Marriage

The bride's family spread a traditional cloth (often used for all weddings in the family and handed down for generations) out on the ground and sweets (such as sweet almonds and sweet wine cakes) are laid out upon it in preparation for the ceremony.

The groom's family provide a mirror (again handed down the family for generations for this very purpose) which is also set up on the ground and finance the ceremony.

The wedding ceremony usually takes place during the night so that the lighting of the candles can occur as the sun rises, symbolising the beginning of a new day in the couples life.

Clothing for the guests and couple for both the wedding and the party should be the brightest, shiniest, and boldest outfits you have. The bolder the better.

The bride and groom are seated together upon one side of the cloth, facing the mirror with their witnesses seated beside them. Both bride and groom provide a witness, typically an older married male such as the father, older brother or similar.

The holy man ritually asks a representative from each family if there are any objections to the wedding and then offers both the bride and groom a few words on the importance of the institution of marriage. Next he asks the groom if he wishes to enter into the marriage contract. Once consent has been given he asks the same of the bride. (Here, the bride traditionally plays shy and makes the groom wait for her hand in marriage by not answering the question right away. The guests scream in the background, "she is not here" or "the bride has gone to pick some flowers" or "the bride is thinking". She has to wait and not answer the question until it is asked a third time.) When she has also given her consent he paints the marriage mark on both the bride and groom and calls upon the guests to witness the mark. The couple will wear this mark for the rest of their married life and removing it is seen as a serious act of fraud.

At this point the bride and groom exchange rings and kiss. Honey is then presented to the wedding couple by the holy man and they take it in turns to dip a finger into the honey and gives some to their new spouse. The holy man also puts a candle on either side of the mirror and the groom and bride light one each whilst exchanging any words they wish to offer their new spouse.

The bride and groom hand out sweets, and pastries from the cloth to the wedding guests and the wedding guests present gifts to the new couple. Items from the cloth are always thought to be blessed and bring good luck and great fortune. They couple also give each other sweets from the wedding cloth for the remainder of the ceremony.

A party, similar to a reception, can be celebrated right after the wedding ceremony or up to a year after it.