So many traditions go into a Moroccan wedding, but first things first, the marriage contract! After getting the legal and religious aspects clear, the fun begins! PARTY, PARTY, PARTY! In the Moroccan wedding tradition, there is this celebration called, a “Three Day Party” where the bride will have her personal celebration, the groom will have his, and the last day everyone will get together and celebrate the new and in love couple.
Who’s ready for a girl’s day?! Well for the Moroccan wedding party, the bride has her own day of relaxation called, Hammam Day. The bride will get her female friends and family and together they will go to a “hammam” where the bride will be bathed and pampered before her big day. Who doesn’t like a beautiful and meaningful henna design to grace their hands and feet for their big wedding day? The great thing about henna is that it is beautiful and not permanent! The henna design is meaningful towards the bride and groom’s future in marriage. It symbolizes hope, fertility, and blessings throughout the marriage.
In Morocco, as soon as the bride and groom are engaged and officially set a date, they will have to book out the venue a year, sometimes more, in advance. Moroccan wedding meals are usually similar with all sorts of juices and almond milk flavored with orange water. Too bad for the ones who love to have alcohol at a party, it’s BANNED! Alcohol is forbidden in the Islam religion. But you don’t need alcohol to have the time of your life at the wedding! Morocco weddings usually start at 9pm or later and they party to the band playing “Chaabi” music all night. Literally! Breakfast is usually served at the end of the party which would typically be 6 or 7 in the morning. I’m guessing the party must have a great music all night long to get the party goers dancing all night.
There is so much that goes into a Moroccan wedding ceremony, but it is all worth it in the end because you get to celebrate the whole thing with your family, friends, and the newest blessing in your life, your bride or groom.
Being a South Sudanese bride is an extravagant and joyous experience filled with overwhelming celebration, community, tradition, love and exclusive treatments. It is not a simple one-day event, but a continuous year of celebration.
So before he can put a ring on it, your hubby-to-be and his male relatives must go to the bride’s home to ask for permission to marry. Both families conduct a “background check” to evaluate the family and tribal history. Once approved, the male elders of both families set up meetings to negotiate on the bride price. Bride price must be paid for the bride, by the groom, typically with the help of his whole extended family. Many factors are taken into account when deciding on the amount, such as level of education, family status, physical qualities, and others. Back in Africa, these payments may be made through assets such as cows, goats, gold, and more, but in the US, it would be translated to $$$.
On the date the groom is ready to pay the specified amount, a big “engagement party” is hosted. It is usually at a venue with lots of food, dancing, gifts exchanged, and traditional attire. This is also when the groom is supposed to officially give the bride her engagement ring.
A South Sudanese bride is pampered like royalty during her entire wedding experiences by the women of the community. The home is a continuous festive place for the bride with lots of dancing, gifts, advice and joy surrounding her. Special indulging such as homemade sugar body waxes, scrub and bath treatments, and other lavish regimens start weeks in advance to prepare the bride to be glowing and gorgeous her big day.
A few days before the wedding, the bride-to-be spends hours receiving beautiful intricate henna designs from her fingers to forearms and toes to ankles. Some brides in South Sudan have a henna party the night before the wedding, which is a tradition adopted from northern Sudan from when they were one country. It is an all women’s event filled with dancing, singing, and eating.
For the main wedding, the couple has a traditional church wedding. The reception is typically buffet style and filled with many toasts. The bride and groom’s tribal groups and families perform traditional dances as they bring out gifts. During the cake cutting, the bride and groom each walk to their new in-laws, get on their knees, and serve them cake as a sign of respect and unity. The rest of the reception is a dance celebration with all music styles, lasting all night. On the next day, most families usually host a BBQ or some kind of going away event for guests.
Community is such a crucial element in South Sudanese culture, and weddings are a prime time when you see the whole community abundantly celebrating and embracing the newly weds as if it was their own child, ensuring it is a memorable and enjoyable journey. It is definitely an experience worth joining if you ever have an opportunity to experience a South Sudanese wedding!