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moroccan wedding

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rainbowtrout

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 2, 2005
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I''d never actually been to a wedding until last week when my friend Asmae here married this Canadian fellow she met at the English/Arabic school here.

It was quite an experiance, and I thought you guys might be interested in such a different way of doing things!

So here''s roughly how the day went:

My friend and I arrived at the host''s house around 11AM to help with the cleaning, rent our outfits for the night, get our hair done, buy gifts etc. No one seems alarmed that this much planning is still happening three hours before the wedding starts!

Close friends arrived at around 3-4PM and ate lunch with the hosting family (not the bride''s family but her best friends, they had a bigger house). The DJ and helpers set up sound equipment, and the wedding chairs the bride and groom sit in. No apertifs or whatnot, people just sat around and talked.

4:30-ish: the women go upstairs to change into their fancy outfits in the "ladies changing room" we cleared out for the night. We hear the neggaffa and her helpers practicing the song they belt out when the bride comes back from the beauty salon (rough trans: Prayers and Peace be Upon you Allah, of whom Mohammed is the prophet, greatness and great deeds be upon you... followed by a sort of yodeling)
[the neggafa is the Moroccan equivalent of a wedding planner. There are six outfit changes and six jewelery changes, etc. The negaffa handles all of this--you rent all the outfits from her, her helpers do your makeup, they do all the bridesmaidy stuff, they sing the chants, and organize the 4 men needed to lift up the bride on her chair later. Very few Moroccan women buy all their outfits, it is just too expensive]

5PM: the bride and groom make their entrance, with the negaffa belting out her song at the same time the DJ is playing his music at top volume
The couple go to each salon and greet all of the guests in turn, and then they are seated on the throne at the head of the main courtyard. The photographer and videographer do their thing, there is much dancing.

For the next 4 hours the ceremony goes like this: Asmae goes into the back room to change into her next outfit. People entertain themselves with dancing, tea and cookies and juice while she changes. She comes back out to much applause, photos, and more danceing. Interestingly, it is just the women who dance with each other, and there is a "men''s side" and "women''s side" of the room. maybe way back when this was where men picked out new wives? or not so way back when...

Highlights: The couple fed each other a date and drank from a bowl of milk, and the groom put a set of gold jewelry he had bought for her onto her neck, fingers,etc.
The traditional Fassi outfit for the bride! You''ll see in the picture, but the 4 boys who help the neggafa hefted her up and danced with her in that silver thing for at least 5 mins while she smiled and waved while everybody cheering like crazy.
The last outfit was a parody of a western wedding dress--they hadn''t figured out what bustling was, so her friends and sister circled around her holding the train while she had her "slow dance" with hubby. They also fed each other a piece of cake and Asmae had a little fake nosegay of flowers which she threw.
 

rainbowtrout

Ideal_Rock
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asmae in the wedding chair..holding on for dear life! they do the groom too, later, but they try harder to throw him off his balance

asmaeinchair.jpg
 

rainbowtrout

Ideal_Rock
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asmae''s parents taking a turn in the wedding throne with the "wedding cake" in the picture.

momanddad.jpg
 

rainbowtrout

Ideal_Rock
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Just to clarify, this IS the wedding, not just the reception. There isn''t really a seperate "ceremony" the way we do it. It''s basically just a big party. There''s a contract signed beforehand and sometimes the parents exchange gifts at the engagement.
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 19, 2004
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Wow, this is interesting to see how another culture approaches weddings. Thanks for posting. So, the couple doesn''t do any version of "vows" like in the US culture?
 

rainbowtrout

Ideal_Rock
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As far as I know, ID, nope. There''s a contract like a Islamic version of a ketubah which is signed, but that''s it. The contact isn''t signed at the wedding and the new family reforms just gave women the power to sign their own contracts instead of a male relative.
 

curlygirl

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Apr 9, 2005
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I love it! I'm so fascinated by how other cultures do their marriage ceremonies. I went to a Persian wedding in LA that was all in Farsi and although I didn't understand a word of it, I was just mesmerized. RT, how cool that you got to be there for such an amazing event. Sounds great! Thanks for the photos too!!!
 
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