Choosing the bride in the Palestinian wedding

The task of choosing a bride is on to the grooms mother if he doesn’t wish to marry aparticular girl. Usually, this is the way it is in the palestinian society. Palestine is a conservative community.

To choose the desired bride, the mother of the groom agrees with her companions and relatives to draw up a list of the names of the girls who were chosen, to be engaged to the young man.

The choice of the bride is by the specifications and conditions of the young man for his life partner.

If approval is granted, and a particular girl is chosen, the groom’s mother goes to the girl’s house and asks for her hand from her family.

Usually, the bride’s family gives the groom’s family a deadline, so that they can ask about the groom and his family, his piety, his morals, and his integrity.

The meeting of the groom and the bride


After the deadline has passed, the groom’s mother goes to the girl’s house to see their response. If the response is positive and with approval, a date is set, for the young man to see his bride, and similarly the bride to see her groom.

On another date, the groom and his mother will come to the bride’s house, and the bride’s family will welcome them, in the presence of the bride’s relatives, including her brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and other relatives.

Meanwhile, the bride, carrying coffee or juice, enters and greets the audience, and may sit for a while, to meet and talk to the groom. And sometimes in this meeting both families discuss and agree on the amount of dowry.

Engagement

The choosing of an engagement date is after the agreement between the groom and the bride’s family. Normally on Friday, a legal representative comes to the bride’s house, to contract the marriage. Or the groom and the bride, with their parents, may go to the Sharia court instead.

The Palestinian wedding

The Palestinian wedding expresses the brightest and most beautiful Palestinian traditional images. As soon as the wedding date gets closer, ongoing celebrations and parties take place from both sides with preparations. On pins and needles, both the bride and groom are waiting for their wedding day and counting the days, hours, and minutes waiting for that blessed hour.

“I am very happy that I could make it, I had to work hard to be able to save money and finally marry, I can’t tell you how costly it is to be able to do it. I’m lucky since my family helped me a little bit with the wedding expenses,” Jameel Harzan said, a 33 years old Palestinian groom who worked a full-time job as an accountant and as the companies night guard. 

Hena Party

Customs and traditions prevail in the Palestinian countryside more than in the cities. Several parties happen before and after the big wedding day, such as thte Hena party before the wedding where the bride invites all the women of the family, friends, and neighbors. They put the traditional Hena and wear traditional dresses that may have embroidered, tatreez on them. While the groom invites the men of the family, friends and the everyone he knows, it is common to find hundreds and many times exceeds thousand-person participating at these parties.

Hena drawings at the bride’s hand as a common Palestinian tradition on the Hena party before the wedding day

On the wedding day

It is the day on which the bride wears the official wedding party, the bride wears white, while the groom’s family and his female relatives wear the embroidered dress.

The groom may do another party on the same wedding day which includes inviting all of his friends and family for lunch. As a norm, a week earlier the groom keeps his hair and beard without a cut. As well as the bride wears regular home clothes and does not wear any makeup, except at their big wedding party.

Due to norms, customs, and religious reasons the wedding parties are separated, women celebrate together in a separated hall from men while the groom is the only man allowed to enter.

But you can find some families that are far from customs and traditions, and do the wedding in the modern way, where there is no separation in the party, both the bride’s and the groom’s families meet each other with friends and loved ones who are also invited. Everybody dance where the voices of Arab music rise and often mixed with the sounds of Western music. After ending the wedding and on the way to the dear marital home, the rows of cars start to alert people in the streets that there is a wedding.

Jameel Harzan and his friends dancing at the wedding
Jameel’s bride’s sister wearing Tatreez and dancing at the Hena party