We are so pleased to share former Masterchef contestant, Amina El-Shafei’s wedding here on The Modest Bride. A lovely fusion of Korean and Arabic traditions, Amina and Shafick’s wedding was a reflection of true companionship and friendship…
How did you meet We met many years ago through mutual friends and gatherings. It didn’t take too long before a spark happened! We’ve felt and known for a long time that we would be incredibly happy together in life.
Tell us about the proposal Our proposal was traditional and it involved both our entire families. We’ve always known that the proposal would be based on cultural customs and I felt that our families involved in our proposal was the best way to start our road to marriage.
Describe the wedding planning process As we didn’t have much time, our method of organizing the wedding was to narrow down three options of whatever we needed. For example, three cake businesses to pick the wedding cake. By narrowing it down to three, we were able to visit the three businesses and make a quicker and less difficult decision. Shafick works long hours and I work full time, so I was worried that planning a wedding with a short time frame would be difficult. Despite his long hours, he made every appointment and helped me with all the decisions of choosing that made the entire process so much easier.
What inspired your wedding style Four elements, simple, vintage, fun and incorporating our cultural backgrounds.
Were there any DIY elements to your wedding We drove ourselves the whole day instead of getting a driver and car which was easier for us but getting in and out of a coupe was slightly challenging at times! It gave us time to chill together alone between the pick up from my home, getting photos and heading to and from the reception. It was a brilliant idea the next morning as we were able to return the car to the hire company at the international airport before we flew out for our honeymoon.
What does marriage mean to you both Experiencing the rest of our lives together as husband and wife, soul mates, friends and confidantes. We are still young in our marriage and I know that we are yet to learn a lot about ourselves still (even we’ve known each other for many years) but perhaps this is the best part about being married.
What values motivated your look Due to the short period of time, I was happy to purchase a dress off the rack, bearing in mind that I would most likely need to have it altered with long sleeves and not too revealing as I wear a hijab (scarf). I wanted a dress that was A-line in shape, ivory, a bit of lace and something that would make me feel comfortable yet fit me the best way possible. This can be slightly difficult being a plus size girl. I had been to three wedding dress stores and tried two dresses only, when I walked into A Bride’s Blessing in Wetherill Park and one of the girls helped me find a beautiful Morilee gown that fit me like a glove. We were able to contact the fabric company who provide lace to Morilee in the United States and were able to match the lace on the gown. With only a few weeks to go, one of the amazing seamstresses at A Bride’s Blessing constructed the sleeves with the lace we sourced and it was exactly what I hoped for in my wedding dress.
Traditions As part of Arab traditions, the groom and his family will usually go to the bride’s home to take the bride from her home and embrace her into theirs. Shafick and his immediate and extended family came to our home to pick me up before the reception with horns beeping a few kilometers away. Let’s just say that our neighbours in a very quiet street were entertained by the whole procession! We hired both Lebanese and Korean entertainers for the reception. We started our reception with a Lebanese drums group for traditional dancing such as the dabke and we also had a Korean dance troupe who provided three traditional folk dances throughout the evening. Our guests loved the combination of both entertainers and my Korean side especially my mum loved the folk dancers (they had no idea we had hired the troupe).
Overall When we look back, Shafick and I wouldn’t change a thing. Our wedding was wonderful, memorable, fun and we had all the people who we knew we would be part of our lives around us.
Photography Seray’s Photography Bride’s Gown Morilee by Madeline Gardner from A Bride’s Blessing Headscarf styling Hijabs by Zazz Headpiece Cecile’s Jewelry MUA Ashley Clarke Makeup Artistry Groom’s suit Ron Bennett custom made Reception venue Oatland’s House Florist Just my Pretty Cake Celebration Cakes Cake Topper Custom Cake Toppers and Supplies Entertainment Ju Yeong Yang Dance Group (no website) and C’Darz Entertainment