Although cultures can be so varied in many instances, it is surprising the similarities in weddings around the world! And here in Egypt, you will see many things that you instantly recognize:
- lovely young lady in a fancy white gown
- suave young man in formal suit and tie
- wedding car with flowers on the bonnet
- music wherever they go!!!
What would have happened prior to this day, is that the 2 families would have got together to discuss and agree if this wedding was possible. If all parties agreed, there would be a buying of the wedding gold: usually a ring, a necklace and a bracelet (a set), and possibly a bangle or 2, the cost depending on the income of the bridegroom.
These would have been presented to the bride at an engagement party: cake, soda and music being vital aspects of the engagement party.
After the engagement there would have been a flurry of purchasing: the bridegroom buying most of the furniture for the house, and the bride the “electronics” for the kitchen.
When the contents of their new home are purchased and ready, the wedding can proceed.
There is usually a signing of “The Book” in the presence of representatives from both families, the couple, and an Imam (leader in a Mosque). This can be done before the wedding day, at a mosque, or at the celebration venue the day of the wedding.
The bride and groom arrive (usually) to much music, cheering, clapping and dancing (with a video crew following them, and a photographer.) Inside the venue will be beautifully set tables, a huge draped couch for the bridal couple and a large empty dance floor. Also there are normally many large screens around the room, and there is video streaming of the couple live throughout the celebration!
Depending on the venue and the income, there will be some sort of ceremony: men with large swords, rising stages, ‘love mist’ (smoke), and a huge trolley bearing the massive and multiple wedding cakes!
There is also lots of food: sandwiches, cakes, drinks, small savory pastries…. and then the dancing! Continual loud music, very very loud, with energetic dancing: but usually the women separately from the men, except the bridal couple, who have a few “alone” dances!
The wedding is a night of much celebration, happiness and fun: children are always welcome and run around the place at dizzying speeds! Relatives and friends would have come from all over…. and the party usually goes on until the small hours of the morning… or until sunrise, as is the fashion at the moment.
…and the happy couple will head to their brand new shiny and sparkly home to begin their life together.