Leslie Fhima: Golden Mother of the Groom

Leslie Fhima: Golden Mother of the Groom

Mother of: Eli
Wedding venue: Temple Israel in Minneapolis, followed by reception at Fhima’s restaurant
Vibe: Black tie optional
Dress: Norma Kamali


Leslie Fhima has had plenty of occasions to dress up in recent months—namely, every rose ceremony on “Golden Bachelor.” But none of those televised moments compared to her latest special occasion role: mother of the groom for her son Eli’s May wedding to bride Daphne.

”The two really bring out the best in each other,” Leslie says. Eli and Daphne are also adoring parents to 3-year-old son, Yossi.

The wedding ceremony took place at Temple Israel synagogue in Minneapolis, followed by a boisterous reception at Fhima’s, one of the restaurants Eli runs with his father, chef/owner David Fhima. “They wanted the wedding to mix both of their cultures, Hispanic and Jewish,” Leslie says. “The music and the food really did a great job in highlighting both cultures.”

When it came to selecting a dress, Leslie went straight to her favorite designer Norma Kamali (see a similar style). She selected a strapless blue fitted column gown known as the "Diana"—ruched, with an asymmetrical hemline that fell to her ankles. With the mother of the bride in pink, Leslie says she liked the idea of wearing blue to match her son’s suit. But that’s where her ideas about dressing like a traditional mother of the groom ended.

“I’m just not comfortable in a traditional mother of the groom dress,” Leslie tells Mother Of. “I think we need to be tasteful, but also, we want to look youthful! I knew I wanted to look the way I feel.”

Leslie says moving beyond dated ideas of age-based beauty was one of the biggest accomplishments of “Golden Bachelor.” “I learned from women all over the country, they don’t want to look or dress ‘their age’ anymore, or what everyone thinks we should dress like. I think that women, no matter their body type, can always find a dress that will make them feel amazing!”

Walking Eli down the aisle was an incredible moment, Leslie says. “Just seeing him so happy and getting to hold his hand.” But Eli had another special moment in store for Leslie: a mother-son dance to "Adore" by Prince, whom she famously dated when she was just 18, inspiring the Prince song, “Sexy Dancer.”

“I really was not ready, but ecstatic at the same time,” says Leslie, a fitness instructor best known for her dance classes (and moves that she had a chance to show off on “Golden Bachelor.”) “It was definitely one of my favorite moments of the night. We have a very special relationships, so the fact that he did that was so special to me!”

| Photography by Sarah Heath

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