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A roof top ceremony full of love and laughter

The gorgeous Lea and Marouen are possibly the most international couple I’ve ever met. They are from Lebanon and Tunisia respectively and they live in New York. Their wedding day looked like a UN convention abroad. There were guests from Spain, from Canada, eight states from within the US, Curacao (I had to practice that one!), France, the UK, Sweden, Lebanon, United Emirates, Tunisia, Congo, Egypt and Jordan. I’m sure I have left some out! It was truly a global affair.

With almost every nation under the sun present, it  was an absolute honour to conduct a ceremony for a beautiful couple of mixed backgrounds and faiths, to their wonderful friends and families of mixed background and faiths and to produce something that resonated with everyone. And that’s exactly what their ceremony, which was full of love, did. Because love you see, is a common denominator. It’s the very thing that binds us all, no matter where we are from and what religions we follow or not. We are love.

Anyhow, before I start crying over this keyboard, let’s get back to the beginning of Lea and Marouen’s story. We met last year on a lovely April morning at the stunning venue, El Castillo De Santa Catalina in Malaga City. This venue was so them; elegant yet understated with lots of character and charm.

I really loved that they embraced their ceremony wholeheartedly and really wanted to take the opportunity to put their own spin on it and to show their love for each other in their own way. That is always a sign that the ceremony is going to be a special one.

And so we set to work, planning and creating the ceremony of their dreams. And how lucky we are that we have the wonderful Joseba Sandoval of Romance Weddings’ photographs to help document Lea and Marouen’s beautiful ceremony and their journey in becoming husband and wife.

By the way, can I just add that Lea’s dress was a Claire Pettibone. Yes, I know Claire Pettibone. That alone makes me want to get married again!

Their story…

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Girls really should be having fun o their wedding day. That's all!

Girls really should be having fun on their wedding day. That’s all!

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Wedding in Spain

What a gorgeous way to house your order of service programmes and fans for your guests.

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Show me the pretty.

Lea and Marouen wedding

I love these little moments with the groom before the ceremony. I’m sure he’ll never remember what we were chatting about, but at least I know the more we chatted, the less nervous he was!


The UN convention anxiously awaits the bride.



We started off the ceremony with me reading out a statement written by Lea and Marouen about what their marriage means to them. I ask all my couples to do this for their ceremony. Some write them together, some write them individually, but however they do it, it is each couples’ way of saying in their own voice what their relationship means to them and I absolutely love it. Here is what Lea and Marouen said.

Marriage to us is about uniting together our lives as two unique people to become one, but without losing ourselves as individuals. As a couple, we support each other, we empower each other and we bring out the very best in each other.

Marriage to us is bringing love to the smallest & biggest moments of life together, enjoying all aspects of life together, dreaming together and filling our journey with laughter… lots lots of laughter 🙂

A quote that we would like to mention that resonates with us is: “laugh as much as we can as the more things we can laugh about, the more alive we become: The more things we can laugh about together, the more connected we become.”

Amazing or amazing?

They then followed on with a gorgeous candle lighting ceremony, which symbolised not just the two of them joining together in union, but also the joining together of their two families, which was very important to Lea and Marouen. And after that, we had some amazing live music from two talented ladies; one a singer and the other a harpist.



I cannot tell you how special it is to have live music during a ceremony, and a harp no less. Makes me goosebumpy.

I cannot tell you how special it is to have live music during a ceremony, and a harp no less. Makes me goosebumpy.


A moment of reflection to appreciate the beautiful gift of live music.



The vows

These get a whole section to themselves, because that is how special they were. Lea and Marouen decided on having two sets of gorgeous vows. A question vow that they designed for me to ask them, followed by their own personal pledges and a mutual pledge that they said, too; Lea’s in English and Marouen’s in French. And I really loved that their personal vows were a surprise to each other, said for the first time during this moment. I love that!

This was their question vow.

Natasha: Lea do you now choose Marouen to be your husband, do you promise to love him, to be faithful to him and to keep him in sickness and in health and in sorrow and in joy? Do you promise to accept him as he is and delight in who he is becoming, to respect his uniqueness, encourage his fulfilment, and support him through all the changes of your years together?

Lea: I do

I then asked the same of Marouen. And then they followed with their amazing personal vows. Although I did not fully understand Marouen’s, do you know how I know they were awesome? Because everyone who did understand them, was crying! That’s how! Admittedly, I did Google translate them beforehand but it was no match to how they sounded when read out from the heart and in French!



Marouen’s vows

Lea, depuis le temps qu’on est ensemble, je vis une aventure exceptionnelle.
Et si chaque une de ces journées fut aussi exceptionnelle, c est parce que tu reussis au quotidien a me surprendre par ton energie, ton intelligence mais aussi par tes attentions et ton amour inconditionnel.

Tu me fais rire, tu me pousses a aller au dela de moi meme, tu m inspires et tu me rends heureux.

Dans toute l’incertitude de l avenir, je sais que je vais jamais m ennuyer avec toi et que surtout que je veux passer le reste de ma vie avec toi.

Mutual pledge

Je promets de démontrer au quotidien mon affection et mon amour pour toi. Je m engage a t etre fidele et a te respecter. Je promets d’ etre a tes cotes, de t aimer et de te cherir pour toujours


Lea’s vows 

 I pledge to always be grateful for our love.
I pledge to surround our marriage with honesty and integrity.
I pledge to always be your lover, partner and friend.

You are the most humble, genuine and positive person I know.
Your unconditional love has made me a better person.
You make me smile like no one else can. You help me find laughter and joy when I can’t find it by myself.

Mutual pledge

Today I give you my heart and my life. I promise to walk with you hand in hand wherever our journey leads us. Living, loving, learning forever.

Do these vows give you heart palpitations as well? Yep, thought so!







I am so so honoured to get to be a part of a couple’s amazing wedding day. From our first meeting, the interim period and the day itself, it is always such a joy to see all of their ideas, their wishes and sentiments come together to create the ceremony that they wanted. I will never stop being grateful for these moments that I get to share. And what I love so much is that I get to have a little bit of their love and their happiness rub off on to me and in turn onto my family and my loved ones. It’s like one great big circle of love. I love it.

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Love these guys.

A beautiful end to the beginning.

 Mad love to;

Joseba Sandoval of Romance Weddings for these wonderful images.

Reviva Weddings for the wedding planning and all the prettiness that the eye can see.

And to the gorgeous Lea and Marouen for letting me share their magical ceremony.








About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.


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