Hermon G.
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My name is Hermon and I am Eritrean and work as an IT Consultant for the federal government.  I am the oldest of of three sisters in my family. My husband and I met through a mutual friend who introduced us. The way he popped the question to me was during a dinner.  He basically told me I couldn’t wear jeans so I opted for a simple dress. We arrived at the restaurant and did not realize that it was the same restaurant where we had our first date because the restaurant had been bought by a new owner and completely re-done. During the dinner the manager brought by a vase full of roses. Each stem had a message on it stating things about love, quotes from him, or just romantic messages. I figured this was it! But no, just flowers lol. Once we were done eating he suggested walking a block down to get some ice cream for dessert. I quickly agreed. We went into the ice cream place, got our orders, then proceeded to sit outside of the store at an available table. After a few minutes a good friend (and photographer) of Byron’s walked by. We were all surprised by the “coincidence”. He said that he was out taking pictures for his portfolio and decided to sit with us for a few moments while chatting and playing with the new lens on his camera. He asked if he could take a few pictures of us to test out some angles. After a while, he went on his way to continue taking pictures.


Once we were done with the ice cream, we began walking to the car. Right next door to the ice cream shop was a “My Eye Doctor” office. My hubby gestured to look at the store so I did, and quickly did a double take. There was a huge eye chart in the window. So as a typical eye chart would be, it had letters from large to small going down into a pyramid. The letters spelled out “Hermon Will You Marry Me”. By the time I realized what was going on, I looked over and he was on bended knee with an engagement ring. After a few tears I quickly said yes, and realized the people on and across the street yelling and clapping. Oh an not to mention that his photographer friend was nearby taking pictures of the whole thing. What a great day 🙂 My first thought after saying yes was “Oh wow I forgot we were in public”. You kind of go into a zone and don’t realize that there are other people around you. I snapped out of it as people began clapping, yelling and congratulating. After that, I just felt so happy and proud to soon be his wife.

Waking up on the morning of the wedding I remember feeling very anxious. I wanted to make sure we were on time getting ready and that everything was just right. However, once I began my hair and make-up, that’s when the butterflies kicked in. My wedding gown was not traditional white which I loved as it was so different.  I knew soon into my search that I wanted a mermaid gown and a sweetheart neckline. My girlfriend/wedding planner pulled a dress of the rack that appeared to be a light pink. I quickly rejected the choice because it was WAY too different. Needless to say, she convinced me to at least try it on. Once I did I fell in love. I continued to search for dresses just to be sure, but I ultimately went back to the dress. Technically the dress is described as Champagne, but it looked so much better on my complexion compared so some of the stark white dresses. The train on the dress was different and was one of my favorite parts of the dress. I later added a belt to the dress to spice up the center of the dress and give it a little bling. Having my bridesmaids with me that day made feel like I was surrounded by sisters. My 2 sisters and new sister-in-law were also part of the bridal party; however, I could not have asked for a better set of women. Between the bridal shower, the bachelorette party and the entire planning process, the support, love and laughter I was provided made it that much better. They made me feel so special and loved. As for their dresses and wedding colors we wanted to make sure that we didn’t pick colors that our friends had/have selected for their weddings (since we all were getting married back to back). I always liked the concept of incorporating gray, but I saw a dark fuchsia color on a bridesmaid dress one day and fell in love. I wanted to make sure I picked colors that would look good on everyone in the bridal party and that at least one of the colors would pop in a centerpiece or in photos.



When I began walking down the aisle I felt EVERYTHING! Excited, anxious, nervous. I was concentrating on not tripping over the dress, not walking faster than my father, trying to avoid staring at Byron too much so that I wouldn’t cry before I even reached the altar, and making sure to “smile for the cameras” as I had been advised. Once I reached the altar and my father gave me away, I felt 100% comfortable being by his side.  The reception I knew I wanted the it be a fun atmosphere with pops of color, dim romantic lighting, and a contemporary yet classic look.  When we walked into the reception it was so amazing to have all of our friends, family, school mates, old teachers, and mentors all in one room just to celebrate us! We unfortunately had some issues with the venue as the “look” wasn’t exactly what it was supposed to be, but the moment wasn’t lost.  Our first dance was to Stevie Wonder “As” and the most memorable moment of the night was the bouquet toss.  My little sister who is only 11 caught it! The look on my father’s face was priceless! He demanded a re-do!


A word of advice to diaspora Habeshabrides… use a twist of cap for your suwa/tedge and mez/tedge bottles. Hahah! Well no one told us that when you order bottles for the suwa, make sure that you get a twist off cap. We ordered bottles and cork tops for both the suwa and the mez. Well, as I’m sure you can predict, the suwa was a little “shaken” from being transported to the hotel the night before. Once the hotel began uncorking the suwa bottles, they began to explode; spraying everywhere and the tops reaching high enough to hit the ceiling. The exploded in the ballroom and the kitchen. So the hotel slowly wheeled them all back to the kitchen for safety reasons. Thankfully this was all before we entered the room. Needless to say, the attendees enjoyed just the mez and the open bar that evening. If I could have changed one thing I would have looked into different centerpieces. More and more I am seeing people do something different with their tables that do not include flowers. I’m sure this saves on costs since it is simply renting items from an event planning company. Also, it’s something different.

One thing I wish I had in preparation for the wedding would have been some kind of resource for habeshabrides that outlines typical things that happen during a habesha wedding.  THere was both Tigrinya and Amharic music at my wedding and there were some traditional marriage/bridal songs that were played that I was unfamiliar with.  For the brides like me that aren’t too familiar with all of the customs, it would be pretty cool to learn about it in advance. Or even maybe some etiquette tips etc…


For my Melsi we had a very small and simple event that allowed us to be relaxed and just have a good time.  So much went into Saturday we just wanted Sunday to be a time where we actually had time to sit and talk to our out of town family members, and to not be too formal. Since it was simple my husband and I were the only ones in traditional attire.  We let our bridal party wear whatever they wanted.  I picked this zuria because it was similar in the color family of my wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses.  I wanted gold because I love the way it looks on my complexion as a warm color versus silver. My favorite part of the Melse was being able to take time to greet and dance with people that I may not have danced with at the reception because of the large guest count. If I could change one thing about the Melsi I would have gotten my traditionally braided and had henna.  That was the plan for the morning to prepare, however, there was a mixup and the women were unable to. One piece of advice that I would give is to have fun! It’s a long weekend so make sure you enjoy every minute of it. The Melse is the day where you can truly show your close family your appreciation for their love and support so take advantage of that.

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