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Weddings in Saudi Arabia

Lets face it. The outside world knows little about the traditions and customs of Saudi Arabia. Even I, as an expat raised in Saudi, knew little about Saudi marriage customs until very recently. And my knowledge of what actually happened at weddings was all hearsay and rumors.

Things are changing though, and people are becoming a lot more open with sharing their traditions with outsiders. A recent post by Qusay goes into details about the entire process of Saudi courtship and marriage. As a photographer, I do end up in quite a few weddings, so I thought I’d add to Qusay’s great commentary and provide a visual of what happens at a Saudi wedding. MENS’ SIDE ONLY though, don’t want to get in trouble now do we? :P

The photos I’ve put up are from several weddings. As people will eventually point out, there is a lot of variation in weddings across the Kingdom, and what these photos represent are weddings in the Eastern region and perhaps Riyadh.

And if you’ve got the bandwidth:
See it BIG
Make it small

As Qusay mentioned in his article, the wedding is mostly a womens' event. A lavishly decorated hall, with a stage, catwalk and seating areas are features of most such venues. Separated from the men, women do not wear the traditional Abayas during the majority of the event, preferring more risqué garments and will usually dance the night out. There are no such women in this picture. So stop staring ;P

A Saudi Wedding's Mens' Side

The mens' side is comparatively more spartan, yet still elegant. Men and women's parties are usually held at different venues, sometimes even at different times. If they are held at the same location, access between the two is strictly prohibited and enforced by Saudi ministries.

Warm welcome at a Saudi Wedding

Guests arriving at the wedding will be greeted by close family members of the groom and guided to correct halls. The traditional Saudi greeting of kissing the cheek is seen quite a bit here!

Saudi Groom

The groom, called the 3rees (Arees with a guttural 'A' sound), will occupy a central location in the main hall, surrounded by close family. The formal dress worn here is called the 'bisht' which is a cloak work on top of the ubiquitous Saudi thawb.

Greeting a Saudi Groom

Guests arriving at the wedding will first head straight to greet the groom and exchange a few words. A common phrase said to the groom is 'Mink almaal w minh al3eyal' which translates to 'From you comes the money and from her the children'. Don't complain about gender roles people, this is a traditional blessing!

Bukhoor/Incense at a Saudi Wedding

The traditional Arab Bukhoor is usually passed along those seated. The bukhoor is made my dipping wood chips and bricks in special oils. Set alight, it produces a fragrance similar to that of incense. Guests will use the scented smoke to perfume themselves.

At Saudi Weddings the Coffee Flows

The coffee flows at Saudi weddings. Attendants will pass along the seated guests, passing out cups of Arabic coffee and tea. Arabic coffee, called qahwa, is usually passed in special cups which are smaller than traditional drink portions and have no handles.

Saudi Dancers at a Wedding

And there is entertainment too. Saudi dancers are usually dressed up in ceremonial war attire, carrying guns and swords. It is a tradition that has carried on from bedouin tribes.

Saudi Musicians at a Wedding

What's dancing without music! The duff is a traditional arab instrument, very similar to a drum, and not to be confused by a certain actress bearing the name...

Entertainment at a Saudi Wedding

The duff players will usually start a beat and singing as the guests start to get seated. The songs are usually those of praise to the groom or to mark the occasion of happiness (in a MANLY way of course ;P)

Entertainment at a Saudi Wedding

Why is it manly? Because there are SWORDS there! No fancy acrobatics or rehearsed dance steps here, the dancers will usually stand in place and sway to the beat.

Dinner at a Saudi Wedding

The highlight of the night is the wedding feast that occurs in a separate dining hall. The traditional Saudi kabsa (or rice) with grilled lamb will usually be served at each table.

Feast at a Saudi Wedding

Obviously kabsa is not the only choice available. While the mens' side of the wedding sticks to more traditional foods, the womens' side (allegedly!) offers much wider variety as their parties last much longer than men.

Saudi Wedding Feast

And occasionally there's something bite-sized enough for a poor starving photographer to nab. *wipes hands on pants* Dont want the camera getting dirty : -P

Saudi child at a wedding

And this picture has absolutely no educational value to add to the discussion of Saudi weddings... but sooo cuuuuuuuute!!

The Grooms Table at a Saudi Wedding

The grooms table at the feast is usually a flurry of activity. Seating with the most important members of his house, several attendants will scurry around ensuring an amazing (final!) dinner.

