Arabic Language Blog

Arab Wedding Traditions Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Arabic Language, Culture

Today is my cousin’s wedding (حفل زفاف), so I thought of writing about weddings in some Arab countries, especially Egypt. Weddings are very important and happy occasions in Arab societies, and they have an important social function in conservative societies. They are the culmination of 2 people and 2 families getting together. Weddings are usually celebrated at night in a celebration that can be big or small depending on the social status and economic capabilities of the couple and their families.

Weddings come after 2 previous stages, which occasionally involve celebrations as well, engagement (الخطبة) and marriage registration (عقد القران). In certain occasions, the registration is done on the same day of the wedding. At a wedding party, the bride (العروس) typically wears a white dress and the groom (العريس) wears a suit. There is always music, whether live or recorded, and dancing, with a lot of food and drink for the guests.

Different countries have different ways of celebrating weddings. In Morocco, for example, wedding celebrations last for several days, and each day has its own routine. Below is a picture of a bride in a Moroccan wedding.

a moroccan wedding [IMG_8913]


In some rich families and especially in the Gulf, families use party organizers to take care of all the details. In certain situations, there are collective weddings (حفل زفاف جماعي) parties that are sometimes organized by kings (like King of Saudi Arabia who got 800 young people married in a collective wedding this week), and sometimes collective weddings are organized by charities.

Weddings are very happy and usually taxing occasions that require a lot of effort and time for preparations. After the wedding, most couples enjoy a short break for a honey moon (شهر عسل). The typical word to congratulate couple is (مبروك).

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  1. Meyra:

    As a reply to the video you posted I’d have to give this one and I think it doesn’t apply to only one religious belief but to whoever spends money on weddings. Everywhere weddings has to cost more than you could ever afford, so for the fun of others we should spend for few hours what we will pay for next 10 years? I find it stupid ^^ had to say it! In Egypt I saw one has to get in serious debt (since most people are not rich or not even close to decent living) to make a wedding just to show off, in Romania sadly we have pretty much the same system. In Lebanon they have to wait untill they make the money for couple of years to throw the party.. wouldn’t be more logic to make savings couple of years for a house or rent or something more useful?

  2. Aziza:

    Thank you very much for the lovely reply Meyra. I think that most people go for the wedding they could afford. There are others who endavour for a lavish party and the rest of it, but most of the people I know would go for the reasonable thing. I had a nice wedding myself in which I had about 75 guests, and it was what was reasonable for me, my family and my friends.
    I have to say it is a once in a lifetime occassion and you have to make it as memorable and as beautiful as can be. I was too tired to enjoy my wedding party because of the preparations that take 3 days before, but it is still fun to have the photos to show to my kids and the video to see all the friends and relatives who were there to share this wonderful time with me.
    It can be a big investment, but for me it is worthwhile because it gives you an ever-lasting memory. I have to admit that my wedding was a reasonable investment, not a big one!

  3. Meyra:

    I only see around me people that go for weddings that leaves them broke or with debt 90% of the times 🙁 I’m not a fan of weddings and maybe I don’t get the sense in spending so much, but really some seem to not have logic eh. 75 is quite a reasonable number, well done!

  4. Aziza:

    شكراً ميرا

  5. Farhad:

    Hello I am Sha!
    I really like & love the arabic as a “Language”.
    The impression I got immediately after I
    completed MA English was that I should have
    studied “Arabic”.
    I have grown a strong passion and attachment
    for Arabic and the Arabs. How much it can last?
    This is what i don’t know nor am much sure about
    but if your gals and guys out there help me, my
    love might become fruitful for me.
    Why do i like and love arabic and the Arabs?
    This is sort of expansive questions.
    I only know that Arabic is soft, smooth
    and melodius.
    The Arabs are loving, sincere and sobre.
    Well, what I don’t know is if they are
    lovers of their language too or not.
    I aspire to someday talk fluently in arabic.
    Talk to my friends. But can i attract Arabic
    -speakers to my self by speaking their lang-
    uage is yet another thing to be experienced
    Arabic is the language of the Muslims but i do
    believe ALLAH will hear and help me even when
    i speak my mother tongue to ask him. I am
    sensitive to the degree that if i like something
    just for the sake of some good and great point
    in it and I am not answered positively…. I
    really begin to hate that thing. Well i don’t
    know why should i do it but still here i am to
    do it. I like to chat, sing, speak, think, write
    and argue in Arabic. I have no intention to
    visit an Arabic speaking country as yet but
    can it be helpful enough in learning a language to
    personally visit the country where it is spoken?
    Because we have been in this country of ours for
    since our birth but still we haven’t got command
    and control over the national language spoken
    here. Does it go to say that it doesn’t matter
    a lot to visit a country for the solitary purpose
    of learning a language spoken there? I like the
    h sound of Arabic and also I like it for not
    having the clattering sounds of t,d etc. I
    want to have good really good arabic language
    friends. I can teach you English “only and only
    if you think you need it”. I should thank you
    in advance if you think my love for Arabic and
    the Arab is something valuable.
    With best regards it is farhad (underscore)
    alishah (at) yahoo (dot) com
    my cell number is zerozeroninetwothreeonetwo
    Wassalam-o-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!
    ( I shall be really anxiously waiting for
    the language friend of my dreams.
    How can i say in Arabic
    “The lover and Admirer of Arabic as a Language”
    Bubye thanks

  6. nabeel:

    Do you think that was correct for that bride to come out without hijaab amongst those all men ?

    i dont know whether all of them were mahram for that bride…

    that isnt the islamic way of doing nikaah…

    Ah…lot of muslims are engaged in extravagancy and in breaking commandments of Allah and leaving sunnah of prophet in their nikaah…

    Simplicity is almost lost…to perform one sunnah of nikah people break a number of commandments of Allah and leave a number of many other sunnah during nikaah…

    i know nikaah is an occasion which is done once in a life…for what ?

    for gaining Allah’s anger by breaking his commandments and leaving his beloved prophet’s sunnah ?? or for gaining pleasure of Allah ??

    people make nikaah an occasion of gaining anger of Allah and save it in photos and videos to make that occasion memorable that see, how we had acted against Allah’s orders….

    How we all will face Allah in Aakherat ??

    May Allah guide all the muslims present in entire world and show all of us the straight path…

  7. Aziza:

    May Allah guide all the muslims present in entire world and show all of us the straight path…

    Shukran Nabeel!

  8. marios savva:

    the picture of the moroccan wedding (morocco.jpg) shown above in your article is copyrighted. please use the proper credits of the photographer on it and the appropriate link:


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