Sunday, November 18, 2012

Afghanistan Wedding #2 - Lapis Lazuli (Blue) Wedding

This second Afghan wedding is gears more towards someone who is looking to renew their wedding vows or to have a destination wedding. If the couple doesn't want to actually get married Muslim, than getting married in their native country at city hall first before going to Afghanistan would be the best way to go. Planning a wedding in a country that neither person has ever been to or has any connection to can be very hard, so a great way to make the whole process easier is to go on vacation there for a few days even just to find out things that the internet can't always give you (a great place to get married, to have a reception, to get flowers or a cake from for example).
Afghanistan is known for a lot of things, however, not many people realize that it is also know for a beautiful blue stone called Lapis lazuli. Afghanistan is a country on top of millions of dollars worth of untapped minerals. Lapis lazuli used to be mined exclusively in Afghanistan and is used to make blue pigments that cause the rich blue colour in works of art. It is truly a beautiful stone and a great thing to plan a wedding around.

(Lapis lazuli block picture by: Wikipedia)

To match the beautiful and different shades of blue associated with the Lapis stone, mixing and matching flowers is something that would give the best result. If a couple is renewing their vows, mixing in flowers from the original wedding is a great way to carry over the special day and tie the two days together. A great option is blue hydrangeas and stephanotis.

(Hydrangeas and Stephanotis picture by: Bouquet Wedding Flowers and real touch blue hydrangea and stephanotis Boutonniere by: Hibiscus Florals )

The Dress:
In Afghanistan there isn't a dress code per-say, but it is always a good idea to dress like the locals. Woman should have as much of their body covered as possible with loose fitting clothing. Any wedding dress can be made to meet these guide lines. Even if the dress is strapless, a simple jacket or sleeve would hide most of the bride's arms. A great dress to use for a wedding in Afghanistan would be one like the image below. It is light, not very form fitting but still has some shape to it, the shoulder are covered and light sleeves can easily be added. 

(Floor-length Sweetheart Wedding Dress, Gorgeous Sweetheart Floor-length Chiffon over Satin A-line Destination Wedding Dress at: Dido Bridal)

The Shoes:
Since the dress is simple and elegant, the shoes can be simply beautiful as well. Afghanistan is a hot place to visit so sandals would be a good way to go, even a flip-flop would be fine. The dress is long enough that it practically covers up the shoes anyways so something simply, with a little sparkle would go well. Nothing with a huge heel because they the dress won't hang as low as it normally would and won't cover as much. A flat flip-flop with diamonds, or silver gems or beads would look beautiful with the Dido dress.  

(Beautiful example of Up-do and formal styling by: Hairstyles For Thin Hair

Make up, hair, nails, and accessories: 
In Afghanistan, the woman usually have their hair covered up completely, especially when entering a mosque.  So, going with an ''up-style'' hairdo and a veil would be best for an Afghanistan destination wedding. For the hairdo's in Afghanistan, the bride may not want to go too extravagant because, again depending on local customs and what not, people may not see her hair or get to see the full effect as she would want. Something beautiful but not over the top would be great because it gets covered by the veil, so the veil isn't taking away from the hair, but if the bride chooses to take the veil off during the reception it is still beautiful. Earrings and necklaces that are simple and not overwhelming add to the bride's look without taking away attention from her. Finding beautiful Lapis Lazuli earrings and necklaces may be easier in Afghanistan but with the internet shopping around the world is much easier to do. For make up (and hair also), the best way to go is to stay natural. A wedding day is no time to start experimenting with new hair colours or new make up colours. As for nails, a great look is always the french nail. Adding little silver embellishments would match the dress and look fabulous.  Any veil would go great with the hairstyle and wedding dress. A beautiful one tier veil that is somewhat see through and long enough to cover the face is a perfect fit. The beaded edge on the veil below, adds something to the plan veil and can call some attention away from the bride's hair showing too much for the culture. 

