Beza G.
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My name is Beza, I was born in Ethiopia and moved to the US with my mother when I was three years old. I met David through my sister, they were friends and she kept telling me about this great guy I had to meet. It took a while to convince me, but quickly learned she was absolutely right. We had a lot in common, and were blessed to learn so much from each other. When it was time, he popped the question in the most romantic way! He planned a day in which we toured sentimental places around Seattle. The day culminated with him, my sisters, and I at the Triple Door where we had our first date and there on the marquee was ‘Ewedishalow Tegabingalesh”, which means “I love you, will you marry me?” in Amharic. I was speechless and totally surprised. I had no idea he had been planning this and now, we were engaged!

When I woke up on my wedding day I remember feeling so much excitement! All the people I loved were all around me, and there to celebrate our love and union. It was beautiful, I wanted to run around and hug everyone! I had an amazing group of girls who helped me get ready and my aunties brought in a yummy spread of breakfast items and treats to fuel us up for the day.  Having them there by my side made me feel so happy and so very loved. I had two stunning gowns, one for the ceremony and one for the reception.  When searching for THE dress, I met with my bridesmaids and my mom at a bridal boutique and tried at least 10 dresses, I liked them all so at a certain point it just came down to how I felt. I was never the type of girl who wanted a princess dress but when I tried on what ended up being my dress, I just felt so beautiful, and when I saw everyone’s faces beaming back at me, I knew that it was the one – so I said yes! When picking the color scheme for the wedding I wanted a bold color and an accent color.  I’ve always loved purple so that was an easy choice. I also wanted the bridesmaids dresses to feel unique and had never seen grey dresses. I am very happy with how it turned out, my bridesmaids looked gorgeous!

When we made it to my parents house for Hiloga, the official celebration in which the bride leaves her family home, the magnitude of the day hit me for the first time.  I saw my mom and my entire family there waiting for me.  They sang all the traditional songs as we waited for my future husband to come and claim me as his bride.  We also did the gulbet mesam as we left my parents home to head to the ceremony.  When the moment came to walk down the aisle, and to finally say I do, I couldn’t have felt more grateful for all the support that was shown to us! Our reception was in a venue that had a complete character of it’s own. So our challenge was to work with that while still making the space look elegant and reflect our personal style. We had our work cut out for us, but it was so worth it in the end. When I walked into our reception I said “Wow, we pulled it off!” This space looks amazing.

Our first dance was to ‘Superman’ by Robin Thicke, a song that’s been special to us since we started dating. Our old family friend and local Seattle musician, Otieno Terry, sang as we danced together for the first time as  husband and wife. The most memorable moments of the night for me were when my hubby and I entered the reception and we walked down a long flight of stairs. It was beautiful to see our family and friends welcoming us as a married couple. The second, was a point in the night where one of our groomsmen taught my mom how to do the Nae Nae dance – which was absolutely hilarious. In all the madness of planning, I forgot I didn’t have a makeup artist to touch me up for the reception. Luckily my aunt, who has her own makeup line, was able to touch me up flawlessly before we walked in. If I  could change one thing I wish I would had invited more people, and extended the invitation to more community members, instead of being over concerned with not having enough space.  It dawned on me that having our cultural community there is what a habesha wedding is all about! One thing I wish a habeshabride would have told me is a habesha wedding is a roller coaster, enjoy the ride instead of trying to control all the details. If you can, slow down, roll with the punches a little more and just relax – everything happens so fast you don’t want to miss it.

Before the wedding my family threw me a traditional Guragaye Enshoshila, which is a ceremony where the women in the family beautify the bride with habesha butter (Kibe) while singing and celebrating the upcoming nuptials. Two days before the wedding we had a Thilosh, which is where the friends and family of the groom come and present gifts for the bride on his behalf.  After the wedding, we had a Melse.

I picked this traditional attire because I loved the color! I was fortunate in that I got to travel to Ethiopia and design the dress with a traditional dress maker in person! It was fun to collaborate with him and my family. I picked these traditional dresses for my bridal party because I liked the casual relaxed style of the dresses, and how great it looked good on all of my bridesmaids. The habesha elements that were a must for my traditional day was the dabo sem (bread name)! Also, we had a live singer, which really livened everything up! My favorite habesha song that played was that Gurage song “Abet, Abet.” My favorite moment of the night was when my mom was given the microphone and began singing from her heart. It was beautiful. If I could change one thing it would have been timing. We were late arriving to the Melse, I wish we would have come on time. The Melse was by far my favorite part of the wedding weekend, I only wish it could have lasted longer.

One piece of traditional day planning advice I would give to other HabeshaBrides is to make sure you have a Melse! It is truly the best part in my opinion. You’ll be tired after the wedding is done, but save energy for the Melse, it’s fantastic! Good Luck 🙂


Vendor List

Wedding Gown Vendor Name La Belle Ellaine
Ceremony & Reception Location Name Seattle Marriott Waterfront & Seattle Pacific Science Center
Florist Vendor Name Sweet n Design
Bridal party Attire Vendor(s) Name(s)
Stationary Vendor Name Desta Designs
Photographer Vendor Name Ike and Tash Photography and Motion
Videographer Vendor Name Medici Studios
Reception Venue Name Seattle Pacific Science Center
Traditional attire Vendor Name I designed the dress but was made by home in Addis
Makeup Artist Vendor Name Koniko Turner
Hair Stylist Vendor Name Colina Barlow
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