Having the zipper on your wedding dress break hours before you walk down the aisle is something most brides would describe as a nightmare; but luckily for Guelph, Ont.-bride Jo Du, her story of a wedding wardrobe malfunction has become one of human kindness, thanks to a Syrian refugee who had been living in Canada for just four days.
After struggling to fix the broken zipper, one of Du’s bridesmaids went to a neighbour’s house to ask if they had any tools they could borrow. As luck would have it, the neighbours were hosting a family of Syrian refugees, including Ibrahim Halil Dudu – a tailor by trade.
Shortly after, Halil Dudu showed up at the door with his tools in hand eager to help. It was his fourth day in Canada.
“It’s my understanding he doesn’t understand a word of English,” said wedding photographer Lindsay Coulter, who captured the moment on camera. “It must have been overwhelming for him.”
According to Coulter, Halil Dudu hand stitched the bride’s dress while she was wearing it as his son and the wedding party watched in awe. While the family had been using Google Translate to communicate with the refugees, Coulter said few words needed to be exchanged thanks to the energy in the room.
“There are only so many ways to say thank you without speaking the language,” she told Global News. “Many of the bridesmaids were from China and were bowing to say thanks.”
Coulter, who specializes in wedding photography, shared the images to her Facebook page Monday. The post has since been shared over 4,500 times.
“As an Arab woman let me tell you this is not only the Canadian spirit, that’s the Arab spirit. We (well the majority) would step in to help in any situation,” wrote one Facebook user in reaction to the story. “The Middle East culture is based on the warmth of family and support even if we don’t really know each other.”
For Coulter, the experience has made her prouder than ever to be Canadian.
“I have been so proud of what our Canadian government has done to support refugees. But to see this all come to fruition – to see a father and his son save the day – it really speaks to me as a symbol of how Canada works,” she said.
“The people that are brought into this country are so willing to jump in, because they feel as though they have already been given such a huge gift.”
Du’s wedding went off without a hitch – and her dress held the entire night.