It is almost inevitable to think about strong and important traditional pillars of society when it comes to UAE, and weddings are the mirror of maintaining tradition in every country or region in the world. Of course there are new generations inventing new things and creating new traditions during time, but some old things are here to stay for a long time.
Wedding tradition and ceremonies have changed a lot in a past hundred years, but some “rules” and appropriate behaving is still well known to everyone. Sometimes things differ from family to family and from region to region, but we can define some customs that are mutual to all of them. In the same time new traditions are being introduced to this old civilization.
Planning of the wedding sometimes lasts between three and for months, never less, which shows how important it is for them that everything goes well. One of the new things is that when you receive the wedding invitation you will be asked not to have your phone with you, to sustain yourself from making videos and photos and one more thing, that sounds funny but it could be useful to add it to every wedding invitation all over the world, and that is to leave your kids at home.
Women and man are separated during the wedding and young woman should’t be dancing around while their mothers, aunts and grandmothers are still there. This rule is not present nowadays as much as it used to be.
There is a beautiful tradition of Hanna drawing, very similar to the same thing that woman do in India around their wedding day; it is drawing on ladies hands. Traditionally woman of both families gather, talk, sing, draw, laugh; older ladies give advices to the bride and they all talk about their marriages. Nowadays it usually turns into a bachelorette party.
Western tradition kind of demands father of the bride to be present at the wedding, but in UAE he is not supposed to be anywhere near the wedding place.
It might sound strange, but not everyone in UAE is filthy rich, so some people even have very modest weddings; Even the group ones. But when the group weddings take place rich people come as a spectators and guests and often they donate some money or goods to the couples. Luxurious weddings are very different when it comes to presents because it is considered to be rude and selfish to show off with your presents during the wedding. You being there is what counts.