Spotlight Series: A Tapestry Of Talent – Palestinian Wedding Vendors & Traditions
For our Fairy Bride Mother, it’s always ‘that time of year’ to distribute the dirham with purpose. Whether buying a coffee, choosing an insurance provider, or sourcing new vendors for our community, we don’t overlook the impact of our purchase power. Part of that is in understanding who we do, and don’t do business with. Along with our rigorous vendor vetting process, the Bride Club ME team actively seek out people and businesses that do good beyond themselves. So, in our new spotlight series, we’re showcasing Palestinian-owned wedding businesses that are making waves, continuing tradition and preserving culture beyond colonialism.
This is the first of many features to come, as part of a series where Bride Club ME will strive to highlight wedding businesses from around the world. Join us as we venture around the globe to showcase the work of entrepreneurs with diverse perspectives, voices and cultures.
Weddings are deeply rooted in culture and tradition for many who partake. But for Palestinians, weddings have become a form of resistance; they keep a valuable connection for the diaspora, as well as providing respite from the reality of occupation.
Palestinian weddings are often 3 days long but can outstretch that when considering all of the tasks and rights-of-passage to fulfil. From the Tulbeh (asking for the bride’s hand in marriage), to the Hena party, and the big event, it’s often a group effort of entire villages in procession for the bride, groom and their families.
As a refugee, I am not as well-versed in culture or traditions as I should/want to be. However, my favourite wedding tradition is the Aweeha which takes place during the Hena party for the bride and female attendees. Matriarchs and female elders take it in turn to chant funny rhymes venerating the bride and in turn, for the groom, culminating in a sort of dual – it’s funny but quite interesting.
Renad Alashy – from Gaza, Palestine.
5 Palestinian Wedding Traditions We Love
- Henna Decoration
- Traditional Dabke Dance
- Zaffe Wedding March
- Authentic Palestinian Feast
- Traditional Clothing
Palestinian-Owned Wedding Businesses We Love
Abdallah Assi is the founder and principal designer of Jordan-based wedding and event company ADegrees. As an architect, Abdallah uses his skills to meticulously map complex terrains and manage challenging site topography to a mathematical degree. Coupled with a keen eye for aesthetics, ADegrees and his team are capable of achieving royal perfection anywhere in the world, as seen in the design and build of the recent royal wedding for Princess Iman bint Abdullah of Jordan.
See more of his work and reach out via Instagram here.
PALMERA DESIGN & EVENTS
Dubai-based events company is owned and run by the ever-talented mother/daughter duo Tala Bitar and Niveen Bitar. Known for their attention to detail, the team at Palmera carefully curate their events to be rich with story-telling and beauty, “Planned to Perfection, One Detail at a Time!”. As Palestinians, Tala and Niveen lend their artistry and culture to stunning works featuring traditional tatreez and historical imagery, which can be found for sale here.
Take a look at Palmera’s weddings & events showcase here.
THE PURPLE CHAIR
The team at The Purple Chair pride themselves on minimalist and cohesive designs throughout their weddings and events offerings, and if you’re looking for a high-brow editorial feel to your event – TPC is fit to deliver. Earning repeat features in publications such as Harpers Bazaar, Style Me Pretty and even Martha Stewart! TPC may just be on the lips of every mover and shaker out there. Founded by Rasha Badran, from Nablus in Palestine, The Purple Chair is equipped to service both the GCC and worldwide clientele with many a finger on the pulse of what’s hot.
See for yourself here!
Contessa is a bridal boutique nestled in the glitzy and sophisticated City Walk 2 of Dubai which opened its doors in 2009, owned by Mohammed Al Haj, and has since become somewhat of a ‘household name’ for those of us familiar with the bridal industry in Dubai. Working with emerging designers, Contessa strives to hand-pick unique gowns to suit every guest, from the bride to the mother-of. Brides will be dazzled by the array of choices from designers such as Justin Alexander, Ines Di Santo, Ersa Atelier, Maison Gevrin, Sincerity and Lillian West. Its owner, Mohammed Al Haj is a Palestinian living in Dubai who shares with us, his connection to his homeland through the stories of his aunts.
We come from Acre (which is pronounced in Arabic as AKKA) more specifically from a village that is located on the coast called Al-Zeeb. My aunts and uncles who grew up in Al-Zeeb spoke so fondly about their lives there, playing with marbles, and participating in the orange and olive harvests. There is much to talk about Al-Zeeb in Acre. Unfortunately, its inhabitants were asked to leave in 1948 for the army to conduct a security check (as people were told), but upon their return, they found a fence had been built around Acre. So, they sought refuge in Lebanon, where many were forced to go.
Mohammed Al Haj, Contessa Dubai.
As a long-standing wedding media business in the UAE, we continue to support our community, by offering easy avenues to ethical business practice and conscious consumerism, in addition to continueing to highlight local wedding talent here in the UAE and beyond. Lastly, Bride Club ME, along with many other wedding businesses, calls for a permanent cease-fire in Palestine!