My big fat Lebanese wedding

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June 22, 2016 By Angie Boustini

GROWING up, I never dreamt about an extravagant wedding.

I didn’t play “weddings” with my sisters or have a scrap book full of magazine cut outs and drawings of my dream wedding dress. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was against the whole idea or anything. I’m just not a girl who cares that much about “the most important day in my life”.

And then in February this year my best friend of 12 years asked me to marry him.

Cue a small destination wedding with my closest friends?


Cue My Big Fat Lebanese Wedding.


I wanted a small wedding on a beautiful beach with our closest friends and family. I’m talking 50 people for a really nice and intimate gathering.


Do you hear that noise? That’s my dad laughing after I told him about my grand idea.

At this point we realised this isn’t going to be OUR wedding after all. Everyone makes a big fuss about how it’s YOUR big day and you can do whatever YOU want.

No, no, no. That’s definitely not the case in Lebanese families. In order to survive this journey with our sanity intact, we accept that this will be a mission to keep everyone else happy.


So not only did my intimate “Destination Wedding” get erased from the equation, now I’m getting married in a church, with a big reception in Sydney with a guest list of 350 people (and counting).

Who are these people? Why do I have to invite them to my wedding? Am I ever going to see them again?

General responses include but are not limited to: “It’s rude if we don’t invite them!” and “They invited us to their son’s wedding so we have to invite them back!”

I can just imagine the awkward moments we’re going to encounter.

Me: “Who are these people smiling and walking towards us?”

Husband: “I don’t actually know, just smile back and say thank you”


Unfortunately this content could not be viewed due to explicit language


What is a pre-wedding (also known as a Laylieh in Arabic) you may ask? Basically the bride throws a big party and only her family and friends are invited. They eat, drink (a lot), dance and make lots of noise.

Then at some point during the night, the groom crashes the party with his family and friends bringing with them a lot of noise. They come; they dance, drink (more), eat dessert and hang around for an hour or so before they leave.

The pre-wedding symbolises the last big family gathering as a single woman and the groom crashes the party to show he’s stealing her away. Just in case the wedding day isn’t obvious enough …

When I simply asked if this party is necessary I was accused of “not being excited about getting married.” How does this make sense?


We originally found the perfect venue for our reception. It had a lovely garden and a unique vibe and atmosphere that we fell in love with but we couldn’t choose it. The reason … it’s a half an hour drive for MOST of our guests.

Oh and I forgot to mention my second “grand” idea. Once the destination wedding went out the window I then thought “How about the Hunter Valley?”

A beautiful garden wedding, less than a three-hour drive from Sydney sounds perfect right?

The reaction: “It’s very selfish of you to ask your guests to travel that far”. SELFISH? It’s my wedding and I’m the one being selfish?

So yes, that was another idea down the drain.

I feel the next thing will be … “What do you expect your guests to do for the spare half an hour they’ll have between the church and reception?” How dare you make people wait!

It’s now less than eight months until the “big day”; between now and then there will be approximately 257 events.

But I guess I can stop my complaining because let’s be honest, I probably don’t have a fiance anymore right?

Maybe I should have titled this: “How to lose a fiance in 800 words”.

Originally published as My big fat wedding nightmare 

Written by

Angie Boustini

2 Reviews


Sydney nsw
No Truer Words Spoken

I can't believe how accurately you've summed it up. My advice is that when you get engaged, don't tell anybody (not even your folks) when the wedding date is. Then go ahead and plan it, pay your deposits (unless your old man is paying for the reception, which is also tradition ((then you're really screwed)). And if you're not made to feel guilty by your folks for not allowing them to dance at your wedding before they die, then you're sorted. Otherwise, it's a lot easier to just go with the flow. Ps. Look on the bright side. Although it's absolutely rude to state on your invite that there will be a wishing well, most lebbos will give you a card with money anyway. Happy counting.

June 2016

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carol khalife
spot on

Spot on . Almost every lebo girl goes through this . I feel with you . Awesome article. Btw good luck :-)

June 2016

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