Turkish Wedding

Turkish weddings vary mainly according to regions, rural regions, and urban regions. A modern Turkish wedding will consist of a signing ceremony which is followed by a massive celebration consisting of the bride, the groom, and their friends and relatives. At the celebration, the friends and relatives will dance, eat, drink and shower the bride and bridegroom with gifts and their best wishes.

Traditional Turkish Wedding

Nowadays, most weddings will be held upon the agreement of both the young man and woman. However, you will still find that some marriages are always arranged. Even if the young man and woman agree to the arrangement, both of their families will still follow the traditions of a Turkish wedding.

If the marriage is going to be completely family arranged, the young' man's family will look for a bride. The young man's family and especially his mother and other female relatives will send word around, and the relatives and neighbors will start presenting candidates. The candidate should be a young girl they have met in the market, in a ceremony or a gathering.

After they have identified the young woman, the young man's family will seek to know the girl's family. After they are familiar with the whereabouts of the family, the young man's family will send a message to the girl's family that they would want to see the girl. Traditionally, the young woman's family will always agree to the request.

The Visits

On a particular set date, the young man's family, together with some of the closest relatives, will visit the girl's home. Traditionally the girl will be dressed up, and she will be serving the guests Turkish coffee. While they take their coffee, the young man and his family will leave without leaving a comment.

They will later discuss the girl and her family. If the young man agrees and declares his intention of marrying the girl, family representatives will be sent. The family's representatives usually will be some female relatives accompanied by an older woman. As the prospective bride serves them coffee, the young man's representatives will explain their motive. Usually, the girl's family will explain everything to the girl and send their reply within a week.

The girl's family will check out the prospective groom and his family as well. If there is positive feedback, the groom's parents will visit the girl's family accompanied by their relatives and several vital elders.

The Gifts

Both families will come together and discuss which specific gifts each household will give to the couple. The wedding date will also be set during these discussions. After the talks are over, both of the families will have dessert, which mostly will be Baklava.

The neighbors will also have a dessert to show them that the families have agreed. Taking dessert signifies a wish that everything goes sweetly in marriage. Afterward, an engagement ceremony will be held, and the young man will place an engagement ring on the bride's finger. At this point, it is usually customary to give the bride gifts such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry.

Wedding Day Eve

Before the wedding ceremony takes place, the household goods will be received for the new house. When this takes place, you will probably hear clapping, singing, and dancing.

The wedding day eve is also known as Henna night. During this time, the bride's friends will gather to the girl's place and sing, dance, and play music. They will also tint the bride's fingers and hands with henna. It is also customary that they sing sad and separation songs towards the end of the night.

It is also customary that the bride cries, signifying the sorrow of leaving her family. Meanwhile, the groom and his friends also form a party where they will sing, eat, drink, and dance, which is sort of a bachelor's party. Most wedding ceremonies will last only a day. However, with the different regions, some might take three to seven days according to the wealth of the family.

The Nikah

Nikah is a marriage contract which is signed in a Nikah ceremony. In this ceremony, the groom or his representatives will propose to the bride in front of at least two witnesses. They will state clearly the details of the Meher during this ceremony. The bride and groom will then show their free will by saying 'Kabul ediyorum,' which means I accept in Turkish. Afterward, the couple and two male witnesses will sign the contract, which makes the marriage legal according to the religious laws.

If the wedding were following Islamic traditions, the couple would share a sweet fruit such as a date. If the ceremony requires that men and women be separated, a male known as the Wali will represent the bride in the Nikah ceremony.

Blessings and Vows

Also, the Nikah officiant may add up religious ceremony, which includes reading and reciting the first chapter of the Qur'an known as the Fatihah and reciting the Durud. Most Muslim couples do not make vows to each other. Instead, they prefer listening to speeches on the meaning of marriage, along with responsibilities to Allah and their partners.

However, you will find that some brides and grooms will say some vows. There are some common vows such as: ''I (bride's name) offer myself to you in marriage following the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."

Groom: "I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."

On the wedding day, the eldest brother to the girl will tie a red ribbon on her sister's waist before she leaves her home to start a new life.

During the official ceremony the couple signs the marriage registration book in front of the mayor or an official acting on behalf of the mayor. After this, the couple will compete on who will step on their partner's first. This will determine who will dominate the family.

After the celebrations are over and after the cutting of the cake, ribbons will be tied around the bride and groom's neck. At this point, the guests will congratulate them while they place money on the ribbons.

Turkish Henna Night

Henna is a small celebration that usually takes place a week or two before the wedding. It was a tradition that was practiced in the past, and it’s still relevant in the present. During the celebration, the groom would arrive with his friends in preparation for the entry.

