The Pros and Cons of Arab Weddings (The Survival Kit)

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Arab weddings are renowned for being loud, proud, and over the top. Like, when we throw a party, we really throw a party. 

Call us old fashioned, but simple weddings just aren’t it. Between the loud music, the copious amounts of food, or oceans of family members that no-one realized they had, Arab weddings hit different. 

If you’re single, weddings are an opportunity to dress-up, socialize, and have fun with our nearest and dearest. Or perhaps exchange sideward glances from across the party with a mysterious cutie. Who knows? The possibilities are endless. 

For couples, it’s a social responsibility. If your friends are getting married, you’ve got to be there. Family members getting hitched? No excuse. Your friends or family will never let you live down the fact that you missed their special day, consistent reminders of how they came to your wedding. If you do manage to sidestep a wedding invite, please be prepared for the onslaught of questions that will quickly innondate your Whatsapp, Messenger and ears. The guilt trip is real, trust us. Nothing short of a natural disaster is a good excuse for missing a wedding.

Or maybe (like us), you attend the wedding, feeling awkward with the rising social pressure, and are positively dreading the next round of ‘3ukbalik’. Yes, for some of us there is nothing on this planet more anxiety inducing than attending large social gatherings, and Arab weddings are quite literally the pinnacle of stress. 

With this in mind we explore the pros and cons of Arab weddings.


Pros


It’s another excuse to socialize

POV: everyone looks great, the weather is good, and you’re sitting in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful people. The pepsi is flowing, the DJ is spinning some incredible tunes. It’s practically a nightclub, but with better service. There’s quite literally hundreds of photos being taken, your phone is exploding with IG tagged photo notifications. You feel good about yourself, maybe for the first time in a long time, until next week’s wedding of course.

We get to dress up

Because we’re not just going to go in standard attire. We wouldn’t be seen dead in a dress that we wore to last year’s wedding. Yup, it’s time to dust off the credit card and go on a shopping spree, because it’s all for a good occasion right? Alternatively, if we’re going to do this properly, we get a dress made. Queue the hours selecting material, the days of fittings, refittings and subsequent adjustments. But it’s totally worth it for ‘Mashallah’ count. Just providing we don’t out dress the bride, or bridesmaids.   

Dancing

Literally everyone has moves, and we mean everyone. Tant is throwing shapes that you never even knew existed. Baba has assumed the standard open palm clap, or maybe the experimental lapel grab and hip-shake. Dabke masters assemble in lines. It’s no exaggeration: every single person at the party must dance, regardless of age, gender or disposition towards dancing. Protip, ladies its time to dust off some of those classy Samia Gamal moves you’ve been practicing in anticipation for the occasion. Guys, nothing says ‘stay away’ more than relentless Chaabi moves, please exercise with caution. 

Cons

Social Anxiety

Some of us can think of absolutely nothing worse than large social gatherings, especially one populated by our close friends and family. If that wasn’t bad enough, mabrook, you’re also now in a situation where you’re forced to speak to new people. Peak levels of pressure ensue when asked ‘Inte bint meen?’, or the classic ‘3ukbalak’ or even the ‘My son’s a doctor’, all of the above make us wish we could just disappear into the smoke and cake filled darkness. But there’s no escape. At least not until 2am. 

Catching feels from the wedding

We’ve all been there. One of your closest school friends is getting hitched. Everyone’s emotional. You shed a tear during the first dance, spoiler alert – it’s not ‘El3ab Yala’. Perhaps using that emotion as a trigger to reassess your life’s priorities isn’t the best move. That person you’re going to see for a couple of months after, before deciding to propose isn’t her/him… Take our word for it.

FOMO

For those of us who are outgoing, wedding FOMO is real. We want to be everywhere, sitting at the couples table, sitting at the singles, greeting everyone we possibly can in the shortest amount of time. For some of us, weddings are essentially a networking event. But, with a cake filled twist. Don’t over stretch yourself, protect your energy. Who knows when the next wedding might take place? You couldn’t miss the opportunity, have fun, but not too much, you need to be on your A-game for the next wedding.

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