Eritrean and Ethiopian Wedding Planning Blog | Ambessa Weddings
October 18, 2016


Henna, the hidden risks?

Photo by Zerga

Photography: Zerga

Like most habesha women, I love me some henna. The intricate designs are so unique and beautiful! And here at Ambessa weddings, we've seen countless photos of brides at their melsi shining in their fresh "inked" up arms. 

But could this beautifying measure come at a cost? The answer is yes. Black henna although beautiful to look at, is not natural. Black Henna can cause some serious allergic reactions. Read more here:

Thankfully red henna is natural and safe to use! 

Have you tried black henna before? How did it go? Let us know! 

October 17, 2016


To kiss or nah? A habesha wedding dilemma!

It's no secret, there are many western traditions that don't necessarily fit at a Habesha wedding. One in particular that is pretty funny to watch is the moment the groom is told "you may kiss the bride" 

I've seen groom's peck their new wife on the forehead, saving the room from awkward reactions. But I've also seen one couple just go for it, smooches and all! You could hear the gasps across the room, as grown folks shook their heads stunned LOL! 

So what do you think? Kiss or nah at a habesha wedding? Let us know! 

Until then, this pic perfectly describes Habesha reactions! 

July 06, 2016


5 places to meet Bae at the Soccer tournament

It's that time of year again. Time to get out your cheesiest Habesha gear. Those earings your mom brought you from home back in the day or that T- shirt with the flag on it... you know what I'm talking about! lol. YES It is soccer tournament time! All your folks, cousins, random friends on Facebook have either made their way to Atlanta or in my case Toronto for the Soccer tournament! 

Now I know this is the ultimate cultural celebration- but it's also something more. It's you chance to connect with Habeshas from around the world and just maybe.... MEET BAE! lol No pressure, but I can tell you for a fact, my uncle met his wife at the tournament over 20 years ago. Yup! That's CRAY! But it could happen.

Whether you're on the search for a boo or just want to enjoy the amazing cultural festivities this week. Be sure to check out our list of where to go in the city! 

1. Injera and Chill! Yes! The name alone should get you in the door.  It's set to be one of the dopest events of the week- inviting Habesha creatives, artists, entrepreneurs and game changers to be featured. So this isn't your average day party- it's one with a purpose. Drake with a mix of Teddy Afro and some injera on the side!  Get your tickets now and just maybe Bae will be waiting with a goursha ;) lol!  Plus the first guests get some dope Boon Boona Coffee !!

2.   The Lambadina film screening!! First off the leading actor has got to be the finest Habesha out there :)  Hey Messay!! But no really, this film is dope! It tells a love story that spans years and continents. Grab your crew- you know the audience is about to be lit ;) Get your tickets now!  Click here


3. Grab some grub at Ethiopiques! You know the best way to connect with Bae is over some food!  The best part about Ethiopiques is its great Ethiopian food downtown!! YASS! So it's not too far from the tournament ;) Plus they've got a special promo for our partners BLACKFOODIE. Just tell them BlackFoodie sent you and you'll get $5 off your meal 


4. Party it up with the official Turn up crew!  Joelee rocked the house at our African wedding show earlier this year and he's got some big DJ battles brewing!  You might meet bae while eskista-ing it up on the dance floor. See more info here:

5. Of course at the Tournament itself!  You better rock that flag and a sundress lol. Everybody and their mama is going to be there  and when you've finished with the festival turn up. Join the ladies of Nheed- an organization that sends the diaspora back to explore their roots in Ethiopia in a meaningful way. 

Check out their party here

Turn up while supporting a good cause! 

June 13, 2016


5 Tips for a Habesha Destination Wedding

Destination weddings are the ultimate celebration. Not only are you sharing in friends/family's special day - you get to celebrate with your crew in a completely different setting. A place that is usually much warmer and fun than home! Here are a few tips for making the most of a destination wedding. 

1. Ladies! If possible -wear your hair in a way that won't get in the way of swimming. I know this doesn't apply to everyone but I polled my friends while I was in Jamaica. Best believe all my friends with weaves avoided the ocean! But there are so many awesome natural hairstyles, from braids to curls that you can wear for the wedding.  You're on a beach- don't let your hair get in the way of you soaking up the ocean! 

2. Have some eskista tunes on your phone. Chances are the dj won't habesha or know what's up so be nice and be prepared.  Fill the dj in and get them to play some of your habesha tunes. Turn up! 

3.  Pack all the cultural items you can think of. Chances are you won't be able to find berbere on the island or another Habesha scarf. So make a list and check it twice! 

4. Get an international phone plan. Don't be that person with multiple calling cards trying to reach your friends and family. Call your phone provider and work it out. 

