Mel, 29, is a respiratory therapist. Alan, 29, is a high school computer science teacher. They live in Laurel, Md.

The Main Event: Their Zambian-American wedding took place Nov. 11, 2011, in Catonsville, Md.

Making It Unique: They incorporated some Zambian traditions into the reception (and they changed into Zambian garb for part of it), with a traditional dance welcoming the groom into the family, and Mel’s sister performing a solo dance.

Funniest Moments: Mel’s cousin forgot the bride and groom while announcing the bridal party. Alan says the best moments happened in their photo booth, “especially when my groomsmen got hold of a bottle of liquor!”

Biggest Surprise: The venue, which Mel worried would be cramped. But “I felt like I was at a rich relative’s private mansion,” she says.