Livermead Cliff Hotel Wedding ~ Ella & Ahmed

This Torbay wedding involved two days of celebrations – Ella’s henna party being the first, then the wedding the following day. We were honoured to photograph Ella & Ahmed’s wedding as this traditionally does not happen.

The henna party was exciting, colourful, musical and completely wonderful! Ella’s mother & auntie helped Ella prepare for seeing her groom, who popped in to check in on his bride to be. Gifts of clothes, and jewellery, all beautifully wrapped, were laid out in baskets for Ella.

Ella chose her favourite colour of pink for her henna party outfit, she was dressed in traditional Libyan clothes and was decorated head to toe with gold, including necklaces and rings. It was fascinating to watch Ella’s friend carefully applying the henna. Ella spent the evening being sung to by many female friends and relatives; songs wishing her luck and love for the future. The evening carried on with dancing and eating traditional food. The family encouraged us to eat with them and we’re so glad we did as it was delicious!

The wedding was held at The Livermead Cliff Hotel, Torquay, and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. We spent the morning with Ella capturing her bridal preparations. She was calm, relaxed, full of smiles and wonderful to be around. When Ahmed, along with Ella’s two brothers came and picked her up, his face broke into the most gorgeous smile when he first saw his bride, our hearts melted! We thought we’d make the most of the sunshine and drove up to Thatcher’s Rock where the afternoon sunlight was perfect for their couple portraits. 130 women welcomed the couple back at the hotel where Ella and Ahmed exchanged rings and had their first dance has husband and wife. Ahmed then left Ella to go to his own celebrations at the mosque in Exeter. The merriment continued in Torquay where the woman danced and partied some more. These ladies dance amazingly, it’s a sort of mix of Egyptian and belly dancing. We did have a little go, it was hard not to as the Arabic music is so enticing! Ahmed returned later to take his new wife home.

We feel so lucky and honoured that this wonderful family chose us to capture their special day. Out of respect for the family and to protect guests’ modesty we’re unable to post a full account of the wedding but here’s a little taster for you to enjoy.