The wedding… part two

By October 12, 2008 Insights

OMG. There is nothing I’ve experienced that comes close to last night’s event. Forgive me if I’m a bit incoherent, but I finally made it to bed by 6am and then was up at 9:30 for breakfast with the 10 women who never made it home last night from the big night.

Due to unceasing rain, there was a last minute change of venue so at 4pm yesterday we were madly removing carpets and furniture to accomodate 200 people at our house (note that our house is probably a modest 1800 sq ft). And that was only the beginning.

There is no way to accurately depict a traditional Moroccan wedding in writing, but I’ll do what I can. Imagine the most lavish silk and brocade dresses in vibrant colors, belted with gold or silk… now imagine 150 women wearing these. My costume was one of the fanciest things I’ve ever worn and I felt under-dressed.

Now imagine the loudest middle eastern beats you can, a wonderful singer and the whole house clapping and dancing like mad (yup, traditional Moroccan belly dancing moves)… for 8 hours straight. And keep in mind that like last night, were talking about a house full of women… with the exception of the band and the caterers, the men were banished to the hall.

Now imagine the most beautiful bride you’ve ever seen carried in a silver platter and paraded through the house by four men and, after that, five (yes, 5) costume changes complete with matching jewelry, tiara/crown. And not a simple necklace or bracelet, but draped in gold, pearls and silver. Even some of the guests changed outfits… only Allah knows where they were keeping them. (Rashid, the groom did change from suit to caftan a couple times, but he even kept the same tie). Then more parading around on raised platters, presentatations of gifts, eating of dates, exchanging of rings and jewelry, and more dancing. A quick flicker or YouTube search will give you some idea of the experience. I’ll have my own video and pix to share at some point (the broadband gods willing).

The whole affair ended with a 4:30am ride to Rabat’s most famous monument, the Tour Hassan, for a few photos (did I forget to mention that each costume change was also accompanied by photos with many of the guests… there seriously must be 2000 photos from the event).

To think that all of this wildness was fueled by a little fruit juice, tea and sweets is also quite amazing, especially for those of us used to 2-day wedding hangovers from too much champagne. I will admit to a slight sugar hangover this morning though along with ringing ears.

There is so much more I could describe, but I’d be here for hours and lunch is calling. You’ll have to wait for the in-person stories. All I can say is that it’s incredibly difficult to express how priviledged and lucky I feel for having been a part of this amazing experience. It’s truly altered and greatly enhanced my impression of this country, its culture and its people. This adventure really is my baraka.