In Tunisia, weddings are considered as one of the most important occasions in one person’s life and their preparation may take years. You’re probably wondering why does it take so long to prepare a wedding that would last only few hours ? Well in Tunisia, a wedding lasts… 7 days ! Yes, you’re not having any hallucinations. Even if today, young couples are tending to bring a fresh touch to their wedding, they remain very attached to their traditions even if their costs might be very high sometimes.
As the tradition in Tunisia, the wedding lasts one week, and every day there’s a special occasion that may concern the bride, the groom or both of them. Years ago, the bride had to wear 7 different outfits and jewelry but today, things are changing without loosing any of their authenticity.
So for the first day of the wedding week, all women of the family prepare the bride’s trousseau and iron all her clothes. The next day, women unpack all the bride’s trousseau in her new house and help her store it.
The third day is totally dedicated to the bride and it’s what we call the “hammam” day. The mother, sisters and friends of the bride form a musical procession on their way to the hammam. During this special day, all the women take care of the bride in a festive and joyful atmosphere. At the end of the day, the bride looks pretty with her glowing and shiny skin, and ready for the best day of her life.
The fourth day is is an important day: it’s the henna ceremony. In the Tunisian tradition, henna brings luck and happiness to the bride in her new life. During the ceremony, a member of the family (generally an old woman) put some henna paste on different parts of the bride’s body. Then comes the “harkous” ceremony, the day after. During this ceremony, the same old woman decorates the bride’s body with different beautiful designs (flowers, butterflies, etc.).
On the sixth day, the bride is finally ready for her “outia”, a traditional tunisian ceremony dedicated to the bride. During this ceremony, the bride and hers guests wear their beautiful oriental and traditional outfits. These outfits are different from a region to another, and the bride can wear many dresses (up to 4 or more). Even if it’s a women’s party, in some cases the groom and some members of his family join the bride.
The seventh day is obviously the most important day. After a whole week of festivities, the bride and the groom are finally getting married during a big celebration where all the family and friends are invited the share the couple’s happinness.