If you choose to study abroad in Morocco, you may be one of the few lucky students who are granted the opportunity to attend a traditional Moroccan wedding. You may even find out the night you move into your apartment. With only four days to prepare, we quickly explored the Medina where we stumbled across many colorful and uniquely patterned “djellabas,” a common unisex robe that is worn long and loose for the occasion. Together we did our hair and make-up and had a pre-party photo shoot with the guys from our group before we walked over to the Medina for the celebration.
We attended what would be considered a reception to an American wedding because the couple actually married a week prior, which is highly common. Some couples are married months in advanced. Walking into to the hall where the ceremony was held, we quickly discovered that we were the first and only guest who had arrived to the event. Yet, as we waited, we were provided drinks and stuffed dates while traditional music performed by a small band. Soon. the family arrived and gradually began to dance, and it was not long until we were pulled from our seats to join.
Soon the bride and groom arrived and all rose from their seats. The groom entered first, followed by the beautiful bride, who wore a white sparkling “caftan” and was carried in a silver sequined “Amaria” by men who swiftly danced with her on their shoulders.
The bride wore four different caftans during the ceremony, which are long robes with a jacket over the top, a waist belt and a detailed crown. All were individually breathtaking with delicate beading and embroidery work.
After placing her down she was then guided to her husband where the two sat together at the “Amariya.” Together we danced until it was time to wait for the couple to return and reveal the brides next stunning outfit, which was a vibrant green caftan.
When the couple sat, the dowry was displayed–a collection of large golden crowns with wonderful gifts from the groom to the bride, each filled with beautiful clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
Leaving again, the couple reentered with the bride wearing a gorgeous red dress.
Once both were seated together along with their parents, it was time for dinner. After awkwardly figuring out that the pot of warm water was to rinse your hands before eating, we were provided bread and large plates of ‘’Bastilla dial Dajaj’’ (puff pastry with chicken), ‘’Dajaj b Daghmeera” (roasted chicken), “Lhem bel Barkouk” (lamb with prunes) and fruits.
The groom reentered with the bride once more, wearing elegant royal blue.
They were placed in separate Amarias and swayed and twirled around the room together so we all could wish them well and congratulate them. They sat at the Amariya, and five trays of pastry floated table by table around the room accompanied by tea and of course more music and dancing.
After taking photos with the couple, we ventured home, some of us in a grand taxi and others the back of a pick- up truck at 5:30 a.m., the first call of prayer.
The world awaits…discover it.