Episode 3: Wedding Planning In Lebanon VS America

Wedding planning in Lebanon is an easy process… but wedding planning in Lebanon for a wedding taking place in America is a challenging task! Why? The wedding standards between the two countries are simply not the same. 

For example: using an online website to invite guests is offensive to many Lebanese. In fact, couples get very creative with their wedding invitations, with some cards weighing at about 6lbs. This concept would be rather unrealistic in the states. Can you imagine the cost of mailing these wedding cards to everyone on your invite list??

I was highly impressed by the Lebanese wedding planners’ creativity. In the past few years, their services have evolved to be able to  to transform plain spaces into fairy tales, take what was a simple wedding to a huge production that involves 3D mapping, building structures from styrofoam and involving architects (Fun Fact: I actually had to fly an architect in from Lebanon for my wedding to make sure the wedding floor plan fit the Venetian Ballroom accordingly!)

In Lebanon, brides have plenty of options when it comes to their bridal look. They can rent wedding dresses (a benefit that I couldn’t use due to their restriction of only renting wedding dresses to brides having their weddings in Lebanon), customizing your wedding shoes, your headpiece, and even your jewelry set. These are basic elements of a Lebanese wedding that seem like a luxuries for brides in the states. Much of this is due tp the fact that we don’t have many vendors that offer these customized services in the US, making it a monopoly for those who do, hence the skyrocketing prices. 

However, don’t be fooled by everything you see on the gram; many wedding pictures are photoshopped and highly edited. With photo editing you can make a cheap-looking stage seem extremely luxurious like it’s out of a fairytale. I also learned to always negotiate with wedding vendors in Lebanon. In the states, most companies have a set price with a contract that lists the terms and conditions. But in Lebanon, most vendors do not provide any contract or terms of agreement and the price will depend on who you know, or how much money they think you are willing to spend. So if you’re wedding planning in Lebanon, make sure to avoid giving off the image that you are willing to spend so much. Always start with a low budget and work your way up to where both parties can come to an agreement. 

A bride in Lebanon is not only judged on her wedding but also her overall look and radiance on her wedding day which causes many brides to undergo surgical and non-surgical beauty procedures. People will always remember you on your wedding day which puts a ton of pressure on Lebanese brides to look their best.

What do you think? Is that taking it too far? Or should a rigorous beauty routine be part of every bride’s wedding planning timeline? See my reaction to the suggestion I get fillers before my wedding (it’s pretty funny, honestly!) in the latest episode of My Big Arab American Wedding!