Well, we have been married for a little over four months now and I am just now getting some time to sit down and write about the details of our big day! When I was planning, I loved reading about other peoples ideas and seeing how they came together. I hope this post can be helpful to any future brides out there.

The weekend of the wedding was Fourth of July weekend and with lots of family and friends coming to town we decided to plan a bunch of events to keep everyone busy! It was also nice to have our family and friends meet ahead of the wedding, so when the day came, everyone knew each other.

Thursday, July 4: Fourth of July Party with Big Bad Bob on the BBQ

Friday, July 5: Floated the Guadalupe River and had dinner and drinks at The Oasis on Lake Travis (YES, the Oasis from the song “I Got Friends in Low Places…”). Floating the Guadalupe was a great activity for the whole family, even the kids. You can BYOB. The place I linked usually has discounts as well! The Oasis was very accommodating to our large group and the live band even sang a song dedicated to us and let us have a dance to ourselves.

The Rehearsal Dinner

The night before our wedding day we chose a local restaurant, Casa Garcia, to host our rehearsal dinner. There is several locations around the Austin area and we picked the one in Manor because it has a beautiful, private event room! It was decently priced and they have good food. The manager was easy to work with and was very accommodating to our requests.  We did tacos: chicken, beef and fried shrimp with a few sides.

Here Bobby and I gave all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearers, flower girls and parents the gifts we picked out for them (detailed below). After the rehearsal, the guys went out for a night of fun in downtown Austin and the girls and I went back to my Airbnb to hang out in the hot tub and relax. I also finished writing my vows that evening, before I went to bed!

The Swag


For the bridesmaids, I got them thermal pajamas for the morning of. I had the same ones in a different color. I linked a similar pair, because they do not have the exact ones at Target anymore. I also got them a robe with their first name initial on it from Pretty Robes, I had someone local embroider their first initial, but I think you can have them personalized online. I also got them matching earrings from Charming Charlie (sorry, it has since closed down). The last gift was an authentic Palestinian kufiya (scarf) that my dad had brought from the Middle East. You can find a similar one here.


For the groomsmen, we got them monogramed wallets from Shinola Detroit (similar one here) and the same scarves as the bridesmaids.


Flower Girls and Ring Bearers

For the kids we got them matching pajamas sets (unicorns for the girls, dinosaurs for the boys), sleep sacs (Trolls for the girls, Jurassic Park for the boys), and then lots of little toys and activities from the Dollar Tree to keep them busy after the ceremony.

We hired two babysitters for our three flower girls and three ring bearers, because we had an adult only reception. After the ceremony, they enjoyed pizza and fun in the bridal suite.

The Moms

We got the moms the same robes as the bridesmaids, but in a light pink color. We also got them a perfume from Victoria Secret and their own jewelry sets.

The Dads

We got the dads custom bowties and socks. My dad’s bowtie was made from an old Palestinian kufiya by the same woman who embroidered the robes. Denzel’s dad’s bowtie was a musical note bowtie.

The Big Day

The morning of, we grabbed coffee from my favorite place, Summer Moon Coffee, on the way to the venue (Quarter Moon latte y’all). The bridesmaids met me there, all dressed up in their matching pajamas. Hair and Makeup started at 9 am since we had 14 hair and make-ups to get done. For breakfast, we did muffins, fruits, coffee and mimosas and for lunch, we catered Potbelly sandwiches and salad. We listened to our favorite songs and enjoyed each others company. I was so thankful for my bridesmaids, a few of them ran to Starbucks to get everyone an afternoon coffee and ran a few errands for me while I finished getting ready.


Hair and makeup was done by LoLa beauty (located in both Austin and Denver). There were three stylists total for the 14 of us. The girls all picked their own updo’s and I was conflicted between half-up or just curls and ended up going with just curls. I loved the way the bridesmaids make-up and hair turned out. I wish I would have done an updo looking back, but I was happy with my make up!

The Venue

We chose to have our wedding in beautiful hill country at a venue called Canyonwood Ridge. It is a modern venue with a warm feel. It had an outdoor and indoor ceremony space and an indoor reception area. I loved the outdoor ceremony space that overlooked hill country. It was hot (in the 90s)! The sun was shining right in my eyes! But I think, for the views, it was all worth it. The reception space had these gorgeous, modern chandeliers and a big fireplace at the center with a whole wall of windows looking over the hill.

