Real Wedding: Madona & Danny

Posted August 3, 2015

Madona and Danny’s wedding was truly one of a kind. This couple blended family heritage, faith and tradition in a beautiful Coptic Orthodox Christian wedding last fall. The Coptic Orthodox Church is the official name for the largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East. Both Madona and Danny share an Egyptian cultural background and completely integrated their traditions and the influence of their devout faith into all aspects of their wedding. During the rehearsal, our team had the pleasure of taking an in depth tour of the church. The priest educated us about different parts the general public are not allowed to go in, and walked us through what would be the unique logistics of the ceremony. They were great in explaining things to us, such as why we were required to take off our shoes at the altar. We deeply appreciated their enthusiasm for sharing with us the different aspects of their faith and the purpose behind the procedures; our team was so honored to be included in this wedding. Not only did we have a blast with their massive 400+ person crowd of guests, but we loved getting to learn all the new traditions that were meaningful to their culture and truly coming to understand and appreciate what things were important for their big day. For another example of a culture-filled wedding day we have been part of, go explore TuAnh & Vietson’s Vietnamese wedding celebration!

The traditional Egyptian, elegant and elaborate day was styled in fresh shades of mint and pink. The ceremony was one of the most fun to watch that we’ve seen, because of all the special traditions they incorporated. Lasting almost an hour, the ceremony was conducted primarily in their native language. The priests and elders dressed in elaborate, traditional cultural attire. Though many of their guests could follow along in either language, the priests helpfully paused and recapped portions of the ceremony in English for those that could not. Per their custom, the bridal party was flipped on the altar with men on the right and women on the left. The couple’s families were intimately involved in the ceremony. The bride’s father and her brother both participated in the ceremonial process representing the family as they gave the bride away. Additionally, there were readings and special music, all shared by close family members.

The reception started with a bang. The entire wedding party kicked things off with a choreographed dance for the newlyweds at the reception, followed by the bride serenading her groom with a surprise song she picked just for him. The couple’s emphasis on honoring the importance of family was continued from the ceremony with heartfelt personal toasts. The reception was a  huge celebration, filled with excited guests, dancing and music. The bride slipped on a traditional Middle Eastern dance hip scarf over her dress as she joined her guests in dancing and celebrating.

The Hyatt had been transformed with huge floral arrangements of white and pink flowers with branch accents spilling over from towering clear vases, with a background setting of trees towering around the edges of the room. Damask cream table linens set with minty blue napkins and seemingly hundreds of floating candles in small clear vases made the space feel elegant and luxurious. Romantic uplighting, combined with candlelight from the centerpieces, cast shades of pink and blue over the room. Guests were treated to a delicious meal, followed by a cake almost too gorgeous to eat. Tasteful Elegance provided a five tier, elaborately embellished cake with stunning, intricate gold and pink delicate detailing set against mint blue fondant.

After a massive group photo of all the guests present in the lobby, they formed a huge cheering tunnel led by a traditional drummer in the hotel lobby. Cheers and a cloud of bubbles surrounded the bride and groom as they made their grand exit through the tunnel and up the elevator to their suite. It was such a perfect close to the evening for this genuinely wonderful family. We loved working with them and we know you will love seeing more of the gorgeous details below, beautifully captured by Red Apple Tree Photography.

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church
Web Design + Video Production + Life Stream: Brian Kelly
Florist + Lighting + Linens: Botanica Event Design  :|: Cake: Tasteful Elegance
Hair + Makeup: Bella Rouge Bridal  :|: Transportation: Elite Limousine
DJ: Tamer Yehya  :|: Photographer: Red Apple Tree Photography
Catering + Reception Venue: Hyatt Regency
Videographer: Jeff Bradt Video LLC  :|: Audio: Audio Source
I Do team: Allie, Elise & Grace