(One-tier Tulle Waltz Veil With Bead Edge at: Light in the Box)

The groom:
The bride has a ''Western'' dress, so the groom will have to go with a suit. Moores Clothing has great options to choose from that are high quality and match well together. Moores is great for mixing and matching, and that means buying everything separately. Any tuxedo works fine, the only real thing that has to be perfect would be the tie. To save money, any groom should have a dressed up suit already, black pants, and a black blazer that match would be fine for a wedding, so all that's left is the vest, or cummerbund cumberbund and the tie. Also, a great token for the groom is cufflinks that match the theme of the wedding. Cufflinks come in almost anything and lapis cufflinks would be a great trinket for the day. 

(Cavalier Tie - Royal Blue by: Tuxedo Junction)

The invitations: 
With any invitation set, mixing and matching can sometimes work great as long as the themes match. Picture invitations will match anything because most of the time the text can be matched to any colour. When getting married in a different country save the date cards are very important. Out of town wedding should always have save the date cards because guests need time to make travel plans and book time off work and make other arrangements. 

(Spotlight on Love - front and back view by: Wedding Paper Divas)

Spotlight on Love is a theme that is available at Wedding Paper Divas, it comes in a set and would work great with the lapis theme of this wedding. The image above is of the invitation, it is beautiful has the blue circle that pulls in the theme and the back is two different shades of blue. 

Photographer and Videographer:
Chances are couples from other countries are not going to know any good photographers or videographers in Afghanistan. Asking a local company or person to travel around the world just to shoot pictures and/or video would cost a small fortune. The best thing to do is to ask friends and family if they have any experience with taking pictures (beyond the point and shoot that everyone can master), it would be a lot cheaper if an already invited guest could take pictures for the big day. But just because they are there anyways, offering to pay them a small fee, or asking them do to it as a wedding present could go along way to getting someone to agree to do it.

Preaching (non-Islamic), and abandoning religion (Islam) are consider serious crimes and penalties are severe (Afghanistan Law). This is when getting married in a city hall works best, so the couple can exchange vows and share rings at their ceremony, or they can have an ordained friend simply walk them through the major steps, saying vows, exchanging rings, saying I do. Public displays of affection may cause some offense so keeping the, ''You may now kiss the bride,'' part out of the wedding could be something to think about if there is a large crowd, or keeping the kiss to a peck and nothing too extreme would be best. Keeping with the theme of lapis stone and its beautiful colour, rings for both the bride and groom can be found with the blue stone in. 

 (Left: Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Lapis Lazuli Ring By: Lapis Lazuli World; Right: Titanium Ring with African Blackwood and Lapis by: Hawaiititanium).

Traditionally in Afghanistan there is no guest book, but for most Americans and Canadians that's a tradition in weddings. Just because a couple is celebrating in a different country doesn't mean they have to leave all their traditions behind. A tradition guest book works fine, finding a blue one would be perfect. But there are many different options out there and Etsy is a great place to find them. 

(Left: Rustic Theme Wedding Reception Plaque by: JKartshop)

In Afghanistan the couple's parents usually sit the guests. But for a couple that decides to take wedding pictures and pictures of the beauty around them, they are going to want their family with them. The best thing, and traditional thing in American is seating charts. Create a seating chart and table numbers along with place cards will take care of making sure everyone has a seat and is seated where they should be. Groom Carrying Bride by Magnet Street has matching table numbers and place cards to go with the invitations.                                            

(Groom Carrying Bride Place Cards and Table Numbers)