The bridal suite was snug, but had enough room for all 11 bridesmaids, two moms and I to hang out in the morning of and get ready in.

The grooms suite was also snug, but was fine for the small amount of time the guys hung out in there.

The Dress and Accessories

My bridal shower dress and rehearsal dinner dress was from Lulu’s. I got most of my bridal attire here, I highly recommend looking here for your white-dress needs.

My dress was a Sophia Tolli tulle ballgown that I purchased at Melange Bridal Salon in Austin. It was not at all what I had pictured myself picking, but there was just something about it that I loved when I tried it on. I loved my experience at Melange, they have a variety of dresses that are at all price ranges and for all body types.

The morning of, I had the same pajamas as the bridesmaids but in white. I changed into my long, lace robe from Kim+Ono to get ready in. My shoes were from Davids Bridal and they were a wedge heel in size wide, it is so hard to find heels when you have wide feet. These were not comfortable at all unfortunately, so I changed into sandals for the reception. My jewelry was blue sapphire that was gifted to me by my dad’s family. I loved having a little pop of color. My bouquet was complete with my maternal grandma’s cameo necklace that my florist tied on for me.

The Bridesmaids Dresses

The bridesmaids and mother of the bride dresses were Mori Lee gowns. My maid of honor had a full lace form fitting gown and the bridesmaids had A-Line gowns with different designs, but all with the same lace. The color was a very light gray. My mom’s gown was Navy and had the same lace as well.

The Tuxedos

The groom, groomsmen, and the fathers all wore traditional tuxedos with cummerbunds, suspenders, and black bow ties. Denzel had a black, paisley patterned bow tie. The ushers and the officiant wore black suits with a silver tie. All of these outfits were rented from Men’s Warehouse.

Denzel had a change of outfits for the reception with black tuxedo pants, a black dress shirt, a black bow tie and a white satin patterned suit jacket. His shoes were suede black shoes with rhinestones complete with custom pink socks with Lulu’s face (our cat). His outfit and shoes were all from Macy’s and the socks were a gift.

The Flowers and Décor

The moment we met Kari at The Flower Girl, we knew she understood our vision for the wedding. For the bouquets, I wanted whites, light pinks and greenery. For our centerpieces we had two different concepts in mind: branches and flowers submerged in water. She made both of these ideas come to life. One of my favorite design elements of the wedding was the boxwood wall with giant paper flowers and our giant floral letter G. Both made by Kari and her husband.


Our save the dates, invites, and wedding signage were all hand painted and designed by Shannon Sweeney Watson. She is incredible and will custom design almost any art work you could ask for. Check her out on Instagram or her Etsy page.

Our center pieces I made myself. Each table number 1-19 was a picture of Denzel and I at the age corresponding to the number. They were a hit and people got a good laugh out of them.

Our idea for a guest book was to have guests take a polaroid picture of themselves and write a little note on it for us. From the pictures we did collect I made a scrapbook, but I think most people took their polaroid with them! So I would not suggest this method as a guest book. It was a still fun and some of the polaroid’s turned out really cute.

The Food and Deserts

Our caterer, Royal Fig, did the entirety of our food and deserts including the cakes. When we went there for a tasting we were sold, it was so good I wish they had a restaurant. We would be frequent customers.

Our menu:

We had two cakes. The main cake was a hummingbird cake with peach buttercream. I surprised Denzel with his groom’s cake which was a replica of his UT cheer uniform. It was red velvet with cream cheese frosting (his fave). The rest of the desert table was made up of mini deserts including banana cream pudding, chocolate pie and sweet potato pie. We also displayed baklava from our favorite bakery in Dearborn, MI- Masri.

The Entertainment

We wanted to remember our wedding day as a party from start to end. It was only right to surprise our guests throughout the night with different performances to keep the night upbeat. Our ceremony music was performed by a string trio from Sienna Strings. They played a custom set of music for us. I walked down the aisle to You & I by John Legend and we exited to an Arabic song by Fairouz. They played several modern songs throughout the ceremony.


