The Lebanese wedding season is almost here. It's this time of the year when you start receiving those fancy to tacky invitation cards to attend a huge extraordinary celebration that is called a Lebanese wedding.
If you have been invited for the first time to a wedding in Lebanon, don't assume that you've seen it all. These are not your usual weddings. Preparations are required, and expectations must be met. For these reasons, we've summed up for you a list of 7 of the most important things that you should consider before attending a wedding in Lebanon.
#1 Hair and makeup appointments are a must
As part for your preparation to attend a Lebanese wedding, first, come the hair and make-up appointments. Invited ladies should start securing these beautifying appointments several days ahead to ensure that they will look at their best ever. Lebanese weddings are the #1 occasion to shine out in all glory.
#2 You should wear the most dazzling stuff you can get
As soon as you receive the invitation cards, you should start thinking seriously about what to wear for this celebration.
Evening dresses and gowns you've been seen in are not recommended if you want to avoid side-looks. A shopping spree might probably be your starting point.
Both gowns and evening dresses are appropriate for our weddings as long as they are trendy, and not white. As for men, a sharp formal suit is expected.
#3 Don't show up early
At receiving the invitation card, save the date... and the time only as a reference point. Plan your arrival time keeping in mind that our weddings start much later than whatever the invitation states.
If the invitation says 6 o'clock, for example, do not feel like you should show up early or even that you need to be on time. It does not work this way in our Lebanese weddings. Otherwise, you would seem too eager for the festivities. It's embarrassing.
#4 Bring along some earplugs as the Zaffeh will be loud
When attending a Lebanese wedding, be prepared for what we call the zaffeh, our traditional entrance of the newly-weds and their high-pitch festive escort.
They would be marching into the event venue with professional loud drummers, even louder cheers by the escorting party, and a group of talented performers dancing their way in.
Despite its loudness, you will be lucky to watch this exotic display of happiness if you are a guest invited from abroad. The zaffeh is a highly-anticipated part of the celebration. Guests await it with trepidation as they ready to celebrate the newly-weds as an official couple, and, of course, to finally see up-close the piece de resistance of the wedding: The bridal fancy gown.
#5 Don't startle at the firing up of flamboyant fireworks
The Lebanese love fireworks and it has become a popular part of the wedding celebration in Lebanon in recent decades.
So, if you're attending a Lebanese wedding for the first time, be prepared for the first explosion of fireworks over your head. It starts most often at the cutting of the wedding cake by the newly-weds. Past that first detonation, you'll be up to enjoy a flamboyant show of sparkling lights in the sky above.
#6 Abstain from eating long hours before the wedding
One of the most important elements of a Lebanese wedding celebration is the food. Culturally, we are already overgenerous with the food on our tables when receiving guests on normal days. In weddings, we tend to go overboard. So, get ready for it!
In every single wedding of ours, you'll find a catering company serving delicious dinner of several courses or a never-ending buffet. From delicious Lebanese appetizers to mouthwatering main courses and desserts, you will be at lost, delightfully though.
So, make sure to attend with an empty stomach because you wouldn't want to miss savoring any of it. Trust me!
#7 The wedding cake will astound you
If you are a guest from abroad, you might find yourself gawking in awe at the wedding cake. You might probably need to take a few minutes to recuperate your breath.
Extravagant could be an understatement when it comes to our wedding cakes. Some reach easily 9 layers, some even more. Whatever their sizes, they come skilfully and fancily elaborated.
So, when the time approaches for the newly-weds to cut the cake, don't be surprised by the sudden appearance of a shiny sword handed over to the groom. Cutting these huge cakes can't be done otherwise.
Both the groom and the bride will join hands on the sword and perform the wedding rite of cutting the cake. At that point of the celebration, with the guests applauding, you might get to beam at two white doves released in the sky right over the heads of the newly-weds.
Our weddings can exceed in glory and competition. They are mostly fancy, celebrated in dream-like decorated venues, with both traditional and latest international music that keep you going all night; all while fireworks brighten up the night sky over you with thousands of sparkling colors.