the groom’s family goes to the house of the father of the bride. tradition dictates that she must arrive in a special type of tent that is carried by a camel and guided by a man whose name must be mohammad or ali.
friends and family put on a show with intricate acrobatics atop camels and horses. The higher the male attendance the more prestigious the marriage.
afterwards the bride is carried into the house, while still hidden under a sheet, and a sac of oil and henna is thrown and burst upon the door post to the house, for good luck. she will then wait for the groom who is finally allowed back in his house. when he arrives singing and cheering accompany him into the room where his new bride awaits. everybody sings and dances while the newlyweds have their first moment alone together. the celebration will continue all night but the bride and groom will remain together.
the day after the wedding the bride is dressed in her finest clothes and goes to her new home. she then spends the day sitting on a throne while friends, family, and neighbours make way to the house throughout the day to congratulate her.
note: a while back i had the amazing opportunity to do an arab wedding in tunisia. it was quite the adventure and i got a chance to explore other cultures, set my feet in africa for the first time, and explore a bit of the sahara desert. because of the complex nature of a 3-day wedding, and because i want to make sure that i do good job documenting every little bit of it, it has taken me a while to prepare this blog post with all the necessary information. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did! 🙂
it took four days, and then they were husband and wife. the celebration starts the night before the wedding by way of a traditional reunión between friends and family at the groom’s house. interestingly enough, the groom is no longer there. in fact, he won’t return until his wife is there. the men get together outside the house and kill the animals that will be eaten during the wedding reception. the women, inside the house and always kept separate from the men, receive the animals, and prepare the meat.
day 1: the father of the bride goes to he groom´s house, where the father of the groom awaits accompanied by friends and family. the men meet in the living room where they they look through the wedding contract. the women wait outside. once the contract has been signed the music and celebration begin. when night falls, everybody goes to the bride’s house, where she will remain hidden by a sheet, and the music and celebrating continue as both men and women remain separated each on their side of the reception grounds.
day 2: the wedding takes place at the bride’s parents house. everyone gathers as they sign the wedding contract, exchange rings, and toast to the newlyweds. afterwards the groom and his friends go celebrate together for the day. at night time they continue celebrating, in the middle of the street, and everyone who wants to join in is welcome to do so. men and women sit on rugs on opposite sides with a big space in between. musicians play on the side between the two groups. and men make money offerings for the newlyweds into a dancer’s hat. needless to say, it all makes for a pretty memorable night!
from the creators of “travel to london in january” and “go to the northernmost city in the uk on february 1st” comes “visit the sahara desert in august!!” last year i had the unbelievable opportunity to travel to tunisia, africa, to shoot dalal & imed’s 3-day arab wedding. it was such an amazing experience that i had to tell the story in two blog posts (part 1, part 2). i figured that since it was my first time in africa i should take a couple extra days to explore a bit.
i am so happy that i could count on my wonderful friend idoia and her tunusian husband to guide me around, educate me on the muslim culture, and add so much to the adventure. and what an adventure we had!
bilbao license plate in africa.
apparently the sahara sun hitting your head is not even an option.
drinking from a camel drinking hole.
you won’t have to dare me twice.
driving a 4×4 through the dunes. up next: getting a 4×4 stuck in the dunes!
napping on the sand.
rountrip tickets to tunisia: 250€. eight aa batteries, 20 dinars. riding a moped through the bumpy sandy, no helmet, and slamming on the breaks for the camel crossing: priceless!
the many wardrobe changes