Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Moroccan Wedding

A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, Tiffany, Alaina, and I attempted to go see Harry Potter at the French movie theater. When we got there, we discovered that the posted times were not correct and that we were over an hour late. We returned to the apartment, resigned to spending the night in. Tiffany and I were just surfing the internet when, an hour later, we got a phone call. "you have been invited to a Moroccan wedding, you have 10 minutes to get ready, tell your roommates." We stared at each other for about a second and then it was like a gun when off at the beginning of a race; we were running around, deciding what to wear, putting on make up and getting dressed. I ran into Alaina's room and informed her of the evening's event. She was engrossed in a Jane Austen novel and wasn't sure if she wanted to come. All I had to say was this may never happen again in her lifetime and she was off the bed and ready to go.

Alaina and I are wearing Djellabas, Tiffany hadn't bought one yet so she's in an American dress.
We met up with the group outside our apartment less than 10 minutes later. We were a site to see; around 15 white people all dressed up in our interpretations of Moroccan traditional clothing walking down the street in one big group. We were all very excited and we all had no idea what was going to happen.

Bride and Groom
The marriage was in the host family of two of our group members. They had been preparing for it pretty much since we arrived. Both of them actually went and bought takshitas, the formal caftan worn to celebrations. They are absolutely beautiful. Somewhere along the line, probably the day of, the host parents decided that the whole group could attend. So we all wore the nicest things we had in Morocco, although we didn't come close to the finery of these Moroccan women, for only having 10 minutes to get ready we looked pretty good.

Hannah, in her takshita
A Moroccan wedding lasts all day and is usually held in a rented riad. The bride has any where from 4 to 7 outfits changes, this bride only had 4. The entire time the bride and groom sit above the guests on a white throne. The entire family and all their friends sit around tables in the main courtyard of the riad. We missed part when the couple was actually proclaimed to be married, but I was told that they left the throne, went to a corner table, and quietly signed the paper work. Then an announcement was made to the whole room that they were married. We got there at about 10pm and dinner had not yet been served. There is normally 3 to 5 courses so you learn quickly to not eat everything put in front of you.

Bride in outfit 4, we missed 1 and 2

 The whole event lasted until about 3:30am. My roommates and I left around 2am. There was live musics, some of the women danced, everyone talked and ate, and the happy couple looked on from their thrown. In my opinion, the outfits and the venue might be different, but in the grand scheme of things it was very similar to a wedding anywhere else in the world.

The throne

Jazz singer
The big differences between a typical American wedding and a Moroccan wedding are the outfit changes, alcohol(there is none in an Islamic wedding) and the tea man.

I still do not have an explanation for this man. Whenever anyone asked the only response they got was "Oh, that's the tea man." He was dressed similarly to a traditional St. Nickolaus and he sat on this big plush red cushion in the corner in front of a tea set. He was smiling the entire time and in the 4 hours that I was there, he did not get up from his seat. This might just be one of the many mysteries of Morocco that I cannot figure out.

These two were very entertaining
They ran around the whole time. Her caftan was just a little too big so she tripped on it quite a bit

1 comment:

  1. I never saw this before, this is amazing! I still wish I could have made it there with you guys. I forgot was I was doing that night. I know that my wedding will look similar to that (You bet your bippie it will!). :)