One of our students, Katie shares her experience at a Moroccan wedding that she attended with her host family.
”What to wear to a Moroccan wedding: Traditional Moroccan dress; small, stylish purse and make-up (I wore a pink Moroccan dress and sparkly, pink lipstick- I had no purse).
Where it was held: A fancy hotel in Casablanca! When you enter the area where the wedding is held, you set foot in a corridor, where you are greeted by many men (on both sides) wearing red robes and hats. They played various instruments including the taarija, flutes, and a really long trumpet-looking instrument. At first I was overwhelmed as everyone watches eachother intently while the music plays loudly in the background. Next you find a seat, no name cards needed, which fit 10-16 at a table. The seats were so comfortable, topped with a fluffy cushion and each table had a flower bouquet centerpiece. Every person had a stack of 3 very fancy plates, a shiny wine glass, 2 forks (big and small), 2 knives (big and small) and one spoon. Each table also had some candles and 2-3 bottles of carbonated water.
The wedding: People brought out a glassy, gem-filled carriage which I later found out would be carried by 4 men. Next men in white robes and red hats created a path for the bride and groom to walk along while the musicians followed behind th couple and played music. The men in the white robes joined hands together to hide the bride while she was seated in the carriage and then scooped up into the air, each side of the carriage being supported on the men’s shoulders. The men danced and the musicians played traditional Moroccan as well as Turkish music all which was being projected on a big screen so that everyone in the hall could see the bride and grooms faces during the celebration. There were cameras and camera-men EVERYWHERE, like one camera moving above everyone’s heads and about 15 camera-men constantly recording from all angles. At last ,they danced their way (all while carrying the bride in her carriage) to meet the groom who is waiting under a luxurious flower setting where they sat together and each guest joined them one by one for photos. The first round of snacks was served while the groom presented his gifts to the bride, the gifts were situated in triangular pyramids and included a lot of food. The red-robed musicians continued to play their music each time a gift was opened. Next began a few rounds of small snacks for guests (pizza-rolls) and bride and groom making outfit changes (mostly the bride). Each time they would come in and dance for a while and take photos before leaving again and appearing later with a new dress.
The food: Each plate was 2 to 3 feet long and 1 foot wide.
1. The first plate was seafood and Chinese food, the second was tomoates and sour cream and the third contained different kinds of meat which I had never seen before as well as yellow dried fruit.
2. Next sessions was two plates, one sweet chicken wrapper in a layer of bread and the other spicy fish wrapped in bread.
3. My favorite! It reminded me of American food, it was the biggest of all and was centered with a big slab of beef. The sides consisted of green beans, white seasoned potatoes, carrots, leaves and broccoli.
4. A cake but with the consistency and temperature of ice cream cake but with the same taste of cheesecake. This was THE best cake I’ve ever had! There was also a chocolate and lemon cake and I tried them all.
I want to point out that between each of the above food sessions the bride and groom would come in and out with a different outfit each time. Also, there was a different type of soda served with each food session and always served first.
Finishing our meal with tea and cookies we watched as the groom entered this time in a very laid-back look (white robe) and the bride wore a lot of clothes in the space of a TeePee in gold and white colors. A new two-seater carriage came out to the middle of the room and as they sat together, men in gold robes picked up the carriages with them inside and spun, jogged, clapped, dance and sang! Finally the groom stood up kissed his bride, waved to the crowd and the entire place roared with approval, they were so happy!
As the couple went for their final outfit change we enjoyed one last cake, the size of an average man and the orchestra played as the guests waved the Morocco flag back and forth and everyone danced and celebrated together. The groom returned in his usual black tuxedo this time with an added green and gold shawl upon his back. The bride stepped out in a Western white wedding gown and tiara. The bridesmaids walked behind her carrying the train of her dress and happily chanting the same thing in Arabic over and over again. The brides father walked with her as well as he gave her away to the groom and they kissed one more time. The bride was so overjoyed and emotional, it was such a heart warming thing to see. Lastly they cut the huge cake and left as their guests all enjoyed a last slice of marble cake.”