The Egyptian Wedding Extravaganza

Certain aspects of Egyptian weddings in urban cities are no different from weddings around the world. The bride wears an ordinary bridal dress and the groom wears a black suit or a tuxedo. The ceremony starts with a car parade. The wedding car (as prestigious as possible) will be decorated with flowers and ribbons. Cars of both families move together, in a noisy parade of continuous car horns, to a wedding hall most often in a hotel. The honking is to announce that there is a wedding taking place. When the bride and groom reach the hotel they are received by a Zeffa. The Zeffa is another human parade of belly dancers and drummers surrounding the bride and groom, singing happy songs. The bride and groom will occasionally join in the dancing but the main aim is to walk as slowly as possible to the wedding hall. Some Zeffet will last an hour!

When the bride and groom finally reach the reception hall they sit in a Kosha. The Kosha usually consists of two comfortable seats in front of the guests where the bride and groom reign as though king and queen. As soon as the bride and groom are seated all drink to their health. After this ritual, the festivities begin. The bride and groom have the first dance then the other wedding guests join in. Usually a belly dancer or a singer entertains but in more luxurious weddings there is more than one entertainer. Guests will dance and sing with the newly wedded couple, and the groom will occasionally be tossed in the air by friends. The more the tossing of the groom the more his popularity! After the formal entertainment, a disc jockey or band is used to extend the festivities.

Modern urban weddings are obviously affected by western traditions. Like the cutting of the cake and tossing of the bouquet. The couple opens the buffet for the guests, which is usually a wide variety of salads, meats, stews, and sweets. Food is considered one of the factors that reflect the wealth of the families. After the guests have eaten, the wedding party is over. There may be some more entertainment. Then the bride and groom usually get a complimentary night or two at the hotel.

Weddings reflect the image of the families that have come together. Both families show off their wealth to their wedding guests. From this, it would be concluded that Egyptian weddings are not just an announcement of marriage but also an announcement of the economic positions of the families.