Haben A.
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My name is Haben and I am 25, Eritrean, and was raised in DC/Maryland with my two brothers. I have been a vegetarian since I was nine years old but a chocoholic all my life! I graduated from Towson University as a biology major and I am currently pursing my PharmD. My husband and I met at an YPFDJ conference. We sat next to each other and had an instant connection. Later on we hung out at the Eritrean festival and I knew he was the guy for me. For our engagement He told me to get dressed up to go out to eat and took me out to a romantic restaurant. The mood was right and I was sure he was going to pop the question, but nothing. I would later learn that he was just setting me up. The next day we met up for brunch at The National Harbor, which is a place we hung out a lot in the beginning of our relationship. After eating, we walked down the pier then he stopped and asked someone to take our picture. He bent down to tie his shoe, while I was posing for the picture. When I looked over to see what he was doing, he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. He completely surprised me!! My first thought was “I can not believe he actually surprised me!!” This is because I rarely get surprised.


I woke up at 2:30 am the morning of my wedding with a cold and thought to myself oh ish, this needs to disappear before I walk down the aisle. Which it did 🙂 For my wedding gowns I knew they were perfect for me as soon as I saw them! My ceremony dress was a ball gown with lace and capped sleeves. My reception dress was a strapless mermaid dress. Having my girls by my side the whole way made it an emotional rollercoaster! If one cried, we all cried. If one laughed, we all laughed. For their dresses I picked gold/champagne because when I think of gold/champagne, I think of elegance, luxury, and warmth. I picked cream because I think of tradition and simplicity. Together these colors created an upscale atmosphere.


During the ceremony my heart was racing the whole time. Everyone’s eyes were on me but all I could see is the man of my dreams waiting at the other end. So we can start the rest of our lives together, he as my husband and me as his wife. As for the reception it was even more eyes! So many people were there! It was stunning as I wanted the theme to be a “black tie affair.” It was very elegant, with that old-world vibe. Our first dance song was “All of Me” by John Legend and was the most memorable moment of the night for me. This song was special because it describes the way we feel about each other.   There were some hiccups that occurred during the reception. The cake company did not deliver everything that we ordered, but luckily his sister Feven surprised us with a dessert table. With the cake we got and the dessert table, we were able to give everyone some sweets. If I could change one thing about that day it would have been the cake vendor as they did not deliver everything that was discussed. It almost ruined the entire reception! One piece of advice that I wish a Habeshabride would have told me is to make sure both sets of parents make a guest list and strictly follow it!! When you invite a habesha person, you are inviting their family. So keep that in mind for seating.


For our Melsi I wanted it to be completely traditional. All the habesha elements were a must! My zuria was a personal design where I wanted a perfect blend of old school with a modern twist.  I let my bridesmaids design their own zurias and it came out perfect! My favorite song that was played was “Lomi Ayney Berhe.” One thing I would have changed was reducing the guest count for the Melsi. I wanted it to be more intimate since we had such a large wedding day.  If I could give advice to current Habeshabrides planning their Melsi (especially in the DMV area) I would recommend using Ady (Adhanet) Special Events & Rentals. Not only was she my decorator, she helped with day of coordination for the melsi. If you are like me and was born here, she is amazing to help with all the traditional aspects. Good Luck! 🙂

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