An Afghan bride doesn't usually dance on her wedding day, she is suppose to be sad that she is leaving her father's home, not dancing and celebrating. But there are just some traditions that all bride's should take part in. A father daughter dance, and a couples first dance truly should be something every couple experiences. Since Afghan couples don't usually have a first dance, and the bride doesn't usually dance with her father, there are no traditional songs, the bride and groom should choose a song that means something to them and speaks to their experience and feelings, however a close song would be ''Ahesta Boro'' (or Ahesta Bero), which means ''Walk Slowly''. Traditionally, Afghan couples walk in to their reception to this song, but to mix a little local culture with traditions the bride and groom may be used to, it could be a couple's first dance song. It is not tradition for the bride and her father to celebrate her ''leaving'' his home to join the groom, but if the bride wants to dancer with her father any song that means something to her would be beautiful. Garters are not usually a part of the Afghan tradition but if the couple chooses a blue and white lace garter set would be beautiful. 

At an Afghan wedding, the bride and groom are the first to be served in a buffet style dinner. This dinner usually consists of chicken and lamb kebabs, different kinds of rice, salad, vegetable dishes, mantoo (afghan dumplings) and more. This is a great tradition to follow, it highlights the local cuisine and it allows the guest to try new things if they want or stick to what they are used to. (Should the couple choose to have toasting at the wedding great couple's toasting glasses would be a Denim and Lace Set that would really carry the blue theme). 

The Cake:
A traditional wedding cake in Afghanistan is three tiers tall, depending on the number of guests that may be too big for the average wedding. Making a three tier cupcake stand cake instead may be more fitting for a lesser number of people. But it is never a bad idea to have different options when it comes to cake flavours. Traditional flavours for Afghan weddings are coffee cake, Afghan chocolate, and a pound cake with either dried fruit or real fruit jam in it. The theme of the wedding matches blue colours, so if going with cupcakes, blue liners would be great for the pound cake, with a white frosting and blue berries on top; for the chocolate cupcake, a white cupcake liner and blue whip cream frosting with a few white sprinkles would be beautiful too. A three tier wedding cake would feed about forty people, if that is a perfect amount that a beautiful white cake with blue ribbon around the base of each tier would be the perfect cake. Also adding in flowers from the bride's bouquet would make the cake make the theme even more so. 

(Blue Wedding Cakes by: Wedding Cakes X)

The black details in the cake above not only gives the cake character but it also will give more options for matching the topper to. Wedding cake toppers don't have to be a bride and groom anymore, there are many different options, and the glass see through ones are very beautiful and elegant. Serving sets aren't always easy to match, sometimes the simplest thing to do is to get just a standard set that is beautiful on its own and adding a ribbon to match the cake. 

(Left: Black Swirl and Dots Wedding Cake Topper from: Koyal Whole Sale; Right Lenox Jubilee Pearl Cake Knife and Server Set from: The Knot Wedding Shop)

Guest Favours:
Traditionally, in Afghanistan guest favours are a box of sweets and a tray of dried fruits for each guest. A great way to incorporate that into these guest favours would be to give a box of frosted almonds (the traditional sweet giving at Afghan weddings), and a box of homemade trail mix. Making a homemade trail mix is really simple because basically its anything that is small and will stay fresh for a while. Adding together, oatmeal, or granola, dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, or caramel chips, mini M&M or any other small candy type, sunflower seeds, dried berries or raisins, anything small, that can be kept in the open for a while and tastes great by itself, will work fine. (Traditional the parents of the bride and groom don't get specific presents, but giving the mother and father of the bride and groom glass jars filled with almonds and trail mix would be a great gift and they can reuse the jars.) 

(Personalized 2-Piece Square Favour Box at: Beau-Coup)

Creating homemade centerpieces are easy to do and can be very inexpensive depending on the type of centerpiece made. A very beautiful centerpiece involving water, flowers and cheap candles can be made to look like an elegant hotel display. Taking plastic glowing fake candles (and making sure they are waterproof), adding them to a bowl of dyed blue water and letting hydrangeas float on top would match the wedding well and look very good on the table. Underwater, the LED tealight candles (below) light up the water, make it glow and from afar they look like real candles. 