The tradition requires the groom and the bride to enter while there is a slow traditional song playing. In front of them, there is a group of young single women carrying candles. They are then required to walk around three times then sit. The elder who is present in the group then commences the celebration by placing the henna onto the grooms and bride’s palms. However, for the two to open their closed fists, the in-laws are required to present a coin of gold.

For many brides, whether traditionally or today, it is a melancholic evening. It serves as a preparation for the bride to leave her parents’ house and start a new life at her husband’s home. The celebration is, therefore, both scary and sad for the bride as well as the end of an era. During the henna night, there is a specific traditional song that is sung to demonstrate the occasion. The song is called “Yüksek Tepelere”.

On the day of the celebration, the bride is allowed to dress in a gown of her choice, then celebrate with her family and female friends. In the evening, she changes her dress to a traditional attire called Kaftan.

What is Kaftan?

Kaftan is a term that represents a variety of dresses for henna. The dresses are generally sewn without lining and then extend all the way to the foot. The liner is replaced by the dress within the robe. Usually, this is an evening dress that the bride wears for her henna night.

Traditionally, this attire was worn by Sultans of the Ottoman period. Today, with their velvet thick fabric and gold-ornaments embroidered on them, they have become one of the most popular henna night dresses. Traditionally the material was made of red velvet. Today, they can be of many different colors and fabric textures.

Kaftan Fabrics

Satin, and velvet ; these are the most popular fabrics used to make kaftans. If you are doing your henna night during the winter, you may want to choose a velvet robe. Velvet will keep you warmer. If you are doing it during the spring or summer, however, velvet may not be the best option. You may want to consider using satin.

How to Choose a Kaftan?

Selecting the right kaftan will demand that you consider the color of the dress. Pay attention to its harmony with the dress you wear. You may want to buy the kaftan from the same place you bought your dress for the perfect color harmony. This will ensure that you do not have to deal with two clashing colors or shades of the same color.

You also need to consider the henna concept. In the past, the ideas were mostly pink, red, and blue. The color you choose for the kaftan should always ensure that it matches the color of the henna concept. In recent years, green has been the most preferred color for both kaftans and henna concepts.

You also need to check the embroidery quality on the kaftan. If it is not of high quality, it may not be as eye-catching as you want it to be.

You also need to think about where you will organize the henna night. If you choose a big and fancy place, use a tarlatan under the kaftan. If space is small and intimate, you should not use a tarlatan. A tarlatan is an open-weave cotton fabric whose primary purpose is to stiffen garments. It is always preferred for larger places with more guests. With smaller spaces, you will be unable to move comfortably.

When to Wear a Kaftan?

You can wear the kaftan when going into the henna area and a short period during and after the henna is applied. You can go back to your dress during those other times. This is a fun day, and it may not be as comfortable if you keep your kaftan on, especially during those hot summer nights.

Kaftan Accessories

Even when you have chosen the perfect kaftan, it does not mean that the entire process is complete. You also need to select the accessories that will match the kaftan and the dress underneath. Among the most important accessories are the hair accessories and the shoes you will wear.

Hair Accessories

You can use a caftan crown or a fez as your hair accessory. Always ensure that the accessories you wear are easy to move around with and also easy to remove. You also need to ensure that they match well with your caftan fabric and color.

Shoe Selection

You must have already researched about shoes that go well with henna night. Just as you choose your dress and kaftan, you must put serious consideration into the kaftan you wear. You must think about how many inches will be perfect for your heels.

Because there is a lot of dancing in this night, I recommend wearing a thick heel. You also need to have Babette shoes in case you think about ballet dancing at the end of the night.

The Turkish Wedding Menu

In most Turkish cultures, wedding ceremonies include a feast and multiple different courses. Mostly the menus may vary according to the regions, but the most common ingredients include eggplant, lamb, spinach, rice pilaf, tomatoes, and cheeses.

Chicken is also a popular food in many Turkish weddings. However, you will find that the most remembered in traditional Turkish wedding food is soup. There is a wide array of recipes of different soup recipes in the Turkish wedding foods, but the ingredients will vary a lot. However, the basis of the soup is mostly lentils or lamb. Most recipes may call for cayenne pepper and paprika.

Turkish Wedding Soups

These soups are mainly served hot or cold and sometimes flavored with garlic and onions. Most Turkish wedding soup recipes use a beaten egg and mixed with some lemon juice, which is added to served minutes before the soup is served.

Also, some recipes will instruct the cook to sprinkle the soup with cinnamon on the serving bowls. Similar to most traditional soups, there are lots of different methods, and that is why the cook should be able to prepare according to what they feel best and what people may love.

Main Courses

Kebabs may also be included in the main courses of a Turkish wedding. They are slices of meat which is roasted and mostly served on a medium skewer or any other traditional dish. Another one is flaky pastries, which are mainly served with spinach and cheese.

