Weddings in Morocco

Weddings in Morocco are a big occasion that lasts for several days and is full of happiness. Although modern weddings are increasingly taking place worldwide, traditional Moroccan marriage rites still exist. Hmm, what? We present to you this Islamic marriage, which is not devoid of the energy of joy.

Moroccan marriage is centered on the family.

One of the continuous worries of Moroccan couples is the family. Respect for parents and religion is shown by sticking together and upholding traditions. The young couple, who will observe various ceremonies before their union is formally recognized, and a party that lasts several days in the presence of many guests, value the blessing of their separate families.

weddings in morocco, or ketba

The ketba, or engagement, is a required prelude to the Moroccan wedding. The parents of the young woman’s suitor ask them for their daughter’s hand in marriage. The young people are formally engaged once both families have reached an agreement, at which point the planning for the wedding can start. The discussions touch on several topics, including the dowry amount, the budget, the wedding date, the guest list, and the reception location. The relationship is usually lengthy and may extend for several months.

The preparatory phase of the Moroccan wedding

Wedding preparation often brings together a part of the family, considering all the steps that need to be taken. The most beautiful room strives to accommodate the wedding procession, and restaurants and orchestras are tested. The ideal negafa is also carefully picked because it has a crucial role in showcasing the bride at her wedding, the outfits and jewels she will wear, and looking after her hair and makeup. Invitations are sent to guests by mail and/or telephone. Word of mouth is also helpful; processions often unite several hundred people. During the wedding preparation stage, the couple signs the marriage contract. This is the “Caget” ceremony. This ceremony is restricted to close relatives only. Both spouses sign the Moroccan marriage certificate duly drawn up by the Adoul.

The observed rituals of the upcoming Moroccan wedding

The bride gives herself to many festivities a few days before the wedding. First, there is the milk bath, which is taken in the tub in the company of the women of his family. This session in the hammam is famous for the purification of a young woman before her marriage, against the backdrop of canoes and songs, in a warm atmosphere of candles. After this milk bath, the meaningful henna ceremony can frequently occur at oriental weddings. In this ceremony, the bride wears green. Henna ceremonies are held to music, with songs and dances. Henna tattoo of the hands and feet of the bride is entrusted to Nakasha. It is common for guests to tattoo themselves for the event, as henna is associated with prosperity and happiness.

In the evening, a party is organized, “the hdiyya.” The bride receives gifts from her husband and his in-laws, including caftans, which she will wear in the evening, and cakes, the taifours, with sugar, symbolizing happiness, and milk, a symbol of purity.

The course of the Moroccan wedding ceremony

On the wedding day, the North African bride joins her negafa in a beauty salon to be made up, styled, and dressed. The bride is sublimated before joining her bride.

During the bride’s makeover, guests flock to the reception venue from 9 p.m. The party is already in full swing thanks to an oriental orchestra playing Moroccan wedding songs and thanks to the snacks offered by the waitpersons, such as dried fruit, fakia, and petit fours, accompanied by fruit juice or tea.

The entrance of the Moroccan bride is generally around 11 p.m. She is dressed in a Tachkita, that is to say, a silky white dress with a wide belt. The bride enters the reception room installed on an amaryia. It is a chair with a carrier, exquisite. The bride, like a queen, will thus be walked throughout the space to be visible to all the guests.

She then joins her husband and settles on a throne. It is often a platform that allows the bride and groom to be admired by all the guests while comfortably seated on soft and well-padded cushions. During the evening, the bride appears dressed in seven different dresses and jewelry sets, at least one representing the region of origin of her parents (Amazigh, Fez, Kabyle, etc.).

The wedding dinner takes place in three courses. It begins with a pastilla, a traditional puff pastry tart. The feast continues with a hearty meat dish (couscous, tajine, méchoui). A dessert will then be offered, as well as an essential fruit basket. The party continues until dawn. Shortly before the ceremony ends, the bride wears a western white dress.

The day after this glorious ceremony, the newlyweds receive a visit from the bride’s family, who bring breakfast. The spouses will spend the week visiting family members and friends to thank them. Some customs may vary depending on the region of origin of the spouses’ families. There is a trend towards the Europeanization of the Moroccan wedding. However, the newlyweds try to follow the traditions linked to this event as much as possible.

The place of the Moroccan wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony can take place in a large hall, in a riad, in the family home, in the street, in a garden…It all depends on the financial means of the families. The site offering an unobstructed view of the sea is currently viral. However, the wedding is a big celebration for which little is thought about at the expense.

The Moroccan bride’s dowry

In Morocco, the dowry is paid for by the husband. Its amount is the subject of an agreement between the families. It is recorded in the “al kaghet” contract drawn up by the adoul and signed by the spouses.

The bride is thus given many presents during the engagement and the wedding festivities. These gifts are often part of the dowry.

The outfits of the Moroccan bride and groom

The bride, therefore, operates in an actual parade since she puts on at least 7 outfits during the evening. Traditional dresses and Caftans follow after the Takchita, with even, at the end of the ceremony, a white European dress. A regional dress will be worn during the evening: the Fassiya for the natives of Fez, the R’batia for the region of Rabat, the Saharouya symbol of the Sahara region, the Soussia for the natives of the area of Sousse or the Chamaliya for people from the north of the country. The groom wears a jabador or a gandoura and a djellaba.

Music, the red thread of the Moroccan wedding

Music is a red thread during the Moroccan wedding ceremony. The songs, the dances, the orchestra, the oriental DJ, and the dakka marrakchia accompany the newlyweds during all their weddings, from the engagement.