Thank You Cards:
 Thank you cards don't have to match the theme of the wedding, or have any theme at all. But most invitations set come with matching Thank You card options. 


Places to see:
The best way to pass the time in any country is to sight see. In Afghanistan Band-e Amir is a group of five turquoise lakes that is the first national park of the country. Conveniently close to Band-e Amir is the city of Bamiyan, home to one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. In Bamiyan Bot-e-Bamiyan (Buddhas statue) is a great thing to see, they date back to 03rd and 5th century. Shahr-e-gholgola and Shahr-e-zohak are both caves in Bamiyan that are rich in Afghan history. Kabul bala hisar means a citadel or fortress within a walled town on top of a ridge or hill. It is the town's main defensive complex and has served as residence for Afghan leaders (Tour Afghanistan).Khyber Pass is an important site in Afghanistan, it links Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history it served as an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia. And finally, the Shrine of Hazrat Ali, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. It is one of the reputed burial places of Ali, cousin and son-in law of Muhammad. 

(Landscape of Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, picture by: Lonely Planet)

The next country alphabetically is Albania, in southeastern Europe! 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Afghanistan Wedding #1 - Country Themed (Green, Red and White) Wedding

''Afghanistan'' Themed Wedding:
A great way to show case any country's beauty is to have a wedding outside. The snow-capped Kohi Baba mountains (image available hereand most of the Landscape in Bamiyan Valley (image) are beautiful choices to use as a backdrop for any wedding especially since it is a ceremony for family and friends to enjoy and the marriage has already been made official.
In Afghanistan, Dari (Persian) is the language spoken by the majority of people, there are over thirty other languages spoken however after Pashto, Uzbek and Turkmen the number of people that speak a different language is less than five percent. Even if the couple, or the majority of the guest don't speak one of the languages of the country adding some element with the language may be a great way to incorporated the country into the wedding.

The Flowers:
(Red Tulips Wedding Bouquet with Cranberry Ribbon. Picture found at: Sarah's Flowers Wedding Blog)

According to Wikipedia the floral emblem of Afghanistan is the tulip. Tulips come in many different colours and can be used for any colour scheme wedding. The flag of Afghanistan (Flag) is black, red and green, with white highlighting the emblem in the middle. Red tulips with banana leaves, or just their own tulip leaves, some baby's breath and a black ribbon handle would be a great way to incorporate all the couples into a bouquet, or black and red tulips with and green leaves, either way the colour of the flowers will decided the colour scheme of the entire wedding. Tulips can cost anywhere from fifty cent a flower to two dollars a flower depending on peak seasons and availability also, some florist try to convince their customer to stay away from the tulip because they are said to not hold up as well as other traditional roses. (The image above is of artificial flowers and though the company is based in the UK, it may be the solution to any trouble that may come from using tulips in a bouquet.)
(Red Tulip Boutonniere Photo by: Jamie Hammond Photography; found at: The Knot)

The Dress: 
A tradition wedding dress in Afghanistan depends on what part of the country the bride/groom is from.   An Afghan bride may where two different dresses on her wedding day, the Islamic green dress (Great examples of dresses from Afghanistan, though maybe not for a bride, they are very beautiful examples.) would be first and than the ''Fairy-tale'' white dress would be afterwards. However, there are some brides that choose to dress in all traditional Kuchi dresses or all white ''Western'' style dresses.When the bride chances is up to the couple or tradition, however usually the change happens after the Nikah (the ceremony) or after the meal. (If the couple is having a traditional wedding because they are from Afghanistan or share the Afghan faith than when changing may very depending on tradition.) The best way to stick as close to Afghan tradition as possible would be to buy the Islamic (or ceremony) dress at a local shop, as for the ''Fairy-tale'' white dress that can be purchased anywhere and brought over. The key to the perfect wedding dress(es) is to find ''The One''.

