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In Morocco, the celebration of marriage includes many well-organized ceremonies that can last from 3 days to a week, depending on the family and the Moroccan region. These celebrations are always the perfect opportunity to gather Moroccan families and showcase the richness of Moroccan customs and traditions through clothes, art, music or the kitchen represented by a mixture of delicious dishes.
Moroccan women are still attending the traditional way. The wedding dress is usually kaftan, a type of long dress made of silk, satin, chiffon, silk or other rich fabrics, and covered with a jacket. The dress is often open at the bottom and can contain embroidery or sequin details, and it can be kept with a wide belt at the waist which adds an amazing touch to the moment.
Formalities of Moroccan Wedding
The bride and groom begin the marriage procedures a year before the celebrations. Sometimes a simple agreement is signed in the presence of witnesses and Adoul (Moroccan notary), but in general, the act of formal engagement for marriage is created in the presence of family members of the couple.
The husband is required to present gifts to his bride. Some gifts may be symbolic, such as sugar, which represents a happy life, milk for purity, or basic gifts that can include dates, water, orange blossoms, and henna. It also includes an engagement ring and wedding ring.
Gifts vary by Moroccan region and can range from jewelry and fabric bolts to caftans, shoes, handbags, or perfumes. These gifts are usually placed in a very large, flat silver-colored container and covered with a conical cap that resembles the shape of a large tagine.
Two days before the wedding, customs force the bride to go to the traditional Moroccan bath, to the sauna with her friends and relatives. He is considered a purge, accompanied by beautiful traditional songs performed by his friends.
The next ceremony will be done using the famous Moroccan henna. Henna comes from a plant that can reach a height of one meter, and its leaves produce yellow or red pigments often used to paint the body to create various shapes and designs. During the ceremony, Hanaya, a professional Moroccan henna artist, depicts symbolic patterns on the hands and feet of the bride as a lucky charm of her new life. Friends and relatives of the bride who participate in the marriage will also get henna.
A typical Moroccan marriage begins with the marriage contract signed by the bride and groom. Unlike the West, not many people attend the wedding. They are usually the couple and the guardian. A few days before marriage, the process of obtaining marriage documents and certificates begins. It looks different depending on whether the partners are Moroccan or foreign. (Read my article on marriage in Morocco if you are of mixed nationalities)
Once the documents are drawn up, the bride, groom, guardian and witnesses appear before the imam to complete the marriage contract and sign the documents to complete the marriage. The information in the marriage contract was pre-determined by the couple and their families, so this part is a formality that takes very little time.
After signing the documents, the spouses are legally and religiously married, but often only after the wedding anniversary is the marriage considered “final.”
A three-day party
Traditional Moroccan weddings lasted seven days. The bride and groom families used to organize parties in their homes before the day the bride actually meets the groom. Of course, both families invited, which led to the appearance of many days of celebration. But today, this is not practical and rarely. There is only one party or big party (one for brides, one for bride and groom) or one big party for both. There are also other evenings at the celebration.
Weddings start on women’s bath day. The bride gathers all the family, friends and neighbors and accompanies them to the bathroom (public bath). Sometimes the bathroom rented to keep it for the wedding. The bride washes her hair with a wash (a kind of clay), rubs her body, massages her perfumed, waxes, and she is all ready for the wedding night.
The next day is the henna ceremony. It is a female gathering around the bride who will have henna tattoos on her hands and feet. Henna is not permanent and fades over time but gives a very beautiful traditional style to the bride. Henna is a sign of Moroccan fertility, beauty and optimism. She made henna for the bride to “fall” or wish her much luck in her married life. All friends and relatives also get a tattoo when the bride finished, and there is a beautiful party where everyone dances and sings to the bride.
Sometimes during a henna party, men gather for their own party. It is more frustrating. Usually, they gather to share a meal, recite the Quran and celebrate the next man’s wedding.
On the wedding day, the bride relaxes during the day and in the afternoon she begins preparing with makeup and hairdresser. Wedding guests gather at the wedding site before entering the bride. The groom comes with his family and everyone is waiting for the bride to come. The entry of brides is very important in Moroccan ceremonies. It is usually placed in “amaria”, an elegant covered platform carried by 4 or 6 men (usually they come with Neggafa). The groom drives a walk with Al-Amariah carrier.
After that, the bride exits the emirate and sits next to the groom in a high, decorated sofa. People came to sit next to them and take pictures throughout the evening.
The bride will change for the second outfit and dinner will be served. The couple eats at the family table with his parents and their close family. Sometimes, the couple used the time at the end of the dinner to get around the table and talk to the guests. They danced once or twice during the evening, with all the guests gathered around them.
Then the bride will change again for other clothes. It is “Labssa fassia”. It’s beautiful but heavy because it covers almost all parts of the bride’s body except the face. This outfit limited to touring another “mida” platform (not covered this time). At that time, the groom also changed his clothes for the traditional costume of jabador and jilbabah. Usually, there are two medasas (one for the bride and one for the groom) and both bred at the same time.
The bride and groom leave for a final change of clothes and return to the wedding cake. The groom wears a suit, and the bride wears a plain white western wedding dress or white tuxedo. The bride and groom share a last dance, eat the cake and leave after that wedding night.