The amariya

The amariya

The amariya or amaria is an exquisite sedan chair with lots of ornaments, which allows the bride and groom to enter. Both husband and wife will be worn twice during the evening. The bride enters the ceremonial hall in Amaria while she is dressed in the Takchita. Her second worn in amaria is when she wears the traditional regional outfit. The husband also makes a remarkable entrance while he is installed on an Amaria. During his first visit to Amaria, he wears a Jabador, white or light gray. For the second pass, he wears a djellaba. Carriers may or may not be family members. They are now often recruited, like the neggafa who ensures the bride’s beauty.

The negafa

The negafa plays a significant role in the marriage, from the engagement. The bride is provided with a dress and jewelry. Attends tests and makes adjustments if necessary. It is she who prepares the bride for the hammam ceremony, as well as for the henna ceremony. On D-Day, she takes care of the bride’s beauty in terms of her makeup and hairstyle. With her assistants, the negafa helps the bride during her outfit changes. Thus, the bride can have up to four people at her service to accompany her during her wedding, and she is always at her advantage, even during photo shoots.

The adoul

The adoul who is in charge of drafting the act formalizes the marriage. intervenes during the ceremony of “al kaghet,” literally “the papers.” The adoul includes legal notices as well as specific terms negotiated between the families, such as the amount of the dowry. The act is ratified by both spouses in the presence of their close relatives only. The union is then celebrated in a small committee.

The caterer for the Moroccan wedding meal

The meal of a Moroccan wedding is very generous, and the guests are numerous. The party goes on all night, so they must regain their strength to celebrate the wedding with dignity until dawn. The oriental caterer must therefore be able to deliver quality and tasty dishes. The service takes place in three stages, with the traditional pastilla being a puff pastry topped with chicken and almonds. The meat dish requires a lot of preparation since it contains couscous, tagine, and méchoui. Finally, dessert and fruit close the hearty banquet.

Moroccan wedding invitations

The guests are numerous. They are invited using oriental announcements, telephone calls, or orally. Word of mouth is also used. Rarely the number of guests is a maximum of a hundred participants, and sometimes a whole village celebrates the event. During the ceremony, the guests have no assigned seats. Everyone settles according to their affinities and evolves according to their encounters. Conviviality is essential throughout the ceremony, where everyone enjoys the party. Everyone generally takes the time to be photographed with the young couple on their stage.

wedding gifts

The bride and groom receive gifts from their guests. These can be material gifts, the bride’s trousseau, or even cash and jewelry.

The bride also receives gifts from her husband and in-laws, especially during the “hddiya” ceremony.

Thanks for following a Moroccan wedding

In Morocco, the bride and groom travel in person to thank their guests for attending their union and for giving them gifts. They give themselves a week to visit their relatives. The newlyweds sometimes, in turn, offer them facilities to show their gratitude. Moroccan weddings celebrated today are halfway between tradition and modernity. Suppose the young people partly Europeanize their marriage, particularly with the famous white dress at the end of the evening. In that case, they remain no less sensitive to the respect of Moroccan ancestral traditions concerning the sacred union of marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a wedding in Morocco?

Numerous variables, such as the region, the number of guests, the level of extravagance, and the season, can significantly affect the expense of a weddings in Morocco.

The bride’s family typically covers most of the expenses for a traditional Moroccan wedding. The costs may include the dowry, the wedding attire, the rental of the venue, the catering, and the entertainment.

On average, a Moroccan wedding can cost between $10,000 and $30,000, but it is not unusual for some nuptials to cost more. However, it is essential to note that these are only estimates, and the actual cost will vary greatly based on the individual’s circumstances and preferences.

Who pays for wedding in Morocco?

Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for most of the bridal expenses in Morocco. The wedding is an opportunity for the bride’s family to demonstrate their generosity and hospitality to the groom’s family and visitors.

However, attitudes toward wedding costs have shifted in recent years, with some families electing for a more equitable split of costs between the bride’s and groom’s families. Sometimes, the groom’s family may contribute to the wedding expenses, especially if they have the financial means.

It is up to the families involved to decide who pays for the wedding in Morocco. The decision can vary based on their cultural traditions, financial situation, and personal preferences.

How do Moroccans celebrate weddings?

Weddings in Morocco are events renowned for their energy, liveliness, and adherence to cultural traditions. Customs vary by region and ethnic groups, but certain characteristic elements are present in traditional ceremonies.

Before the wedding, a henna ceremony gathers the women of the family and the bride’s friends to decorate her palms and feet with intricate henna designs, accompanied by music, dance, and food.

On the wedding day, the groom and his family visit the bride’s home to present the dowry (mida), a symbol of the groom’s commitment to support his future wife.

The zaffa procession, which precedes the ceremony, is a lively parade accompanied by musicians, dancers, and family members, sometimes adorned with elaborate costumes and instruments.

The wedding ceremony can take place in various locations such as a mosque, a private residence, or a wedding hall, where the couple exchanges vows and jewelry, often in the presence of religious readings.

After the ceremony, a lavish reception gathers guests around a grand banquet, music, and dance. The bride and groom, often seated on a stage, receive congratulations and take photos with their guests.

The harkous, a special ceremony that takes place the evening following the wedding, sees the bride and groom don traditional Moroccan attire and perform a dance in a private room.

These weddings are joyful celebrations of love and family, marked by music, dance, and delicious cuisine.

Can a tourist get married in Morocco?

A tourist can get married in Morocco, but the procedure can be complex. To be eligible, they must be of legal age, single or divorced, and possess the required documents, such as a valid passport and a birth certificate.

At least one of the parties must be a resident in Morocco or hold a residency permit. Obtaining a special waiver can be challenging if neither party is a resident.

Most marriages in Morocco follow Islamic law, but a civil ceremony recognized by the government is also possible.

Advanced planning is essential, as obtaining all necessary documents and permissions can take several weeks or even months.

A symbolic marriage or engagement ceremony may be a simpler and less restrictive alternative for tourists.

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