Egyptian Wedding Traditions
Whether it's an arranged marriage or based on love, the groom must ask for the bride's hand, seeking her father's blessing. And he must go to the bride's house accompanied by his father or guardian. The groom must be financially stable, with a furnished home, and have a solid ground to support his family. And, of course, the marriage won't be complete without the father's and the bride's consent. Now, they can tie the knot!
A Solo Proposal
What can be more romantic than a surprise, solo proposal? – Maybe a private dining area, a deserted beach, or a private cruise! Yes, awesome! Many prefer sole proposals to ensure privacy, unedited actions, and serene emotions. On the other hand, after the "I do" part, now what?! No friends or family to share this special moment with. No celebrations, photos, or joy! Yes, it's awkward somehow.
The family Proposal
The family proposal can challenge the groom, trying to impress the bride's family. And, because you don't get to choose the family (yours or hers), you must accept them the way they are. Yes, you're inheriting each other's families; trust me, they will be involved. Always! If you're wondering what to bring during the family proposal, we will help you. Engagement ring, courage, and much patience!
El Shabka" and "El-Mahr
In discussing Egyptian wedding traditions, you'll hear distinctive terms such as El Shabka and El Mahr. What are they? The "El Shabka" is the jewelry the groom gives the bride as a gift. On the other hand, the "El Mahr" is the dowry that the groom gives to the bride's family to buy the furniture of their future home.
And, because no one can be trusted, not all marriages can be happy. Egyptians use the "El-Qaima" as a divorce contract to guarantee the bride's rights. This document includes all the items and appliances bought by the bride for her new house.
As the groom gets the father's blessing, it's time for the engagement party! The engagement party is often held at home or a hotel, with decorations, lights, and many flowers. Aside from the vibrant celebrations, the engagement period is when both get to know each other more. If they are compatible, they move on to the next step, which is what?! – Yes, the Wedding!
In Egypt, the "Al-Henna" night is as important as the Wedding. So, what is it exactly? – It is the Bachelorette party for the bride, along with her female friends and family, usually held a day or two before the wedding day. Sometimes, the bride chooses a theme for the party and the girls mostly wear belly-dancing outfits. Also, the henna tattoo is essential to this party, adorning the bride's hands and legs. As fun as it sounds, things may go out of control, ending in some weird actions.
The Egyptian Wedding Ceremony
The Christian couples celebrate their marriage in a church, where rings are exchanged and read from the bible. The priest puts some holy oil on their forehead as a blessing and protection. Muslims have another ceremony called "kata el kebab," which can be performed at home or in a mosque. This document includes the "el Mahr" and "el Mo'akhar," which the girl receives in case of a divorce.
“Besm allah el ra7man el ra7eem w hanebda2 el Leila…”
The Egyptian Wedding starts with a Zafa, full of drummers, belly dancers, and sometimes a "Tanoura show," taking place in the wedding hall." After the Zafa, the groom waits for his bride to arrive with her father. Usually, the groom removes the bride's veil and kisses her forehead, followed by "zaghareet." You don't know a zaghrota? – Well, I can't explain. You must be present to understand! Many music and instruments will be current, including drums like "Tabla." After the "Zafa," the bride and groom head to the "Kosha, where they welcome their guests and take photographs.
The Egyptian Wedding Songs
The party starts with the first dance, and the guests join them for the rest of the Wedding. Fire the DJ! It is normal to play Asma Allah el Husna, Ed Sheeran, Tamer Hosni, and Hassan Shakosh. What an exotic mix!
The weirdest things that happen at every Egyptian Wedding
The "Sharbat" routine
The bride and groom link their arms to drink the "Sharbat." Oh really?! It will be quite a scene if things go wrong, especially for the bride.
As the bride and groom make the great entrance, the guests toss salt on them to keep off the evil eye.
Pyramid ring exchange
The couple exchanges their rings from one hand to the other in a complicated process.
The cake complications
The couple cuts the layered cake together and feeds each other. And the bride has to act all shy in front of the camera. What?! We want cake! You can't always have a slice of the glamorous cake as sometimes it can be fake. You don't say!
All the Single Ladies, Put your hands up!
The bride starts to throw the flower bouquet while the DJ is playing Beyoncé's famous Single Ladies. Unlike in any other country, you will find all the married relatives waiting for the smell (for some reason). Or, after all the thrill, the bride gives the bouquet to her sister or friend. Such a disappointment!
The “Shabka” exhibition
It is common to see the Shabka going around the Wedding for the guests to see and even touch. Shocking, right?! Mainly, most families do this to boast about the price of the Shabka in front of the guests. Why? Nobody knows!
Sahar El Layali
For some reason, every Wedding must end with Fayrouz's famous "Sahar El Layali." People get so excited and start making such weird dancing moves. Oh! Funny! Yes, the lame videographer is capturing all of this!
Pinching the bride
It is a tradition for unmarried women to pinch the bride for good luck! According to an ancient belief, if an unmarried woman squeezed a bride, she would be married the following week. What?!
The Beginning of a new life!
The Wedding in Egypt can have many arrangements and efforts that tire the bride and groom. I hope they don't forget anything after all! Also, it includes many weird traditions passed down through generations since the Pharaohs' time. But, we can't deny that the Egyptian Wedding has different, lively vibes you won't find anywhere else. Are you ready to dance the night away?!
What is a Shabka in an Egyptian wedding?
The "El Shabka" is a gold jewelry set the groom gives the bride as a gift. It is an inseparable part of any wedding ceremony that symbolizes the intertwining love of the couple.
How much does a wedding in Egypt cost?
In 2020, a wedding in Egypt may cost around $10,000 (156,200.00 Egyptian Pound). Although most couples have an average budget of $23,000, they spend way more.
What do Egyptian brides wear?
The bride usually wears a long white dress in different styles and shapes and a long veil. With different shapes, fabrics, and designs, each bride chooses her jaw-dropping dress, wowing the crowds in seconds.