For Somali communities, weddings are important communal occasions. Traditionally, Somali wedding festivities last for three entire nights. On these three nights there, is plenty of singing, dancing and celebrating on the part of the bride, groom and their guests. On some of these nights, women and men do not mingle or celebrate together; the men celebrate in one location while the women celebrate in a different site. Among the celebrations held at night, there is a particular festivity called the Gaaf. People close to the wedding couple including those who live in far of places come together to recite and listen poems; riddles and sing throughout the night during the Gaaf celebrations.
In Somali culture, it is customary for the bride, groom and their families to arrange for a lavish feast for their guests at the reception. Different traditional as well as modern types of foods are usually served for the guests to enjoy as they carry on with the festivities. A further important tradition in Somali marriage is the exchanging of gifts. The exchange is normally done between the bride’s family and groom’s family and between the invited guests and the wedding couple. The couple exchange gifts as a sign of appreciation. The invited guests on the other hand normally give gifts to the couples as a means congratulating them. The gifts can be in form of jewelry, money and other types of contributions. Somali couples marrying in Somali or those getting married in countries in the Diaspora like Canada, undergo a Muslim wedding ceremony. The marriage ceremony is normally officiated by an Imam. The Imam usually reads from the Quran and gives the couple blessings from the Quran as well. During a traditional Somalia wedding ceremony, the bride and groom give verbal acceptance of the marriage contract and exchange rings they are supposed to keep for the rest of their lives. The rings are a symbol of their unity.
Somali wedding attire vary depending on the couple’s location, family traditions and personal preferences. Modern Somali attire is a collection of diverse influences in the Somali culture. However traditionally, the Somali wedding attire for women include an exquisite Guntino or Dirac, a garbasaar covering for the head as well as a googaro slip that is worn under the dress. Men also dress in their traditional attire in traditional weddings but in Canada, they can put on dress clothes suits or western style suits.
In Somali weddings, the bride comes in first in the reception hall. The bride walks in slowly with her bridal party that includes her sisters friends, mother and other females present. The bridal party and the marriage ceremony guests only get to sit down after the bride takes her sit in front of the hall facing the guests. The groom usually follows a few hours later with his own groom’s men in tow amid song and dance from the wedding guests. The couple then sits together facing their guests. It is customary for the couple to cut cake and serve it to their guests as well in Somali nuptials.
For your traditional Somali wedding ceremony, hire Babylon for all your important wedding needs! Babylon has been servicing weddings in the GTA, and around the world, for over 25 years! We can provide many services, including:
- Our skilled photographers will photograph all of the special moments from your wedding day! They will make sure your precious memories last forever, on beautiful prints of any size you wish! You will be proud to share these quality wedding photos with your loved ones.
- Our expert videographers will capture your entire day, onto film, then edit it to your liking onto a quality DVD production. At Babylon, our videographers consider your wedding video not just a video, but a movie production that will contain special memories meant to be passed down to future generations. Our expert staff can even add a soundtrack of traditional Luhya wedding music, or any romantic ballads you like, making your wedding DVD production even more enjoyable for you and your loved ones!
- We have a large, luxurious selection of limousines available for your wedding transportation needs! Arrive in style in a brand new stretch limousine, or choose from our wide selection of other options. From the classic automobile to the modern sleek and shiny style of limousine, Babylon can provide any style of limousine you wish, so that you can arrive in style and comfort to your wedding!
- Babylon can provide wedding DJs that play your country’s wedding songs, singers that can speak your native tongue, or even live bands that will play traditional wedding music from your country! For any traditional performance you may want at you wedding, simply ask us and we will do our best to provide.
- We can work with you to design your wedding invitations, print them up and even send them to your guests!
Also, we can help you choose the right venue for your wedding reception, the bridal boutique closest to you for your wedding dress, and even help you plan the catering!
We are also able to provide an all-female staff for the bride’s pictures, if she wishes to have pictures with her covering on or off, our female staff will take special care in photographing and editing the pictures for her. Trust the best in the wedding business. Trust Babylon