Saudi swordsman

After dinner, the singing and music will begin anew...

Men with swords

Except this time the men join in! The sword dance itself is an ancient Bedouin tradition. The men will dance shoulder to shoulder, swaying with the beat and song, and occasionally singing along!

Saudi boy performs the sword dance

The formal part of the wedding is essentially over by this point. Kids are encouraged to join in and its all about the groom, friends, and family having fun!

Saudi boys with swords at a wedding

Those of you wondering about kids with swords, don't worry! They are all ceremonial and not really sharpened for sticking into vital organs.

Dancing at a Saudi Wedding

As the night wears on, the dances become less and less formal. The swords are thrown away, and the dancing is replaced with more freestyling : P

The seated dance at a saudi wedding

Probably a more bizarre (at least for an outsider) form of dancing, the groom and his friends will sit in opposing lines and perform a seated dance. This one is all about the fun, and really interesting to watch!

Dancing into the Night at a Saudi Wedding

The dancing itself will go on late into the night. Sometimes a bit beyond midnight but not usually later than that. By this point, most guests will have filtered out of the halls and the groom and close friends will by living it up!

The groom switches venues!

But it's not the end of the night for the groom. Saying goodbye to the guests, he will now move, with some close family, to the womens' venue, so they may see him too.

The women see the groom

Before the groom enters the venue, the women all don their abayas. The room is usually made dark and a spotlight shines on the bride and groom as they walk down the walkway towards the stage. Photography is usually allowed at this point, but just of the bride and groom.

Showing off the Groom at a Saudi Wedding

In my experience, though this is probably not the norm, by this point, the girls are going bananas. There's a lot of excitements as the couple sit down on the stage. While the main purpose here is for the women to see the groom, there may be other trends/traditions that the couple may undertake. There will be dancing of the close family, if the family isn't too conservative. And I have seen a couple share a glass of water or milk, though this may be an external influence!

Late into the night... A Saudi Wedding

The girls party can go on late into the night, and in some cases well into the next day. At some point the groom will leave (taking the well exhausted photographer with him) and the women will begin their party anew. I've heard of weddings that will go on to 8am the next day... Now THATS partying!

Well there you have it. That was an outsiders impression of Saudi weddings. I have been told that these weddings are considered on the more luxurious style There is obviously selection bias here in that since photography isn’t mainstream in Saudi Arabia, I will only shoot a particular type of wedding (perhaps affluent and less conservative). So I’d like to put the question to you:

What are your experiences with Saudi Weddings?

Are they usually as glamorous as what these pictures portray?

As for the womens’ side. What traditions and customs have you observed?

Any other anecdotes from weddings you’d like to share?

In particular I would love to hear a short narrative of what happens on the womens’ side, since that is where I’ve noticed the most variation in traditions!



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  • http://www.ubervu.com/conversations/nidalm.com/blog/photoshoots/weddings-in-saudi-arabia/ uberVU – social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by nidalm: And its up! On the Blog: A photo Essay on Weddings in Saudi Arabia! http://bit.ly/djQEka...

  • http://twitter.com/yousufrafi Yousuf Rafi

    SA is my birth place… spent my 10 precious years there… most memorable time of my life… but didn't attended any weddings… today after reading your blog went back to my golden time… jazakALLAH for the blog… mashALLAH pics are very well organized and detailed… good work keep up the good work

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  • http://twitter.com/ArabicRihanna Arabic Rihanna

    I'm not Saudi, but I believe they say “Mink almaal w minha l3eyal”.
    Great photos. :)

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thats what I thought too.. but I was corrected by a friend of mine.. thats weird :s But I'll fix it up there.

    And thanks!

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thank you so much for stopping by Yousuf and taking the time to write. It really does mean a lot to me :) There's a lot of us that, though not from Saudi Arabia, still consider it home :)

  • http://www.chezchiara.com/ Chiara

    Thanks for an excellent post, that fills in so much of Saudi traditions along with the wedding ones. And yes that child photographed is toooo cuuuuute, as are the others. It strikes me that part of the joy of the wedding is passing on traditions to the younger generation and that the little boys are as excited about these (well playing with swords is involved afterall!) as little girls are about theirs on the women's side.