The entertainment started right away with the bridesmaid’s and groomsmen’s entrance dance (Level Up by Ciara and Wipe Me Down by Lil Boosie). They were incredible! Thanks to our friend from medical school, Jasmine, who helped choreograph and teach the dance to the bridesmaids.

Our entrance followed which was a huge surprise to everyone including the bridal party and our parents. We hired a local Palestinian dabke performance group, Al Hurriyah Dabke, to lead our entrance. It was important to me to represent my Palestinian heritage in little ways throughout my wedding. We had instructed the bridal party to have their Palestinian scarves nearby and the groomsmen had already had theirs on thanks to my dad. So when the time came, everyone was ready for the entrance. After the first song, the dabke group then did their own performance which was incredible and then invited us, the bridal party and all the guests to join them. It was so cool seeing my family and friends and Denzel’s family and friends, people from all cultures and walks of life, hand in hand dancing a dabke line dance. This was one of my favorite moments of the wedding.

Our first dance followed which was a traditional first dance to Kane Brown’s song Live Forever. The father-daughter dance was to Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Denzel and his mom surprised me with a mother-son dance that started as a traditional slow dance and quickly changed into a mash up including Woah, Crank That, and Every Little Step. Their choreographed dance was a hit and I was highly impressed. Denzel then pulled out his bass guitar and played a song that his mom wrote and sang that was a song about our love story. She sang about all the places we had gone, the hurricane and persevering and staying strong together. This was another moment I will never forget. In Mrs. Ann fashion, it was upbeat and meaningful.

Shortly after we had the speeches from my dad, my MOH and the best man Jordan (Denzel’s brother). My MOH Bianca literally dropped the mic after her legendary cover of the Fresh Prince Theme Song that described our friendship. This was incredible and I often wonder how I will top that performance one day at her wedding.

We had the BEST. DJ. EVER. Mark the DJ. If you are having an event in Texas, this is the guy. He was an incredible DJ and we enjoyed working with him every step of the way. Mark started the night by playing piano and live singing during cocktail hour and dinner. He serenaded our guests with his Justin Timberlake like voice. He did a great job incorporating our several requests and surprises. We had Arabic songs, Latino songs, Indian jams, a mix of country and hip hop music from today and from back in the day. It was a great mix, we danced the entire night til they kicked us all out. We included some dance floor props including flip flops so people could take their heels off and keep dancing, cat ears (sparkly and patterned), light up glasses, and foam glow sticks.

At the end of the night, while all our guests lined up with sparklers, Denzel and I had a final dance just me and him to Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton. This was a special moment, just him and I taking in the moments of the best night of our lives.

Our exit car (UBER X) awaited us at the end of all our friends and family. We reserved a night at The Line hotel, which is a spunky, modern hotel in downtown Austin with a great view (highly recommend).

The following day we were headed back to Michigan to return to our family medicine rotation. No honeymoon for us just yet, but stay tuned… its in the works!



VIDEOGRAPHER: Toast Entertainment

FLORAL: The Flower Girl

CATERER: Royal Fig

HAIR & MAKEUP: LoLa Beauty

DJ: Mark the DJ Exodus Sound

DABKE GROUP: Al Hurriyah Dabke 

CEREMONY BAND: Sienna Strings






If you have reached this page looking for guidance on changing your last name after a recent day of love CONGRATS! Changing your last name after marriage, especially while in medical school is quite the process. Thanks to a few classmates who had been through it, I had some sense of where to begin. It was not until I started changing my name that I realized how much there was to change!

Once you get your marriage license turned in, purchase 2-3 certified copies of your marriage certificate for name change tasks. (In Texas these were $6 each)


  • Changing your name with RUSM

Fill out the “Name Change Request Form” by going to MyRoss and following these links:

Student services- registrar- registrar forms- school of medicine forms- name change form

From there, you will email this form and your marriage license scan to L&C@rossu.edu (NOT to exam administration). After you email this, they will send you the updated form to fill out instead. When you complete this, your name will be changed and eventually (if you opted to) your email will be changed (AKA mine still has not been changed 2 months post name change).

After you successfully change your name with Ross, IMMEDIATELY call exam administration to have a new permit sent to you if you are scheduled for any shelf exams to ensure your permit matches your new ID. They say this can take up to 2 weeks, however I received mine in a few days. You do not need to reschedule your exam with your new name.

