Il matrimonio in Marocco

The Moroccan wedding: centuries-old traditions and long celebrations!

Elegant and refined dresses, bright colour sets and incessant dancing are just some of the elements that crown the traditional Moroccan wedding.

What are the special features of this day?
Different traditions blend together in creating a special day marked by precise steps to be followed as a sign of auspiciousness. While the Muslim tradition originally had 7-day duration, now the average days are 3.

How do the celebrations take place in a Moroccan wedding?

The celebrations begin after the couple has signed the Drib Sdak, the marriage contract between the bride and groom. It is signed under the supervision of the notary who is called Adoul.

During the first day, called Hammam day, the bride goes to the public baths accompanied by the oldest woman in the family, the ngafa. Here she will have a bath in milk that symbolizes purity and then she will dress with the first of seven dresses, the showiest, made of fine lace and adorned with gold.

The second day is usually dedicated to henna; the bride and close relatives go to her home, where a henna artist, the nekacha, will tattoo her hands while the other women will have only one finger tattooed. This ritual is auspicious: it propitiates good luck fertility and beauty.

On the third day the real celebration takes place. The bride is the last one to go to the ceremony, carried out by an Amaria, a wooden sedan chair. All the guests gather together to celebrate the newlyweds, there is plenty of dancing, singing and eating!

How does the dress change take place?

During the days of celebration, the bride changes up to 7 dresses, symbolizing the different cultures and values of the area; she is usually accompanied by the neggaffate, a group of women who help her change dresses. The dresses are:

  • green and gold caftan for the henna ceremony
  • white takeshita that symbolizes purity
  • fassiya from Fez
  • R’batia from Rabat, often in blue
  • Moroccan Sahara
  • Soussia, Berber costume from Souss
  • Mejdoub, or also called the golden caftan

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