As I may or may not have mentioned in previous posts my little sister was getting married. It didn’t look as though it would happen with the recent events that took place in Egypt, but we were able to pull it off and celebrate the union of my sister’s marriage to her husband.

I was bestowed the title and the responsibility of Maid of Honor. One of my responsibilities was to organize a bachelorette Party or Henna Night, but due to dodgy security and safety issues in Egypt, I decided to host it in my flat in Cairo. The only problem was that I had never attended a bachelorette or henna in my life, so I had no idea what the hell to do!! I asked a few friends and the grooms sisters for some insight as well as the brides in put. I didn’t want it to be a cock-up…, I wanted everyone to have a cracking good time with lots of laughter!

So, I decided to go with more of a (tame) Western approach to the bachelorette. I sent out an e-vite to all her friends and colleagues, came up with a menu, (which was partially catered) and the only thing left to do was to come up with a theme and entertainment… easier said than done! It’s a good thing I plan ahead of time… because I started a month before the party date!  I decided to go with a blue and white theme, which was a lucky choice, because I was able to find plates, napkins, place mats, cake, cookies and flowers to match. Bachelorette Parties are not popular here, so decorations were none existent, but being a teacher and having some creative talents I made them myself along with streamers hanging from the chandeliers!

With the security situation in Egypt being close to none existent for civilians throughout February and March, I had been suffering from insomnia. People’s homes were being robbed at all hours of the day, people being kidnapped and held for randsom, making sure I was home well before the curfew hours and school buses being attacked by bandits during the early hours of the morning, robbing teachers and students on the buses. Many of which were close to where I worked. So, as you can imagine it was a  tough time! As tired as I was of being on high alert all the time, I didn’t want to let my sister down, she had been through enough, with having the excitement of buying her dress buried under the events that followed  January 28th, so I pushed myself through the exhaustion to make her party a memorable one.

On the 1st of April it was party time! I had done everything I could possibly do and I just prayed it would be a night she would enjoy as well as remember. The party was due to kick off at 3pm, but due to Egyptians and their terrific sense of time, the guests started to arrive at around 4pm, which was probably a blessing in disguise because the caterers were late too and that was the day we had a mild Earthquake…talk about getting things off to a shaky start!

When the guests and the food finally arrived, I got the party started with an ice breaker and then when straight in to the games! I wish I could go in to juicy details, but, what happens at the bachelorette party stays at the bachelorette party. What i can disclose is that my sister and her guests had a hysterical time. The enjoyed the entertainment, the food and the company, which in my opinion is all that matters!

The week that followed was the signing of her marriage certificate (registry) or as it’s known in the Middle East, Ketb Ketab. I took 2 days off of work to be able to help out and attend the civil ceremony. Which was touch and go… My sister for some odd reason decided to go to the bank that morning and got held up, which made her late for her hair appointment and their was a protest on the street we lived on which made traffic build up, which made her very late getting home to get ready for the ceremony which (luckily) was being held at home. She arrived 3 minutes before the groom and the registrar! When the ceremony commenced she realised she didn’t have her I.D, so I had to run down the corridor to her room to find it in a dress and high heels, I felt like a penguin on stilts. (for those of you who don’t know me… dresses, heels and I don’t go well together. Why you ask? I don’t think I do dresses justice, high heels kill my feet and are super uncomfortable I don’t care what it does for posture! THEY HURT LIKE HELL) Once that was settled the groom had a look of panic on his face and he kept mouthing something to me, he had forgotten something in his bag, which meant I had to do another high heel marathon down the hall way! From that point on, it was smooth sailing!

5 days later, 15th of April was the BIG Wedding reception. By this time I am so sleep deprived that the night before my Mum insisted I take a sleeping tablet or I would burn myself out which was one of the best suggestions she could have come up with because the day of the wedding I was running around the hotel grounds like a quarter back out on the field, from one block to another. By the time the bride was dressed, with her hair beautifully styled, pictures had been taken and we were ready to get the party started I could have curled up next to Rip Van Winkle, but no… Dad wasn’t answering his phone, so I had to go ahead of the bride and groom to find my father to tell him to be at the stairs waiting for my sister. Again trying to run across the hotel compound in an evening dress and heels isn’t an easy thing to do and it slows you down considerably…. so, there was only on thing to do, take off the damn shoes, hike up the dress and hold it one hand along with clutch and camera, while carrying the shoes in the other dashing to the building where the reception party was being held, (I am not making this up! I have scores of witnesses!!).  I run in to the hotel reception and to the left is the bar where many guests decided to go and wait because they got tired of waiting…wedding was due to start at 6pm and bride didn’t get there till about 8pm! I run in to the bar barefoot, dress hiked up, shoes in one hand and yell ‘She’s coming!!! Yella!! Everyone up stairs! Let’s get this party started!’ only to spin around and run up the spiral stair case two steps at a time to the hall and come face to face with my father’s cousin who sees the sight of me and falls about laughing as I rush past him and burst in to the hall, my poor father seems me just as he’s about to put a handful of nuts in his mouth and takes my uncouth entrance as a cue that she’s ready and needs to go and stand in position. I run over  to my mother to tell her we are starting and she just grabs me by the arm and says…’NADIA, that is not the way to make an elegant entrance, PUT YOUR SHOES ON NOW!’ After that it was a good, good night! All the guests had a fantastic time, everyone was up dancing, singing to the songs and the people who attended genuinely were happy for the Bride and Groom! I have never seen my sister so radiant and happy. I’m going to miss not having her in the same country…but at least now I have a valid excuse for leaving the country to go and visit her!

You would think that after all of that I slept right?… WRONG! The party went on till 5am, I opted out at 3:30, only to be locked out of my room because a power surge canceled my key card and I had to get another one. I was up later that morning at 9am, at the dining hall for breakfast and out lounging by the pool by 11am. It wasn’t until Sunday after having taken my sister to the airport and my parents had gone back to Alexandria that I finally slept a full night after almost 2 months of surviving on maybe 3-5 hours sleep a night or a week.

I love my sister and my new brother – in -law dearly and being given the title and duties of Maid of Honour is truly flattering to have bestowed upon you, but trust me, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be!! I don’t understand why people get their knickers in a twist if they weren’t chosen for the role!

So, as you can imagine with everything that has been going on, it was hard to find time to blog with everything that I had piled high on my plate.

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