Fearless Award | Ethiopian Wedding


New Fearless Award, Collection 44. Love that selection of Real Moments! Congrats to all the winners! Beautiful round.

A traditional Ethiopian wedding is bathed in vibrant colors, traditional dancing and usually, a fantastic spread of spicy dishes of meat and vegetables. Photographing an Ethiopian wedding in Toronto is a privilege. And being able to watch the traditions unfold so differently from those in Western culture is a sight to be seen. The traditions of an Ethiopian wedding are so different from the norm and so beautiful to witness.

Ethiopian Weddings

For all the delicious food that is laid on at an Ethiopian wedding, pork is usually not included because many Ethiopian people are Muslim, Orthodox Christians, or Jewish. The food isn’t the only thing that’s traditional, though, for a Muslim family, the traditional Muslim ceremony is held, and most weddings last for three whole days.

In the very traditional families, they will spend a month preparing for the wedding ahead. Guests, family and the bride and groom will assemble at their own individual houses, and they are fed well before the ceremony. The groom is blessed by his parents, relatives, and elders and then spends time dressing in a special outfit for the day. There is no wait at the end of an aisle for an Ethiopian groom; he goes to his bride’s home along with his friends to pick her up! The potential for beautiful wedding photography starts from the very beginning, with pictures taken at the groom’s house and then the bride’s.

Ethiopian Wedding

Other Traditions

When the groom reaches her home, the groom and his friends are met by the bride and her friends at the entrance, beating drums. Ethiopian weddings are steeped in history, though not every new ceremony will follow this tradition. This is something that is usually done to stop the groom from accessing her home until he has paid his dowry.  When the groom is allowed inside (after some loving words to his new bride!) he then gives his bride some flowers. The bride then accepts the gift, kissing her future husband. They then walk to their car. Others enter their vehicles too. It’s in this moment that photography takes place in a designated location.

The one thing that is immediately obvious is that Ethiopian culture is very vibrant, bright and filled with love. During some wedding ceremonies, the newlyweds are made to walk under an arch of orange candles once they declare their devotion to God and each other. It’s a breathtaking sight, one that must be captured!

These aren’t the only traditions in an Ethiopian wedding. Seeing as the majority of ceremonies take place over a couple of days, the “Telosh” is a traditional Ethiopian event held two days before the wedding. Along with his family, the groom brings presents to the bride, including a wedding dress or jewelry.

If you are looking to have your Ethiopian wedding captured in all the traditional glory, contact us today for a glance over previously shot Ethiopian weddings. We’re here to help and make your day as unique as possible.

Ethiopian Wedding.
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