Monday, November 13, 2017

MY WEDDING IN OMAN, our long-term inspirations & plans to one day have the party part

When I married my Omani husband we basically eloped. Marrying an Omani without permission was illegal (and so it remains) so our wedding date depended upon an Imam or Shayukh in Oman willing to perform the ceremony, and act as my wali (male guardian, as I have no male Muslim relatives). This meant, that sometimes I'd be all dressed up, make-up done, in my cream and orange Nawal Al Hooti Omani wedding dress, with green beadwork and silver threadwork, and then the Imam would back out at the last minute... which was disheartening. Because most Imams in Oman are paid a government salary, witnessing, and performing a wedding for an Omani with a non-Omani means many are in fear of losing their income.

The time I actually got married, because there were numerous, almost-wedding-days, one Imam had already backed out that morning. I'd washed off my make-up, put on my sweat-pant-type pajamas, and been prepared to go to bed early because I was super depressed. 

...Then I got a call. 

An Imam in Barka was willing to perform the ceremony, if I could make it out there from Athaiba in a certain amount of time. No time to phone friends and family and arrange some guests. No time for make-up. No time for changing even. I threw on the best designer abaya I owned, which was plain black actually, and got myself out to Barka. 

The Islamic service took place with me sitting in the backseat of a car in the alley behind the Imam's house actually. Very romantic;). I watched bin cats while the men did the talking.

I was only really involved when the Imam/my wali came to ask me if I understood what everything entailed, and to try to ask me to ask for more maher/dowry. I told him I was fine with what I was getting, and then the ceremony was done. Omanis call this the melka. It was also my "party"/going-away night.

The Imam's female relatives heard of this, and were super anxious for me, that my wedding was kind of sad, so they insisted we come inside to their majlis, and ordered a chicken dinner with rice from a restaurant for us all to have and celebrate. I ate and celebrated with kind strangers.
So basically my husband and I always said, once we got our marriage permission we'd have a big party.
So planning for that, I always maintained, I'd wear Omani dress. There would have to be a mandoos Omani chest somewhere. The flowers would be pink or white bougainvillea, with some pomegranates, and maybe some limes, to symbolize, our Muscat/village lives joined. There would have to be a lot of brass candle-sticks. I love brass candlesticks.

There would be a place with a carpet set as a runner, and another carpet area, for the Islamic part of the wedding (which we already did, but our family and friends didn't see).

There would have to be a donkey, because that was tradition, and it also is something scandalous in modern times, so that is so me;p.
For the food, I actually have no idea still. If it gets closer to the date, I'll settle for a menu. Omani village way is usually meat and rice, and salads.
 I love this  lay-out for the seating.
See, the pomegranates and brass candle-sticks are so pretty as a runner!
Omanis don't typically have flower girls, but my girls throwing bougainvillea petals to line the path would be so cute, I think I have to do it. 
For the non-Muslim female guests I'd have scarf favours in Omani baskets. I think the Muslim girls would like this just as much;). And flower crowns, if I could get around to that...no way I'd pay a flourist. I am super cheap;).
 If there was no bougainvillea on the table, I'd find a way to decorate the seating areas with it.
I really don't know if I'd do Western or Arabic-style make-up, but I would do henna on my hands and feet. I am not really an "arms" henna kind of girl.
I would take pre-wedding photos of my rings, shoes, and dress, like this kind of..but over an Omani gate.
I totally don't know if I'd have bridesmaids, but I'd make them awesome dresses in the same tonal scheme. Omani brides usually have only one attendant. 
I love the idea of having a globe as a guestbook.
The invitations would be simple and hand-written.
And cake isn't really an Omani tradition, but all Omanis I know love cake, so why not?
And I have no idea HOW I would work it out, but I'd love to have SOME live entertainment at the wedding. It isn't really done in my husband's family, but my non-Muslim guests would want to see a little of Oman's culture if they traveled all the way to Oman for a wedding.

4 comments:

Juan in Oman said...

Wow, looks classic and tradition but elegant and classy

Tony said...

Wishing you EVERY success in achieving your desire - and lots of "Oh dan dani" sung in the appropriate style

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Jaun in Oman: I love your blog! Thank you. Haven't done it yet. Been waiting for a date when I can get at least three of my friends and two relatives over at once. We are hoping this time next year, thus my planning post. Have to have some things lined up, even if the date falls through.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Tony: Thank you so much (I love your blog too though I rarely comment). I am always lurking, reading.

LOL @ da-dana. Maybe. That isn't really one of the traditional songs in our region, but I've heard some little girls shrieking a re-mix edition of that in weddings where there are only nasheed singers. Also acapella Titanic Celine..;). I still do not know why. At least 8 out of 10 weddings;).