Real {Sudanese} Bead Ceremony in {Virginia}: Yathrib + Joseph

Here at Munaluchi Bride, there's nothing we love more than featuring weddings in which style and rich culture intersect to create a visual masterpiece that is sure to inspire. Yathrib and Joseph's Sudanese bead ceremony is one of those weddings that will keep you coming back again and again for the vivid imagery and wealth of culture. To make it even better, all the elements were put together by family members! Every unforgettable detail was photographed by the very talented Kimie James of IYQ Photography.

Bride: Yathrib Elhillali
Groom: Joseph Ragsdale
Occupations: Bride - Graphic Designer; Groom - Bank Teller
Wedding Date: 07.16.2011
Location: Bride's Parents' Home in Woodbridge, VA

How They Met & A Halloween Proposal ... "Joseph and I were college sweethearts and met while working at George Mason University. Jo proposed during my favorite "holiday season",  Halloween. My friends kept me occupied by playing RockBand; while in the adjoining room, he lit a jack-o'-lantern with the words, "Will you marry me" carved into it. Inside the pumpkin was a ring!"

Ceremony Details ...  "The submitted photos are from the Sudanese Ceremony, hosted by my parents at their home in Woodbridge, Virginia. The entire event was a collaboration of family and friends helping. My uncle, cousins, nephews, and brothers helped pitch the tents and hang the paper lanterns and other decor. My aunts arranged the fruit trays and other platters. Women in the local Sudanese community baked all of the cookies, pastries and desserts. My mother and sister worked on the little candy favors to pass out to the guests. My mother's cousin performed the bead exchange ceremony. It truly was a family-focused event!"

Incorporating Culture ... "This entire event showcased a Sudanese wedding ceremony.  The traditional Sudanese wedding ceremony is held for the groom's family to meet the bride's family. Blessings of longevity, prosperity and fertility are given to the couple by the elders of both families. I was dressed in traditional Sudanese wedding attire, which includes red silk, gold, and jewels; while my husband also dressed in traditional groom attire of white linen. My hands and feet were adorned with bridal henna patterns. The ceremony involves being anointed in sandalwood oil, joining the couple together with a string of beads, and the lighting of incense. The ritual also includes the use of dates, henna, and pure milk; each item symbolizes an aspect of marriage."


The Most Unforgettable Moment ... "The most memorable part of the event was the bead exchange ceremony.  After the final blessings were given, Jo and I anointed the elder women with fragrant oils and threw colorful treats, chocolates, and dates out to the children and guests."

{You Make Loving You So Easy}

He loves ... "The thing I love most about her is her fighting spirit. She never lets me quit. So, when anything knocks me down she picks me up, dusts me off, pats my butt and says "Get'em, tiger.""

She loves ... "I love that he's able to soothe me. When times are tough and I'm having a rough time, he always knows what to say or do. He makes me laugh, holds my hand, and helps me focus on what's important in life."


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