5. Be open! Try that new food, learn a new dance move, talk to people. You're at a wedding but I'd treat the trip like a mini vacay. After the wedding or before if you have time be sure to do a group activity or excursion. It's a great way to see the country, have fun and bond with your crew. 



June 02, 2016


Wedding Envy!

You ever scroll through wedding posts online and think OMG! This is literally perfect! Okay maybe that's just me lol. But I'm not ashamed to say it! When I caught a glimpse of   Helina and Kidus' big day, all I could think was "WOW! This is absolutely beautiful!" I'm pretty sure that's the same thing you will be thinking after you catch this recap. The gorgeous bride, decor and style of this wedding is on point. 

Join us in congratulating this newly wed couple, Helina and Kidus! We at Ambessa Weddings are swooning over your big day and sending a big CONGRATS!! Elellelele!! 








A video posted by HELINA (@scary_washington) on


May 31, 2016


Eskista like a pro at the next wedding!

Wedding season is in full gear and you know what that means? Plenty of injera, people you've never seen before telling you " do you remember me? I knew you when you were a baby" lol, aunties giving endless kisses and hugs and finally but not least hours and hours of eskista on the dance floor!

If you're anything like me you've watched you're family, friends, and wedding crashers alike shim shim on the dance floor from your seat. While they were eskista- ing I was on my phone because I can't dance to save my life. If that sounds like you, stop where you are and watch these 3 videos. Regardless of whether you can dance or not it's all in your attitude. These folks will show you how to dance with a smile- even if you're not on beat. lol! 

1. Hannah is a pro! Whether you can dance like her or not, you can still smile and act like you got it! 


A video posted by @ambessaweddings on


2. This is too cute! Watch her show her American boo how to dance! 


A video posted by BELLA FOREIGN (@bellhiro09) on


3. This guy takes the cake! Love his energy! 


A video posted by @ambessaweddings on




May 28, 2016


Flashback: Check out Marcus Samuelsson's Wedding Back Home

"we invited 150 people, 1000 showed up"  Marcus says as he explains his wedding day. This video is a flashback to his wedding ceremony back in 2009. Years later and it's still so cool to watch! An Ethiopian who was adopted and spent so much of his life outside of Ethiopia, decided to go back home for his special day.  Of course it helps that his supermodel wife is also Ethiopian. 

Would you have your wedding ceremony back home? Have you gone to a wedding in Ethiopia? Let us know.  I wasn't considering it before but this clip brought back so many memories- maybe I'll give it a try. 

Marcus Samuelsson wedding in Ethiopia! from teddy goitom on Vimeo.



May 25, 2016


3 Social Media tips everyone should use this Wedding Season!

The best part of the wedding? The photos of course! LOL just kidding. Don't feel like you have to take a snapshot of every moment - everybody's got a phone. And the photographer was hired for a reason. But you want to capture the memories right? Rather than feeling like you have to take a photo of every single thing or spend days texting your cousins and friends for that one photo you looked fly in- follow these helpful tips.

1. Create an easy to remember wedding hashtag! And announce it! In advance and at the wedding (heck you can even put it in your invitation) People can search and use the hashtag and see your wedding story from multiple perspectives! It's awesome. 

2. Now here's a new one. Get yourself a Snapchat Filter! You don't have to be Drake or DJ Khalid to get yourself a filter anymore. Check it out this for details: 


3. Now this may seem like an obvious one, but it's underestimated by so many!  Lighting is key!! Use natural light as much as possible, so take those selfies while you're outside! Shoot with the sun behind you to avoid dark photos! 

 Photo by J316 Photography
Photo Credit: J316 Photography

May 07, 2016


Dear Mazer, Adey, Momma : 4 Photos of Habesha Mothers that will make you smile

This is an ode to all the mommas out there. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for the hard work you put into the kitchen to make sure that injera came out perfect. Thank you for not accepting anything less than A's on our report cards...

Thank you for carrying us through it all. For fixing our braids and styling our curls. 

(Photo cred: J316 Photography) 

Thank you for always being there for every big moment in our lives and letting us know we are beautiful no matter what. 

(SamriCares Instagram) 

Thank you for your joy and showing us how to to turn up- eskista style. 

Thank you for always having our back. We love you momma! 

May 02, 2016


Invitation Woes

We all know Habesha weddings are fun. They're also huge. I'm talking hundreds of people! It's not only a celebration but a reunion. I think its safe to say we've all been to a wedding where we don't know the bride or the groom. But we do know it was LIT!

However, there's a new generation of us millennials who want more structure around their big day. That means, RSVP's and guest lists. We want to hear from you. For your wedding would you prefer the Habesha style open invitation (meaning anybody who knows about your wedding is coming through!) or a strict guestlist? 

Let us know! 

Photo from

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