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Wedding Dresses | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
Wedding Dresses | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
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6 Tips to Survive a Traditional Turkish Wedding

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 30 November 2017
Turkish weddings are a crowded and loud affair that usually take place in large hotel ballrooms. If you get invited to a Turkish wedding, here are some tips that will help you enjoy an evening of Turkish marital pomp.

Dress your best

Turkish weddings are an excuse for everyone (especially women) to really get dressed up. There will be plenty of high heels, fancy floor-length dresses and lots of makeup and jewelry. You should definitely opt for something colourful, formal and chic. However, make sure that your shoes are comfortable because weddings usually begin with a cocktail (a lot of standing) followed by plenty of dancing after the ceremony and dinner.

Get used to talking to strangers

Turkish weddings are not only for family and close friends but also for all the parents’ important acquaintances. That means there will be a lot of people you don’t know who will want to converse with you and ask how you know the bride and groom. Get used to talking to a lot of people you’ve probably never seen before.

Get ready to get down to some Turkish music

Speaking of dancing, no Turkish wedding is complete without a whole lot of full blast Turkish music and everyone getting down on the dance floor. You’ll soon notice that no one really cares about how good your dancing skills are. So let loose and dance to Turkish songs, which are usually mega hits from the 90s that everyone knows by heart, or if you’re lucky, a live traditional band.

Bring a plus one

Being alone at a Turkish wedding can sometimes be a bit boring, especially if you don’t know anyone or don’t speak the language. It’s always wise to bring a plus one who will traverse the very interesting spectacle of a Turkish wedding with you, or at least, someone who speaks the language who will be able to guide you along. Either way, the point of any Turkish wedding is to enjoy yourself and share the joy of two people who have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together.

Be okay with not seeing much of the bride and groom

If you’re hoping to spend some quality time with the bride and groom during their Turkish wedding, you can definitely forget it because you probably won’t see them much. The bride and groom are usually absent during the pre-cocktail party and only appear during the ceremony and are then busy for a long time walking around every table meeting and greeting all the guests. This means you’ll be able to congratulate them for a few minutes and maybe see them again on the dance floor at some point.

Bring a gold coin

When the bride and groom walk around the table to meet and greet all the guests and accept their good wishes, the maid of honour will follow around with a small satchel into which people throw gold coins or money. You can buy these special gold coins at jewelry shops all around Turkey and it’s a pretty traditional gift that you are more than welcome to take part in.