  • Changing your name with ECFMG

First you will fill out and fax or mail the following form (form 182)

I sent a photo of my marriage license along with the form and this was changed quickly. However, once this is complete you will have to REDO your form 186 which is the notarized form we had to do before the USMLE step 1. You will get an email when your name change is processed and you will be instructed to log onto the IWA ECFMG site and your new form 186 will be front and center. To complete this, you will do an online video chat with NotaryCam and you will need a form of ID with your new name (passport or drivers license). It costs $50.00 to do this. You no longer need a passport photo, they will take it during your video chat. My Form 186 was processed within 10 days of completing it with NotaryCam.

  • Changing your name with your loan company

I called my loan company after Ross processed my name change and asked how to change my name with them, they instructed me to upload my marriage certificate and a copy of my new ID on their site. I would call your specific loan company to see what they need.

  • Changing your name at your rotation site

It was fairly simple to change my hospital badge. I had to bring a picture of my marriage certificate to the security office and they reprinted my badge right there. It would be good to then tell your site coordinator about your name change for future correspondence.


  • Changing your name with Social Security (FREE)

You can either mail in or go to a local office to change your name on your social security card. First you will need to fill out form ss-5. You will need a CERTIFIED copy of your marriage certificate, a copy of your US birth certificate, and a copy of your US passport (I sent the one with my maiden name). You will send all of these documents plus the filled out form ss-5.

  • Changing your name on your Drivers License (price varies by state, Texas is $25)

It may be preferred by some DMV locations to change your social security card before getting a new license, however I got my license before my new SS card. Check for what the local DMV requires as far as documentation (I HAD MINE DONE IN TEXAS). I had to bring form DL-14A, my marriage certificate, my old drivers license, my social security card, my birth certificate, my car insurance policy, my car registration, and two forms of proof of residency. Proof of residency can include a lease agreement, your car registration, a bank statement, utility bill, or insurance card (NOT random mail, trust me).

CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK that all of your information is correct on your paper permit before you walk away from the clerks desk. My birthday was wrong and I didn’t notice until I received my new license in the mail.

  • Changing your name on your passport (around $115, but varies)

CHECK THIS LINK for the instructions regarding the different scenarios you might be in yourself. For me, I was requesting a new passport more than a year after my last passport was issued and I qualified for the form DS-82. However, there are many different forms that you may have to fill out depending on your specific circumstances, so check the link below.

After I found my proper form, I had to send that, my old passport, my certified marriage certificate, one color passport photo, and the fees. You send the fees via check. It takes 6-8 weeks to get your passport back, but you can pay an $80 fee to have it rush shipped (which you can also decide to do after you’ve already submitted your application by calling the passport information number). You can also call this number to check the status of your application and make sure all parts of it were received.

  • Changing your name with health insurance and doctors offices

Before you change your name at your doctors offices, you should change your name with your health insurance company. To do this I had to give my marriage certificate to the HR department at the employer who sponsored my insurance at the time. After that, you are able to change your name with your doctors office.

  • Changing your name with Global Entry and your trusted travelers pass

In order to change your name with Global Entry, you have to make an appointment at your local office (usually at the airport) and go from there. I haven’t gotten around to doing this change yet, so I am planning to bring my certified marriage certificate and my identification documents.

  • Changing your name on banks and credit cards 

This was an easy change:

  • Chase and Charles Schwab I had to bring in my marriage certificate and they changed it while I was in office and they called the credit card line to reissue my credit cards and debit cards with my new name
  • Discover and CitiBank I was able to change over the phone and have them reissue cards that way
  • American Express you fill out this form online and then your cards will be resent!

Hope this helps some of you new Mrs. and Mr. (maybe almost Dr.) out there!


Yes, I have always dreamed of being a physician, since I was a little girl. And I worked hard to get to where I am- half way through third year of medical school, preparing for my second shelf exam and currently working the night shift.

But there was a whole other part of my heart that wanted to find a partner in life and one day have a family. So here I am, also working hard to plan my wedding that is a mere 6 weeks away- two weeks after my surgical core rotation ends.

Yes, I can do both!

