It can be quite beneficial to know what to anticipate if you’re getting married in Morocco or travelling to attend a wedding there.
The Formalities of Marriage in Morocco
The bride and groom sign the marriage contract as the first step in a normal Moroccan marriage.
Contrary to the west, less individuals attend the wedding ceremony itself.Typically, only the couple and the bride’s wali are present.
Getting the paperwork and marriage certificates starts a few days before the wedding.
Depending on whether both partners are Moroccan or if one is foreign, this will appear differently.
Following the completion of the necessary documentation, the bride, groom, wali, and witnesses appear before an imam to sign the marriage contract and the necessary documents to conclude the wedding. The details of the marriage contract have already been determined by the couple and their families, so this process is essentially just a qui
The pair is legally and spiritually married as soon as the paperwork is signed, yet frequently the marriage is not seen as “official” until after the wedding party.
A Three Day Party
Moroccan marriages have historically lasted seven days.
Before the day the bride and groom actually meet, the families of the bride and groom used to throw receptions in their own houses.
Naturally, each and every member of the two families was invited, which resulted in numerous days of celebration.
Today, though, doing this is hardly ever practical.
There are either simply one or two large parties—one at the bride and groom’s homes, or one large party for both.
There are further celebration evenings.
The Hammam Day
The women’s hammam day kicks off the wedding festivities.
The bride assembles all of the female family members, friends, and neighbors and goes to the hammam with them (public bath).
The hammam may occasionally be rented out for use by the bridal party.
The bride is prepared for the wedding night by having her body cleaned, massaged, scented, and waxed in addition to having her hair washed with ghassoul (a form of clay).
Moroccan Henna Party
The henna ceremony is the following day.
The bride is surrounded by a group of women who will be applying henna tattoos to her hands and feet.
Although henna is temporary and fades over time, it offers the bride a very attractive traditional look. For Moroccans, henna symbolizes beauty, fertility, and hope.
For “fal,” or to wish the bride much success in her marriage, henna is applied to her body.
When the bride is finished, all the female friends and family members also have tattoos, and there is a wonderful party when everyone dances and chants for the bride.
The males occasionally go together for their own party during the henna party.
Much more modest, in fact.
Usually, they come together to eat, recite verses from the Quran, and celebrate the man’s impending marriage.
Who is in the Wedding Party
On the day of the wedding celebration, the bride relaxes throughout the morning and starts getting ready with the hairdresser and makeup artist in the afternoon.
Before the bride enters the ceremony, the wedding guests assemble there.Everyone waits for the bride as the groom and his family arrive.
The arrival of the bride is crucial to the Moroccan ceremony.
Typically, she is carried by four or six men in a beautiful platform called a “amaria” (they usually come with the Neggafa).
The bridegroom and the Amaria carriers walk in front.
The bride then exits the amaria and is seated next to the groom on an elevated, ornate couch.
All evening long, people would gather to sit next to them and take photos.
The dinner is served after the bride changes into a new outfit.
The pair dines at a family table alongside their parents and other close relatives.
The pair occasionally used the time after dinner to visit each table and introduce themselves to the guests.
The bride then leaves once more to don a new attire.
The name of it is “Labssa fassia.”
It is gorgeous but heavy because it almost completely encloses the bride’s body, with the exception of her face.
This suit was designed specifically for the tour of the “mida” platform (unroofed this time).
The groom switches his clothing at this time for a more conventional jabador and djellaba ensemble.
Typically, there are two Midas—one for the bride and one for the groom—and they are both raised simultaneously.
Following one last costume change, the bride and husband leave for the wedding cake and return.
The bride wears a standard white bridal gown or a white takshita, while the groom puts his suit back on.
After one final dance together and cutting the cake, the bride and groom depart for the wedding night.
Choosing a Wedding Venue
Finding a lovely location is crucial, especially if the wedding is in the summer, which is “wedding time” in Morocco!
You should book as soon as you can for your desired date because many places fill up up to a year in advance (and sometimes longer).
All around Morocco, there are stunning locations where a wedding might be held.
Large beach rooms and opulent hotel ballrooms that any Moroccan would find extremely sophisticated and stylish.
Additionally, there are typical Moroccan settings with large crystal chandeliers, zellige walls, and ceiling sculptures (Nakch).
