Double the Joy

Double the Joy | How do you include both your cultures, countries, and religions? Try a two-fer set of weddings
We’re ready for Kitt Ritter’s romance with Walid El Jebbari to hit the big screen. The two Big Apple residents met via Tinder while in the midst of a blizzard that shut down the city that never sleeps. A year later, he, a native of Morocco, proposed to Kitt on the porch of her parents’ South of Broad home. And their wedding? Make that weddings—plural. Because family and culture are of the utmost importance to both; because both are from storied hometowns; and because each of their mothers really wanted to throw a wedding celebration, the couple first said “I do” in Charleston at Lowndes Grove Plantation with 200 guests and the help of Ooh! Events, then fêted again in Casablanca, Morocco, with 155 friends and family, 65 of whom flew in from the States. Because blending families and carrying on traditions are at the heart of any matrimonial to-do, read on for Kitt’s double-wedding do’s. 
Plan one wedding a time. “It’s a lot to plan one wedding,” Kitt says, “nonetheless two.”
Pick dates that are far apart. Kitt and Walid’s weddings were on the Fourth of July (Charleston) and New Year’s Eve (Casablanca). The five-month break between saved the couple’s energy and that of their guests.
Delegate. Select a trustworthy crew to lead each celebration. Kitt worked with Ooh! Events in Charleston, while Walid’s mother and sister took the reins for the Moroccan festivities.
Be early. When traveling for your wedding, arrive a day early in case of unforeseen, uncontrollable delays.
Book a holiday weekend. The day (or days) off help guests with the time investment that travel necessitates.
Update your wedding site details in real time. Besides helping with advance booking, Kitt and Walid’s mobile site conveyed up-to-the minute schedules and locations via phone when things like bus pickup spots and times changed.
Be as inclusive as possible. In Charleston, the English ceremony was translated into French for Walid’s family’s sake. In Casablanca, American female guests enjoyed a “Rent the Runway”-style party to choose the caftans they’d wear to the celebration. Since alcohol (and pork) is verboten in Arabic culture, it was downplayed in the stateside celebration and non-existent in the one overseas.
Mind your manners. Anne Rhett, a childhood classmate of Kitt’s, shot both weddings. To adhere to Arabic mores in Casablanca, her male assistant snapped photos of Walid and other males guests as they readied for the party.
Revel in your differences. For the Lowcountry fête, colors and blooms were neutral and melded into the landscape. In Casablanca, everything from clothing to flowers were a rainbow of hues.
Celebrate the similarities between your cultures. Hospitality, copious amounts of food, and tea are hallmarks of both Southern and Moroccan families. Both weddings overflowed with each trait.

Charleston Wedding Vendor List
Planning, design: Ooh! Events
Photographer: Anne Rhett
Venue, catering, bar and wine service:  Lowndes Grove
Florist: Out of Hand
Rentals: Ooh! Events
Baker: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal
Linens: Ooh! Events, Snyder’s Rentals
Music: Gravel Road Entertainment (ceremony); Other Brother Entertainment (reception DJ)
Photo booth: Charleston Party Booth
Stationery, signage:
Beauty:  Salon Vari
Bride’s attire: Pronovias (gown), available in Charleston through Gown Boutique of Charleston; Lindsey Schultz, Uptown Diamond (jewelry); @uptowndiamondgirl; Stuart Weitzman (heels)
Bridesmaid attire: Dessy, available in Charleston through Bella Bridesmaids
Groom’s attire: Black Lapel (suit, tie); Shinola (watch)
Groomsmen attire: Berlin’s for Men (tuxedos, shoes, socks)
AC Units: Sunbelt Rentals
Favors: Palmetto Roses (sweetgrass roses); mint tea (Charleston Tea Plantation (mint tea), pralines from Market Street Sweets (pralines), Olde Colony Bakery (benne wafers)


Charleston Event design by Ooh! Events