Promises of two souls and the union of two hearts, weddings are moments to cherish forever. Arab weddings are luxurious occasions brimming with the beauty of timeless traditions. Mesmerised by the romantic setting, the gorgeous bride, flaunting her stunning Arabic wedding dress, and the handsome groom eagerly wait to start the magical tale of their love. Deeply rooted in the elegance of customs and fun festivals, Arab weddings are a feast for the eyes. Let us take a glance at the never-ending excitement of traditional Arab weddings.

Arab Weddings: A Fascinating Mingling of Traditions 

      1. Tolbe: The Beginning of a Beautiful Journey

Arab wedding tradition Tolbe

The excitement of the Arab wedding celebrations commences with Tolbe or Tulba, the formal pre-wedding event. To begin a graceful relationship filled with love, the groom seeks blessings from the bride’s parents and asks for her hand in marriage.

After the parents formally agree to the marriage, everyone gathered for the occasion chants “Surah Al-Fatiha”, a verse from the Holy Quran, to seek Allah’s blessings for the couple-to-be. Following this happy moment, the family members enjoy a delightful snack with sweets, tea, coffee, etc. 

     2. Khitbah

           The Engagement Ceremony
Khitbah Arabic Wedding tradition

To mark the moment of a lifelong commitment, the Arab wedding tradition includes 

Khitbah or the engagement ceremony. Symbolic of their interwoven minds, the bride and groom wear matching attire. The families of the bride and groom share moments of joy and start discussions about the upcoming events. Capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments with engagement photography creates a lifetime of memories, evoking a radiant smile that lasts forever. 

      3. Radwa

             For a Graceful Future
Arabic Wedding tradition - Radwa

Blessings are the foundation of unbreakable bonds. Taking place at the bride’s family, Radwa is a small pre-wedding photo event where the male members of the groom’s family see if the bride’s family is happy with the celebrations. The heartwarming moment of the event takes place when the eldest member of the family showers blessings on the couple, wishing them a life filled with love and happiness. 

      4. Henna

             A Night to Celebrate

Henna Night

Weddings are incomplete without a joyous celebration filled with tonnes of fun and 

excitement. In the henna night event, the bride’s palms and feet are beautifully adorned 

with various henna patterns. The excitement is even greater when the bride’s friends join the enjoyment with music, dance and celebration. Imagine the sheer beauty of capturing these precious moments of the bride through candid wedding photography when her mind dances on cloud nine, wrapped in joy. 

      5. Sahrah

             The Groom’s Moment

Sahrah tradition in Arabic wedding

The bubbling happiness of the wedding is not just limited to the Arab brides. Sahrah is an event of festive fervour for the groom and the family when they rejoice in the happiness of the upcoming wedding ceremony. In the vibrant atmosphere, they enthusiastically dance to music to celebrate themselves. This event was strictly limited to men in the past. But in modern times, women are allowed to take part in it. 

      6. Katb Al- Kitaab

          The Marriage Ceremony

Katb Al- Kitaab Muslim wedding tradition

The long-awaited moment, Katb Al-Kitaab is the official marriage or Nikah ceremony when the Sheikh presents the marriage contract to be signed by the couple. By signing the contract, the couple will be legally and religiously considered officially married. 

The attire of all those invited to the ceremony is of particular importance. The guests are asked to wear a conservative dress to match the serenity of the occasion. The arms and legs of the guests should be covered and women should cover their heads with a scarf.  

      7. Mahr

            A Gift to the Bride

Muslim wedding tradition Mahr

In Arab weddings, the groom gifts the bride a dowry, known as Mahr, reflecting his love and admiration for her. This takes place after the Katb Al-Kitaab, the marriage ceremony. 

Middle Eastern weddings differ from the traditional practice of parents giving dowries to their daughters. Here, the groom is the one who gives the dowry to the bride, and the bride gets to keep it even if they end up getting divorced. 

      8. Zaffe

             The Grand Entrance

Arabic wedding tradition Zaffe

With excitement at its peak, the married couple makes a grand entrance to the hall for the 

reception. At the start of the event, the bride’s father takes her to the groom. Adding to the merriment, the drummers make a grand procession with music and the jubilant guests dance and celebrate. 

The bride and groom change their rings from the right hand to the left. The women in the event make ululations with overflowing joy. Altogether, the whole atmosphere takes on a celebratory mode to invite the bride and groom to start their never-ending journey of love.

      9. Dabke

          The Dance Party

Dabke : Muslim Wedding tradition

Celebrations are incomplete without a perfect dance party. In Dabke, professional dancers uplift the mood with their alluring dancing style, while guests add to the festive mood with their steps of happiness. They stand shoulder to shoulder, dancing in a circle and enjoying themselves to the fullest. Brighten up the mood with stunning event photography that flawlessly captures each moment with perfect precision and ultimate perfection. 

      10. Cake Cutting

                 For a Sweet Life Ahead

cake cutting in Arab wedding ceremony

Enjoying sweet moments with a touch of sweetness is a common way of expressing happiness. Arab weddings intertwine tradition with joy in the grand cake-cutting ceremony. The newlywed couple cut the multi-layered cake with swords that were passed down to the groom by his family.  

     11. Barmet Al-aroos

           The Farewell Celebration

Barmet Al-aroos an Arabic tradition

Before stepping into a lifetime of love and happiness, bidding the gorgeous couple farewell is necessary. During the Barmet Al-aroos, the couple takes their journey in a beautifully adorned vehicle. The family members follow them to their home, rejoicing on the way with happy cheers and playing loud music to let the world know of the blissful union of the couple. 

Traditional vs. Modern Arab Weddings

Arabic weddings, steeped in traditions, have gone through several changes in modern times. For instance, modern Arab weddings sometimes deviate from the Tolbe tradition, which was once followed strictly. The colourful henna night was a celebration of both the bride and the groom in the past. But in modern times, it has become a spiritful celebration of the bride. Like a true bachelorette, the bride and her friends make the event more energetic with their dance moves. Thus, as traditions evolve with time, Arabic weddings become a charming blend of the past and the present. 

Turn Moments to Lasting Memories with Riss Photography

Arabic wedding traditions

Destined to be together to the end of time, weddings are dream-come-true moments for the couple. Arab weddings, when adorned with the elegance of traditions and rituals, are special occasions that signify the glory of Middle Eastern wedding culture. 


Capturing your best moments is like immortalising them, so never miss a chance to make them exceptional. When present moments become delightful memories, weave them together as threads for the future. 


Riss Photography, the best Sydney wedding photographer, turns your special moments into beautiful photographs. Get in touch with us for professional wedding videography that elegantly unfolds the chapters of your eternal love story. Let us capture your magical moments to tell tales of happily ever after.