June 22, 2007

Moroccan Wedding Part 1

I have been invited to my very first Moroccan wedding Saturday evening. Khalid who is the superintendent of Ylara Beach is getting married. He has invited all the Compass employees that live in the complex. Generally the weddings are an all night affair. Starting at 7:30 pm and going until the next morning. We have been told we can leave by midnight but are welcome to stay later. It’s customary for the family and “many” friends to be invited. In Khalid’s case, since he’s not a wealthy Moroccan, he has only invited his family and “Compass Staff”. We’ve come to the general consensus that the food will be amazing but the biggest concern of the group is....”no alcohol”. We’re all panicking a bit.

The beginning of the experience took place last evening. There are 8 girls going and we are required to wear traditional Moroccan Dress or a “Kaftan”. If you re-call one of my very first posts there was a photo of some of the Moroccan girls wearing Kaftans. They are very long, very colorful and decorated with jewels and designs. I was already panicking before we even headed off to the shop. Anything more then a solid, 1 color clothing item is over the edge for me.

The gals headed into Tetouan last evening after work. Mistake #1 going to Tetouan at night. It was an absolute mad house. Along the way we picked up Safia a new found Moroccan friend of Carla, who PS, – works for our #1 competition MRI.
I could write a post on this girl alone.

We arrived at the shop which is literally the size of a 12 x 12 room. It was jammed pack and very hot. We decided to simply pick a color and go from there. These dresses are made of a thick silk like material, lace and jewels so they are very heavy and warm. I would also guess the wedding location will not have AC. Kaftans basically consist of 2 layers, we found a style where the under layer was without sleeves and the top layer was lace. OK – much better then the full ones where we would have all died from heat in the 1st hour. We pointed to the colors we liked behind the counter and the owner handed them to us. Carla took Blue, Vanessa took Black and I stepped out of my comfort zone and chose RED. We went upstairs, which is smaller then the downstairs to try them on. Little did we know they are all one size, I threw mine on directly over my clothing……and then the “piece de resistance” A BELT – not just any belt but one the size of the belts a boxer receives for winning the title fight. This world boxing championship belt will give a rough idea.

The 3 of us returned downstairs with Safia chatting away 100 miles an hour in Arabic to the store owner. Apparently you are only allowed to rent the Kaftans for 24 hours @ 300 Dirhams = $36.15. Hopefully they are thoroughly cleaned after each and every use! By this time the rest of the girls showed up, we gave them the details on what to do. Everyone had their Kaftan and we were ready to pay and get out of there. All of a sudden the owner tells us several of the Kaftans we picked were already rented – HELLO, you handed them to us in the first place. Myself, Esther and Kendra had to find new ones. By now we had been there for over an hour and Carla almost passed out in the dressing room from low blood sugar. I pointed to another red one less attractive then the first one and was done with it.

Safia then got into a fight with the shop owner about the 24 hour deal. Eventually that was worked out and we put the Kaftans on hold for Esther to pick up Saturday morning. Will they be the same ones we choose or will they have been given to other Moroccan women? Will he include “THE BELTS”? If they were rented the night before will he have had a chance to clean them……YIKES!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its not a wedding without pictures and I can't wait to see these "outfits" Ralph Lauren hold onto your hat!