Elizabeth here, stopping by with our first ever Sudanese wedding (yay!) and a feature that’s very close to my heart.

Matt and Gabby are two of the most stylish, generous and kind hearted people I know so it’s such an honour to share their beautiful weddings (yes, plural!) on Bridal Musings.

They had a Sudanese wedding in Brighton, UK (Matt’s hometown) followed by another wedding in the US, where Gabby and her family hail from. Despite thousands of miles between them when they first started dating and years of long distance love, these two were meant to be.

beautiful bride and groom portrait

There was culture, smiles and dancing a-plenty at Gabby’s henna party, followed by fun, traditional customs with both sets of families and friends. Matt wore traditional Sudanese attire in red and white while Gabby was adorned with intricate henna and exquisite gold jewelry from Sudan.

The next day they had their wedding ceremony at Matt’s family’s Coptic Orthodox Church, complete with bejewelled crowns. Their day was capped off with a bohemian, free spirited photo shoot. Gabby looked effortlessly chic in her sparkly, Nicole Miller wedding gown and Matt suave in his light grey suit and black, velvet Lanvin bow tie.

Studio 1208 captured every special moment and sweet look to absolute perfection.

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The Henna Party

The night before our ceremony, Matt’s family hosted a henna party at their home. This was so nice and very personal as it was relaxed and at home. The henna night followed the traditional Sudanese customs from Matt’s culture. It was all a complete shock to me, but one of the most memorable nights of my life.

After all of the women had their henna done, they dressed me in this traditional red outfit with all of the gold jewellery which included a nose ring (all of this was brought in by Matt’s family from Sudan). They also brought me a special perfume which was made in Sudan (I still have it) and presented me with homemade incense for our home (which smells amazing). Matt also had to get dressed up in a traditional outfit.

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So once I was ready, they brought me downstairs with a fabric covering my face (which kind of looked like a veil that you couldn’t see through) and stood me in front of Matt. He then had to take off the fabric to see my face, to which he was completely shocked…it was hilarious. We then danced with everyone to the traditional Sudanese music. 

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traditional Sudanese wedding  jewwelry

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Every so often, the girl is supposed to “fake fall” and her husband to be is supposed to catch her, never letting her touch the ground. It was very loud and festive, full of laughing and dancing. Such a beautiful memory, especially with the vivid colors and smells (of perfumes and incense). We danced for hours.

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The Eygyptian Coptic Wedding

Matt’s religion is Coptic and his family are half Egyptian & half Sudanese. For our traditional wedding in Brighton, we had the wedding in the Coptic Orthodox church which was a really beautiful and a very traditional ceremony where we wore the crowns and were blessed by the bishops.

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The Dress

I wore a beaded Nicole Miller Wedding Dress. I left my hair down with braids…wanted to stay with a more natural and bohemian vibe for this day.

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Isn’t Gabby one of the most stunning brides you’ve ever seen?! She pulls off both traditional Sudanese bride and 70s, boho bride. (No mean feat.) And just wait till you see her glamorous Miami wedding style tomorrow!

Meet you back here for Part 2, ok? Trust me, this is one wedding, you don’t want to miss it.

Photographer: Studio 1208 / Bride’s Dress: Nicole Miller / Groom's Bow Tie: Lanvin