A 3- day Cross-Cultural Wedding Celebrating Lebanese and Tunisian traditions
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Weddings are perfect for culture to be celebrated! Dorra and Moe took their guests (and us) all the way to Tunis, Tunisia for their 3 day event combining Tunisian and Lebanese formalities. From the Katb Ktab to the Outia, Turkish Hammam and official ceremony, this wedding brought a new definition to the word traditional and reflected the heavy respect the Bride and Groom hold for their cultures.
The Love Story
This forever love started at…Nobu. Bride Dorra told us “Moe and I went out for dinner at a Nobu restaurant in Dallas on our first date. We spent the night talking and getting to know each other. The next day, we already wanted to see each other again after their second date. Time passed by so quickly that we both could not believe we just spent over 5 hours talking. The chemistry was indeed very present”.
“Ever since that day, we have seen each other every single day, even if it was for a short period of time, as we were both having an extremely difficult time staying away from each other”.
The Wedding Celebrations
Integrating elements of their culture, Moe and Dorra hosted 3 days of celebration prior to the wedding. The Bride mentioned that “Tunisian and Lebanese cultures are very similar as both countries are Arab, however there are some differences when it comes to traditions in planning a wedding. With my husband being Lebanese, it was important for me to include some of his traditions on the wedding day too”.
A true series of wedding events, “The first day was the ceremony or Katb Ktab, in which the Bride and Groom say their vows and sign the marriage contract. The second day was a traditional Tunisian celebration for the Bride called Outia in which the Bride and her female guests dress up in a traditional Tunisian outfit called Fouta w Blouza which is essentially a long skirt and cropped top, both heavily embroidered. This event is considered a Bachelorette party for the Bride. It was amazing seeing all my friends from different cultures dress in a traditional Tunisian outfit. The third day was a Spa day that featured a Turkish Hammam that both the ladies and the gentlemen got to experience separately. We truly wanted our friends that travelled all the way to Tunis for our big day to get the full experience and they were all thrilled to have been part of this! They all loved the experience”.
On the Wedding day, Dorra and Moe switched things up and didn’t walk in together. The Groom wanted to uphold tradition, for his entrance he feature “a Lebanese Zaffe that escorted him into the venue along with his Groomsmen and started the wedding with Lebanese songs and the famous Lebanese Dabke. Soon after, the Bride entered side-to-side with her father and the Groom then walked her down the stairs. In Tunisia, the Bride and Groom usually enter the venue together. I enjoyed having a Lebanese entrance as this gives both the Bride and the Groom their own entrances. In addition, we have incorporated both Tunisian and Lebanese singers throughout the evening”.
The couple experienced many beautiful moments throughout their 3 day extravaganza and shared some of these memories with us. “My favourite part about the wedding was my entrance with my dad…I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and I can imagine how happy he was to see me marry the love of my life but also had a bitter taste as he realises his little girl is now a grown woman”. Dorra explained that “it was very emotional when my husband came up the stairs to take my hand from my father. As my husband and I walked down the stairs and made our way towards the dance floor, my father hid behind the stage and shed a few tears”. Each couple endures an overwhelming wave of emotions on their special day, that’s why it’s always good to have a tissue box nearby (cough cough bridesmaids!)
Tunisia, famous for its golden beaches, sunny weather and unique blend of Arab and Berber culture, this North African country was perfect! “Tunisia is where I am from originally and even though I have never lived there, it has a big place in my heart and I always enjoyed visiting and spending my summers there ever since I was a little kid. Most of my family is in Tunisia. However, we chose to get married in Tunisia mainly because of its ideal location. We had friends coming from all over the world including the USA, France, Italy, Egypt, Bosnia, Lebanon, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and we both believed Tunisia was a great central point. In addition, we wanted our friends to enjoy the beautiful weather, beach and scenery that Tunisia had to offer” said the Bride.
With all these pre-wedding events, Dora of course needed an outfit each! “I’ve wore a total of 4 dresses, one on the ceremony day, one on the Outia day and two on the wedding day’. She explained to us that she “always had contradicting dreams of having a simple wedding by the beach with a simple wedding dress but also a big wedding in a venue wearing a princess shiny dress. Thankfully, I was able to achieve this by having a wedding ceremony by the beach wearing a simple Italian silk white dress and a big wedding dress on the wedding day reception”.
“I’ve always had a very minimalistic style and even though the wedding day dress was a Princess dress with a long trail, I kept it very subtle and simple with its design. In addition, I’ve opted for a fitted light dress for the wedding after party to relieve the weight from the previous dress and essentially be able to move more freely. The Outia outfit was inspired by the tunisian Fouta w Blouza, a statement piece in Tunisian traditional outfits”.
Advice to Future Brides
“Planning a wedding in a country where you do not reside and welcoming guests from around the world was not the easiest task! However, it is important to keep in mind that this is supposed to be the best day of your life and that you are celebrating your union with your husband so always try to hold a mindset of “I should not be stressing over everything, this is My Day and all I want to do is have fun!”. Believe it or not, your wedding day passes by so fast that you wish you could go back in time and make it longer. Our wedding started at 8:00PM and ended at 4:00AM and I still cannot believe how fast the time went by!”
Advice for Couples
“Always stay true to yourself and communication is always key. You cannot expect what you do not communicate. Communication is great not only when you do not feel right about something but also when you want to express your satisfaction”.