A Boho-Chic Ethiopian Fall Wedding at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina

To celebrate their marriage, Hiwot and Kevin planned a boho-chic wedding at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina, filled with meaningful nods to

To celebrate their marriage, Hiwot and Kevin planned a boho-chic wedding at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina, filled with meaningful nods to Hiwot’s Ethiopian heritage. “We started planning our wedding just before the world went into lockdown in 2020,” recalls Hiwot. “There were so many reasons to opt out and so many moments where we both wanted to give up. In those moments, we tried to hold on to our ‘why’—our reason for having a wedding in the first place, which was to give our families a chance to meet. With our families scattered across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, California, and Ethiopia, there were very few opportunities for them to meet. We wanted more than anything to get the chance to blend our two communities. Keeping that goal front and center helped us stay motivated throughout the many lows of planning a wedding during a pandemic.”

The couple goes on the share that “as far as the style and color palette, our inspiration was fall. A lot of our relationship milestones happened during fall—our first date, the rfist time we made it ‘official,’ our engagement, and our COVID courthouse civil ceremony. Not to mention, we’re both November babies. So, to get married in the fall meant a lot to us. The vibe we were going for was classy with earthy fall undertones. “Since I am Ethiopian, we incorporated Ethiopian culture into the music and dancing (during the reception), the food, and the design of the wedding cake. My mother, father and aunts also all wore traditional Ethiopian dresses,” explains Hiwot of the cultural elements woven into the big day. Hiwot goes on the share that it was especially nice to see Kevin “showcase his newfound eskista skills in front of my Ethiopian family was pure magic (they’re still raving about it).”

Ultimately, the couple points to their vow exchange as the most memorable part of the wedding day for them. “We were both excited to read our vows in front of our family and friends, as we'd put a good deal of thought into them,” notes the couple. “These vows, in particular, were a bit unique when compared to most couples' vows. We decided to do a bit of a back-and-forth, with each of us touching on the following: How much each of us means to the other, our promises to one another, our promises to our family through birth and our promises to our family through marriage. Even though we both expected this moment to be extremely special, we're not sure either of us anticipated how emotional it would be. We were both moved to tears in that moment, and it was definitely a highlight of the ceremony.”

Looking back on the wedding, the couple emphasizes how important it is for all couples to “Take you time. Now, a wedding obviously requires planning to start well in advance. But given the proper amount of time, we'd just suggest to not rush into rash decisions, for whatever reason. When things get crazy, just take some time to talk it through with one another and help keep one another grounded. One thing that helped us stay grounded was taking the time to figure out why we wanted to have a wedding in the first place and going back to that reason whenever we inevitably hit some lows. The planning process can be a bit tiresome, but it's all worth it! Especially when you make it to the other side, and you and your partner can look back at everything that went into your wedding and can say ‘We did that!’”

Bride Popping Champagne While Getting Ready
Fall Wedding Bouquets With Thistles, Eucalyptus and Leaves
Folding Chairs for Wedding Ceremony at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina
Bride With Wedding Veil Walking With Groom
Bride and Groom Walking at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, North Carolina
Wedding Cake With Ethiopian-Inspired Pattern Design
Tented Wedding Reception With Folding Chairs and Pampas Grass
Groom Dancing With Mother