When choosing a venue, keep in mind how many guests you’ll have and make sure it can accommodate them all comfortably.
What to wear to a Moroccan Wedding
The bride is the center of attention on the day of every wedding.
The bride is unquestionably king or queen of the ceremony in Morocco.
A specific woman known as a “negafa” is used (usually she also has assistants).
She is completely focused on the bride’s outfit, including customs, gold accessories such jewelry and crowns, make-up, and other details.
The neggafa typically sends a few special bridal outfits—three or four, maybe more—and helps the bride embellish her takshitas (Moroccan dresses).
The bride must therefore ensure that the neggafa is fashionable and that her accessories blend well with her clothing.
Before the ceremony, the bride selects the takshitas.
The many Moroccan regions are often represented by these garments.
They come in a variety of hues.
The sofa area where the bride and groom sit throughout the celebration is also decorated, and occasionally, it is modified to fit the attire of the bride.
The groom usually wears a suit. He might change at some point into a tunic and pants called a jabador and a Moroccan male “djellaba”.
If you’re a guest at a Moroccan wedding, you should definitely feel free to dress up.
The wedding guest costume in Morocco is likewise fairly ornate.
Men arrive in suits, while the majority of women wear takshitas.
Women’s gowns can be incredibly pricey, and you probably won’t use them as daywear.
Feel free to dress up if you’re a guest at a wedding in Morocco.
Moroccan wedding guests dress in a similarly elaborate manner.
Men arrive in suits, while most women are dressed in takshitas.
Women’s gowns can be very expensive, and you generally won’t wear them throughout the day.
The good news is that there are specialized dress shops all across the country where you may rent these garments.
It would probably be advisable to rent one of these dresses rather than purchase one if you are visiting and have received a wedding invitation.
Moroccan Wedding Food
The cuisines at Moroccan weddings are typically pretty similar.
First, in accordance with Moroccan culinary custom, guests are welcomed with dates and a little glass of almond milk flavored with orange water.
Then comes an assortment of juices (we don’t serve any alcohol because it is prohibited by Islam), cakes, and sweets.
The dinner immediately follows the entrance of the bride and groom.
Some individuals serve two meat dishes, such as lamb tagine with prunes and almonds and grilled chicken with saffron sauce, or one meat dish (chicken or lamb) and seffa (short noodles sweetened and served with cinnamon and grilled almonds).
At some weddings, a whole sheep may be served (mechoui style) at each table.
The couple can in fact choose the menu.
Families frequently spend a substantial sum of money on the meal for the occasion to make it particularly memorable.
The typical dessert is a sizable dish of seasonal fruit.
The evening continues with several types of Moroccan pastries like ghriba, ka’ab ghazal, and other Moroccan sweets.
Naturally, coffee and mint tea are served as well.
The wedding cake also signifies the conclusion of the celebration because the newlyweds typically depart after that.
Moroccan weddings typically begin after midnight (9 PM or later) and end before dawn (5 or 6AM).
Due to how late weddings end, breakfast is typically provided following the celebration!
White harira soup, beghrir (pancakes), and msemmen are some examples of breakfast fare.
Once more, the menu can change depending on the pair and country’s location.
Moroccan Wedding Music
The key to a memorable evening is to have a competent orchestra playing music that helps people dance since music is what makes a party come to life.
In contrast to western weddings, Moroccan weddings nearly typically have live music and other entertainment.
The band has to be good at “chaabi” music (Moroccan pop music) and also play more traditional “Ala” (Andalusia music) andlocal music from wherever the bride and/or groom are from.
A band is hired for the duration of the event, while a second, more traditional band is hired whose function it is to welcome visitors and play for the bride’s entry.
Due to the fact that these traditional bands are from various parts of Morocco, they play a variety of musical genres.
If they are from Marrakech, they are referred to as “dakakiya,” “issawa,” “abidat rma,” etc. If they are from Meknes, they are referred to as “issawa.”
Each of them has their own style.
There is no specific order of events or way that a Moroccan wedding happens. While some are elaborate, expensive affairs, others are very simple and might only be the signing of the contract and a small family gathering. The only common thread is that marriage is a very big part of life in Morocco and an opportunity for families to join together and celebrate.