Middle Eastern Weddings have their own unique and colourful wedding traditions and customs. These wedding traditions have a unique history. Wedding customs vary across different Arab countries, and they have their unique charm. Arab wedding traditions have changed significantly if we look past 80 years or so. Originally wedding supposed to have only two traditions which were nikah and walima, which is also the only Islamic requirements for marriage. Bedouin wedding traditions are considered to be the original Arabic wedding traditions. Today’s version of the Arab Islamic wedding is mixed with Bedouin wedding and foreign influence. The middle eastern wedding starts with a meeting between the couple’s families and ends with Barmet Al-aroos, which is farewell to a newlywed couple. The consent of both the bride and groom is necessary for an Islamic wedding. The groom is invited into the bride’s house, and parents of the bride are present at the time of the meeting.
Middle eastern weddings start with a marriage proposal. After the proposal is accepted by both parties and the bride and groom have given their consent, then engagement happens. After that comes the tradition of henna in which pre-marriage decorations are made. Then come the nikah and both bride and groom sign the marriage document. After the registration process and reception of the groom, the groom holds walima, which is a dinner invitation to the bride’s family members and relatives. Registration of the nikah is a legal requirement, and other traditions are cultural. Arranged marriages are common in middle eastern countries. When the boy or a girl is old enough to get married, the family starts looking for a suitable candidate for their child.
Here are the most common middle eastern wedding traditions:
Tolbe or Tulba is a private event in which only the closest relatives of the bride and groom are present. The groom formally asks for the bride’s hand from her parents. This tradition takes place after both families have agreed to the marriage proposal. Both families give their blessings to the groom and the bride and “Surah Fatiha” is recited by everyone present at the event after that tea is served with sweets to everyone to celebrate the agreement. Our venue offer two small rooms which are Glasshouse and Sketch which can be used for intimate private gathering . These rooms makes us to be the perfect wedding venue which also offer variety of room to choose from
Engagement or also known as ‘khetbah’ in Arab countries is a ceremony in which bride and groom exchange rings. Putting the ring on each other right hand is a very common tradition in Arab countries. Bride and Groom usually wear a matching colour dress. In Egypt, the engagement is called ‘khtubah’. Engagement is just like a wedding party or dinner party, which is arranged by both parties. The bride can wear her favourite dress.
Radwa is a small event which takes place one or two days before the wedding. In this small event, male relatives from both families go into brides’ home and take care of anything that needs to be done in terms of decoration. They make sure that the bride’s parents have a good time at this ceremony. Groom’s relatives make sure to resolve any issues before the wedding. The eldest man from groom side congratulates everyone and gives his blessings.
Henna is the most common wedding tradition in middle eastern and Arab countries. The bride’s female friend sings Arabic songs and draws henna on the bride’s hands and feet. Henna night is just like a bachelorette party of females. Friends of the bride dance and sing songs of the bride’s bright future. Sharbat or sweet drinks are served to guests and after that food is served. Henna or mehndi is the highlight of the event. A close friend of bride or women draws mehndi on the hands and feet of the bride. Mehndi is used to represent the newlywed bride and is a skin decoration. It is applied to hands, palms and feet because the colour of henna will appear darker on these parts because of the higher level of keratin. The men also have their separate party we here they dance on traditional music.
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Middle eastern marriage event is known as Katb Al-kitaab. It is the wedding ceremony in which both families sign marriage document. The sheikh or Qazi lays out the conditions and rules of marriage, and the nikah is done. Guests wear Islamic dress and women wear hijab.
Mahr is the dowry or payment which must be given by the groom to the bride. It is a must tradition in Islam. The mahr is given in terms of gold. It is in this event that the groom gives the bride her gold or mahr. Mahr is given during the ceremony of Katb Al-kitaab. Mahr is given to show courtesy, respect and love to the bride. Mahr is considered the right of the bride.
Zaffe is a traditional dance that is performed in weddings in middle eastern countries, especially in Lebanon. It is like a grand entrance celebration for the newlywed couple. The tradition starts with the bride’s father bringing his daughter to the groom. During this, a troupe of drummers play traditional Arabic music to facilitate the bride. In some tradition’s rings are changed to opposite hands. Female relatives sing zaghrouta, which is a sign of celebration. In this traditional dance male and female dancers perform special dance wearing special clothes to welcome the couple. This tradition is recently adopted by Beirut as well. In some weddings, the zaffe performers will carry bride on their shoulders and bring them to the event. It is usually followed in Saudi weddings. In Saudi Arabia, separate halls are booked for men and women.
Dabke is a folk dance performed by professional dancers in some Arab weddings. Wedding guests also join the dance and dance in a circle. Dabke is performed in most Arab countries. In Egypt, instead of Dabke belly dancers entertain the guests.
Just like many cultures, cake cutting has found its way into an Arab wedding tradition. But there is a unique twist in Arab weddings. The groom and bride cut the cake with a sword instead of using a knife. The cake is usually multilayered. The sword they use is usually from the groom side, which is passed down from generations.
Barmet Al-aroos is the farewell given to the bride and groom before their departure. The couple goes in a beautifully decorated vehicle. The relatives and friends follow the couple to their home and play loud music to let all know that the couple just got married.
Middle East Wedding Foods and Delicacies
Hummus: Adding tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice is a squashed chickpea plunge.
Tahini: Tahini is the premise of a few unique plans from the Middle East. The ‘glue’ is utilized in sandwiches, on saltines, and especially with falafel and goes about as a sauce.
Falafel: This interesting food thing is globally explicitly known. The seared chickpea balls are blended in with onions and flavours to make a delicious canapé or a light veggie-lover supper. Falafel is generally placed into pita bread To make a wrap, blended in with veggies, for example, pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley.
Tabouleh: This interesting dish is extraordinary for offering a ‘lively mentality’ to your ‘adjusted eating regimen’ when searching for something somewhat unique in plates of mixed greens. Split wheat, mint, parsley, onions, and tomatoes are produced using it.
Pita Bread: In the Middle East, it is a basic component of each feast. The most flexible food in the Middle-East is warm, generally toasted, stuffed, or plunged pita bread.
Baklava: If you need a decent pastry in the Middle East, a minuscule cut of baklava can’t turn out badly. As the cake’s fundamental flavour, we utilize orange bloom or rose water for the syrup and once in while pistachio.
Baba Ghannouj: To make the taste extremely strong, this veggie lover favourited has eggplant, lemon, tahini, and only somewhat salt. To be filled in as a plunge or spread, it’s squashed and mixed.
Turkish Coffee: Have you ever been to a home in the Middle East and been served Turkish espresso in rich little cups consistently made by hand. The more renowned the cup, the more an ‘indication of regard’ is given, the manners’ fancier.
Foul Mudammes: A fiery bubbled fava bean. This can be eaten with an average dinner, generally pounded.
Turkish Delight: In the Middle-East, a heavenly candy called lokum. Produced using sugar and cornstarch, these confections are what kids most desire in contrast with Gummy Bears or Sour Worms.
Middle eastern countries have some beautiful wedding traditions that need to be celebrated with all their glory. Sometime it may be not easy to find the perfect venue for your middle eastern wedding which covers all the traditions. We at Ultima Function Centre take your wedding ceremony seriously and make sure to meet all your requirements. We will bring your Arab traditions to life with our beautiful venues designed with Arab traditions in mind. If you are looking for a middle eastern wedding venue, then we got you covered. We have event-based venues for all your cultural needs. We also have a Lebanese wedding venue if you are planning a Lebanese style wedding. Our main wedding venue in Melbourne is a sight to behold. If you want to make your wedding memorable, then hire our venues.