What You Don’t Need For Your Lebanese Wedding

I made the horrible mistake of browsing the Facebook page of a wedding planner yesterday while researching my post. Turns out, this group had organized a wedding at the same venue we’re having our event at- and what they had done with the space completely struck me and made me panic.

Not in a good way, of course.

For a while there, I felt like the ideas we had thought of for decorating the space and providing entertainment were way too little and our wedding would not be impressive. Especially since they practically had everything.

Now a wedding is not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing, even though here in Lebanon, that’s exactly the case. I swear, there must be a handbook somewhere they give every woman when she gets engaged, which for some reason, I haven’t gotten.

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In fact, I have such a hard time reconciling what I see on American and European websites with what friends, family, and random strangers have done at their events.

We always aim for bigger and better, flashier and more expensive. Our weddings always have to be an experience and they always have to be talked about until the end of time.

Well, newsflash brides-to-be (and some of the few grooms involved), people are not going to be impressed no matter what you do. And if you want them to talk about you, they will, alright, but it won’t all be positive.

So how about we abandon the Handbook to Lebanese Weddings?

I have a few suggestions to what you can cut out when you’re planning the most amazing night of your life. And trust me, you’ll still have fun and it’ll still be memorable:

  • Dresses with a gigantic hoop skirt underneath, a ton of crystals and beading making the whole thing weigh more than the bride herself, a train as long as the venue, and an even longer veil that will be taken off before you can say first dance.
  • Updos that defy the laws of physics and extensions! Anything that requires all the pins your hairdresser has and results in a team-building activity with your new husband after the wedding.
  • Cheesy photographs of the couple gazing into the distance or lovingly  into each other’s eyes. Bonus points if they were shot anywhere around Downtown and Zaytoona Bay.
  • Annoying the entire country because you’re getting married. And by that I mean, all those convoys and parades with honking on a loop. If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is. Side note: I used to love it when those passed by my house, but now, I’m not so sure anymore.
  • That cheesy video they play at every single wedding of the bride and groom growing up apart and then meeting one another and all their memories throughout. Stop it, please.\
  • The Zaffe. Maybe it’s just me, but if I see one more dance troupe going all out at a wedding, I’ll leave. I mean, what’s the point if I can’t see the bride as she makes her entrance? I came here for her not for something I can watch on Youtube. I don’t want to see a show and none of the other guests do.
  • Stairs! Where does it say that the bride and her father have to enter the venue by going down stairs? Is there some symbolic meaning that escapes me? Because I’m more concerned about not tripping as I walk towards my husband.
  • A zillion photographers running around the space and conveniently standing right in front of you with all their equipment, blocking any chance you have of seeing anything.
  • Decking the whole space out in flowers and only placing the highest arrangements you can find on every table so your guests can’t talk to each other. Last time I checked, weddings were supposed to be a great occasion to socialize AND you can decorate by using something other than flowers.
  • Inviting everyone you know and then some to your wedding. Whatever happened to this being an intimate affair shared only among those who you love?
  • The koucha. I can’t even begin to understand why the couple must be placed higher than everyone else on a leather couch. What’s wrong with regular chairs? Or better yet, sitting with your friends and family?
  • Cutting the cake to Cliff Richard’s Congratulations or Rami Ayyache’s Mabrouk. My ears can’t take it anymore. I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of other songs that express your joy.
  • Speaking of cakes: that fake cake of about 9 layers! And fireworks erupting all around as the couple cuts that cake. Haven’t they thought of the fire hazard?

As a bride-to-be, I am constantly asked about all these elements and many others and how I’ll be including them in my wedding. When I say I won’t, I get looks of shock and horror. But I don’t mind.

Here’s one thing you absolutely do need to make your wedding amazing: being surrounded by people who love you and who want to share this moment with you because of how happy they are for you. 

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Reni says:

    my point exactly some weddings are just too extravagant. Sometimes i wonder if the cak is for the whole city.

  2. Mj says:

    Hi! I’m getting married in Beirut next month.( I live in the states)… Stumbled upon your blog as I was searching for zaffe costs. I totally agree with you things are so overdone in Beirut! It’s hard for me to look at photos bc I feel like my wedding will pale in comparison. And then I remind myself it’s not about the flash but about who is there. It seems like our weddings may be similar in scale!

    1. TK says:

      Congratulations! I hope your wedding is everything you want it to be and that your marriage brings you both much happiness 🙂

      A word of advice: do not look at other people’s photos. It will really crush your spirit and make you rethink everything you are doing. Unfortunately, weddings here have gotten out of hand so it can make people like us feel like we aren’t doing enough. But after going through with it, and hearing all the feedback from our guests, ours was plenty of fun and way more enjoyable than any fancy wedding with huge poofy dresses and a big venue. And that’s all that matters- everyone having fun and you and your partner being happy!

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