Roger’s host sister Zenib signed her marriage contract last weekend. In Morocco, there are usually three parties to celebrate a marriage: one engagement party, one wedding party after the contract is signed, and the third and largest wedding party: a big blowout celebration that involves the groom on a horse and the bride carried through the streets on a decorated platform.
The first wedding party celebrating the marriage contract is usually a smaller affair that only the bride and groom’s family attend, about 50 people. I was honored to be invited to this party last weekend: Roger’s host mom Ilham even loaned me a beautiful Moroccan Caftan.
The evening began with a glass of milk and dates stuffed with almonds for each guest, followed by fruit juices and countless types of Moroccan cookies made by Ilham and Zenib’s aunties. They were hard at work for about two weeks prior to the wedding making different types of doughs and cutting them with tiny cookie cutters to make them bite size, then rolling them in sesame seeds or filling them with fruits or drizzling them with chocolate.
Loud, festive music was blasted the entire evening, and I was pulled up to dance a few times with a couple of the other younger girls at the party. I am sure I was quite a sight, trying to keep up and dance like a Moroccan.
Then Zenib and Said exchanged rings and fed each other dates and milk, like how a bride and groom feed each other cake in the US during their reception.
(Did you notice Zenib’s grandma sprinkle the couple with rosewater for good luck?)
I woke up the next morning ears ringing and excited for the next big wedding party in April!