Henna to Honeymoon: Meaningful Traditions in Middle Eastern Weddings

Splendor, grandeur and beauty—these are the words that best describes traditional Middle Eastern weddings.

With centuries-old traditions, weddings in the Middle East follow customs from ancient civilizations. Wedding rituals and beliefs are passed on from one generation to another. Some will celebrate week-long of dinners and entertainment prior to the actual nuptials, while some celebrate after the wedding for seven days (yes, seven more days!). Here are some of the most notably meaningful traditions you are ought to come across in a Middle Eastern wedding.

Palestinian’s Henna

The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. According to Saiaf Films, a Middle Eastern Wedding Photographer New Jersey, Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.

Even though Palestinian brides traditionally dress with hand-embroidered gowns known as a thawb, brides nowadays tend to have different themes for their henna nights. It could be Bollywood, Arabian nights or any other ethnic ambiance.

Female friends and relatives of the bride join her in the celebration, which includes food, drinks, dancing, and a woman in charge of drawing the henna—a temporary skin tattoo—on the bride and female guests. And with such beautiful occasion, there’s always a Middle Eastern Wedding Photographer Los Angeles around to document the entire celebration.

Iraq’s Qiran Union

The Qiran union is commonly known as the lawful or religious wedding. Like most Muslim countries, Iraq requires the bride and groom to get married through a religious representative known as the Maazoun.

The religious event is as important as the wedding night. During the ceremony, the groom joins hands with his future father-in-law to make the marriage official in the presence of two witnesses.

After the Qiran, the new couple gives out candy in special cups to family and friends to inform them of their union.

The Lebanese Zaffe

The zaffe is a cultural dance that takes place at weddings in Arab weddings, more specifically in Lebanese weddings.

In recent years, the zaffe has become a modern wedding tradition in Beirut, with a troop of dancers performing in anticipation of the couple’s entry. Definitely a beautiful, festive scene to capture by your Middle Eastern Wedding Videographer New York.

Weddings in Saudi Arabia are celebrated in two separate halls, one for males and the other for females. Thus, we suggest hiring a second Middle Eastern Female Wedding Photographer to help document the two separate events.

During such time, Saudi women don’t wear the traditional abaya (cloak) during a wedding night, but extravagant and distinctive dresses as they aren’t in company of men.

Weddings in Saudi are very luxurious and expensive, and each bride wants to make her night unique. During the wedding night, the bride and groom would only be seen together during the zaffe.

Egyptian Honeymoon

The honeymoon in Egypt differs from one part of the country to another. In the countryside, the newlyweds rarely travel for their honeymoon.

Instead, they stay home for the first seven days of their marriage, before receiving friends and family who bring gifts, food and other supplies.

In urban parts of Egypt, married couples commonly spend the first night of their wedding in the hotel where they celebrated their union, before travelling to resort areas such as the Red Sea or abroad.