The Traditions of Moroccan Weddings

The Traditions of Moroccan Weddings

In Morocco, weddings are among  the most important traditions in people’s lives. The wedding used to be seven days and seven nights here, but nowadays, the days and nights are less, although the traditions and the spending have increased even more. After the bride’s and the groom’s families agree on the marriage date, the preparations for the big day begin.

First, the groom’s family buys the fabric for the famous Moroccan caftan that the bride is going to wear on her big day. The fabric is traditionally silky and available in different colors and designs. The price for the caftan can sometimes be as high as the high couture dresses. The next step for celebrating a Moroccan wedding is the henna day. In the morning, the bride will be accompanied by her friends and mostly young unmarried girls to the “Hammam” bath where she enjoys a Moroccan Spa experience. Then, in the afternoon, guests start arriving to celebrate the first day of the wedding. The bride wears a green caftan and a lady called the “henaya” applies beautiful henna designs on the bride’s hands and feet. On this same day, the groom’s family brings all their gifts, including the caftans mentioned previously, gold jewelry, shoes, bags and other hand selected items  necessary for the young bride. The groom walks in the front followed by all his family members and friends and all the neighbors between the two families houses take a look at the specific gifts that the bride will be receiving from her groom.

The second day is the most important one. It usually starts late and goes on  for a whole night. The bride and the groom arrive like a king and a queen accompanied by family and friends to a big traditional Moroccan house designed specifically for weddings. Generally, the wealthier the families, the more luxurious the wedding reception is. A special lady called “the negafa” who has a team of helpers is responsible for preparing the bride for the reception party. After the groom and the bride arrive, the guests start enjoying dinner provided by a caterer, then, after dinner, the families and guests start taking pictures with the groom and the bride. At this time there is a caftan and jewelry change every two hours! At the end of this day, the preparations for the last day start.

Day three is when just families and close friends enjoy a variety of delicious Moroccan baked goods for  breakfast.  Then the bride leaves her parents’ house and travels towards her husband’s house. This last part of the wedding is filled by a mix of tears of happiness and sadness. The happiness from the bride’s family, who feels that they have fulfilled their duty as parents, and the sadness created by being separated from their daughter who is always going be their little girl no matter how old she is or how many children she has.

 

 

Mounia Chemali

The author was born and raised in Morocco. She received bachelor degree in English literature from Morocco and MBA from Johnson & Wales University. Her passion is cooking and baking, and would like to share about Moroccan culture with people from other nationalities.

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