The Shoes: 
Shoes should be glamourous enough to match the brides dress, but in a traditional Afghan wedding a male relative of the groom sacrifices a sheep, or chicken near the bride and smear some blood on her shoes.  ''The ceremony signifies there things: 1) The bride now belongs to the grooms family; 2) She is now clean of evil spirits she may be bringing into the family; 3) She is pure.'' (Tradition)

Make up, hair, nails, and accessories:
The best look for any wedding day, Afghan or other wise to go look natural. Most Afghan brides wear a veil of some sort. It is said that when a wedding was arranged, the first time a husband would see his wife's face would be in the reflection of a mirror after lifting the shawl (or veil). When wearing a veil the best hair styles are always to have the hair down and flowing if that is possible. Afghan brides also have a Henna Night, usually the night before their wedding. This is somewhat a bachelorette party. Henna is a red dye that is usually presented by the mother, aunt, and/or sister(s) of the groom. The bride will close her hands and the mother of the groom will try to get her future daughter-in-law to open her hands by presenting or promising her a gift, or the groom may try to open her palms by force. The mother of the groom will take a teaspoon of henna and place it in her soon-to-be daughter-in-law's palms and cover it with triangular cloth. This is to replicate the historical tradition of making little incisions into the bride and groom's hand so they would be forever joined in blood. In turn the mother of the bride will place the henna on the groom's pinkie finger and cover it with cloth. (According to the Wikipedia entry Afghan Wedding). The rest of the henna is passed around to the unmarried girls, and who every gets some henna on their pinkie finger is said to be the next to marry.

The Groom:
Most Afghan grooms wear traditional Afghan clothing (shawar Kameese) in either all white or all black with a decorative vest and matching hat or turban. The groom and bride dress to match, so when the bride is in her white dress the groom is in a suit; when the bride is in her traditional Afghan dress, the groom will be in his Afghan clothing. (Big Thanks to Afghan Wife!)

The Invitations:

In Afghanistan invitations do not go out weeks in advance like in the west, and are usually taken care of by the parents of the bride and groom. It isn't unusual for a guest to receive and invitation only days before the wedding. Waiting to send out invitations (or hand deliver them) isn't always the best way to go, especially if you want to insure that every guest can make it. For any guests that has to travel in, or fly in from a different country even, the invitations coming as early as possible is the best way to make travel plans. If the majority of guests are from the area or live around where the wedding ceremony and reception is set, direction cards aren't needed, but if parts or either family is not from Afghanistan, or the area, direction cards are a great way to avoid telling a large number of people over the phone how to get from airport to hotel, to the ceremony, to reception. Also, response cards aren't as important here either because the meal is traditionally serve buffet style and thus the persist number isn't needed, just around figure.

(Sketched in Love by Magnetstreet)

A beautiful invitation set would be Sketched in Love(available in nine different styles), it is a beautiful green with highlights of black that would go very well the green dress and the green in the flowers. Also, Tender Tendril is a beautiful set, it is green and white (or white and green, depending on which style is chosen) a little lighter than the Sketched in Love set. Adding tiny gold plastic gems randomly either to the invitation or the envelope would also add a bit of Afghan theme to any invitations. (Prices on invitations and accompaniments very depending on the number of invitations needed.)

(Tender Tendril by Magnetstreet)

Photographer and Videographer:
If the bride and groom are not from Afghanistan chances are they will not know a photographer or videographer. If they have family in Afghanistan than that may be something they should think about letting a family member handle. If the couple and their family does not know anyone or any photographer/videographer in the country than finding someone where they are from and asking that person to accompany them to Afghanistan for their wedding may be the best option. 

