I’ve lived in the UAE for over 9 years now and I’ve finally attended a friend’s wedding here – this past week! Wedding #2 of 4 this year.
When I first moved to the UAE, I was invited to some random wedding, however since I didn’t know the people and only spent about an hour or so at the event, I’ve decided that my friend’s wedding last week is a more fitting “something new” as my first-time Dubai-based wedding 🙂
The wedding was held at the Ritz Carlton, JBR, on a Thursday evening. Thankfully the weather really played its part as we’d had some awful, temperamental weather up to that weekend, but the night of the wedding was gorgeous with clear skies, a light breeze in the air and perfect temperature – perfect for an outdoor wedding!
She’s Iranian-British; he’s Palestinian-American, so you can imagine the different cultures and nationalities joined together on the night – apparently 30 different nationalities attended the wedding! And it was completely different to anything I’ve ever experienced before.
There were no pews where the family & friends sat, waiting for the bride to arrive, while the groom stands up by the altar. Oh no. For this wedding, there is much fanfair and loud music played on bagpipes and drums while the groom walks up front with his family and groomsmen. The bride then follows with her family and bridesmaids. And all around all of this are the guests of the wedding, all clapping and getting involved in the hype, until the bride and groom reach the front where the blessing takes place.
After all the excitement of the arrival of the couple, there is a blessing done in much the same way as all the weddings I’ve attended in the past – the Christian / Western-style weddings – and after that the guests all sat down again, enjoying a meal and waiting for the couple to have their first dance.
And just like any wedding anywhere in the world (at least, I’m sure it would be so), the newlyweds have their first dance and then the party gets underway!