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Yordi & Ephrem's Ethiopian Wedding Celebration

Hello again!


I am finally starting to blog weddings again. It takes a lot more time than you'd think, and I prefer to dedicate most of my time to the couples and families I'm working with than on my website. But I have so much beauty to share! So here we go, starting with Yordi & Ephrem! These photos are from April 2023.




Yordi is a friend of mine from when I was a children's ministry director at her church. I spent lots of time teaching her younger siblings and working closely with her mom. So when they reached out to ask me to capture part of her wedding weekend, I was so thrilled! I really had the best time!


What I love about Yordi & Ephrem: We got our day started pretty far behind schedule, but they didn't want to spend hardly any time on portraits for themselves. All they cared about was if their family and friends were having a good time and that no one was waiting on them. What big hearts! They love their community and God deeply and it shows.








Now let me tell you what I loved about Yordi & Ephrem's wedding! This day that I got to capture was actually day two in a multi-day multicultural celebration. They had a more American wedding the day before, and so were able to get ready together on day two! They got ready at The Doubletree Resort in Lancaster, and we took their portraits onsite. It was so beautiful!







They looked like actual royalty! I cannot get over the color, and the sparkle. It was all so grand! And family members were dressed accordingly, many in matching outfits! I was blown away by the love and dedication shown to Yordi and Ephrem by their families.









As I mentioned before, we really only took about 15 minutes to do all of their formal portraits, because all they cared about was that their family and friends were enjoying themselves. And they wanted to get to the party! Which is no problem at all for the right photographer. I was there to serve them and their priorities.



Usually when I'm shooting portraits of the bridal party I'll ask the groomsmen or bridesmaid to say something about the bride or groom. You never really know what you're going to get, but you always get some great reactions! These men had such wonderful things to say about Ephrem. It really touched my heart. They had such genuine complements and good things to say about him. It really is moving for me to see such godly character described in my couples!






I'm so glad I was asked to shoot this part of their wedding weekend because I'm pretty partial to Ethiopian traditions (having been part of their church ministry for 4 years and visited Ethiopia myself!).





They entered to singing, and the beating of drums, and dancing!




There was much singing and rejoicing. There was prayer and preaching of the Word of God. It was a wonderful celebration! It made me want to tell people everywhere to make a big fuss of the start of a marriage! Celebrate! Go all out! The joining of two people and the start of a new family is a huge thing and should be celebrated! No matter what that looks like for you, or your budget, make a big deal of it! It's a wonderful thing.



Injera is traditional Ethiopian cuisine. It's delicious, and since it is made from the grain Teff, naturally gluten free. It's used kind of similar to a tortilla. You load the middle with meat, cheese, collar greens, any other fixings, and pinch off sections of injera to pick up the food with.

My favorite part of Ethiopian tradition is the coffee ceremony. Ethiopia is thought of as the origin of coffee, and it's where I've had the best coffee of my life. Also, the only coffee I will drink black. I've gotten to see many coffee ceremonies, and they are so cool! It involves roasting and grinding the beans, making the coffee in a traditional coffee pot, serving coffee to your loved ones, and popcorn. I'm not sure why the popcorn is involved, but I love it!!







They first served and sat with their parents, and then their bridal party.







They have another tradition called the Dabo Sim. It's when they come up with a nickname for the bride for her in-laws to call her. From the gist of what I could understand of my very limited understanding of Amharic, they decided on calling Yordi Ruth because of her faithfulness to God and her husband's family. (I could be way off though haha!)









I have never in my career taken so many photos of the bride and groom with their guests. It's what was so important to them! They just wanted to capture all of the people they loved, and I was there for it!






This day was PEOPLE centered, and full of color. They had a gorgeous coffee ceremony (my favorite part). They honored their parents in many parts of the day. It was honoring to their culture. Yordi and Ephrem were treated like straight up royalty! I can only imagine how special they felt after such care was taken putting these celebrations together!



Yordi & Ephrem THANK YOU for asking me to capture your day! It was an absolute honor and a real pleasure! I wish you so many years of highs & lows, and pray the Lord blesses you and your growing family.


xoxo,

Grace

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