With over 450 guests on a hot summer day in August, Elise and Mewael celebrated their union with friends and family in Houston, Texas. It was a joyous occasion as their two cultures blended together for a unique approach to every aspect of the wedding weekend.

Mewael's family is originally from a small East African country called Eritrea. As such, it was important to the couple to incorporate many of the Eritrean traditions into their wedding from the food, to the music, to the dancing.

Elise's favorite color since she was a little girl has always been pink. She chose fuchsia, black, and white as the colors for the wedding. She wanted everything down to the Bridesmaid dresses to be fuchsia. At one point she had even considered a pink wedding band! She selected a black and white damask pattern to go along with the fuchsia which became the theme for each design element of the wedding including the invitations, table cloths, and wedding cake. Wedding dress shopping was a huge endeavor. As a former beauty pageant contestant (former Miss Houston USA 2008), it was paramount to find "THE" dress.

After shopping at over 12 stores in Elise's hometown of Seattle and in Houston, she settled on a simple gown from Maison de Mode and then took it to Rupa Kandial Alterations to be transformed into a one shoulder gown with lots of extra beading and soft, cascading ruffles. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Elise's pastor from her hometown at Chapelwood Methodist Church. She was walked down the aisle by her Grandfather, Isaac Willis.

With drums beating, men with swords dancing, and stems of ginger flowers waving in the air, the guests anxiously awaited for Elise and Mewael to arrive. As the Emcee announced "And now, for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Mewael and Elise Ghebremichael," the swell of the drums increased as all of the guests began to dance to the beat and follow Elise and Mewael around in a traditional Eritrean dance.

The room was decorated with soft pink lighting and Elise and Mewael's names in lights above the sweetheart table. Everything turned out just the way they had envisioned with fuchsia flowers on every table, black chivari chairs, and a mix of patterned table cloths with black table cloths. The couple had help from wedding planner Samantha Darr from Soiree Bliss on several of the details. The night continued with a buffet dinner of American and Eritrean food; open bar; traditional Eritrean music played by the band; the best of the '70s, '80s, '90s and current day played by DJ Def Jam Blaster; and lots of sweets¦.from cinnamon wedding cake with dulce de eche filling, to chocolate grooms cake done by Who Made the Cake, to an array of Dale & Thomas kettle corn and candies at the self serve candy bar that guests could take home as favors. Everyone partied until two in the morning when the couple made their grand exit carried on the shoulders of close friends. The couple has just celebrated their one year anniversary and looks back on their wedding day with fond memories.

Photographer: Nancy Aidee Photography | Ceremony Location: Chapelwood | Reception Location: The Omni Hotel
Cake: Who Made the Cake | Caterer: Star Bukri (Eritrean Food), Omni Hotel (American Food)
Entertainment: Piana player | Florist: Plants n' Petals | Hair/Make-up: The Perfect Face, Winx Lashes, Albert Luiz Salon
Ice Sculpture: Ice Occassions | Linens: Perfect Touch | Misc. Rental: Perfect Touch | Lighting: LG Entertainers
Officiant: Mark Webster (Elise's Church in Seattle), Tim Roth (Chapelwood) | Reception Music: Det Jam Blaster (DJ), Mulughetta Ephraim (Band) | Transportation: Royal Carriages