    In Morocco the marriages are mixed (except for the nikkah (men), henna party (women), and the hammam visit (!). I have been to a number of varying degrees of sumptuousness, and differing degrees of prominence of the family. One thing that struck me was that even the most professional and career minded women are very caught up in importance of this day, yet that is probably true of many such women in any culture. There are of course women who seem so obsessed with wedding detail that the particular man fulfilling the function of groom seems to be almost a minor detail.

    The bride and groom are on dias and they exit and enter multiple times after changes of clothing. Traditionally there are 7 entrances including one in traditional berber costumes. There is now increasingly an 8th one at the end, in traditional Western wedding garb, with cutting the cake ceremony, and feeding it to each other (wince..), and then leaving in a decorated wedding car. Obviously these are traditions incorporated from Western films.

    Not so very long ago, (at least to the mid-70's that I know for sure) the bride and groom would leave to a place known to the wedding guests who would wait for the consummation, and a showing out the window of the bloodied underpants, ie proof of the groom's virility (and ability to perform underpressure) and the bride's virginity (or at least an intact hymen, or ingenuity).

    Lest anyone feel smug, similar traditions were once common in Western cultures, and still may be in certain parts of the world though probably not so openly now. They were a feature of English culture, brought to Canada as a “charivari” in the 19th century as documented in the writing of pioneer Susannah Moody in Roughing It In The Bush, which inspired contemporary writer Mararet Atwood's book of poetry The Journals of Susannah Moody which of course includes the “charivari”.

    So, if need be let me know if you would prefer a more GP version of this comment, which I thought might spark others to share more about Saudi weddings by comparison.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  • http://www.chezchiara.com/ Chiara

    Thanks for an excellent post, that fills in so much of Saudi traditions along with the wedding ones. And yes that child photographed is toooo cuuuuute, as are the others. It strikes me that part of the joy of the wedding is passing on traditions to the younger generation and that the little boys are as excited about these (well playing with swords is involved afterall!) as little girls are about theirs on the women's side.

    In Morocco the marriages are mixed (except for the nikkah (men), henna party (women), and the hammam visit (!). I have been to a number of varying degrees of sumptuousness, and differing degrees of prominence of the family. One thing that struck me was that even the most professional and career minded women are very caught up in importance of this day, yet that is probably true of many such women in any culture. There are of course women who seem so obsessed with wedding detail that the particular man fulfilling the function of groom seems to be almost a minor detail.

    The bride and groom are on dias and they exit and enter multiple times after changes of clothing. Traditionally there are 7 entrances including one in traditional berber costumes. There is now increasingly an 8th one at the end, in traditional Western wedding garb, with cutting the cake ceremony, and feeding it to each other (wince..), and then leaving in a decorated wedding car. Obviously these are traditions incorporated from Western films.

    Not so very long ago, (at least to the mid-70's that I know for sure) the bride and groom would leave to a place known to the wedding guests who would wait for the consummation, and a showing out the window of the bloodied underpants, ie proof of the groom's virility (and ability to perform underpressure) and the bride's virginity (or at least an intact hymen, or ingenuity).

    Lest anyone feel smug, similar traditions were once common in Western cultures, and still may be in certain parts of the world though probably not so openly now. They were a feature of English culture, brought to Canada as a “charivari” in the 19th century as documented in the writing of pioneer Susannah Moody in Roughing It In The Bush, which inspired contemporary writer Mararet Atwood's book of poetry The Journals of Susannah Moody which of course includes the “charivari”.

    So, if need be let me know if you would prefer a more GP version of this comment, which I thought might spark others to share more about Saudi weddings by comparison.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  • http://twitter.com/iAmjad Amjad

    You should document Indo – Pak weddings also :P The number of guests would blow away the Saudi community….

  • Souma

    I wrote once about girls dancing in saudi weddings in my blog, go search for the entry.

    The most idiotic practice i have ever seen in a wedding was placing the wedding rings in a balloon, having it hang on the ceiling and then pop it with a pin. The wedding rings fell and no-one could find them. Honestly now, didn't they see that coming?! =_=

    In less conservative families, weddings are a tad earlier; the bride and groom arrive before midnight and their aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents join them and they all dance together in the ladies section. close friends join as well.

    and photo from a good friend's wedding http://fav.me/d2k5w1d

  • http://qusaytoday.com/en Qusay

    Great pictures :) and that was one lavish wedding, none that I have been to were this big and extravagant.

