Day 3 of the wedding celebrations is traditionally the day that both families and friends of the bride and groom visit their new house and give them their presents. Of course this only happens after yet more celebrations, dancing and food.
The presents were all gathered together near the couple and each one was announced individually. Gifts of money were counted out in public (which I found rather disconcerting) and the other gifts were unwrapped and shown to all in the room to show their appreciation by clapping and dancing their congratulations. Feri and I chose to give the couple a gold coin, sekke, and I also bought a “lucky” horse-shoe over from the UK which created some interest.
The bride wore yet another beautiful gown and looked as fresh and as lively as on day 1 of the festivities.
I don’t know how they do it!
Well, the day finally arrived and our first task in the early afternoon was to get ready and drive to the couple’s new house where official photos were taken with family. The groom looked very smart, polished and not at all nervous whilst the bride looked truly gorgeous in a traditional long off-white dress and carrying a bouquet of apricot roses.
Photo shoot over, we drove to the reception hall where men and women were immediately separated by a screen in the middle of the room as is the custom. Three hundred people were expected and the hall soon filled up with expectant guests.
The bride and groom arrived a while later, clapped into the room in welcome by a group of close friends and family and slowly made their way to the “love seat” at the top of the hall stopping to speak to all the guests on the way.. Then the first party began.
Plenty of dancing, merriment and eating delicious food followed until we left thehall at 10pm to drive to the private family gathering and more partying.
Then the fun really started.
In Iran it is customary to decorate the bride and groom’s car with bouquets of flowers front and back and to follow them in convoy with everyone’s hazard lights flashing and horns blaring all the time. Firecrackers and sparklers are let off out of the car windows and there is plenty of shouting and whistling. Alarmingly, in the middle of the dual carriageway all the cars stopped in the road and the men got out and started to dance to music playing on the radio. Not bothered about holding up the traffic this continued for a few minutes until they returned to their cars and continued the drive to party number 2.
More dancing and yet more food until the early hours when time was called.
Thank goodness; I can’t keep up-they party like maniacs.
Goodness knows how much preparation went into this extravaganza but for us it meant three days of full-on wedding celebrations, dancing, meeting the relatives who had descended on Esfahan from far-flung corners of Iran and of course making the Bride and Groom’s happy event a momentous one.
It all started on the eve of the wedding day itself when the families of both the bride and groom met at their new apartment to admire the dowry. It is traditional for the groom to provide the accommodation. The bride’s family provides everything else and I was amazed by the fabulous décor, and a home completely furnished and ready to move into immediately. The family had even stocked the fridge with fresh food and drink!
The bride was stunningly beautiful in a long green gown, matching shoes, and of course nail polish! Slim, elegant and radiantly happy she sailed through the evening with great poise lovingly supported by her husband-to-be.
The party really started to pick up pace and the dancing began. It is a bizarre experience to sit and observe such an eclectic mix of people and modes of dress in the same room. This is especially noticeable with the women. Some clearly prefer the modesty of headscarves and chadoors indoors when men are present. Many are dressed in classy evening dresses which would grace any Oscar ceremony whilst some are not quite so modest. “Killer” heels are de-rigeur and I can’t believe there were not more sprained ankles being treated in the local A&E.
I survived the loud music, clapping and laughter to end the evening looking forward to the wedding ceremony the next day.
What will the bride wear tomorrow? She wouldn’t tell!