CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS: WHAT’S A MOROCCAN WEDDING LIKE?
Ceremonies that pay homage to its rich cultural heritage and tradition, several outfit changes, relentless dancing and festivities, and a burst of colours, music, and local fare—Moroccan weddings are nothing short of a spectacular affair.
Rich hues, plush textures, and the distinct Moroccan lanterns make the perfect backdrop for the traditional Moroccan wedding experience.
You think you know everything that happens at a wedding, but Moroccan weddings take decor, customs, traditions, and partying to a whole other realm. In this article, discover what a Moroccan wedding is like.
What Happens in a Moroccan Wedding?
First things first, when we talk about Moroccan weddings, we don’t really mean the wedding vows. In Morocco, marriage happens before the celebration. It’s a small ceremony called the Drib Sdak, wherein the groom and bride will sign a marriage contract in the presence of witnesses, typically their family members, and an Adoul, a Moroccan notary.
The festive and colourful three-day affair is actually the wedding celebration, which is similar to a reception in other cultures.
The first day marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the bride. Customs requires her to undergo a ritual of purification by visiting the Hammam, a traditional sauna, in preparation for married life. The visit lasts all day and the bride is accompanied by girlfriends and relatives.
The next day is the henna party, wherein the bride gathers her female relatives and friends to have henna tattoos done on their hands and feet. Henna has long been used in Morocco to create intricate, symbolic temporary tattoos. They’re said to symbolise luck, beauty, and fertility.
The third day is the culmination of the pre-wedding festivities. On the day of the wedding, the party gathers at the venue and is followed by the groom with his family. Everyone waits for the bride to come, who will arrive in an amaria (an intricate roofed platform that’s carried by 4-6 men), and is usually accompanied with the Neggafates, the master planners.
During the Party: The bride takes off the amaria and sits beside the groom in an elevated couch, where guests could come to sit next to them and take pictures. It’s usual for the bride to change from her traditional white wedding dress into several outfits throughout the party. A two-part takshita is typically worn, which has a dress as a first layer and an over-dress that usually buttons up the front.
The couple shares the last dance, eat the cake, join the festivities and observe a few other traditions before leaving for the wedding night.
After the Party: The couple leaves the party on a car parade through the streets, stopping at a few spots to take pictures with friends and families joining the parade. They then head to the house of the groom, where the bride’s mother in law typically awaits to welcome the newlyweds with dates and milk.
There’s no standard way to celebrate a Moroccan wedding. While some are elaborate and filled with Moroccan wedding decorations in every corner, others can be quite simple and involve only a small gathering. But, regardless of how different Moroccan weddings are held, their common denominator is that marriage remains to be a significant part of the country’s culture and an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate.
What do you think of the customs and traditions of a Moroccan wedding? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.