Better together: An Early Mountain wedding embraces multiple cultures

Photo: Amy Smith Photo: Amy Smith

Shante Lane & Asteway Tamerat

August 30, 2019


A multicultural wedding presents its own set of challenges—incorporating all the customs into one day means both parties end up making a few compromises. But for AJ, who is from Ethiopia, and Shante, representing both cultures made their special day even more special.

Table numbers were written in English and Amharic, a chair was draped with a traditional Ethiopian scarf to represent AJ’s mother and sister, who were unable to attend the wedding, and they served Ethiopian coffee—a staple at traditional Ethiopian weddings—to their guests. Plus, the couple donned Kabas, Ethiopian robes worn at weddings, to their reception.

“Our guests loved that we honored Ethiopia in such a way,” Shante says.

The couple went minimalist on the rest of the décor, with muted tones of plum, blush, and burgundy, simple floral arrangements, and fabric draped at the altar.


On the vineyard

With just 85 people on their guest list, Shante and AJ were looking for a venue that would be beautiful, but intimate. Early Mountain fit the bill.

Natural accents

Urban Flora helped achieve the whimsical, romantic arrangements Shante was hoping for. “Each bouquet was uniquely arranged and no two were the same but still had continuity.”

In the family

Shante’s grandmother was the couple’s officiant and her cousin, a professional singer, performed a solo during the ceremony.

Photo finish

The couple met after Shante posted a photo on Facebook and AJ, a photographer, commented and got her attention. After AJ moved to Virginia from New Jersey, the pair started dating and were married five years later.

The details

Ceremony and reception venue: Early Mountain Vineyard Wedding designer: Andrew Roby Events Design consultant: Favored by Yodit Events and Design Day-of coordinator: Karissa Coffey Events Officiant: Rev. Julia Rogers Catering: Roadside Chive Flowers: Urban Flora Cake: Maliha Creations Music: Zandi Entertainment Bride’s attire: Maggie Sottero Shoes: Gucci Groom’s attire: The Black Tux and After Hours Groomsmen’s attire: The Black Tux Bridesmaids’ dresses: BHLDN Rings: Reeds Jewelry  Hair: Salon Ayanna and Abstract Salon of the Arts Makeup: Blush by Makki Videographer: Digital Pride Media Stationery: Charm Cat Calligraphy: Just Write Studios Soloist: Shacara Rogers Signage print: Basecamp DC

Posted In:     Magazines,Weddings

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