People often assume when you choose medicine, you forgo the rest of life AKA relationships, friendships, traveling, having a family and attending important events. That’s a fair assumption and it is partly true. And up until I met Denzel, I had accepted that fact that the only roles I would play for the next several years of my life were “medical student” and then “doctor”.


“You can’t have a serious relationship in medical school, it would be distracting.”

“How could you plan a wedding right now, you should focus on studying.”

“You should wait til after you graduate to get married and have a family.”


I have heard it over and over again. I have heard it worded many different ways. More often than not I hear it from colleagues in medicine. I have even heard it from my clinical advisors who have “advised” me to put off my wedding and definitely never consider having a family during clinical years. For some reason, the belief is that if you choose medicine you cannot choose anything else.

I refuse to be confined to that belief.

I think it is very unhealthy to deny yourself happiness, whatever that may mean to you. It is so important to keep your mind and soul at peace if you want to be there for someone during their time of weakness or illness as you do in the medical field. And to be frank, since I started allowing myself happiness outside of medicine, my performance in medicine improved. I am more focused, more confident in myself, and more decisive.

So I am going to keep doing question blocks and wedding planning in between. I am going to continue being known as “medical student”. And on my way to being known as “doctor” I will step into the role as “wife”.

Don’t limit yourself because of other people’s opinions. Your happiness can be made up of medicine and lots of other things too!


Since starting this blog, I have had the pleasure of meeting many new virtual friends so I decided to write a blog post about what is happening in my educational life and what goals I am working towards!


My name is Yasmine and I am currently in my third year of medical school at Ross University School of Medicine. Before I started my medical school journey, I completed my undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies in 2015 at Colorado State University. Leading up to college I lived my entire young life in Aurora, Colorado- a beautiful place I still love to visit.

After I graduated from college, I took a gap year while I finished my pre-requisites for medical school in the evenings and taught preschool in the daytime. This was also the year I applied to medical school. When I received my acceptance in January of 2016, I had the option of starting in May 2016 or in September 2016. I went for May 2016 and moved in late April to the island of Dominica to start medical school.


For my friends and family who are not familiar with the medical school timeline, after you receive your bachelor’s degree (usually 4 years of undergrad), you apply to medical school after taking and passing a long exam called the MCAT. For me, once I was accepted to medical school, the two years that followed looked a little something like this:

Now that we have passed the first of our boards examinations, we get to move on to the last two years of medical school. These two years include clinical rotations, some more board exams, and applying for the residency match.

Right now, we have started our first rotation called Internal Medicine Foundations. It is a 6-week long rotation in Miramar, Florida. We learn many basics in the classroom and we get to spend time in a Pulmonology private practice. During this rotation, we will find out where we will be moving in December to continue our third year of medical school. We ranked our top three locations out of five options and we will find out shortly where we will be going (STAY TUNED).

Third year is all about clinical rotations where we shadow and learn from physicians and other healthcare providers  in different specialties. Then, during our fourth year we choose our own elective rotations that are focused in specialties we are interested in pursuing as a career. 

After completing the next two years of rotations, we will apply for the Match to hopefully obtain a residency in a specialty of our choosing. A residency is basically our first job after we graduate from medical school and become MD’s. It provides more in depth training for 3-5 more years.

That is 4 years total of basic sciences and clinical rotations, followed by a graduation and becoming doctors officially. Then, 3-5 more years of specialized training. It is a long journey, but it is going by so fast!

Check back for posts specific to each rotation in our new home:

Do you need help studying for NBME Comp or USMLE Step 1? Learn about our schedule here.

I Said YES to the Dress: Tips and Truths About Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping was everything I never expected it to be, in a good way! I had so many misconceptions about what it would be like and I was pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. With my awesome bridesmaids, my mom and my mother in law in tow, we accomplished finding my dress for my big day! (Many wonderful gowns are pictured, but rest assured my dress is NOT pictured in this blog). The following tips and truths are derived from what my experience actually turned out to be!

You will feel like a beautiful bride

Going into wedding dress shopping right after 10 months of hardcore Step studying left me afraid that I wouldn’t feel my best when trying on dresses. I was worried the runway sized gowns wouldn’t fit my body type. But at the start of my first appointment, my consultant made me feel comfortable and beautiful no matter what dress I put on! Most of the dresses come in a size that can be made to fit most body types, so rest assured you will feel like a beautiful, elegant bride.