    “The bukhoor is made my dipping wood chips and bricks in special oils. Set alight” yes the ones they sell at traffic lights and would like you to think it is authentic :) the real bakhoor (Jeddah pronunciation) comes from the bark of certain trees, and that is why a little ounce of some kinds are so expensive.

    And what was that guy doing? http://nidalm.com/auto_images/wp-content/upload…
    That is one scary picture :)

    Again great post and pictures, and to end it I just wanted to add that different parts have different traditional dances and overall traditions into what happens and all that.

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Haha, I've been to both small and large Desi weddings… but I think what would really blow them away is the fact they are mixed? :P

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thanks for responding with that great take on Moroccan weddings Chiara.I assume yours was done in mixed Moroccoan/Western traditions?

    The obsession with weddings is commonly referred to as the modern Bridezilla is it not? Or is that not a PC term? :P I've heard, as a photographer, it can get really difficult dealing with a bride on the wedding day since they tend to get so tensed up! Though I never seemed to have that problem.

    The change of clothes is really interesting and sounds like something that would be at home at an Indian/Pakistani, Bollywood inspired production :P We too have a tradition of driving away in decorated cars in Pakistan, though since I plan to be attending a Pakistani wedding in about a weeks time, I will wait until then to put up a full account of the events.

    Talk of hymens usually makes me uncomfortable, though if we're keeping it educational, it wouldn't really matter. Kids have got Wikipedia now anyways :P

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thanks Qusay :) Must be selection bias then I guess. People more likely to hire photographers are usually more affluent. But hopefully things change very soon!

    So the scent of the tree it itself so fragrant without the need for oils and perfumes? Thats pretty amazing. I've seen some of the really expensive stuff at some of the higher end stores…!

    And you know how it is with men and swords… we're like little kids if given one :P

    Now, if I remember correctly, Jeddawi weddings also have a singer, and the dance is a little different. For the life of me, I cant remember what the singer is called :s

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    lol@ the balloon practice. Is it common? I guess we have a lot of people trying new and interesting things to do at weddings :P We're guilty of them in Pakistan too I'm sure. The cheesiest tradition I've seen is when they will display all the gifts from the men to the women on the ground. Its an outright display of wealth which makes me uncomfortable.

    I love that picture you put up :)

  • http://www.chezchiara.com/ Chiara

    Thanks for your comment, and my apologies for what was supposed to be a bolding of a single word almost turning in to a mega bolded comment. Also “GP version” should have been “PG”. Feel free to edit, if your program allows.

    I am still waiting for my walimah!! and honeymoon!!! A grandfather's fractured femur in one country and a close family member's intercurrent divorce in the other, meant that my celebration consisted of crashing a Spanish Embassy reception in Rabat for a famous Spanish author, Juan Goytisolo, based half the year in Marrakech (one novel is called La Makbara) where my combination father of the bride/mahrem/maid of honour (whom I met 1/2 hour before, because I legally needed a Christian man with me at the nikkah, and they are somewhat hard to find in Morocco LOL :) ), a middle-aged employee of the Embassy, invited us and our interpreter (Moroccan linguist, Spanish prof, uni friend) at the last minute. I must say the reception, though not for us, was very nice: tapas, petits fours, virgin Sangria (for me), real Sangria (for the Muslims :P ), cocktails, etc.

    Part of the Moroccan celebration is to have the bride arrive in a palanquin carried by men in traditional dress (white jellabah, red fez, yellow babouches). Later the same men do traditional dances and even later the bride is placed on a large platter as is the groom and they are lifted in the air by these men and danced around. Usually they stop long enough to negotiate a chaste kiss between them while still aloft and then they are danced and twirled about some more. Often men from the family will take turns replacing the professionals, or filling in if there aren't enough. Just watching makes me dizzy!

    At the more sumptuous weddings there are entertainments, including one I attended where there were a number of well-known entertainers, singers, dancers, including women doing the hair swing as part of their dance (which I was then told, along with the LOOK, NEVER to even think about trying to imitate ! LOL:) ).

