If you’ve never been to a Lebanese Wedding before; you haven’t properly lived. These celebrations are high-energy, packed to the brim with tradition and always feature loud music, ample food and hours of dancing.
However, if you’re a Bride and in the process of planning your own Lebanese Wedding, there are a few things you need to know.
A typical engagement ‘do’ happens about six-months or a year before the Wedding and can be as big or small as the couple want – some choose to have just parents present! Traditionally, the Groom’s parents gift the Bride with gold jewellery during the engagement party.
The pre-Wedding, or the ‘layliah’ is like a ‘last hoorah’ for the happy couple. The Groom will have a party hosted by his family; while the Bride will have similar, but separate celebrations with her own family. The ‘layliah’ can be held at the family home or at a hall, and in typical Lebanese fashion, it’s all about the food, the drinks, the dancing and the music.
The Wedding Day
On the morning of the Wedding, the Bride often has her immediate family (including cousins, aunts and uncles) come to her home while she and her Bridesmaids are getting ready. Her parents will generally organise traditional Lebanese sweets like baklava and knafeh to serve. Before she leaves for the ceremony, the Groom’s parents will meet to escort her out of the home, along with her own mum and dad.
Both the Bride and the Groom should arrange drummers to lead them out of their respective homes as a final celebration before the pair meet at the ceremony.
The drummers will also play as the Bride and Groom enter their reception and the pair usually dance into the venue to the music.
Image from Louise and Charbel’s Wedding. Photography by Tom Psomotragos.
Main image from Danielle and Andrew’s Wedding. Photography by Image Frenzy.