How to celebrate marriage (Traditional Moroccan style)
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What are the traditional ways people celebrate weddings in Morocco?
Every family has their own rules on how to hold a wedding and every region has their own culture. This is the basic layout of a Moroccan wedding.
Even though not all Moroccan weddings are the same it takes about 7 days.
Hadra/Rsheem/Choufa all mean the same thing. It’s when you are first getting to know the family of the bride/groom. Sometimes there’s an exchanging of photos and phone numbers.
This is the first stage. The girl would wear something nicer like a Kmis or Kaftan and a Jabadoor or a suit for the men.
This is when the bride would wear something fancier like a Takchita or Kaftan (but not too fancy). And the male can wear a Jilaba, suit or Jabadoor.
Example of a Kaftan on Etsy.
Usually the groom has to bring some kind of gifts for the bride. Things like fabrics for the Wedding Takchita, and Jilaba. Gold, dates, sugar, flowers, chocolates and a cake. The list is endless as long as you have an imagination and a large sum of money in your bank account.
All of these gifts are then put into Tyafer (large tagines made out of copper.) And while the groom is entering there’s a group that enters with him and sings something called Da9a Marrakechiya. Once again every region has their own type of Da9a.
This is when the bride and groom would exchange rings. There are people who buy an engagement ring. While some would use their wedding ring and the bride would wear it switched to show she’s engaged to be married.
Some people do the Katb LKitab on the same day as the Khutbah or leave it until the wedding. While others opt to have a separate event.
This is when you sign the papers and become married officially and islamically. There’s different ways to do this. One is to go to a Adoul (an officiant) and get married. Or you would bring him to wherever location you plan on having your event and sign your papers.
We’ve talked about the Hamam before on this post. But the hamam for a couple about to become married is like a bridal shower. A bridal hamam, if you will.
The bride takes candles, dates, milk, sugar, henna, and flowers with her to the hamam. She also gives money to the women who exfoliate your body for you. The bride and the women with her (any women close to her) pass out dates and milk to people in the hamam.
Candles, henna and flowers decorate wherever the bride is going to sit. They sing to the bride and help her to wash using different masks for her skin, hair and body.
And then she gets out of the hamam all fresh and clean and wears something beldi (traditional).
The bride prepares for her henna by getting her nails and makeup done. She wears a green (the most popular color), purple or blue Kaftan.
Some people choose to rent an outfit and all the materials used for where the bride sits. While others opt to buy the outfit.
The bride sits where she can everyone can see her. Next to her the place where she is sitting is decorated ornately. And there’s usually henna, sugar, and flowers on the table in front of her.
Then the bride gets her henna done. The people that attend the henna are family members and close friends to the bride. Usually only females. There’s music and dancing.
In some cases, the bride will get henna on her feet and leave the henna for her hands until the actual wedding day.
The groom and his family sometimes choose this time to bring more tyafer, if they so choose.
I made a separate post for this because it’s too long for this post. You can find it here.
Ftour (breakfast but this happens later in the day)
The ftour is held wherever the bride is going to live now that she’s no longer a single woman.
Her close family members go to her house. They bring all the gifts from the wedding and clothing that she bought in preparation of her wedding. They come with da9a marrakechiya playing and all the gifts that are placed into tyafer.
Some people don’t use tyafer and instead use other options, whatever they may be.
They bring foods like Bastila, and cookies for tea, once again it all depends on the funds you have.
Food options for all events
For appetizers they have juice, tiny cakes, and cookies. And then they bring tea, Moroccan cookies.
And then, you have many options when it comes to dinner foods. Some of the choices are Bastila (chicken or fish), meat with dried prunes, chicken with vermicelli noodles, etc. It all depends on taste, and money. But people choose two foods for the dinner part.
For the khutbah there’s usually some kind of cake and for the wedding there’s a wedding cake.
How do you celebrate weddings in your culture?