Zeina & Zak. Westin Hotel Wedding.

January 5, 2010

‘If Zeina & Zak live as heartily as they dance, they will have an incredible and prosperous life,’ I thought to myself, standing on top of a shaking chair, surrounded by dozens of glowing faces and dancing bodies, ducking and squinting away from the humongous goat skin drum by my ear. My chair wasn’t the only thing shaking, it felt as if the energy and love in the room would raise the roof! This was my first time as a wedding photographer at a Lebanese wedding. So let’s back up a little!

Having arrived to Edmonton during the coldest weekend (ever!) to document Zeina & Zak’s wedding, I was so lucky to have my dad driving me and keeping the car warm while I fluttered between Zeina’s and Zak’s ‘getting ready’ locations. I arrived just in time to witness an old Arabic tradition – Zak’s last shave as a bachelor … take a look:

last shave as single manbarber visit before weddinglebanese barber wedding traditionThe women danced and proclaimed joyous blessings ‘Ah Weeeee-ha’ and danced around the groom and his barber, who worked with the precision of a surgeon. Soon after, the men joined in, also managing to realize a sly plan to soil Zak’s face with shaving cream just as the barber finished his impeccable job!

lebanese wedding arabic traditionsAnother Lebanese wedding tradition followed, whereby the groom was to get dressed methodically by the men. His suit jacket, tie, watch, belt, and even shoes!
lebanese wedding dress traditionslebanese groom getting readyAlthough Lebanese food deserves it’s own blog post, here is a peek at the irresistible treats… Mmmmm… And the yoghurt dip – a personal favourite of my dad and I 🙂
lebanese food arabic weddinglebanese yoghurt dipIt was time to rush to the bride, I couldn’t wait to see Zeina! As I walked into the house, I couldn’t help but notice a white creeping cloud of pure -40c accompanying me … Quick, quick, close the door!
winter lebanese wedding Back inside, Zeina’s gorgeous bouquet.
zeina's wedding bouquetvancouver wedding photographerI love this shot of Zeina. She looks like a queen to be, surrounded by her princesses (and one little prince) 🙂
lebanese bride canadalebanese modern wedding photographyMoments away from seeing each other for the first time, Zak is looking out for his bride! Zaffeh is the traditional Arabic celebration, which symbolizes escorting the bride to her husband.
groom looking for bride zaffehfirst look bride groom lebanesezaffeh winter lebanese weddingI was so happy to sneak out to the Aviation Museum with Zeina & Zak for literally a few minutes, right after the traditional family portraits. I was hoping for some daylight photos inside, but the tired December sun went down so quickly! We still managed to get a few shots, and here are my favourites. I like the harsh ambient light and mysterious moodiness…
aviation museum wedding photos aviation museum photos bridalbridal portraits vancouver uniquemodern wedding portrait photographer vancouvermuseum wedding photo session planesZeina looked so beautiful. We got a few moments to spend together before the reception at the Westin Hotel.
westin hotel bridal portraits black white wedding photos lebanese brideThe traditional first dance… The videographer and I did just as much dancing around them 🙂
first dance lebanese weddinglebanese wedding reception chair dancebride groom lebanese receptionIt was so great to have Randy Lim of Limages second-shoot with me. We had so much fun together – here is one of his shots of the dance floor with a wide angle lens:
limages randy lim edmonton weddingview portfolio |  e-mail me



  1. Papa Igor

    January 6th, 2010 at 10:54

    Very fine work!! I know HOW cold it was that day, but your pictures are sooo WARM and tender!hank you.

  2. s h e r r y

    January 6th, 2010 at 11:15

    Beautiful images! I love all the women’s and girl’s hair! They buns look so fabulous. The photos inside the Aviation Museum are also very rad!

  3. Steph

    January 7th, 2010 at 09:25

    i luv that you captured a cloud!

    beautiful wedding.

  4. MattDJ

    January 12th, 2010 at 01:00

    love…this…wedding!!! You perfectly captured the joy and emotion of their day Katya! Your work makes me smile! 🙂

  5. HAPPY

    August 8th, 2013 at 16:26

    I’m dating a pilot and am thinking about our wedding.

    Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    God bless!

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