This Lebanese and Nigerian multi-cultural wedding extravaganza was the stuff of dreams for Layal and Hussein. The event dazzled with four ceremonies in Nigeria and concluded with a sparkling showcase of fireworks to conclude their fairy tale reception.
After going their separate ways, the third time really was the charm for Layal and Hussein in their journey to say “I’Do”. The couple who broke up twice before, reconnected in part because of Hussein’s willingness to fly out and meet Layla while she was vacationing with her mother in Tanzania.
Scroll through the gallery below to read how the couple re-ignited their fairy tale romance (and check out their feature in Issue 25!).
- Couple: Layal & Hussein
- Wedding date: June 25-26, 2021
- Wedding location: Abuja Nigeria
- First dance songs: Nasseeni El Donya- Ragheb Alama| Nigerian Wedding-When you tell me that you love me|Can’t help falling in love
- Favorite menu item: We both didn’t eat at any ceremony! We had food packed up for us to take home. Except for the shawarmas I snatched on my way out of the Lebanese ceremony (they were sooo good!)
- Bridesmaids & Groomsmen gifts: A porcelain set| customized beach bags, hats and items in the bags.
How they met…
Hussein and I met about nine years ago during my first year in university. He was a friend of a friend. We’d always go out as a group but things were always causal. One summer he came to Beirut on vacation and we got really close, one thing led to another and we started dating. We broke up a few months after that, this was about the beginning of 2015. About seven or eight months later we got back together. In 2016, we got engaged! Unfortunately, as God and life would have it, we broke up again! at the beginning of 2018. We stopped talking for a while, but he’d call me once in a while to check up, but it was always casual. In December 2020, he sent me a picture of a shirt I had gotten him, still wrapped in its bag, never worn. This sparked a conversation between us that eventually led to a phone call where he really opened up, long story short, saying he’d rather us give us one last shot than never try again (this was because we both felt ending our engagement wasn’t something that came from us).
My mom and I were going to Tanzania together for the holidays, so I suggested he meet us there if he really wanted to make it work (but I asked him not to tell anyone, even his family because I didn’t want anyone getting any ideas especially when we didn’t know where we stand). His response was “I’m down! I’m definitely down! What flight are you on?”
December 28, 2020, we met at Addis Ababa airport. It felt like we had never been separated, to begin with, and the whole roller coaster ride we took never existed. Everything happened so naturally and before you know It we tied the knot on June 25, 2021.
How did you know they were “the one”?
The connection, the friendship, the love we have between us is something we can both say we’ve never had with anyone.
Our wedding was all about the culture if I may say so.Layal
The first ceremony was the Fatiha/ Katb Kteb (directly translated from Arabic as “the Book Writing”), where a sheikh (like a pastor) marries you in front of family and friends. This officiates the marriage both religiously and legally.
The second ceremony was the Lebanese themed wedding where I wore my ball gown dress, beautifully decorated, a lot of Arabic songs, Lebanese food etc.
The third ceremony was the Nigerian wedding. So many people asked how come this specific theme was incorporated (and turned out to be such a blast for everyone!). Long story short, I was born and raised in Nigeria my whole life. I always said I was showing to have a Nigerian themed wedding even when I was back in school.
Why we went with Yoruba attires, well, the lady I call my Nigerian mother is Yoruba and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The fourth ceremony we had a destination ceremony where we flew to Zanzibar for the “white wedding”. Here I wore two different dresses.
Honestly, each dress had sentimental value to me. The Fatiha dress in its simplicity was so beautiful. The Lebanese wedding ceremony was simply stunning! Hudayya killed it! It was mind-blowing. I loved my Nigerian outfit. Both Zanzibar dresses (also sewn by Hudayya) were to die for.
Wedding day memories…
I can’t say I had a favorite memory per se, but my personal entrance and Hussein’s entrance after myself at the Fatiha is a memory vividly stuck in my head; the excitement, the joy, the love, literally all the greatest emotions all in one!
My sister sang at the Nigerian wedding, she literally rewrote her version of “can you feel the love tonight”. I balled my eyes out at the wedding.
Advice for engaged couples…
If we’re talking wedding planning, get a wedding planner!! Make your life easyyy! And enjoy the planning! If it’s marriage-based, marry your friend. Starts and ends there. And have patience with each other during planning.
Looking for more multi-cultural wedding inspiration?
- Event Planner: The Planning Company
- Event Design: The Wedding Guru| Alveena Decor
- Ceremony Venue: Bahamas Event Centre
- Photography: Bedge Pictures
- Videography: Michael Osai
- Bride’s Dresses: Hudayya & Bimmms 24
- Bride’s headpiece| veil: Hudayya
- Bridal Salon: Pasha Abuja
- Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Makalisia Designs |Lasuerta_
- Cakes: Flour Abuja| Chipsy’s Oven
- Desserts: Ims Canapés
- Catering: City View Abuja|Classic Golden Pot|Small Chops
- Entertainment: DJ Danny and DJ Gabby
- Florals: The Flower Shop by LC| Monarch Designs
- Stationery: All a Brand Needs
- Lighting: Gabbyz Conceptzx Events
- Makeup: Babe Next Door |Siarnom Makeover