I recently took myself off for a 5 day round-trip from Marrakech to Zagora, to attend the wedding celebrations of Yahya’s niece. A shame that the wedding was planned during the tourist season as some of the family were unable to visit. All the more reason I wanted to go.
Compared to the ‘double-wedding’ of June last year (read more here), this one was a smaller, low-key arrangement. Well, smaller being 48hrs long and including up to 400 guests. As I commented on similarities with ‘European’ weddings, the girls were quick to point out to me that those weddings ‘only last 1 day’ (meaning, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’). What I hadn’t been party to in the month’s build-up to the wedding itself was the sheer amount of preparation involved. Each family member has a role to play and there isn’t any one person orchestrating the ‘main event’, it just happens seamlessly with everyone knowing their role. Of course, the bride and her mother are really in control of it all.
As I’d already had an introduction to a Berber wedding, I knew what to expect this time and I was even more privileged to be part of the bridal party; I was included amongst the group of ladies who had henna tattooing (the bride’s and my hands pictured) but declined to wear all of the traditional dress which was so graciously offered (I wore just one item).
For obvious reasons of privacy, I am unable to post many photos. Suffice to say, that as with a ‘European’ wedding, for a traditional Berber woman, her wedding is the biggest day (weekend) of her life – rightly, it should be celebrated with lots of people, colour, noise, feasting, music…and glamorous dresses! And it was one of the most glamorous events I’ve been to!