Muslim Matrimonials and More

Wedding Customs Around the Muslim World


Click on any thumbnail to see a full-sized photo. See the bottom of the page for a description of Moroccan henna traditions.

A Moroccan woman in her wedding costume
A Moroccan woman in her wedding costume

Mixing the henna
Mixing the henna.

Applying the henna
Applying henna to the bride's hand

Hurring to the wedding
Hurrying to the wedding with gifts.

Men at Berber wedding
Men signing forms at a Berber wedding

The bride and the groom
The bride and the groom.

 Berber men with a bride
Berber men with a bride

 Actress playing a Moroccan bride
Actress playing a Moroccan bride

 Sweets for a Berber wedding
Sweets for a Berber wedding.

 Young Berber bride-to-be
A young Berber bride-to-be.

 Moroccan bride with headdress
Moroccan bride in an elaborate headdress

In some parts of Morocco, tradition requires that five days before the wedding, the bride has a ceremonial bath, then is painted with henna swirls on hands and feet, an adorned with makeup and jewels by other women. For centuries, elaborate henna has been applied to Moroccan brides. The night before the wedding, the bride and other women gather together for the henna ritual. The bride receives the most elaborate designs, while the other women are often patterned with lesser designs, covering only small portions of the body. Within the bride's henna design is often found the name of the groom. Further, a bride is not expected to perform any housework until her henna has faded. The wedding henna ritual has a deeper purpose than mere aesthetic beauty. During the evening of the "henna party," the older, married women share the secrets of marriage with the bride-to-be. Moroccan women continue the tradition to this day. However, there are some women in Morocco who refuse to wear henna in an effort to move in a more "modern" direction. This is not to say that women with henna are not "modern," but rather demonstrating the various views of henna within the Moroccan context.

Before becoming guardian of her hearth, the Moroccan bride circles her marriage home three times.

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