Traditional Afghan weddings are elaborate affairs, even poor families will go into debt, spending close to twenty thousand dollars for the clothes, wedding hall, food, singers, flowers and photographer (Ceremony.) A new tradition is developing in Afghanistan, taking on the Western tradition of exchanging gold or silver wedding bands. (Cartier Engagement RingsCartier Wedding Bands are great rings and good quality.) Nikah is a religious Islamic ceremony in which a marriage contract is agreed upon. It is traditionally held in private with the gathering of the couple's immediate family and is led by an Islamic clergy, the mullah. In Afghan weddings, the bride and groom are traditionally kept in separate rooms. The bride is represented in the Nikah by her father or a close male relative. The Nikah is negotiated before the mullah between the groom and the bride's representative. Once the groom has accepted the terms of the marriage, the mullah than goes to the bride and asks three times if she accepts the marriage. Once the bride accepts, they are pronounced husband and wife. (Nikah

There is no guest book in the Afghan culture, the receiving table is there to hold gifts for the couple, and the money box, jewels are given to the bride on stage during the reception, these jewels are mostly gold.  Guests show up to the reception before the bride and groom. They are usually greeted by a row of women on one side and a row of men on the other. The bride and groom's family will than lead the guests to their table so their is no need for seating charts, table numbers or name tags. The guests gather around and their loved ones and talk about their lives and gossip while exchanging secrets, as the musician plays mellow music for those who care to listen and calm soothing music for those in the mist of a political debate. (Modern Afghan Wedding) After the Nikah is complete, the bride and groom enter the wedding hall and the traditional song ''Ahesta Boro'' (or Ahesta Bero), which literally translate to ''Walk Slowly'' in Persian, is played. This anthem is a very strong tradition in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and some parts of Pakistan. The song was originally written by Abdul Rahim Sarban, he got his inspiration from the cultural folklore. (Ahesta Boro) Great places to consider for a reception hall is hotels, they can host guests and there is little travelling involved. (Serena Hotels, or Safi Landmark Hotel and Suits both look like great options.)
Once the couple has walked in, the couple is covered with a single shawl and is given a mirror which is wrapped in cloth. In privacy under the shawl, they then unwrap the mirror and look at their reflection for the first time together as husband and wife. They each take turns reading from the Qur'an (Depending on what tradition is followed sometimes this is done alone at home after the wedding.) (Weddings).
When the couple finally sits down they have a table all to themselves. They are said to be the King and Queen of the night and have a beautifully decorated table in front of the stage so they are the center of attention. When sitting, the bride traditionally lets her husband sit down first, it is a sign of his dominance and of who holds the power in the marriage. Also, a bride should not smile or dance on her wedding day, the bride is suppose to be sad because she is leaving her father's home.

At an Afghan wedding, the bride and groom are the first to be served in a buffet style dinner. This dinner usually consists of chicken and lamb kebabs, different kinds of rice, salad, vegetable dishes, mantoo (afghan dumplings) and more.

The Cake:
In Afghanistan culture all weddings must have a proper cake. Traditional wedding cake's are three-stories high, and resembles a pound cake which is often flavoured with real fruits or fruit jelly inside; chocolate afghan cakes, and coffee cakes are also popular (Afghan Cakes). The top patisserie is said to be Razavi Patisserie. Razavi Patisserie is found right in Sharenau, the main business district of Kabul, Afghanistan (Patisserie). A white cake with beautiful black swirls would go great with the wedding theme, adding green ribbons around the base of each layer would incorporate the green colour of the wedding also. 

(Black Swirl Wedding Cake by: Fair Cake)

When it comes to cutting the cake, the groom's sister(s) take the knife and perform a sword dance. During this dance, the sister dances with the knife and asks her brother for money for the bride. Once he gives her money, the sister gives the groom the knife and the bride and groom are free to cut the cake together. As the couple cuts the cake the musician will return to sing the traditional song, ''Baada Baada Elahee Mubarak Baada - Man dil ba tu dada am Tawakol ba khoda,'' meaning ''Congratulations, I gave you my heart now I leave it to God.'' The couple will cut the cake, and then family members will cut the pieces smaller and serve them to the guests. 
To try and match a cake serving set to the cake or even the cake topper isn't easy. But by simply taking a thick green ribbon, and placing a black thinner one in the middle, making a bow with them around the knife and server can make them match the cake and wedding theme. 

