Right after Final exams, we have the wedding season. All the halls are booked even on weekdays and all the furnishing stores have sales and special offers for newlyweds. Don’t even try a walk-in to a salon on Wednesday and Thursday or you’ll probably have to sit a couple of hours waiting, only to be told that they cannot squeeze you in after all.
Even though I personally hate going to wedding, I have attended my fair share of these extravaganzas. Just like everything else, weddings are gender segregated. Strangely enough that does not stop them from being a great place to get hooked up. Young women dress up in their fanciest dresses, usually specifically tailored for the wearer to wear at that particular wedding. They prance around the hall, coming and going and dance on the stage. In between dances they sit on the sides of the stage. All this is to get exposure in front of all the mothers who are looking for brides for their sons. It is not strange for a mother or someone on her behalf to go right up to a girl and ask her about her family name and phone number.
In order for you to get a better picture, a wedding hall is usually just that; a huge room with round tables for eight scattered all around. Name placards are non-existent. Women sit at whichever table they want on a first come, first serve basis. There are a few plush couches in the front reserved for VIPs and elderly ladies.
All over Riyadh, there are women tailors. You can buy material, which is available in every imaginable color and print at material shops at major malls like Al Andalus on Olaya Street. You then take this material to one of the women tailors with a photo of a design or your own creative drawing and they will make it for you. Depending on the design and if there is any embroidery involved, this could set you back anything from 500 SAR to 5000 SAR excluding what you paid for the material. And depending how popular a salon is, you have to book an appointment from a month before the wedding to at least a week.
I’m fine with all of that and honestly sometimes it can be quite fun. What really annoys me about weddings is the music. It is usually live. Conventionally it was a group of African Arab women with a lead singer and their only instrument is drums. Now things have gotten a little more sophisticated with bands, dancers and different kinds of instruments. They all use microphones and speakers at what seems to me top volume. You can’t have a conversation; only steal a few words in between songs. You can’t even hear yourself think.
5 responses to “Wedding Season”
salam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh
Ma sha Allah, great job SaudiWoman! Keep going. I’m a foreigner married to Saudi, living in KSA/Riyadh for 5 years. I’ve been asked recently and it is hard for me to find reliable answers, maybe you could help? Could you write smth about Saudi regulations reg. women traveling alone for longer distances in Saudi Arabia? Are only Saudi women required to have a mahram permission while traveling alone, let’s say from Riyadh to Dammam, or also other foreign women? What about diplomats (women) or single foreign women who come here on the basis of working visa without mahram, what kind of formalities they have to fulfill to travel long distance in KSA (among towns)? I have some knowledge but would like to confirm if what I know is true. I have tried to consult a few people about it, but everyone tells a different story.. 😉
Jazak Allahu khairan
Salam Umm Latifa,
I’m glad you enjoy the site. I know the regulations and I’ll try to get around to writing a full post on it this evening or tomorrow morning.
I hate Saudi weddings, just blogged as to why I hate them too. 🙂 The music is the worst I totally agree. I think my next wedding I’m going w/ those big headphones that you use in loud working enviroments so everyone can understand how flippen loud it is and shouldn’t be. Make them bright orange too.
salam alaykum, from the perspective of a foreign wife of a Saudi :-): I have to admitt that the music (although at the only wedding I atended so far, was alhamdulillah hallal- duff) was far to loud. I was also amazed at the fact that the bride showed only for one hour and left the wedding hall for good. Not much fun for the main star of the night. I wonder what happens with a wedding dress after one hour show 😉
Nevertheless, it was quite an interesting experience for me (probably as it was my first); I have never saw – more then 500 Saudi women uncovered and in evening dresses…It was an eye-catching fashion show, indeed.
I love Saudi womans alot, because they are very religouse and honest with there husband. I am from the Maldives Island, all of my people are 100 % muslims.