Skip to content

You know it’s a Turkish wedding when…   

Heart shaped wedding cake.

© aNadventures

When my former flat mate and dear friend announced she was getting married and asked me to be her wedding witness, I felt honoured. Of course I’ll be there, I told her and booked my flight to Izmir. Being back felt familiar and strange at the same time but I was particularly excited about witnessing my first ever Turkish wedding with the people that had become family to me when I was living in Turkey.

The Turkish culture is rich in traditions and ceremonies: What you say in whichever situation, who you serve coffee to in which way and order, what you do or do not do in public… So many things are determined by unspoken rules. That’s why I was very curious to see which traditions apply to a Turkish wedding.

The following are some of my observations.

You know it’s a Turkish wedding when…  

  1. You know the hairdresser’s first name and biography after having spent half a day there.
  2. Your dress can never be too sparkly.
  3. At least one person needs their make-up redone because they got carried away by emotions.
  4. There’s noise involved from honking cars.
  5. The groom picks up the bride from her home accompanied by a traditional davulcu (drummer).
  6. A male relative close to the bride ties a red ribbon around her waist which symbolizes maidenhood.
  7. The groom can only enter the bride’s home after tipping her brother or another male relative.
  8. The bride’s close female friends and relatives write their names on the bride’s shoe sole before all the dancing begins. Whoever’s name has vanished by the end of the night, will be the next one to get married.
  9. While signing the wedding certificate or shortly after, bride and groom try to step on each other’s feet to demonstrate who’s in charge in the relationship.
  10. Bride and groom are equipped with a ribbon around their necks after the official ceremony, so the guests can congratulate them by pinning money and gold to it.


For me, personally, standing up front with the couple as one of their witnesses was especially thrilling. It emphasized the feeling of sharing a special moment with my friend.

How about YOU? Have you ever assisted a Turkish wedding? Which tradition did particularly strike you?

From → Turkey

  1. Oh what a wonderfully amazing invitation to receive and be able to accept. Thank you for sharing your keen observations and perspective. All my best to you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 3 Turkish expressions I’ve learnt while watching “Atiye” | aNadventures
  2. Then and now | aNadventures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: