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5 Tips to a Beautiful Middle Eastern Wedding

Close up shot of a bride in a white lace wedding gown and lace veil. Her hands, intricately decorated in henna, are folded over her midsection.

The cries of the zaghareet pierce the air through the deep rhythmic drumming. The energy from your guests—two beautiful families united by matrimony—elevates during this year’s greatest ceremony. As if on perfect cue, the best and the boldest dancers line up for a dabka—one of many to be performed or the beginning of a long, continuous run. You take in this moment rich in tradition, filled with joy, and tremendous love. This grand production that took months (maybe years and more money than you expected) to organize and plan is finally happening, and it is going great because you kept a few key points in mind.

1. Keep Wedding Guests in Mind

Everyone was invited and you kept an open mind and heart with an ever-growing list. You knew that inviting your auntie meant everyone important to her—friends included—would show up for your big event. This meant designing a flexible floor plan that allowed the reception table arrangement to shift around the massive dance floor and stages for henna and the wedding.

2. Choose a Spacious Wedding Venue

Because of the fluid floor plan and the need for plenty of room to dance, you chose a spacious venue. Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida, is one of those venues that can perfectly accommodate your new family and auntie and her family and friends. Rosen Plaza’s largest ballroom at 26,000 square feet is perfect for hosting hundreds of family and friends and a massive dance floor and other stages.

It is one thing for a hall or grand room to comfortably fit a lot of tables, a moderate dance floor, and maybe an extra stage or two. It is another thing to have a spacious ballroom, like the one at Rosen Plaza, that can accommodate many tables, a very large dance floor, and still have enough space for the drummers, the dabke line and audience, for the grand zaffeh, and furthermore comfortably fit a stage for the henna and wedding.

3. Find an Open-Minded Wedding Venue Staff

American weddings are so different from Middle Eastern weddings. Middle Eastern weddings start and run late, so you found a wedding venue that could accommodate this relaxed timeframe. Rosen Plaza understands family and celebration come first, so often the requirements to set up and break down within a certain timeframe are altered to best fit your needs.

4. Only the Best Drummers and Band Will Do

The drummers literally keep the party alive, so you hired the best with the most skill and energy to keep the soul of the party in the highest, best spirit possible. They also know the dabka and can lead your dance parties as well as give them the room to show off their dance moves. The drummers also know how to lead the zaffeh and all other important processions.

Between the drummers’ performances, your band kept the party going with the right vibe. Just to be safe, your brought in a band with excellent taste in both Arabic music and American music. In addition to setting a tone and vibe, music should honor rich cultural traditions and add a little bit of personal taste.

5. Same for the Wedding Photographer and Videographer: Only the Best

With such an elegant wedding production, it is paramount to cover all angles of the big event. The wedding photographer and videographer you chose maneuvered expertly through and around the large wedding. They used wide-angle lenses and hoisted their cameras high to capture the elegant landscape of the wedding celebration.

Bonus: Rosen Plaza as Your Perfect Wedding Venue

Many parents made this bonus point that led to a beautiful and perfectly run ceremony. They chose Rosen Plaza as their wedding venue as it covers a lot of the previous points and more. Our team of wedding and event planners make sure every request is executed to best honor the cultural and spiritual significance of this moment. We are pros at working with your specialty decorators. It’s our pleasure to help see your vision come to reality. Another aspect of Rosen Plaza parents love is the 800 deluxe guestrooms onsite and competitive wedding group rates. It should bring you and your guests great comfort not having to worry about transportation on this day.

Regarding safety in this current age, Rosen Plaza has implemented several new standards to help keep guests and associates safe. These include mandatory temperature checks to enter and walk through the hotel, clear glass partitions at the front desk, cashless payment options at its outlets, mobile-based room keys, and a mobile-based check-in and check-out process. Read the details about our commitment to your safety in the Rosen’s Total Commitment document.

Recently Rosen Plaza achieved GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, to prevent and respond to outbreaks. This acknowledges that the hotel’s protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention to protect guests and associates complies with GBAC’s 20-point auditing system. Rest assured, our associates go above and beyond to make sure you and your guest feel welcome and that your needs are met in order to best honor traditions and this blessed union.

Call us today at 407-996-1715 to learn how we can help create a beautiful wedding ceremony.

Rosen Plaza Chefs Ramp Up for Spring – with Ramps

Even if your local farmers market sells ramps, chances are you’ve never seen them. These shade-grown leeks emerge just as spring begins, and serious cooks and chefs snap them up from the produce bin before the shopping crowds descend.

At the Rosen Plaza Hotel, you may have your chance to taste these garlicky green onions. Ramps are a classic spring vegetable, if a barely known one. Since the hotel’s chefs choose to serve seasonal produce both at events and in restaurants, you may find ramps on your plate during the first six post-winter weeks of the year. Better yet, the chefs prepare the ramps in a way that lets the deliciously unusual characteristics shine though. “Ramps are wild-caught, and we don’t want to do too much to them,” says Michael McMullen, the hotel’s executive chef. “We serve them in a way that plays up their natural flavor. We sauté them and add a little salt and pepper.”

While most other spring vegetables are more familiar to Rosen Plaza guests, ramps support McMullen’s philosophy. “People get pretty adventurous when they go out to eat,” he observes. “I want to make guests something that they won’t make at home, can’t make at home or can’t afford to make at home.”

That mission extends to the proteins on your plate. Rosen Plaza always has Harris Ranch Prime meat in stock. As for fish, the hotel does enough volume – from its 800 guestrooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space – to have access to ultra-fresh catches. “I get seafood that goes from the boat to the dock to the hotel, on the Gulf and Atlantic sides of the state,” McMullen says. “We often serve fish that was in the water the day before we serve it.”

As spring arrives, that means the catch of the day might be tripletail or red snapper. In addition, Skuna salmon is a favorite spring choice. Although it’s not local, salmon from Skuna Bay is farm-raised in Vancouver and “as close to organic” as possible, raised in “a natural state of glacier water,” McMullen reports. This phenomenal catch can be grilled, blacked or sautéed, as any fish can but McMullen prefers it prepared simply: pan-flashed with a dash of butter, salt and pepper, over wilted red watercress. “It’s the best salmon I’ve ever had,” he says.

Even the sea bass is given a seasonal twist. The most popular fish on Rosen Plaza popular Jack’s Place restaurant menu, it is prepared with a fruit glaze. In spring, that means Hamlin oranges are quartered and simmered down to a marmalade, then brushed on the fish, which is then cooked on a plank of charred cedar.

The thin green beans called haricot vert, as well as artichokes, red bell peppers and chayote squash are all best in spring, and you’ll find them in abundance on Rosen Plaza banquet antipasto trays and as the “chef’s selection” vegetable side dish –steamed, grilled or sautéed.

Spring has sprung at the Rosen Plaza. Come give the seasonal specialties a try.