Real Weddings- Selome and Abiy

February 16, 2009 | editorial team

Today’s Real Wedding of Selome and Abiy comes to us from John and Joseph Photography, and is so full of life, love, excitement and community I could hardly narrow the photos down! This gorgeous couple met through mutual friends in Addis Ababa on New Year’s Eve 2004, and soon after that Selome knew that Abiy was the one!

John and Joseph Photography, traditional Ethiopian wedding

Their goal was to plan a wedding that included their huge groups of friends and family, and really make everyone feel involved. Because they had so many events throughout their wedding weekend, including a traditional Ethiopian ceremony and reception the day after this one, it was the perfect opportunity to include everyone in the planning duties. Aunts, uncles and parents formed a wedding committee that met regularly and delegated many responsibilities, and Selome’s mother and Godfather Danny acted as the main wedding coordinators. It was truly a family affair!

John and Joseph Photography, traditional Ethiopian wedding, orange, gold and cream wedding color palette

The wedding day started with Selome and Abiy each getting ready with their friends, and then as Ethiopian tradition states, Abiy, his groomsmen and his family arrived to pick up Selome from her parent’s house where everyone was celebrating with dances and songs. According to Selome, “It was so much fun because the tradition is that my family is supposed to give his groomsmen a hard time and try to make them earn the right for the groom to enter into my house. Everyone sings traditional Ethiopian wedding songs, it is chaotic, loud and so much fun!” Love it!

John and Joseph Photography, traditional Ethiopian Orthodox wedding ceremony, orange, gold and cream wedding color palette

The wedding ceremony was a traditional Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony held at St. Gebrie churchl in Seattle. With all the activity of the day, Selome and Abiy cherished their romantic moments alone together as they rode in a vintage Rolls Royce on the way to and from the church. “When we entered, the church choir was singing and it was a celebration. It was important to us to have the traditional blessings of our marriage in our church. Part of this ceremony includes the beautiful hand embroidered, gold encrusted crowns and capes that signify the meaning of marriage and how it is a special covenant before God. Also, it was in the Amharic language so we provided programs with English translations so our guests could follow along.”

John and Joseph Photography,Ethiopian wedding and reception at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott, orange, gold and cream wedding color palette

After the ceremony the wedding party took time for fun photos at Hamilton View Point Park and the Olympic Sculpture Park, and then arrived in style at the reception at the Waterfront Marriott Downtown Seattle. Selome chose orange, gold and cream with touches of chocolate brown as their wedding color palette, and she loved how vibrant and tropical the orange color looked on all the bridesmaids with their beautiful skin tones. Selome carried a white and cream bouquet and the bridesmaids flowers were orange and cream. For the décor she wanted a very clean look, so she chose all white and cream for the linens, table flowers, and backdrops. Orange was used as a minor accent on the cake table, in some of the floral arrangements, and in the the up lights, spotlights and the monogram on the dance floor. Beautiful! Selome’s mother and aunt made homemade Ethiopian honey wine as favors for all 600 of their guests, and everyone danced until well after 3am! The night ended in a sentimental and meaningful tradition, with Selome and Abiy kissing goodbye all of their family elders one by one as they stood in a line. “It is almost like a rite of passage where we are leaving them to start a new life together,” said Selome. As you can imagine, everyone was in tears! What a perfect way to end the night.

Thank you Selome and Abiy for sharing such a spectacular and sweet event with all of us! For more information on this wedding and the professionals who helped make it happen, please visit our Real Weddings section!

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  1. Love their cake!

  2. They got to be king and queen. I want to do that. :)

  3. Gorgeous candid shots – they look so happy and in love! That is a fantastic cake also!

  4. Where did they get the custom labels for the honey wine? What a neat idea!

  5. I love the colour scheme. It is so warm and elegant.

  6. what a wonderful wedding, so filled with family and community and tradition, yet so modern and beautiful at the same time. i really love some of the ethiopian traditions– the paying respects to the elders at the end of the night in particular. what a wonderful way to end the night. thanks so much for sharing. and congratulations to selome and abiy!

  7. wow wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wonderful wedding and pictures. thank you so much for sharing.  TEBARKU

  8. What a gorgeous color palette!

  9. Here’s what Selome said about their custom labels, “We had a hard time finding what we wanted with online vendors, so my sister eventually ended up creating them on Publisher and printing them at Kinkos! We ordered the bottles from Seattle Bottling, which was great since we were able to pick them up in person.”

  10. Amazingly Elegant!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I commend you for your impeaccabe taste. I have picked a lot of great ideas from this pictures. Thanks for sharing your special day.  By the way, what type of  decor is the gold stick in the rectangle vase mixed with roses at the reception party.


  11. WOW…such a beautiful , classy wedding ! I love seeing the Ethiopian wedding traditions, it looks like so much fun. The cake is to-die-for!

  12. what a beautiful wedding!!! U guys look so gorgeous. I love the cake, ……………emmmmmmmmmmm everything. winta

  13. Beautiful wedding!
    Just perfect!
    But I have a question.
    Do the Marriott hotels allow outside catering for a traditional food?
    I’m planning to have a wedding but couldn’t find any good venues that allow outside catering.

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