Iraqi Wedding Celebration
Venue: Sacramento Marriott, Rancho Cordova, CA
Highlights of Traditional Iraqi Wedding Celebration
Nishan: This pre-wedding event is a party of sorts, complete with music, dancing, family, and also traditional religious readings. The bride-to-be often dresses in new gowns. Gifts are also exchanged between family members.
Mez al Sayed: Two days before a Muslim wedding, the prospective bride and groom meet with an Imam to sign the official contract. Often, a table is decorated traditionally, with a mirror facing a candle oraba, the Quran, and other items, including Jordan Almonds. The couple faces East, towards the rising sun.
The Ceremony: The men of the bridal party come to escort the women of the bridal party to the ceremony. Candles are lit, and children may carry olive branches. Traditional music is played by the Zaffa (traditional musicians) as the bride walks down the aisle. The bride, escorted by her father, meets the groom on a stage, where they are seated on a kosha, a type of sofa. They remain seated during religious readings and exchanging of vows. In a Muslim wedding, vows are led by an Imam and focus on commitment to each other and their religion. Afterwards, a celebration is held, which involves a long night of feasting and dancing.
Completion — After the Ceremony: Seven days after the ceremony, the couple celebrates, typically at the groom's house, where more gifts are exchanged.