    A bridezilla is actually a bride who is a “godzilla” during the preparation time. The kind who becomes tyrannical, makes sure the bride's maids wear hideous dresses, are less attractive and heavier than her, so no one detracts from her glory on the day. She is the type who almost breaks off the engagement because all her whims are not being catered to, or the groom says something foolish like, “Do we have to drive 500 miles to get that specific pink silk flower, when there are a bunch of pink ones here?”. She is convinced that this is the day of her life and should be her version of perfect, the one she has been planning since forever. She wants it to be better than anyone else's in their acquaintance and on both sides of the family, but more in a competitive than a hostessing way. Usually by the time of the wedding she is pretending she isn't a tyrant, and I'm sure you would charm your way past a bridezilla anyway.

    There is a television program called Bridezilla, that records the antics of some. A lot of verbal abuse, only funny in the abstract! :)

    I guess I'd better save my disquisition on hymenorraphy, as educational as it is for my own blog. LOL :) ;P

    I'm looking forward to you describing a Pakistani wedding in more detail. Stay safe from the aunties! :)

  • Souma

    the balloon thing isnt common, but each bride takes tome to invent something even more ridiculous. i'll keep u posted!

    the best wedding i was at started at 6pm, zaffa was at 3isha and we danced till 1am. and there was a chocolate bar. a part of the wedding hall had long stools and tables, with 3 chocolate fountains (milk, dark and white chocolate) and all sorts of things u can dip into them *wink*wink* and chocolate desserts and ice cream! and the garçons kept refilling everything, during the entire wedding duration!

    and thank u! glad u liked the photo!

  • http://texaninuae.blogspot.com/ Texan In UAE

    I've only been to UAE weddings, my husband is a local emirati and I am an American. It's much like you have described. I love them. It's very different. I love the Arab culture. It's full of love. I am very blessed to see into another culture. Even expats who've lived her for many years, don't get to see the Arab culture and traditions.

    Edited to add. You took some amazing pictures! Thanks!!!

  • http://littlepinkstrawberries.blogspot.com/ Noor

    Asalam Alaykum WOW mashAllah the pictures are amazing. I hope to take such great shots one day as well inshAllah.

  • %0cents

    so hwer is the bride? no pictures of the bride….. common

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thank you very much Noor. And thank you again for stopping by! I'd love to see your work as well :)

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    And I'd love to put them up, however it would not be allowed for me to do so. It's a matter of trust with the clients that I work for. While the mens' side is public, womens' functions are asked by the people I work with to remain private, at least pictures of them :)

  • http://halfthedeen.blogspot.com/ single4now

    The hall is gorgeous. Pretty different from the Desi wedding halls. Nice shots, mashaAllah. I hope they rehearse with the swords and don't go accidentally stabbing one another. Love the pictures with the red petals on the stage. InshaAllah, one day I'll be able to create a similar effect.

  • Usman

    So you were barred from taking photo of ladies section?

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Actually no. They're usually fine with taking pictures of the bride, groom and close family. I just don't want to put any of those pictures online :)

  • http://nidalm.com/blog/photoshoots/courtship-and-marriage-in-pakistan/ Courtship and Marriage in Pakistan | NidalM Photography

    [...] Posted by NidalM on May 3rd, 2010 | View Comments My last piece on cultural weddings – Weddings in Saudi Arabia – generated a lot of interest and I thought those of you hungry for a heavier cultural dose [...]

  • http://twitter.com/Sumera_B Sumera

    Its nice to see how Saudi weddings are done, and the photo's are superb!

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Saudi weddings had always been sort of a mystery to me. And they still are when it comes to the individual customs that they do here (like Desis have the sharing of milk, joota churai and all)

    Hopefully will learn more and pass them along :)

  • Sahar Amin

    I've been to a few Saudi weddings, having lived in Riyadh myself for 5 years. It really is quite amazing how they celebrate. I agree that the women do enjoy the experience much more, and indeed have much more food! My brothers were quite impressed by the men's celebrations too. An interesting event also seemed to leave my brother in a bit of a shock, however being Pakistani; we're not alien to some crazy traditions…and the groom is usually allowed to keep his shoes from what I heard!
    ;)

    For the ladies; there's loud drumming, singing (beduion women) and very fascinating dancing by many guests (one wedding: the mother of the bride was dancing wildly enough to fall off the stage). The wedding's are a charm to attend, the dressing is very elegant and the halls are quite enchanting. More like being in a fairytale.

    Talking about the place makes me miss it =(

    Lovely pictures by the way, love your photography!

