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Reed House, Weddings

Chattanooga Algerian Henna Ceremony || Afeef and Sonya

Chattanooga Algerian Henna Ceremony

This Chattanooga Algerian Henna Ceremony was everything I had hoped for and more! The clothing, the music, and the people! It’s all a wedding photographer could dream of! If you’ve never experienced a cultural wedding of any kind, you need to, it’s like no other!

I was intrigued when Sonya and her mom met me to talk about shooting her henna ceremony. I had so many questions and as they answered each of them I started getting super excited. This was my first Algerian henna ceremony and I wanted to know what I was in store for. I have traveled the world, so I love all cultures. I love everyone and want to learn about who they are and their traditions.

As I asked all my questions about their Chattanooga Algerian henna ceremony, Sonya informed me of some pretty cool things. She told me that she’d have guests coming from all over the world and that this was just one part of her wedding week. She told me that her actual wedding would be two days following the henna ceremony. As we talked about a timeline for the day, Sonya’s mom informed me that she would be wearing four different outfits….YES, four! She showed me photos of them and also told me that each outfit would have its shoes, jewelry, and headpieces. I was even more excited! I mean, that isn’t typical for the ceremonies I shoot!

Not Your Typical Monday

Monday arrived and as I prepared for their wedding I couldn’t wait. I bought a new dress for this event and was excited to wear it. I mean, who else gets to go to a black-tie event on a Monday?

When I arrived at the Read House, in Chattanooga, TN, I was greeted by their amazing staff. They parked my car and offered assistance to get me to the bride’s quarters. I walked into the hotel and was amazed. The chandeliers, the green velvet seating, the artwork, and all the decor, were so pretty.

But when I walked into the ballroom my mouth dropped even more! The Read House’s ballroom reminds me of something from New York City. It has tall white walls with intricate details, and several chandeliers and Soirée events had it decorated lavishly! The tables were covered in white linens, tall floral centerpieces, and napkins lined with the evening’s itinerary. The traditional singers were practicing for their performance and the last bit of details were being completed.

The Night

After we photographed all four of Sonya’s outfits and accessories it was time for Afeef and Sonya’s first look. We photographed their first look and it was time for the ceremony to start. I wish I could put into words the energy and feeling as the couple walked into the room. Their video will be ready soon and you’ll understand what I mean! There was cheering, there was yelling, there was clapping and dancing! Guys, I get excited about just talking about it, even now!

Their henna ceremony was amazing! The whole night was nothing but a true celebration. The whole night was full of high energy and love. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was when they recognized all the countries represented. In all, there were 18 countries! Ah, if you know me THAT is my jam. Everyone coming together as one! Another favorite part of the night for me was the money dance. It’s a part of the night where the family showers (literally) with money. They were throwing money on them that they had brought in suitcases!

Afeef and Sony

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding week. You and your WHOLE family were so kind to my photo and video team and I am grateful. I loved dancing and celebrating the evening with you all! Thank you for reminding me of something I already knew – we are all more alike than we are different!




Venue: Read House

Wedding Planner: Soirée Event Planning

Hair: Bangs and Blush

Makeup:  Color Me Cass

Draping: Luma Designs

Florist: Echelon Florist

Video: Tonya Damron Productions


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