Dancing All Night

When we attended our first real Moroccan wedding, we left the party early.

By that, I mean that we left at 4:00 AM.

Moroccan weddings are quite the affair. There are loads of regional and cultural variations, but they all have some things in common: extravagance, length, and feasting.

This particular wedding was slated to start at 7PM. We arrived at 9PM and were some of the first ones there. At 10:30PM, the l’3rusa (bride) made her grand entrance in her first outfit.

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She was then carried around in the amaria (pictured below) while everyone whooped and ululated. We stayed for five outfits (there were probably two or three more).

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The groom (a family member of our host family) walking down from the podium to greet his new wife.

The groom (a family member of our host family) walking down from the podium to greet his new wife.

At our tables, we were served appetizers (including these delicious things that tasted just like spicy Cheez-Its), mint tea, and milkshakes/juices (avocado, orange, and berry panache) before the main meal. At most all big Moroccan events that I’ve been to (weddings, funerals, births), they serve the same things in the same order. First, grilled chickens rubbed with spices, usually served with veggies and harr (spicy sauce) on lemons. Then, beef and barqoq (stewed plums/prunes). And finally, the desir course: always a lovely basket of assorted fruits. We didn’t get any pictures because the food disappeared too fast! But we had a blast sitting and hanging out with some wonderful people.

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Robert telling a scintillating joke.

Robert telling a scintillating joke.

Secrets don't make friends, Mama Ryqqia!

Secrets don’t make friends, Mama Ryqqia!

Alas, the most awkward part of the entire affair was predictably the dancing. A vital part of Moroccan celebrations. We are both awful at shakin’ our booties (my hips do, indeed, lie), but these four months have already shed us of any shame we might have once had. It was exhausting and embarrassing, but we went for it!

Dragged into the middle of the dance floor...

Dragged into the middle of the dance floor…

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Amal gettin' down.

Amal gettin’ down.

The worst part was when the DJ and the filmographer decided to lavish all their attentions on us. “No no no no no,” we panicked. “Please pay attention to the bride and groom, noooooot us!!!!” We kept trying to sit down in the corner inconspicuously, but we were dragged back into the middle every time. Everyone kept wanting to dance with the random foreigners.

It looks like Robert is stealing his hat, but he's actually giving it back.

It looks like Robert is stealing his hat, but he’s actually giving it back.

In my head: WHAT AM I DOINGGGGGG

In my head: WHAT AM I DOINGGGGGG

The guy holding my hand (the one who is not my husband) actually invited us to his own wedding in July. Ohhhh dear.

The guy holding my hand actually invited us to his own wedding in July. Ohhhh dear.

When we finally left, a bit after four in the morning, I was so tired that I could barely walk. I don’t know how everyone else went on! For a week after the wedding, people kept telling us that we left too early… We missed the hrira and coffee courses… But as much as I love both hrira and coffee, I don’t know if I could have made it all the way to the end. Weaksauce, I know… Perhaps for the next wedding.

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Yours Truly,

Robert & Julie

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