I have been traveling for weddings for some time now, and I still have my breath stolen away from the amazing sights I've seen. This time, I found myself tucked into the side of Mount Lebanon in a place called Ehden.
Often referred to as “The Bride of Summer Resorts”, Ehden has far-reaching views of mountain ranges wedged
into thick green forests with trees that rise to meet the sunset. Scattered about are the old and rusting ruins of ancient temples, where idols once stood proud and gleaming.
Here, I would be the wedding photographer for a cheerful couple whose names are Jiji and Saad.
Oh, to be able to describe these two lovers to you! Jiji shown brighter than any star found in the mountainside's night sky. Her blinding smile and piercing eyes were as bold and refreshing as the blazing orange flowers that graced the table displays. Saad, a soft and sturdy man, anxiously awaited his beautiful bride, constantly adjusting his watch and checking the time to see when she would arrive.
As Saad exited his rustic wood cabin, gripping onto the door frame to steady himself for the sight he was about to behold, I felt my own breath catch when I laid eyes on her. Jiji was like a vision, a glowing white woodland sprite, skirts trailing in the leaves and pine needles behind her as she bounded forward to meet her lover.
I could hear the beads on her dress rattle from the impact of how fast she lunged forward to hug him – the ceremony hadn't even started yet, and they were already on their honeymoon!
The wedding ceremony and after-party were like a rock concert. The entertainment and festivities took place on a circular center stage that had a ring of water surrounding it and four bridges leading onto it. Jiji and Saad made their grand entrance while fireworks like geisers erupted on both sides of them. Dancers and musicians carried flaming torches, a representation of their burning love for one another.
As a grand finale, Jiji and Saad cut the cake while a 50 foot fan of fireworks shot up into the night, bursting in gold teardrops that rained down, illuminating the newly married couple in a shower of sparks. It was late into the night before I was able to leave, but I couldn't stop capturing the happy faces, the beautiful dancing, the fully-blossomed romance of two people joined together for the rest of their lives.
I dreamed that night of the orange glow of the fireworks, the quiet rippling of the water, and the soft sway of the tall trees in the mountains. I only hoped the happy couple were having dreams as good as mine. Best wishes to you, Jiji and Saad!