Egyptian Wedding Traditions

Egyptians believe the ring finger has the "vein amoris", the vein of love that runs straight to the heart.

The ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to regard marriage as a legal relationship. Marriage in ancient Egypt was considered a religious duty and prophetic instructions can be found in the Quran. Today, the Egyptians' population is more than 90 per cent Muslim. Marriage is considered the most important event in their lives and is a way to protect their cultural beliefs of this sacred relationship.

Engagement Party
- Outside of a love marriage, Egyptian weddings are arranged, with both families making inquiries of conduct and standing in society.
- An agreement between the two families is made and the suitor pays the fiancée family an amount of money, called Mahr.
Mahr money is used by the bride-to-be’s family to purchase furniture and jewelry. The jewelry is called Shabka and is given by the groom-to-be at the engagement party to his fiancée. Today, this custom still exists whether your marriage is arranged or not.
- The bride-to-be wears a pink or blue gown.
- The groom gives his fiancée a wedding ring, which traditionally symbolizes immortality between the old and new world. The bride wears it on her right hand.

Just before the Wedding
- The women get together at the brides house for a “Henna Party”, which involves dancing and singing. The bride’s feet and hands are bleached with mosaic designs in henna (see photo).
- Men have a party at the groom’s house, which also involves dancing and singing all night.

The Wedding Day
-Traditionally, the wedding takes place in a church or mosque.
- Traditionally, the bride and groom wear linen outfits adorned with gold and silver.
- Today, bridal couples wear white gowns and suits.
- Just before the marriage vows begin, there is a musical wedding march called the Zaffa.
- Zaffa is Egyptian music, belly dancers, drums horns and performers with flaming swords.
Check out this clip of an Egyptian procession into the reception.
- Arriving at the hall, the bridal couple sits in on a Kosha. (The Kosha is decorative chairs on a raised platform.)
- A rose water drink, called Sharpat is served to all the guests and a toast is made to the couple.
- The rings are switched from right hand to left hand.
- The entertainers (belly dancers, flaming swords men, singers) entertain during the evening.
Check out this video

- Traditionally the bride’s family makes all the food for the wedding.
- Food reflects the wealth of the family. The buffet contains a variety of salads, meats, stews and sweets.
- Favourite dishes are Kufta, kebabs, grilled chicken, fish and saffron rice dishes.
Recipe for Kufta 
- Alcohol is not served as Muslim tradition forbids it.