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Hi Sahar, and thanks for stopping by!

    I'd love to hear about this interesting event, but I do have a feeling that I may know what you're talking about. There is a tradition among the groom's friends to perform something quite shocking, but I've refrained from posting about that here ;P

    I have highlighted some of our own crazy traditions in the posts titled Pakistani Weddings if you'd like to go have a look-see :) Personally I do prefer our own brand, but thats only because we have more bhangra ;P

  • Smilesharjah

    Superb Nidal (or wat ever s ur name ) impressive & amazing detail, as serial of our desi weddings …………..
    Saudi weddings or other Arab wedding s are similar ,I'm a wedding organiser & come across there lots of traditions which varies from family to family & young generation in every culture keep trying innovation into there weddding celebration , rituals & other activities similar to Indo pak wedding cermonies!
    wishing u the best in your wrk
    Good luck

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ NidalM

    Thanks for the kind words Smilesharjah and thanks for stopping by!

    I do go by the name Nidal, but for the most part, Abdullah works better! Its really interesting to see the small, and sometimes major differences even among people in the same ethnic group. Wish you the best of luck in wedding organizing as well! I can imagine there's a lot of work coming in nowadays! :)

  • http://yasirimran.wordpress.com Yasir Imran

    although I am in Saudi Arabia from 6 years but hardly got a chance to join a traditional Saudi Arabia wedding ceremony. Twice I visited weddings here, both of my colleagues, one of them is Yemeni and another one is Bermavi. But only I visited waleema cermoney, rest of customs I couldn't see. Nice to know and read about your informative post.

    Can I share it to my blog with your reference, if you don't mind?

  • http://yasirimran.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/a-saudi-arabian-wedding/ A Saudi Arabian wedding | Yasir Imran Mirza

    [...] in Saudi Arabia. I would like to show you one of his nice collection of photos related to Saudi Arabian wedding and traditions. In this post you will not only know how Saudi wedding is but you ‘ll also see [...]

  • http://www.onlygirlintheworld.com Only Girl

    Ri-Ri got herself a good track in Only Girl! I can already see that Rhi got a hot album soon and I’ll totally cop her disc!

  • http://www.facebook.com/derek.gildea Derek Gildea

    Thanks for this! I’ll use the photos in my Cross Cultural Communications presentation on Saudi Arabia tomorrow – love the visuals!

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ Anonymous

    All yours :) Just add a credit somewhere on that presentation :)

  • http://www.asenovgradbg.com/ Asenovgrad

    Reading it I thought it was pretty enlightening. I actually value you finding the time and effort to place this post along. Just as before I find myself shelling out far too enough time both reading as well as commenting. But so what, it absolutely was even now worthwhile!

  • Girlincute2007

    mashallah the pics r really nice….i love our saudi weddings can u please give the name of the venue its too good and so are the pics ..loved the one with red rose petals..shukran

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ Anonymous

    Hi Girlincute, thanks for stopping by!

    There are several venues in the above weddings, the ones I remember are:
    1) The Gulf Meridian Hotel, AlKhobar
    2) AlSaif Hall, Corniche Rd, AlKhobar
    3) < something > Riyadh, Intersection of King AbdulAziz & Orouba, Riyadh

  • Wajahath

    Asalaamualaikum, i had lived in saudi arabia (in india now) and once attended a wedding. that was’nt like this much but it was it was very lively.
    nidal ur pics are very good awesome, i’d say! nice description and very well taken.

  • Bskundra

    Nice photographs full of richness

  • Mishel Ali

    This is perfect! May I use it for my final presentation?

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  • H.I

    Yes many wedding are as glamourous as these and sometimes more. And most weddings in Riyadh start at 11 pm and ends at around 7 am or 8 am

  • Rizwan

    very nice

  • Laamoo1

    THAT IS SO NICE !
    thank u a lot ..

  • ~ Artist Aasma ~

    Hi Nidal i was so impressed by the description of each picture and al are too good as i have never seen any saudi wedding..I thought it would be a great idea if i can post the pictures on my page as well … https://www.facebook.com/ArtistAasma :)

  • http://www.nidalm.com/blog/ Anonymous

    Sure! No problem at all! As long as the watermark is present you can publish them wherever you;d like!

