From Henna to Honeymoon: Different Wedding Traditions Across the Arab Region

Each family may celebrate its weddings differently, but families in the Middle East definitely have their own way of doing it. Due to our rich culture with its different religions and traditions, each country in the region celebrates it differently. From our crazy dancing to awkward conversations with your oldest aunt telling you “you’re next!”, Arab weddings are definitely the craziest!

We can totally put the world’s biggest festivals to shame with the size of our wedding parties. Here’s a list of different wedding traditions across the region.

UAE

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We’re not going to mention how the Emirates’; and most Arabs’ wedding preparations take like FOREVER! But let’s shed a light on this bizarre, that I believe is also a highly athletic tradition. On the wedding day, the groom-to-be must take off a piece of the bride’s clothes and sprint from his house to the bride’s house. The reason behind doing this is still unclear, but I think it’s to symbolize how he would run an extra mile; literally, for his love.

Iraq

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All the single girls; family members and close friends of the bride write their names on the bottom of the brides’ shoes. It’s this cute ritual where they believe that if they do that, their own prince charming will come along faster. So, next time you go to an Iraqi wedding, make sure to write your name on the bride’s shoe!

Lebanon

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In Baalbeck, Lebanon, brides usually stick dough on the doors of their houses; if it sticks, it means that the couple will have a happy and long-lasting marriage. In my humble opinion, this tradition can be very risky. What if the dough slips in front of all these people? I can only imagine. Awkward!

Jordan

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As a tradition, in Jordan, on the morning of the wedding day, all the friends of the groom will take him to a bath-house where he gets the most intense session of bathing and shaving. Then once both the bride and groom are prepared, the bride gets escorted to the groom’s house via a parade of honking cars. Meanwhile, a noonday meal that’s known as ‘Mansaf’ is traditionally served.

Egypt

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Right after the bride gets fully dressed in her wedding gown, her single friends and family members usually pinch her knees so that they can find their future husbands at the wedding party that night.

Morocco

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Trying to expel evil and mark a new happy blissful marriage, Moroccan brides break eggs and paint their new home’s walls with it and henna on their wedding nights!

Tunisia

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As an attempt to protect the couple from the evil eye, Tunisians have this interesting ritual where the bride eats a fish, but not just any fish, a fish that she stepped on seven times! At first, they bring out a huge fish on a dish decorated with colorful strings, then the bride and groom take turns stepping on it seven times.

WE SAID THIS: Arab weddings are always over the top!

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