It’s often initiated by the matriarchs of the family as they discuss suitable matches for their sons and daughters before a large engagement party is held to cement the new union. Traditional wedding celebrations take place over the course of a week, including small family gatherings and henna parties as the bride and groom prepare with their separate entourages.
But in the United States, the marriage of Jordanians is often consolidated into a single day or weekend, with the couple opting for Western-style dresses and suits. A procession of cars is still a feature, as is the excuse to get together for a party that the wedding guests won’t soon forget.
Jordanian weddings are the bringing together of two families in a week-long celebration that’s filled with huge amounts of food, plenty of dancing and loud traditional music.
Before the engagement formally takes place in Jordanian culture, the mother-of-the-groom will go and visit the potential bride-to-be to speak with her privately and cement their relationship.
It’s also the mother-of-the-groom who will formally make the proposal, although the groom will usually have hinted at his intentions to the bride prior to this. If the bride accepts, then the engagement party celebrations take place.
The engagement is sealed with members of the immediate family on both sides meeting to read Fatiha (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) in recognition of the event. Traditionally, the elders of the groom’s family would bring an assortment of sweets to the bride’s house where the women would gather for a party, however, this celebration is normally attended by both men and women today.
The henna night is traditionally held on the Wednesday before the wedding itself, with the women of the groom’s family visiting the bride’s house to paint intricate patterns on her hands and feet. Traditional dishes are also served, which vary between the coastal and inland regions of Jordan.
The following day it’s the groom’s turn, with close friends and family gathering at his home to prepare him for the wedding. It’s traditionally held during the day, with lunch served as the groom is pampered and preened.
The main event in a Jordanian wedding begins with the family of the groom gathering for a short party before parading to the bride’s house. Here, he will wait for his bride to appear, with gun shots traditionally heard in celebration.
The couple will then depart together for the venue, with loud music playing and much honking of horns as they make their way to the reception venue. It’s not uncommon for modern couples to add in a Western-style wedding ceremony at this point, with vow and ring exchanges.
Jordanian receptions usually begin with guests arriving to the sound of a traditional band playing Arabic tabla drums. It’s customary for the drums to speed up their tempo in anticipation of the bride and groom’s grand entrance, at which point everyone hits the dance floor for lively dabke dancing.
• Exuding celebration and incredible hospitality, we love the traditions of Jordanian weddings and capturing all the energy through engaging photographs that will last a lifetime.
• We understand that each of the individual ceremonies and traditions you incorporate are a reflection of your Jordanian heritage and family traditions, and feel honored to be a part of this special day.
• Jordanian wedding receptions are often large-scale affairs and we love to capture the passion and pride in culture as your guests celebrate around you.
We know that Jordanian weddings are often large affairs with hundreds of guests, so we always bring a team of photographers to ensure we can capture each and every moment.
We always have a meeting with our couples before their wedding to ensure we understand each and every element of their Jordanian wedding plans and are ready to photograph it creatively and beautifully.
We understand that Jordanian weddings are overflowing with emotion and carefully plan where we need to be and when to document all the tears, laughter and joy.
Whether you’re celebrating in a family home or a purpose-built wedding venue, we have high-quality camera equipment (including fast lenses and state-of-the-art lighting) to ensure we can capture all the rites and rituals as beautifully as possible.
• Due to the large scale of most Jordanian weddings, we highly recommend you hire a wedding planner to take care of all the logistical details. This will ensure your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible, so you can just relax and soak up each and every moment.
• Decide on which Jordanian wedding rituals you want to incorporate into your special day, then get your wedding planner’s professional advice on how to best fuse these with any Western traditions you want to include.
• If photography is a high priority for you and your partner, make sure you schedule in plenty of time in your wedding day schedule for capturing couple portraits, bridal party portraits and family formals.
• In our final meeting, please let us know all of the traditional elements and details you have decided to incorporate so we are in the right place at the right time to document them.
• If you’re having a week-long celebration, make sure you let your guests know which events they’re invited to and anything they might be expected to bring with them.