Arabs often disagree on a lot of things, whether that’s politics, traditions, or whose fatoosh (bread salad) recipe is better. But one thing they can all agree on is that Arabs definitely know how to throw a wedding party. If you’ve ever attended an Arab wedding (yours or someone else’s), you know the following list of instances are unavoidable.
1. When your mom wakes you up really early to get ready, but the wedding doesn’t even start till 8:00 pm.
We all know Arab weddings don’t usually start until the sun goes down, so why do mothers always insist on getting our hair and makeup done six hours in advance?
2. When your mom introduces you to her aunt’s cousin’s wife’s daughter’s sister-in-law and you have to pretend you know who she is.
You always end up being forced to awkwardly talk to someone who knows every detail about your life, but you have no idea who they even are.
3. When all your relatives come around to the single women and say “inshallah we’ll be at your wedding next.”
Even though your internally cringing, you have to politely smile and nod at all the people who come up and say that to you throughout the night.
4. When you ask your close cousins, “Does anyone know when the buffet starts?” Because everyone knows we’re mostly here for the food.
Arabs always go all out when it comes to the wedding buffet. Always expect to find over at least a dozen different dishes from each Arab country.
5. When random old people come up to you and ask “Whose daughter are you?” but you already heard they’re bride-hunting for their son.
When the older relatives won’t leave the single girls alone even when you drop a million hints about how uninterested you are in their sons.
6. When overly excited aunties force you to dance, no matter how many times you tell them you’re horrible at it.
You always end up looking like a fool, but they just love making all the sabaya (young women) show off their moves.
7. When the couple makes their grand entrance and you can’t help but get emotional.
When you see the way the couple looks at each other and can’t help but want that for yourself one day.
8. When your sibling asks if you want to go get seconds at the buffet with them.
We all know there’s nothing more awkward than going for seconds alone, so it’s always nice when someone offers to go with you.
9. When the waiters bring out the wedding cake and it’s five layers high with three different flavors.
You have to try all the flavors otherwise it would just be rude!
10. When all the cousins look so good you have to take a squad photo.
All fifty of your cousins group together while the parents whip out their phones and try to take as many photos of all of you as they can.
11. When the DJ won’t stop playing shik shak shok.
I know it’s not the DJ’s fault that someone keeps asking them to play it, but for God’s sake, the rest of us would like to dance to something else!
12. But then your song finally comes on.
You bring out all your good moves as soon as the DJ plays your jam.
13. When the wedding videographer comes around just when you’ve finished stuffing a spoonful of food in your mouth.
Excuse me, sir, I’d like to have my photo taken after I’ve finished swallowing my food.
14. When you can see your relatives analyzing everyone’s outfits to see who’s the best dresser.
You know by the way they’re looking at everyone’s outfits that they’re bringing their claws out tonight.
15. When an auntie introduces you to her ugly son instead of the really hot older one you had your eye on.
You end up getting stuck in a conversation with him and have to send eye signals across the room to your siblings to come save you.
16. When you’re trying to get that tabouleh out of your teeth without anyone noticing.
Never. Ever. Eat tabouleh at a wedding. Or any place where you’re forced to keep smiling.
17. When the bellydancers arrive and all the men circle around them to watch.
If you ever see any men running up to the dance floor, just know that the belly dancers are busting out the moves.
18. When you come out with five Instagramable posts by the end of the night.
Now you know the five hours of getting your hair and makeup done weren’t wasted on nothing.
19. When you’re forced to sit at the kiddie table no matter how old you get.
Until you get married and have your own kids, you’ll always be seated at the ‘kid’s table’ at weddings.
20. When the nights over and you’re struggling to walk back to your car after a long night of dancing in heels.
This is the moment you regret wearing five-inch stiletto heels instead of the comfortable wedges your mom bought you.