LESS IS MORE
In 2014, Al-Monitor placed the average cost of a wedding in Lebanon between $30,000 – $50,000. With the average income under $15,000 per year, the financial burden on newlyweds and their families is significant. Many young Lebanese are foregoing societal expectation in favor of something that fits their own personalities – and pocketbooks – better.
“The traditional Lebanese weddings had more to do with social duties and obligations, long lists of invitations, big statements and lavish setups” explains Nabil Hayek, owner and managing partner at MoodLab, and partner of The Crashers, a mobile bar concept for weddings and events. Hayek advises a more realistic approach, urging couples to consider what they value most on the big day. “Is the dream another cliché wedding that keeps up to par with societal expectations while draining a young couple’s bank account? Or should it be about sharing the special day with those that matter most?”
It’s advice that many young couples are heeding, as the popularity of smaller ceremonies is growing. When Nasri Atallah, who rose to prominence in 2011 for Our Man In Beirut, and Nour El Hage, creative director of her own eponymous label, remember their wedding, the informal atmosphere meant it felt like a “day in the park.” Atallah recalls that “the people we loved were there, their kids were there, and their pets were there.” Nour’s wedding dress acted as a vehicle for individuality. Looking to Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride for inspiration, she designed an oyster-grey gown draped in lace (pictured below). It took three days to stitch and cost less than $400, which made it “easier to dance, drink and lay on the grass with everyone else.”
So if you’re looking to craft a more intimate celebration,
Ditch the behemoth buffet
Cull long-lost friends and belligerent family members from the guest list
Meld the traditional (a village-inspired menu) with the modern (customized cocktail bar)
Craft the ultimate playlist
Write your own vows
Spend all your savings
Buy fireworks. We know you’re married without all that noise
Wear clothes you can’t dance in
Ask anyone’s opinion on anything
Drink till you drop. It’s not cool.
Read the full article in A Mag Issue 83, “Less Is More” by Pip Usher or online here.