“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
FROM THE BRIDE: Christopher and I met for the first time at work. That was in 2007. I found his very quiet and introvert ways extremely interesting. He found my extremely outgoing and extrovert nature just as exciting. We ended up being the personification of "Opposites attract", because we definitely couldn't be any more different! I needed his calm nature to bring me down when things get too crazy inside of me and he needed my open and "crazy" ways to learn to trust in his heart and gut feelings sometimes. I wasn't sure still if things would work, because I had to make sure that the most important thing to me worked out too. And that was my daughter Ranessa, who was 4 at the time. She had to "accept" him in her life and he had to be open to the idea of having a kid from another man be a constant part of his life. Having had no experience with children before, I wasn't too sure if that would work. But it all worked like magic, and my heart melted. We were slowly turning into a family. I made it clear to Christopher right from the start that a healthy relationship for me naturally ends in marriage. Living in Germany, you can't always expect people to understand that, since so many people here don't really believe in marriage. He was open to the idea, and not only that, but also, of diving in to the deepest end with all the cultural, religious and Sudanese traditional rituals that came with it all. He was open to the idea of celebrating our wedding in my home city of Dubai, the city I was born in and grew up in until moving to Germany 12 years ago. He loved every detail of the wedding and getting to meet my crazy, Arabic family. I kept falling a little more in love with him with each day, as he opened up more and more to my world and was ready to take that kind of a plunge! Organizing the wedding was not easy, having to have done it between two continents! I wouldn't have been able to do it without my sister Shereen, who still lives in Dubai. The planning worked out brilliantly as crazy as it sometimes got. I wanted a small and intimate wedding, just full of people I love and cherish. I also wanted to be in charge of every detail of my wedding, so Shereen and I literally planned out every detail of the wedding single-handedly, and even hand crafted a lot of things that we used as decoration for the wedding ourselves. This wedding for me was about love between two completely different cultures. It was about family and friends. It was about different worlds coming together in the most beautiful, open, relaxed and intimate way. There were no rules to be broken and no guidelines to follow. Just an open-hearted gathering of people that share love and respect for each other. I had an amazing team of photographers from India (Coffee Stains) I had my dream wedding in Dubai on the 9th of October 2015 at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and I feel so blessed for that wonderful day, getting married to my wonderful man.
A LITTLE ABOUT SUDANESE TRADITIONS: The music was trance like and infectious. The rhythm gets one grooving, surely. As the evening progressed, family and friends of Nesreen lit incense in small clay holders and moved to the music injecting it with sudden ululations. As the bride and groom enter in traditional Sudanese attires (namely toub and Jalbeya) they are welcomed with high-pitched ululations. Certain rituals later comes the highlight of the evening. This ritual was a first for us. The Sobheya (wedding) ends with this particular tradition known as ‘jirtik’, wherein the bride and groom drink milk and whoever spits milk at the other's face first is supposedly "the leader at home". There are several connotations to the meaning of this. However, it is a fun ritual that one and all awaits. They are also blessed with perfume and incense to prevent the evil eye from befalling the couple. The groom sprinkles essence on his bride and the guests as they dance.