How wonderful is a wedding in any language.
Hoda and Ben recently realized they had found their soul mate. Last Friday, surrounded by family and friends they joined hands and declared their love in a magical wedding ceremony against a backdrop of the sun setting in a blaze of glory over Port Phillip Bay.
Living next door to an Egyptian Family for over fifteen years has been a delightful experience. We have learnt so much over those years and been included in many celebratory occasions: cakes at the end of Ramadan, sweets and gifts exchanged at Christmas and bowls of nuts, spices and snacks during the year have not only expanded our culinary tastes but also our knowledge of a different culture. Both families respect and understand their different religions. To be Christian or Muslim simply means trying to be the best people we can be. To me, we are taking different paths that lead to the same destination.
It has been a privilege to watch Hoda grow from a vivacious little girl into a beautiful young woman. We met Ben for the first time on Friday night and immediately fell in love with his outgoing friendly nature and happy smile. His entire family were supportive, fun loving people.
We wondered how different this marriage ceremony would be compared to the others we had attended and were amazed at the similarities. Out of respect for the English and Arabic cultures present, the Imam conducted the ceremony in both English and Arabic . Both fathers gave their blessing, the happy couple said ‘I do’, papers were signed, cake cut, and, instead of a soprano singing Oh Perfect Love, Hoda and Ben had an Australian belly dancer who, much to the delight of the guests, managed to entice the recently married couple to join her dance.
The wedding breakfast was superb. How wonderful to be able to taste a portion of all the entrees, mains and sweets, instead of having to choose one or the other. Sometimes it’s impossible to decide
We have a special relationship with Hoda’s grandmother.and were delighted to see her surrounded by her lovely daughters and son. I wanted to take a picture of them all together but we were all so busy having a good time the evening was over before we realized it.
The most fun came from a photo booth set up to one side of the restaurant. We wandered over to see what all the shrieks of delight were about only to be dragged in front of the hidden camera. Hats were plonked onto our heads. Because you had no idea when the photo would be taken some of the photos were hilarious. Ours included.
Several seconds later we were handed a strip of photos which we then put into a book and were asked to write a message to Hoda and Ben . Our photos followed a collection of very funny pictures complete with rabbit ears and hysterically laughing faces. The caption underneath was ‘Your crazy cousins’. I loved that Hoda’s name had the Wonder Woman sign beside it and Ben was obviously Superman.
We had a wonderful evening and wish Hoda and Ben a long and happy life together