Turkey’s culture is unique by itself despite sharing a few common traditions from other cultures. Their wedding ceremonies are not identical to those in other cultures from different countries, but they are ultimately definitely Turkish in many regards.
The Turkish Wedding Customs
The urban areas in Turkey have witnessed different customs and traditions in recent years. In the rural areas though, the older traditions still persist where the couple would take three days to get ready for all the different ceremonies which are always held at the groom’s house. They have to pay for everything.
The First Day
The first day of the Turkish wedding beholds unfurling their national flag at the center of the village to commence the ceremonies from the homes of both the bride and groom.
The Turkish Henna Night
The Kina Gecesi is a ceremony that occurs between the bride’s relatives and friends on the night before the wedding ceremony where the henna is applied to the hands of each member present to signify they’ve attended the gathering of a celebration.
During this ceremony, songs such as ‘Yuksek yuksek Tepelere’, or ‘High Mountain Tops’, are sung that mention the bride missing her mother, her father, and the village to describe her grieving. By the end of the same night, the bride has to don a long heirloom dress made of velvet called Bindalli dress that is rich with intricate gold patterns and has her friends for a company to celebrate her singleness.
Turkish Wedding Day
On the day of the wedding, the third day sees the bride being fetched for ‘Gelin Alma’ which moves on foot (if the distance is too long, then she’s carried in a car) to the groom’s house with great musical celebration.
The wedding day also sees the ’Bekaret kuşağı’ or ‘maidenhood belt’ ceremony where the bride’s waist is tied with a red ribbon by a brother and the groom’s brother is supposed to guard the door until he is paid by the groom’s family for the bribing ceremony respectively.
Upon reaching the Groom’s house, the bride gets gifted a present by the groom’s mother, and then after freshening up the evening proceeds with the remaining ceremony. The consummation of alcohol is avoided in ceremonies for religious reasons and the groom’s family is usually expected to pay for the whole ordeal.