Search for the location
Finding a nice place is of great importance, especially if the wedding takes place in the summer, also known as “wedding time” in Morocco! Reserving many places a year ago (and sometimes more), so you’ll need to make a reservation as soon as possible for the date chosen.
There are beautiful places throughout Morocco that can organize a wedding. Large rooms with sea view and luxurious dance halls you will find any very modern and sophisticated Moroccan. There are also traditional Moroccan spaces with roof sculptures (naks), ceramic walls and large crystal chandeliers. You will need to think about how many guests you have, so reserve a space that can accommodate your guests comfortably.
What do we wear for a Moroccan wedding?
For every wedding, the bride is at the center of the day. In Morocco, the bride is definitely the queen of the party. A special lady named “neggafa” (she usually has two assistants) appointed. She dedicated to the bride and the golden habits and accessories she wears such as jewelry, crowns, makeup, etc. Neggafa usually brings special bridal outfits (3, 4 and sometimes more) and assists the bride’s takshitas (Moroccan dresses) accessories. That is why the bride should make sure that the loaf tastes well and that the accessories she has fit perfectly with the clothes.
The bride chooses takchita before the ceremony. These dresses generally reflect the different regions of Morocco. These are multiple colors. The sofa on which the bride and groom seated during the ceremony decorated and sometimes modified to reflect the bride’s dress.
The groom usually wears a suit. At some point he could turn into a jacket and pants called the Moroccan jabador and the “jellaba”.
For those attending a Moroccan wedding as a guest, you should feel free to wear clothes. The Moroccan wedding guest outfit is also completely bespoke. Most of the participants also wear takchita and men wear costumes. Women’s dresses can be very expensive and you probably won’t wear them during the day. The good news is that these dresses are available for rent in private clothing stores across the country. If you are visiting with a wedding invitation, it is better to rent one of these dresses than to buy it.
Neggafates: Moroccan wedding planners
The bride is surrounded by “Negroes” who are the masters of marriage, because marriage ceremonies cannot be held without their presence. Their main mission is to help with traditional Moroccan dresses, makeup, jewelry, hairstyle, etc.
Moroccan weddings also known for a variety of exotic Moroccan dishes, unique ingredients and the dedication of Moroccan chefs to merge them together. Various Moroccan dishes served to wedding guests, including pastel (pastry pastry stuffed with a bath or chicken or almond chicken, sugar and cinnamon), grilled (lamb), tagine (stewed meat with plums and almonds), couscous, traditional pastries and Moroccan cakes all served with traditional mint tea . From time to time, guests dance to rhythm, chat and communicate with other guests and parents. The ceremony usually ends around 5 am.
Moroccan wedding Food
The lists of Moroccan weddings are usually very similar. First, there is a Moroccan culinary tradition of welcoming guests by offering them dates and a small cup of almond milk flavored with orange water. Then appetizers or cakes, sweets and different types of juices (Islam prohibits wine and does not serve it).
When the bride and groom enter, he follows the dinner directly. Some people serve two layers of meat such as grilled chicken with saffron sauce, lamb tagine with prunes and almonds, or a meat dish (chicken or lamb) and sword (short sweet noodles and served with cinnamon and roasted almonds).
On some weddings, you may find a complete sheep (similar to the Mikkawi style) served at each table. The existing couple can decide. Families tend to spend a lot of money on food to make it truly special. Dessert is generally simple and a large dish of seasonal fruit.
The evening continues with different types of biscuits and Moroccan cakes, such as Ghazal Heels, Ghriba and other Moroccan pastries. Accompanying, of course, mint tea and coffee. There is also a wedding cake that indicates the end of the party as the couple usually leave after that.
Typical weddings in Morocco start very late (9 pm or later), and usually end early in the morning (5 or 6 am). Weddings end too late so breakfast served at the end of the party! Some breakfast foods include white calorie soup, baghrir (pancakes) and ghee. Again, the list may vary depending on the couple and the country region.
Moroccan wedding music
Music keeps the party going, and having a good orchestra playing good music to make people dance is the secret of an unforgettable evening. Unlike western weddings during a Moroccan wedding, there is always a live band and artists. The group should be good at “Chaabi” (Moroccan pop music) and also play traditional “Ala” music (Andalusian music) and local music wherever the bride and groom come.
A group appointed throughout the evening, and another traditional group employ whose function is to welcome guests and accompany the bride’s entry. These traditional groups play different styles of music because they come from different regions of Morocco. They call them “Dakkaya” if they come from Marrakech,. “Issawi” if they come from Meknes, “Obeidat Rama” if they are from Beni Mellal, etc. Each of them has their own style.
There is no specific arrangement for events or how a Moroccan marriage occurs. While some are complicated and costly work,. Others are very simple and can only be signing a contract and a small family reunion. The only common thread is that marriage is a very large part of life in Morocco. And an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate.
At the end of the wedding, the couple transported to a motorcade. (A convoy of the guest and family cars) in the streets and neighborhoods,. And they stop at specific places (beaches or local parks). To take pictures with friends before the couple goes to the groom’s house. In some regions of Morocco, upon arriving at her new home, her mother-in-law welcomes the bride,. Who will offer her dates and milk as a sign of welcome and affection.
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