Saudi Arabia: Weddings – The Wrong Reception

 

Weddings in Saudi Arabia are a huge event and some weddings can have celebrations and functions that go on for three days.  A wedding in Saudi Arabia is considered a high priority social event.  Women eagerly look forward to attending the wedding and wearing their finest dress and jewelry.

 

However, due to the culture and traditions of Saudi Arabia, weddings are generally celebrated in either a marriage hall or at a large hotel.  There will be separate rooms for the men and women in which they will celebrate the joyous occasion.

 

The only time when a few men appear (usually bridegroom, father of the bride, brother of the bride and sometimes father of the groom) is when they come to pay respects to the bride.  Prior to their arrival to the women’s section, the lights will be dimmed multiple times as a warning for any women who wish to don their abayas and/or cover their faces.

 

 saudi gazette/okaz photo

An Egyptian couple were not aware of the wedding protocols and etiquette of Saudi Arabia.  They were married in Egypt and then boarded their flight to Saudi Arabia while still dressed in their wedding finery.  They thought it would be fun to meet up with some of their friends in the city of Dhahran at the local mall and continue the wedding festivities.  They walked through the mall and made their way to the food court.

 

Unfortunately they came to the attention of the Hai’a (religious police) who broke up the party.  The groom was apprehended by the Hai’a and taken for questioning while wives of the bridegroom’s friends took the new wife out of the mall.

The actions of the newly married and excited bride and groom remind me of when one of my own sisters got married.  The church in which she was married was only minutes away from a popular tourist spot along Pymatuning Lake, Pennsylvania.   There is an area referred to as “The Spillway” where people have come for years to feed the fish.  The water becomes so thick with fish that ducks come in to land and then walk on the fish.  My sister and her new husband decided to go and feed the fish after they exchanged their marriage vows.  I’m confident they received the same looks of surprise as the Egyptian couple in the Dhahran mall!

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11 Responses

  1. I love to see the brides arriving from Egypt at Kuwait’s airport! (The first time I saw it, I thought it was a joke or a set for a movie.) She’s usually met by throngs of relatives and friends and they play music and make lots of noise. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a bride walk through the mall, however.

  2. I imagine the tourists in PA were excited to see such a happy couple! 🙂

  3. Big difference between dirty looks and being apprehended and taken out of a mall.

  4. ”dirty looks”? who gave whom dirty looks?

  5. Very strange. While I wouldn’t go to a mall after a wedding, I cannot see what is ‘sinful’ in doing so. After all the man is with his wife.

  6. Come on Jerry, you know the sin!
    They were happy and having fun!
    Worse, a whole lot of people were having fun.
    They should be executed for these heinous sins!

  7. loll ! funny ! Who would like to celebrate his wedding party at the mall’s food court ??? loll ! hahaha

  8. Perhaps it was one way to get the husband’s friends (males and their wives) together.

  9. Adam: I’m a friend of your mothers. I often fished the lake near the spillway. I loved to see the carp and stopped there many times.

  10. That’s extraordinaire and funny :))

  11. Fishing Guy: It’s great to hear from folks who actually know of good ole Pymatuning. It was a great place to grow up!

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