Nazret G.
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My name is Nazret I am a former Project Manager from Indiana. I recently moved to my husband’s home state in Minnesota. I am 26 years old and from Eritrea. My husband and I met in Indianapolis at a YPFDJ (Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice) Midwest Retreat. We met up at multiple conferences following this and continued to keep in touch. Sami gave a small speech on Thanksgiving day on November 27, 2014 expressing how thankful he was for my family and I. He got down on one knee and I saw my little sister crying and that’s when it hit me what was really happening, it was a beautiful moment. I kept thinking to myself “Is this real? Is this real life? Am I really engaged?” He knows how close I am to my family, so  it was super thoughtful and brave that he shared the intimate moment with the people I love most.

When I woke up the morning of my wedding I barely got any sleep the night before. I remember feeling super anxious and excited! Having my bridesmaids next to me made me feel like I had my squad with me. As for my gown my cousin Elilta (one of my bridesmaids) showed me a dress in a magazine and I knew it was the one! I absolutely loved the details of the lace on the shoulder area. I also loved the sheer on the front and back of the dress. I remember feeling like such a queen. Seeing all of my family and friends in the crowd as I walked down the aisle was so heartwarming! It was especially touching when my dad gave me away to Sami, it was an emotional moment for us and I will never forget it.

When designing the reception, I was going for elegance and a well-blended color scheme. I chose sangria, ivory, and gold. The best part was the carpet design in the venue had elements of sangria and burgundy, so everything blended well together. As far as center pieces- I chose lanterns, a variety of vases with flowers, candelabras, and candles. I also had purple LED lights along the walls and on the stage. When I walked into our reception I said “They killed it!” The decorations were stunning and the lighting was perfect, not too dark or too light. Our first dance song was “Spend My Life With You” by Eric Benet ft. Tamia. It was special because we truly felt the lyrics of the song. The most memorable part of the night was when we played a 15 minute English playlist, we had our family and friends from all over join us on the dance floor & it was a huge party. We ended it by doing the electric slide to “Candy” by Cameo.

If I could change one thing, it would be to let other people handle things that are not going as planned. You have to be stress-free and allow yourself to completely live in the moment! The toast and cake cutting took a little bit longer than we anticipated because the servers took a long time to gather plates and champagne flutes for the bridal party. When we did our toast, a lot of champagne got on the center of the dance floor. We could not locate the wedding planner so we were all a little frantic. It was an almost disaster because we were going to have our first dance shortly after and we couldn’t dance in the center due to it being wet.  One thing I wish a habeshabride would have told me is people will be difficult! Do your best to go with the flow even when things do not go as planned.

We celebrated an Eritrean style melsi! My goal for the melsi was to bring Eritrea to our wedding! I absolutely love everything about our culture, I wanted everything to be traditional. From all of my bridesmaids having braids to the men wearing traditional white clothing and elements of the stage. This was my vision for our melsi! I picked my traditional attire because it had elements of a traditional yet modern day twist. I picked these traditional dresses for my bridal party because the style was a good fit for all body types and the design was more traditional than modern.

My favorite part of the traditional day was dancing with my bridal party to “Tehambele” and when we received blessings from our families upon leaving the melsi. It was very emotional. We had the honor of having our favorite Eritrean legend, Tareke sing at our wedding. Tareke and Awet did an amazing job and had people on their feet the entire weekend. My favorite song that played was “Sesiniley Ati Adey B’ryi” an original song by Tareke. If I could change one thing about the traditional day, it would have been to allow more time for photo’s with my bridal party before the melsi. My advice to current brides would be to make sure you have people willing to assist. There are a lot of traditional elements to incorporate in an Eritrean melsi from washing hands, serving food to bridal party, making bun (traditional Eritrean coffee ceremony), etc. and you want to look organized. Good Luck!


Vendor List 

Vendor Thoughts The ceremony was held at St. Malachy Catholic Parish Church-Brownsburg, IN. A Tewahdo Orthodox ceremony performed by Eritrean priests Aboy Keshi Woldai and Aboy Keshi Daniel from Kudus Rufael-Indianapolis, IN.
Wedding Gown Vendor Name Unique Boutique – Mary’s Bridal gown. I would choose them again.
Ceremony Location Name St. Malachy Catholic Parish Church
I would recommend this location for future brides, it was a gorgeous church and they were so thoughtful in allowing us to utilize their church due to capacity issues at our church.
Florist Vendor Name I made my bouquet and purchased bridesmaids bouquets. Oasis Events did the floral for my venue, we mainly used artificial flowers.
Bridal party Attire Vendor(s) Name(s) Bride wedding dress: Unique Boutique – Mary’s Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses: Davids Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen suits: Milbern Clothing Company Inc.
Bride & bridesmaids zurias: tilfeclothingusa
Groom and groomsmen traditional white clothes: Asmara, EritreaI would use all of these vendors again!
Stationary Vendor Name VistaPrint. I would use them again!
Photographer Vendor Name Futsum Video Production-St. Paul, Minnesota. I would use them again.
Videographer Vendor Name Futsum Video Production-St. Paul, Minnesota. I would use them again.
Reception Venue Name Murat Shrine Temple, downtown Indianapolis- both days. I would recommend this location if you have a guest list of 500 and under.
Traditional attire Vendor Name Instagram: tilfeclothingusa
I would recommend ordering dresses from this vendor again. The turn around time was great on the products.
Makeup Artist Vendor Name? Kecia Tunstall, Pout MakeUp Studio LLC – Indianapolis, IN
Instagram: glamher_bykecia
Facebook: Glam’her by Kecia
Hair Stylist Vendor Name? Netra Oliver
I would recommend this hair stylist again. I recommend doing a hair trial for the bride and bridesmaids.
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