The Best Turkey Wedding Traditions – Updated Version 2022

There are many traditions related to weddings in the world. Most of it is connected to religion, like Turkey Wedding Traditions. I’m not saying about developed countries, but religion significantly affects Wedding traditions in third-world countries like Turkey.

Although traditional Wedding ceremonies change according to different areas, the region’s famous dance and folk songs are performed by relatives of the Groom and bride. First, the dance belongs to the Groom and bride; other people are invited to dance after the first dance.

After the Wedding ceremony, the Wedding cake is but and distributed then the jewelry ceremony starts. Everyone attends the Wedding party, gives jewelry such as a golden bracelet, quarter gold, or gives money directly. The Wedding party gives jewelry such as golden bracelet, quarter gold, or gives

After those ceremonies, the Groom and bride walk around tables and welcome the relatives.

Some people also may want to have an imam Wedding (imam nikahı). However, it is not mandatory in Turkey.

In big cities, weddings are held in a Wedding venue. In the villages, open areas are preferred.

With the Covid’19 pandemic, people usually do weddings in open areas, whether in big cities or villages.

Although general traditions are valid for all regions, some habits are changed according to the area.

Turkey Wedding

East Mediterranean

Wedding is not easy financially for Bride and Groom in East Mediterranean, but it is exciting and colorful.

Dowry is another story. When the dowry chest is sent to the bride’s new home (the home she will live after marriage), someone from the Groom’s side steals a pillow from the chest. Then, youngers from the bride’s side bring back that pillow to the Groom. Then the Groom pays the money to the person who brought the pillow.

Another fascinating tradition is that the flag is hung in the Groom’s apartment. It symbolizes the Wedding. In some places, orange or onion is turned instead of the flag.

In front of the Groom’s house, dances and folk songs are performed, and it does not finish until they arrive bride’s house. Then, drums and zurnas are played in front of the bride’s home, and sacrifice is made.

Dessert is given to the Groom, and the Groom needs to find the gold hidden in the desert.

Turkey Wedding

Eastern Anatolia

There are lots of Wedding traditions in Eastern Anatolia. The most interesting is that his friends squeeze the Groom’s ear in the Wedding ceremony.

Groom must prepare dinner for his friends.

Groom does not speak with the bride’s family for a while.

The bride’s hair is cut after one week of marriage.

When the bride enters the Groom’s house, money and nuts are fallen overhead.

Southeastern Anatolia

Lots of gold is given to the bride. If someone does not attend the jewelry ceremony, they need to send gifts on consecutive 3 Fridays.

When the bride and Groom arrive home, water, money, or candy jug is smashed in front of the door.

The Groom meets a friend with long underwear after the groom shave in some areas.

In some areas, weddings start on Wednesdays.

Turkey Wedding photo

Central Anatolia

When the bride goes home, she needs to pass by the cemetery in some areas. It means that “you saw the Wedding, do not forget death.”

Before the Wedding, the flag is held. When the flag is lower, it means the marriage is finished.

On the henna night, the bride and her mother should cry.

Aegean

Women call reader, walks around the village, and give news about the Wedding.

The Wedding lasts three days, three nights.

As in other areas, the flag is hung.

Bride kisses the hands of all men on the Groom’s side.

Women from the Groom’s side cut two strands of hair.

There is one tradition-related Groom, called groom harassing. Groom can leave without shoes, or other jokes can be made to the Groom.

Groom performs with drums and zurna.

When the bride gets to the Wedding car, rice is fallen from the head. It means abundance.

Thrace

Groom can only ask for permission for marriage on Monday or Thursday.

After that, the Groom pays the neighbor of the bride.

Wedding procession (düğün alayı) is another important tradition in the area. Some attend to Wedding procession with horses. Groom spreads candy in the Wedding procession. According to the story, a girl who received candy dreams of her marriage.

The jug is filled with water and money. Bride and friends dance around the jar and then kicks the pitcher. 

Turkey Wedding photo

Blacksea

Fathers of the bride give marriage permission harder compared to other areas.

Wedding shopping is done on Monday or Thursday.

When the Groom shaves, people around give money to the Groom.

In some places, horses are used instead of the car.

Another tradition is that the Groom should shoot the jug on the house’s roof. If the Groom hits the jar, then he can enter the house. If he can’t, then he should give money.

When she gets to the new home, the bride puts her hand into honey and touches the door after the Wedding ceremony.

Before Wedding

There are lots of traditions before the Wedding.

Salty Coffee

Before the few months or years of Wedding, families come together in the bride’s house. The Groom’s side asks the bride’s family (especially the father) for marriage. The bride prepares Turkish coffee for all guests but gives the salty coffee to the Groom. Groom must drink it; there is no other choice. If he doesn’t drink, then there is a problem😊

Hennah Night – Hen Night – Kına Gecesi-

Before the Wedding, the bride gathers up with friends and relatives, called henna night. All guests are welcomed with music, and traditional songs are sung and played. At the end of the night, henna is in the bride’s hand.

Bride Head – Groom Shave

Before the Wedding, the bride and Groom are the go-to hairdressers. There is a unique hairstyle called the bride’s head. Likewise, groom shave is also exceptional for the Wedding. Both are expensive.

Taking Bride to the Wedding

The Groom goes to the bride’s house to take the bride to the Wedding area. Before the bride comes, drum and zurna are played in front of the bride’s house.

With a Wedding car (specially decorated), the Groom takes the bride to the car and goes Wedding hall together.

In some cultures, the bride is taken with the horse, but it is not common in cities.

Turkey Wedding Venues

With the depreciation of TL, all-inclusive Wedding packages in Turkey have become very cheap for foreigners. In addition, there are lots of great Wedding venues in Turkey.

Istanbul, Bodrum, Antalya, Northern Cyprus, and Marmaris have the most popular Wedding venues. If you are looking for historic places for a Wedding, Çırağan Palace Kempinski can be a good place in the Bosphorus. But if you are not looking for a historical venue, there are many places in the south of Turkey, and they have very competitive packages.

FAQ about Turkey weddings

How much does a wedding cost in Turkey?

It depends on the venue and organization. Considering the recent devaluation of TL, it would be cheaper for foreigners.

What happens at a Turkish wedding?

It depends on the area, tradition. In cities, weddings are not much different from other countries, but in villages, practice differs.

At what age do Turkish people get married?

It depends on the region. For example, people marry younger in rural areas, but marriage is higher than 30 in cities.

What is eaten at Turkish weddings?

Generally, meat is eaten at Turkish weddings. There is no alcohol at weddings in some areas, but there is lots of alcohol consumption in some regions, such as Thrace (Trakya).

Is second marriage legal in Turkey?

No, it is not. Polygamy is not allowed by Turkish laws.

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