Earlier this year, the goal that we set for ourselves was to shoot more eclectic weddings. Though weddings have the same meaning in every culture, it is interesting to see what shape, colors, and festivities that spring out of each culture. When Sabrina and Joseph reached out to us, we were ecstatic about their wedding given that Sabrina is Turkish and Joseph is Egyptian.
Somewhat similar to Indian weddings, there is a ton of dancing involved. In the morning of the wedding day, the groom picked up the bride at her house, then followed by dancing inside and outside the house led by the percussionist. Everyone was energetic and not a single pair of legs and arms was still. What makes it even more intriguing was every now and then family members and friends would chant with their tongues.
When we got to the church, we were surprised that it was not an ordinary church. The Coptic Orthodox denomination is apparently a very popular Christian belief in the Middle East and Egypt. So it was very natural for Joseph and Sabrina to be born and raised with that church tradition. Before getting blessed by the minister, Joseph and Sabrina were clothed with decorative robes and royal crowns. Step aside Will and Kate!
The newlyweds chose Ashton Gardens (excellent choice!) as the venue for the reception. As predicted, the night was filled with even more dancing… but not the typical hey-Mr-DJ-drop-the-beat kind of dancing. One unique tradition is for guests to dance around the couple and shower money (literally) on their heads as a symbol of blessing and fortune in their marriage days ahead. Then, everyone in groups of 10 would initiate circle dancing, which is a staple dance in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Last but not least, belly dancing was also present as guests take turns in using a fitted hip belt richly decorated with coins, beads and embroidery.
Let’s dance the night away!