I first need to apologize for the lack of blogging these past couple of months. Entering into my first full wedding season, I was definitely kept busy fine-tuning the details for the couples I was working with in August and what amazing experiences it's been!
Recently, I returned from a trip to Istanbul in Turkey to attend one of my good friend’s wedding. She was part of my bridal party at our wedding, and I could not miss this opportunity to witness her special occasion… Of course, I tried to switch off my wedding planner hat and just be a supportive friend, but the planner in me was curious about the traditions of a Turkish wedding and so forth. I will be including some pictures of her wedding throughout and show off snippets of her vintage garden wedding.
One major difference of Turkish weddings to Canadian/North American weddings is there is no bridal party. Instead the bride and groom have one witness on each side, to stand by their side and to sign their marriage registry. This reminded me of the maid of honor and best man positions. What’s different though is that the “responsibility” of these two end after they’ve signed the registry, they do not make speeches during dinner or anything else for that matter. In fact, there are no speeches at Turkish weddings. It’s funny how we get caught up in what we think are “traditions”.
A typical Turkish wedding (usually Muslim) consists of a henna night about 2 days prior, almost like a mini bachelorette to celebrate the bride and upcoming festivities, as is common in Indian weddings. My friend being relatively non-traditional opted out of this.
On the wedding day itself, the bride and groom would usually get ready in adjacent rooms at the venue of their choice, and before the ceremony (or Nikkah) takes place, the groom “picks up” the bride and they enter the ceremony together. This was their version of the processional. Again another big difference from the way Canadian/North American brides walk in with their father or sometimes both parents. I found it intriguing! It was however, very sweet as they both radiated happiness from ear to ear as they entered.
Following the Nikah, the guests move into the dinner reception area and await the bride and groom to make their appearance and entrance as newlyweds. This is similar to what typically happens at Canadian weddings. Once they’ve entered and moved onto their first dance, the couple then proceeds to make their way around each guest table to toast with their guests and take a group photo with them at that point.
Speeches are not common in Turkish weddings, so pretty much after dinner is done, the dance floor is in full swing and the party is on! Although we have many different cultural weddings in Toronto, it really is a completely new experience witnessing a wedding of a different culture in a different country.