When it comes to the most luxurious and glamorous weddings across the world, there is simply no competing with the majestic Saudi weddings. Known for their opulence and style around the world, they are often associated with high-end decor, luxury brand clothes, great feasts, huge cakes and, of course, beautiful brides.
If you’re attending a majestic Saudi wedding for the first time, it’s certainly easy to feel a little uncertain or a little nervous about it. Here, I’m going to set your mind at ease and look at what you need to know before you attend one. Just follow the tips below and you’ll be just fine.
A wedding for women
One of the first facts you’ll likely be made aware of if you don’t notice it yourself is that there is a separate wedding for men and one for women. Wedding parties are segregated in Saudi Arabia in keeping with the customs and of the Kingdom. As such, men and women will have separate entrances to a banquet hall, will have separate ballrooms, and will spend the majority of celebration with members of their own gender.
If you are attending the wedding with your husband, you will have to coordinate before the wedding. There won’t be any opportunity to contact one another during it, after all.
Saudi wedding fashion
As a woman, it’s important to realise just how important fashion and clothing are during a Saudi wedding. For the women’s wedding, you’re going to see fantastically styled hair and brand clothes as far as your vision can reach. As such, you are expected to put in some effort to match the look of the event.
If you’re in need of a new fancy women’s outfit, then online shopping may be your best bet. A good wedding look can be expensive, but you can find products from brands like Kate Spade much more affordably with a little digging. FarFetch offers its products in a really cost-effective way thanks to their offers and discounts; you can buy them online from Saudi Arabia. To check for more information click here.
As expressive as you can get, the look is still formal, to try to stick to sequined and beaded dresses and gowns. You may want to arrange to have your makeup and hair done with other guests that you know. Most women put a lot of effort into these parts of their look in preparation for the wedding.
Customs and etiquette
Another of the first things you will notice about a Saudi wedding is that they tend to go all out when it comes to invitations. Large, gorgeous invitations that are elaborately designed with calligraphy are the norm. Usually, you won’t be permitted entry until you arrive.
If you’re used to western wedding traditions, then you may think that the dinner comes shortly after the ceremony and the dancing follows. In Saudi weddings, it’s the opposite. The dinner or meat is served at the end of the night, and a lot of the dancing happens before the bride has made her appearance.
On arrival, women are usually expected to wear their abayas, removing them only once they have entered the women’s venue. On your way in, it is customary to greet the parents. If they are busy, wait with a woman that you know until you have the opportunity to greet them.
Most Saudi weddings state that they begin around 9 pm, but there are rarely any guests at them at this time. Instead, they arrive closer to 11 pm, which is when most will start to appear. The majority of the dancing and music takes place from 11 pm to 2 am.
After this, the bride will appear. This is a moment of great importance for the wedding, and a spotlight will follow her as the attendants have the chance to admire all her finery. Plus, you get to enjoy some Arabic coffee and sweets as well.
In around 90 minutes to two hours, the lights will begin to flash, signalling the arrival of the groom and, sometimes, the groom’s father. This gives all the women the opportunity to put their abaya back on. When the groom arrives, he will sit with the bride so everyone can take photos. After the groom has departed, dinner was finally served and the ceremony is finished.
Are you ready for the big Saudi wedding?
Saudi weddings are long, and they’re huge compared to many other cultures’ weddings. However, they’re an unforgettable experience and I hope the above tips help you get prepared for it. Just be ready to stick it out for the long haul.