  • http://statedsimply.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/going-to-the-chapel/ going to the chapel « traveling light

    [...] 3am / 4am while i can’t post any of my pictures from the women’s side, here are some great pictures of what takes place on the men’s side by a local photographer in dharan Like this:LikeBe the [...]

  • Maria

    Guys I have project about the Saudi Arabia wedding traditions. I want some pics and informations about the womens party 

  • Shiraz

    hi … i am awedding photographer from London and thinking to move in to Saudia .. is it possible to shoot weddings . i have heard that only woman photographers and videographes capture the womens side… and its really strict in there….

  • http://www.kayhardycampbell.com/ KC

     The lead female wedding singer is a ‘tagaga’ and she comes with a whole entourage of female drummers who play the ‘Tar’ – frame drum. Nowdays they use the electronic keyboard, but in the old days I saw a couple of weddings with the tagaga playing the oud. Article from the Arab News about the tagaga from my blog – ahlan, check it out. http://khcampbell.blogspot.com/2011/10/wonderful-article-on-saudi-female.html

  • Natalia

    NidalM, Can we talk about womens part of the wedding? I need make wedding and  I have not any informaition what I can use. Can you write me please to Skype Tigra_di_Salvatore.?

  • http://www.giornalettismo.com/archives/258124/un-milione-di-euro-a-chi-mi-sposa/ “Un milione di euro a chi mi sposa”

    [...] costrette a vivere in un regime di segregazione sessuale che non risparmia neppure la stessa cerimonia di nozze. L’uomo ha quindi potere di vita e di morte sulla donna e non è un caso che le donne che [...]

  • Ariel

    I have gone to 3 Saudi weddings and was on the female’s side (I am a girl) and they served coffee and tea and chocolate the entire time and the ladies danced and they had loud drum music the entire time, the party started at 10 at night and we all left the main room for dinner about 1 am. My mother and I left at 3:30 am but the wedding continued for many hours after we left. Usually the bride leaves with the husband before the dinner after the few male family members join in the female’s section.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1625576526 Inu Ine

    I am from google search by word ”saudi wedding” and I found here. what you presented is really far from my though as I never knew about saudi wedding before.. It’s really nice to know this. Thx for sharing. anyway I think I got why you couldn’t publish pic about bride. she deserve to not publish. :)

  • Azhar Jee74

    A A Souma i am pakistani syed Azmat ALI SHAH GALLANI I am satial in saudi arabia  .pakistan Abbttbad my contact namber 0502034387

  • http://vespig.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/%d0%b0%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%b1%d1%81%d0%ba%d0%b0%d1%8f-%d1%81%d0%b2%d0%b0%d0%b4%d1%8c%d0%b1%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0%d0%b4%d0%b5%d0%bd%d1%8c%d1%82%d0%b5-%d0%b1%d1%80%d0%be%d ???????? ???????? ???????? ??????????! « ??????????

    [...] ???????. ????? ?????????? ? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ????????? ? ????? ????? – ????? ????????, ??? ???????? [...]

  • http://vespig.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/%d0%b0%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%b1%d1%81%d0%ba%d0%b0%d1%8f-%d1%81%d0%b2%d0%b0%d0%b4%d1%8c%d0%b1%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0%d0%b4%d0%b5%d0%bd%d1%8c%d1%82%d0%b5-%d0%b1%d1%80%d0%be%d ???????? ???????? ???????? ??????????! « ??????????

    [...] ???????. ????? ?????????? ? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ????????? ? ????? ????? – ????? ????????, ??? ???????? [...]

  • Kaliphmustapha

    Mustapha                                                                                                                 This is very unique
    dresses! but can the afterdress”HABAYYAH” matches with
    any attire of the same type of your dresses aside of that real one of yours?

  • http://www.nooralqahtani.com/a-saudi-wedding-2/ A Saudi Wedding – Noor AlQahtani | Noor AlQahtani

    [...] Please visit Nidals website, he’s one of the only photographers that I have seen online that was able to snap some shots [...]

  • Holly Ammon

    Thank you for the lovely gallery. I enjoyed the photos and the commentary. However, how does the actual ceremony take place? I am searching the internet for this information and haven’t found it. How do the bride and groom become married? How does this take place with all the guests being segregated? How can everyone see when they’re in two separate rooms? I would greatly appreciate an answer.

    Thank you!

  • alislamiyaa

    MashaAllah great work*

  • jhjhjhjjhjj

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