You will also find that in most Turkish wedding meals, a native sourdough and bread may be served. Rice or bulgur may even be seasoned and wrapped in cabbage, grape, or eggplant leaves and served as an alternative option. Usually, the meals will end with dessert-like dates, almonds with ice-cream or baklava, pastes of figs, or other regular desserts.

Ethnic Turkish Wedding Food Recipes

In most areas near the black sea, most Turkish wedding food will include Fish, shellfish, or caviar in place of lamb, beef, or chicken. Some regions will also prefer cornbread or even sourdough bread.

There many different ethnic groups in Turkey, including the Georgians, Circassians, and Turks too. The ethnic food also reflects the ethnic diversity. Like most countries worldwide, different ethnic dishes are made according to the readily available in the region. Those who are lucky to be invited to a Turkish wedding should try out the soup, but after taking the soup, they should not overlook the other dishes.

A Turkish Wedding Menu Sample

This four-course menu include an array of different dishes and flavors. However, this seemed so standard for a wedding meal.

Saray Lezzetleri Tabağı: çerkez tavuğu, enginar dolması, üçgen peynir, somon, fava,domates patlıcan salatası

Palace-style plate: Circassian, triangle of Turkish white cheese, artichoke dolma, tomatoe-aubergine salad, walnut chicken spread

Tulum peynirli ve cevizli vol au vant, Ispanaklı, domates sos eşliğinde.

Tulum-cheese, spinach and walnut vol-au-vant with tomato sauce

Iç pilav, Kuzu Tandır, ve beğendi ile

Lamb roast with pilaf plus aubergine puree

Hurmali Incir Tatlisi

Dates and figs dessert

Turkish Wedding Music

Good wedding songs are the heartbeat of a wedding's excitement phase. This is why you need to choose songs that are worth the dance. Good Songs that will make anyone in the party dance to the tune.

A Spotify song list is what you need for that fantastic collection of wedding songs. Below are some songs that you can play on your wedding day for the happy dances.

Traditional Ankara Wedding Music

 Ankara music is essential in most weddings if you want people to tremendously joyous. It doesn't matter where the bride comes from; traditional Ankara music is indispensable.

Here is a list of songs that will elevate everyone's moods in the party

-Dar geldi sana Ankara


-Ankara’nın bağları





-Tiridine bandım


-Sallan boyuna bakayım

-Sarı kız

-Kesik çayır

-Vay seni vay vay


-Hayatı tesbih yapmışım

Traditional Black Sea Wedding Music

When thinking about the black sea region, you will never fail to think about the first Horon. However, there are different songs like “Kolbastı” and “Giresun karşılaması”. You will fall in love with the list below of bagpipe and a collection of Turkish violin sounds and kemençe songs.



-Giresun karşılaması

-Ya ben anlatamadım


-Mısır’ı kuruttun mu

-Tulum show

-Gökte yıldız ay mısın?


-Babam söyledi bana

Traditional Gaziantep Wedding Music

With a good choice of music, you can be sure that no one will sit down when it’s time to enjoy the wedding.  Below is a list of the Gaziantep dance music you can play on your wedding day.

-Antebin Hamamları

-Antep çiftetellisi

-Antep Kilis oyun havaları


-Antebin düğünleri



-Arab’ım Fellahi

-Çakmak çakmağa geldik

-Oy oy Emine

Traditional Thrace Wedding Music

Are you always excited at the sound of Thracian traditional rhythms? Then you should know that the Thracian music is also a wedding favorite. Below is a list of traditional Thrace wedding song list.

-İlle de roman olsun

-Çiçekçi kız

-Abe Kayana

-Hap koydum


-Şukar Şukar


-Yakadan paçaya kalite

-Kara gözlü çingenem

-Trakya çiftetelli

-Roman havası


-Tekirdağ karşılama


-Gamzeli Yârim

Traditional Kurdish Wedding Music

Can you imagine a mind-blowing wedding song list without them? Definitely not. Below are the best choices of Kurdish wedding songs that are going to make even the most uptight friend in your wedding dance their hearts off.




-Zer mircan

-werin govende

-Yek mümik

-Le buke

-Midigo me

-Yar meleke

-Kürtçe oyun havaları

-Warni Warni

-Xweş gowende

-Leylo Leylo Zirawe

-Hay nikina

-Kara üzüm habbesi

Traditional Rumelian Wedding Music

Rumelian songs are also a bomb when it comes to the explosion of joy in traditional wedding dances. Check out the list below for your wedding Rumelian songs.

-Kadifeden kesesi

-Kalk gidelim Mori memlekete

-Temenna Nuse


-Hayde Male

-Evreşe yolları


-Ağlama Gelin hanım

-Pravo horo

-Yarım hava çalsana

-Ar gelir Osman ağa




-Ratka Piratka

-Vursunlar davullar



-Fuşe e kosovus


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