Turkish Weddings

Recently, I was walking by a wedding “center” with a friend and we saw big crowds of people outside.  She suggested that we go in, watch a wedding and see if we can get some candy.  This seemed odd to me, but I’m generally up for anything, so in we went.  It turns out that this is the Turkish equivalent to getting married at a courthouse, except that couple brings along three or four hundred friends and family, and the whole thing is even less romantic.  A loudspeaker announced the couples’ names and told everyone to file into the auditorium.  It also said that once you have “celebrated” with the couple that you should leave as soon as possible to make room for others.  We watched the ceremony, which took about five minutes, and consisted of the couple stating their identities, their parents’ names, and confirming that they were freely entering into this agreement.  Not a word about love, commitment, ‘till death do us part, etc.  It was purely contractual.  Then everyone filed out of the room and lined up to congratulate the couple, give them money (or gold) and get pictures taken with them.  The guests all received a little sachet of lavender with little candies attached, and then they left.  There were three couples being congratulated at the same time in different corners of a very large room.  The only thing that bore any resemblance to what I think of as a wedding was that the brides were wearing white dresses. This in not the only option for marrying couples, but clearly it is an inexpensive and popular choice.