You don’t have to wear any special or specific undergarments

I always thought you needed to bring special undergarments when you try on wedding gowns, but it turns out you don’t need anything! Come in whatever you want to wear on top and underneath and it’ll all work just fine, but wearing a dress the second day did make it much easier to dress and undress when trying on gowns!

Bring the people who make you feel your best

Your entourage should be comprised of the friends and family who make you feel your best! Pick friends that give you confidence and support you, but still give you enough space to feel how you are feeling! Dress shopping is an interesting experience emotionally and sometimes you’ll need some moments to yourself to take it all in.

Don’t be afraid to openly state your opinion

I had four appointments and I tried on many dresses, but aside from my dress and a runner up, I knew as soon as I put a gown on that it was not my dress! Being blatantly honest about what I liked and did not like made it much easier to progress in my appointments until I finally found my dress that had it all! Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel, it won’t offend your bridal consultant!

Hear and don’t hear your fiancé’s opinions on dresses

Since I got engaged, Denzel had many opinions on what he wanted my wedding dress to look like and not look like. At first, I went in with all of these opinions in mind, searching for a dress that fit everything I wanted AND everything he wanted. As soon as I stopped thinking about all his likes and dislikes, I was able to find a dress that I truly loved. And I know he will think it was the perfect choice, just because it is on me!

Trust your bridal consultant

These people really know what they are doing. It is fun to try on dresses picked by your mom, mother in law, and friends, but the bridal consultants take all of your opinions and your body type and pick dresses that really work! They know their selection and they have dressed many brides. Some of my favorite choices were ones that my bridal consultant selected.

Make multiple appointments

I made four appointments (Signature Bridal, Serendipity Bridal, Melange Bridal and Blush Bridal) and found my dress during my third appointment! My first appointment I went in with an open mind and tried on all sorts of silhouettes. This appointment laid a foundation down for my favorite shapes and designs. The rest of the appointments progressed until I put all my likes and dislikes together to discover my dress! My final appointment, I had anticipated for months- it was the Hayley Paige trunk show. I always wanted a Hayley Paige gown! But I went in to the appointment knowing I was 98% sure I found my dress at the previous store. I tried on all the Hayley Paige dresses I loved from Pinterest and Instagram, and after the appointment I was 100% sure I found my dress.

Know your budget and what it specifically covers

Don’t forget, in addition to a dress you may want a veil and you’ll need alterations! Go into your appointment with this in mind when you decide a budget. Make sure your entourage are aware of your budget so they don’t pick any over-budget beauties!

You really will know when you find your dress, and you don’t have to force it

To be honest, I felt like I HATED every dress I tried on beside my dress and the runner up. I was losing hope at appointment three right before I found my dress. I almost didn’t even put it on, because I felt so hopeless! When I put my dress on, I looked in the mirror for a few minutes and went through these stages:

Ok, I don’t hate this dress… Oh my I think I really like this… OMG I am getting married… I love Denzel and I love this dress… *cue the uncontrollable bawling*

It was such a surreal moment. I barely noticed anyone else around me, because I finally felt like a bride and all I could think about was Denzel. Then, I looked around me and saw the emotion in my mom, Denzel’s mom and my wonderful bridesmaids (shout out to my MOH who was there via Facetime). Even my bridal consultant was tearing up! I don’t think everyone cries when they have found the dress, but there is definitely a change in emotion that happens!

You don’t actually get champagne, so bring your own

For some reason, I had a pre-conceived idea that every bridal store gave you and your entourage champagne. That’s isn’t actually real. Only 1 out of 4 bridal stores offered us champagne! Best thing we did was bring our own champagne and glasses of course! (Also, don’t forget to bring bottles of water!!!)

Dress shopping is one of the moments that made my upcoming wedding feel so incredibly real! It was such an emotional and happy experience. I am thankful to have shared it with a few of my lovely bridesmaids (Yexica, Victoria, Isabel and Bianca) and my mom, Nicole, and mother in law, Ann. I cannot wait to share more wedding fun with everyone!

Check out my blog on our wedding planning so far!

Just 8.5 months left until I marry my groom!