The wedding starts a night before (usually Friday) in the groom’s house where a small party is held known as ‘khyapta d khitna’ or ‘shower of the groom’. Food and drinks are served. Usually this party is small and only the closest relatives and friends are invited to the shower. As a tradition, the bride is not invited to the little gathering; the reason for this is for the bride to rest well. Also, she is not allowed to see the groom until the next day.
The party starts by playing some Assyrian Chaldean music till the time of the shower, then the groom is taken by his best man to the bathroom to get the last shower before his wedding. However, as another tradition, a little boy, normally the ring boy, must be showered before the groom. After the young boy and the groom have showered, the music, dance, drinks and food serving continues until the late hours.
The wedding day (often Saturday) starts by both the groom’s family preparing to go over to the bride’s house and take her to church. As the groom’s family is preparing, the photographer captures pictures of the groom and his ushers as they are getting ready. It is a good idea to preserve these memories well. That’s why Babylon offers you the best wedding photographers and wedding videographers in the business. The wedding photographer or wedding videographer will also photograph, or record on camera, as the groom gives away little corsages to his family members, cousins and close friends. When that is done, they all dance in celebration of the special day. The groom and his ushers then go to church and wait for the arrival of the bride. His family, cousins, and close friends will go to the Bride’s house to take her to church. This is similar to what happens in the grooms house, now the groom’s family goes to the bride’s house. Early in the day, the Bride and her maids start their day by fixing their hair, putting their make up on, and wearing their dresses. The photographer arrives and captures pictures of the bride and her maids in their beautiful dresses, ensuring that they will look back on this day through their quality pictures, and reminisce.
The Groom’s family then arrives at the Bride’s house. The bride gives away little corsages to her family and takes pictures with everyone to cherish those memories. When time comes to go to church, the Groom’s family starts singing and as they are taking the bride, normally, one member of bride’s family will stand by the door and not let the bride leave unless someone from the groom’s family pays the amount they asked for. As soon as the amount requested is given, than the bride is let out and off to church they all go.
In church, the bride’s father, brother or uncle normally walks her down the isle and gives her away to the groom. As the wedding ceremony is done, bride and groom with ushers and brides maids all go to a picturesque location, so that they can have outdoor photos taken. Being outdoors in a gorgeous location for some of the photos guarantees that you will have a beautiful natural backdrop escorting the smiles captured in the wedding photos.
Assyrian Chaldean Syrian wedding receptions are often held in banquet halls. The halls vary in size depending on the number of wedding guests, which usually have upward of three or four hundred guests. Normally, Assyrian Chaldean weddings are hosted and put on by the groom’s family. As the guests arrive, appetizers are served. As soon as the groom and bride arrive in the hall, most of the guests and family members prepare for the grand entrance of the bride and groom by waiting at the doors with their Yalekhta.
Assyrian Chaldean Syrian weddings have many unique symbols and one of them is Yalekhta, which is a piece of thin, see through, square shaped fabric decorated by many little different beads that make it look very unique and fancy; the more of these yalekhta you have, the nicer the wedding looks. They also use a cane, which is covered by white fabric and decorated by white pearls, normally used by the person leading the Assyrian Chaldean dance. The grand entrance starts by having the last pair of usher and maid of honor enter the hall first, with a lot of music and people cheering. The rest of the couples enter one couple at a time and finally the bride and groom enter and everyone starts cheering louder and dancing until they reach their table.
As the groom, bride and the rest of the group settle, everyone else starts dancing to the Assyrian Chaldean Syrian music, which is normally the regular Assyrian Chaldean dance. The dance is a long line of people holding each others hands and simply dancing around, usually one person leading everyone else. Soft music is played throughout dinner. After dinner everyone is welcomed by a member of the bride’s family and a member of the groom’s family on the families’ behalf. Toasts are made and the wedding proceeds with more dancing and drinking until late night hours. At the end of the wedding, instead of presenting gifts to the groom and bride, it is a tradition to pay money, because it is understood to be more useful than gifts as the new couple can purchase what they desire with that money. Paying the money is called subkhta.
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