Dr. Maher and Dzenet Alia celebrated their wedding with over 220 guests in downtown Louisville
By Rachel Porter
Photos by Emily Peters
Never be too scared to make the first move. If you do, you’ll either be rejected (and, of course, embarrassed) or end up with the love of your life as Dr. Maher Alia did. He was first introduced to his new beloved wife, Dzenet, over four years ago. After encouragement from one of Maher’s friends at the hospital he worked for, he decided to talk to her, and the rest is history. On May 23, 2021, the two celebrated their love at The Gillespie in downtown Louisville. It was indeed a fairytale, from the horse-drawn carriage to the guests dancing in the street.
The wedding was the perfect mix between modern and traditional. Since Maher is Palestinian and Dzenet is Albanian, they knew they wanted their cultures to be incorporated in every aspect. Because of all the traditions, planning for the wedding could get tricky. “With two cultures, it would get tough because there was a certain thing I wanted, so we had to develop a time to make something happen because he had his certain traditions, and I had to have mine,” said Dzenet. Some of the traditions included the wedding parade, wearing a red veil and belt, and cutting the cake with a sword.
A parade is something prevalent in both of their cultures. “The parade is when the party starts outside. All of the guests joined us and paraded into the venue,” said Maher. “Like the older village times, it’s an announcement to let everyone know we are getting married but also to welcome everyone to the wedding.”
Dzenet wore a red veil and belt to signify purity and a sense of release. “It’s something very sentimental because usually it’ll be the closest male to the bride, and mine was my father. It’s him giving me his blessing that he was ready to let his daughter leave,” described Dzenet. Although Dzenet admits her dress was the most complicated part since it took her visiting three states to find one, it turned out to be just right and went beautifully with the veil and the hijab style that held her crown.
After experiencing all of the fun and traditions that occurred at their wedding, they both still said their favorite part was enjoying it with no worries. “Being able to remember my wedding and truthfully experience it was my favorite part. For how crazy weddings are, I feel like ours was stress-free that day,” said Dzenet. “I remember sitting on the stage and telling him, let’s just remember everything.”
The happily married couple expressed they would not have been able to put and host this wedding together without their wedding coordinator Ms. Jackie. They equate the smoothness and steadiness of their special day to her. One of their tips for couples planning their wedding is to invest in a great coordinator because it makes it so much easier. However, they suggest focusing on other things besides the wedding itself. “Make sure you take time to actually enjoy your relationship instead of spending every moment thinking about your wedding and trying to make it perfect; just let it flow,” said Maher. Dzenet agreed and said, “Throughout the process, slow down and thank the people that have supported you and those around you because it’s so easy to get stuck in the moment.”
The Alia’s shared that married life has been lots of fun. Despite the cliche, they are best friends and can’t wait to see what the future holds!