Emirati weddings are some of the most anticipated events on the calendar. Not only do they mark the union of bride and groom, but they are also days filled with traditional rituals, indulgent feasts and celebrations, and the unveiling of some incredibly beautiful outfits and gifts. The highlight of all these is, undoubtedly, the bridal wedding gowns in Dubai and the UAE, which are often truly magical to behold.
Here’s what to expect at a traditional Emirati wedding, and the most beautiful items to look out for.
The traditional Emirati wedding
Islamic laws and traditions guide the formalities of an Emirati wedding. The path to the wedding day begins with the agreement of the two families involved. Traditionally, the discussion of a potential engagement will first take place between the mothers of the families, and the details of the wedding are discussed between the two families.
a wedding day is set, a 40-day bridal preparation period begins. During this time, the bride will traditionally undertake various treatments, with the aim of looking her most beautiful on her wedding day. Nurturing a strong bond between the bride’s and groom’s families is also important during this time.
The celebrations truly begin when the union is formally agreed upon by the bride’s and groom’s fathers in a ceremony known as Al Khoutha. This marks the start of seven days of wedding festivities. The marriage formally begins with a religious ceremony called Nikah. A religious figure officially marries the couple in the presence of family.
After the Nikah, much celebrating takes place. There will be great feasts in halls adorned with exquisite decorations and floral arrangements. There is a lot of dancing. For a large proportion of the celebrations, men and women celebrate separately. For many female guests, this provides an opportunity to show off stunning designer dresses and jewelry.
As in many other cultures, most Emirati weddings intertwine the highly traditional with modern glamor. Emiratis’ love of gold and extravagance is often apparent, although, like elsewhere, the level of exuberance will depend on personal tastes as well as the resources of the families involved.
Here are five particularly beautiful elements of an Emirati wedding that are bound to have guests in awe.
The Bride Herself
The 40-day bridal preparations allow ample time for the bride to prepare for marriage in every sense. The hope is that the bride will be in incredible health and looking her most beautiful for the wedding celebrations. During this time, she will be pampered by her family and encouraged to eat the most nurturing, nutritious foods.
Undergoing many beauty treatments is also an important element of Emirati wedding preparations. In the days before the wedding, the bride will have her hair washed and treated with natural flower extracts, and her body bathed and lavished with essential oils and perfumes.
On the day itself, make-up will be exquisitely applied and hair beautifully arranged.
And then there is the gown.
As in many other cultures, the bride’s dress is the centerpiece of the wedding, perhaps more so than anywhere else. It is not uncommon for the gown to be the most costly element of the wedding and it is certainly true that great thought and consideration will be given to the selection of this garment.
Many brides wish for incredibly ornate full-length dresses, which are usually white or cream. Emirati brides look for gowns that are both romantic and lavish, with incredible attention to detail. They may be crafted from silk or satin, with lace or chiffon added for beautiful textural detail. They may be adorned with a combination of pearls, sequins, crystal, or silk flowers. The dress must fit beautifully and the bride will be prepared to attend many fittings with their wedding dress consultant to get this exactly right.
A henna party is also an important part of the preparations. The bride, her friends and her female relatives will gather in the days before the wedding for this form of bridal shower. The bride will be presented with gifts, and there will be food, music and dancing. However, the central element of the party is the presence of a henna artist, who will adorn the bride’s feet and hands with intricate, beautiful designs.
The groom’s appearance is also important. For his wedding day, he will usually wear a bisht. This is a traditional, splendid black Arab cloak worn for special occasions. The bisht is often adorned with exquisite gold and silver embroidery.
Finally, the Dazza is also known as “Hope’s chest.” It is a treasure trove of wonderful items, carefully chosen by the groom’s family to present to his bride. Inside, there may be important items such as the Qur'an and a prayer mat, alongside ornate jewelry and dazzling perfumes. A trousseau, a collection of beautiful clothes, silks and linen especially chosen for a bride, is often included in the Dazza.
Emirati weddings are a feast for all the senses. The bride and groom look superb, the food is the most indulgent, and the music and dancing will carry on into the night. The most splendid weddings of all are a truly dazzling spectacle. For anyone lucky enough to attend, the memories will stay forever. Get in touch with Esposa and we will help you find the perfect, dreamy wedding gown for your own special day.