical standards, values, and morals need to be the same.
About your wedding, how did the planning go and what was your inspiration behind the theme?
My wedding planner was my cousin Bibi Hayat, and even if she wasn’t my cousin I would still choose her to plan my wedding. Her style, and how she understands what you want, it’s brilliant. I have always been into fashion, art, and architecture, so Bibi knew what I wanted was something calm. I did not know what was happening honestly, all I was involved in were the blueprints and some of the table arrangements. Other than that I just told her to proceed with whatever she wants because I knew I was in good hands. I and Bibi chose the theme together, the main inspiration of the wedding was from a painting by Sabrina Garrasi that Bibi had found. It was stunning! My wedding dress was also very personal to me. All of my life I have migrated, like a bird, so my wedding dress was completed with little birds of pearls scattered around the dress and music notes. Also, the bottom part of the dress was decorated with the London Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) connected with pearls.
What kind of bride are you?
A very calm and collected bride, but anxious sometimes over very the smallest of things. If there’s one piece of advice, I would give is “do you, no matter what anyone else tells you.” The walk in – that was the part that got me the most nervous, but an hour into the night I was changing into my converse and having the time of my life.
What advice would you give to newlyweds?
“Do you” is my number one advice. “Do good” to each other, and be good to each other! Stick to your daily routines and just incorporate with each other, and learn from each other. Be the balance of yin and yang. You have your own lives, it’s just about time management and knowing that this is “your person”, your go to. Above everyone else, your husband is your future life and support system, your best friend!
Last but not least, who gets more closet space?
*laughs nervously* Me!
Photography by Faisal Al Bisher
Art Direction and Styling by Adel Alansari / DOUBLEA.STUDIO
Clothes Harvey Nichols Kuwait