Guest Favours:
For an Afghan wedding, each guest usually receive a box of sweets at their table, and a tray of dried fruit and sweets (most commonly frosted almonds). Getting boxes that match the invitations or theme of a wedding isn't as hard as it may seem, and it gives the guests something to remember the wedding day by.                                                  
(Tender Tendril favour box and Sketched in Love favour box)

A centerpiece should always be small, this makes it easier for the guests to chat amoung themselves. A beautiful centerpiece could be the simplest thing. A square vase of water, with rocks on the bottom and floating candles could be a great centerpiece and match the wedding theme. Also smaller square or even round glasses around the main centerpiece can add light and more beauty. To add more red, cranberries floating in the water would work well also or scattered tulips around the table would also.

(Black and Green posted by onelovernk to Wedding By Color)

Thank You Cards:
Traditionally in Afghanistan the couple will be at the door thanking their guests as they leave. The couple does not send out thank you cards, instead their parents call the guests on their behalf. 

Places to see:
The best way to pass the time in any country is to sight see. In Afghanistan Band-e Amir is a group of five turquoise lakes that is the first national park of the country. Conveniently close to Band-e Amir is the city of Bamiyan, home to one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. In Bamiyan Bot-e-Bamiyan (Buddhas statue) is a great thing to see, they date back to 03rd and 5th century. Shahr-e-gholgola and Shahr-e-zohak are both caves in Bamiyan that are rich in Afghan history. Kabul bala hisar means a citadel or fortress within a walled town on top of a ridge or hill. It is the town's main defensive complex and has served as residence for Afghan leaders (Tour Afghanistan).Khyber Pass is an important site in Afghanistan, it links Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history it served as an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia. And finally, the Shrine of Hazrat Ali, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. It is one of the reputed burial places of Ali, cousin and son-in law of Muhammad. 

(Mazar-e Sharif by Steven Evans courtesy of Wikipedia)

Afghanistan is such a beautiful country and a beautiful place to get married. Afghan's are very proud of their culture and traditions with good reason. They have very romantic traditions and very meaningful traditions that will add to any wedding ceremony, Islamic or not. A huge thanks to Afghan Wife, her blog was very informative and is not only a great read but is very insightful to the way and traditions of Afghan weddings and lifestyles. 


Alphabetically, Afghanistan is the first country in the world. The country gets a bad reputation because of the War on Terror but as a country it has many things to offer. For a person to get married in Afghanistan it is because a couple has family there, some connection to the country, or their is something drawing them to get married there. Whatever draws a person in, should be the theme for the wedding. The two themes I showcase will be the country as a theme, and the Lapis Lazuli stone.

The first step in planning a wedding is picking what type of ceremony to have, either a religious one, an out doors one, a sand ceremony, etc. According to the Kabul Afghanistan Embassy of The United States, ''It is not possible for a non-Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman in Afghanistan, but it is possible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim, foreign, woman. Additionally, the court will not register marriages involving Afghans who claim not to be Muslim, unless the couple consents to a Muslim religious ceremony. Afghan law considers all Afghans Muslim by default.
''Foreigners who want to marry in Kabul must first register the marriage at the Family Court, located in the Kabul Governor's House Compound. In the provinces, outside of Kabul, marriages can be registered at the civil courts. The couple must appear at the Family Court in Kabul with two witnesses and photo identification (preferably their passports). Witnesses should also have photo identification. If one of the individuals who wish to marry is Muslim, a religious Muslim ceremony will be performed at the time of registration. If both individuals are foreigners and non-Muslim, a civil ceremony many be performed. After the court ceremony, the couple is considered married under Afghan law; they may than conduct the family or religious ceremony/celebration of their choice.'' (The United States Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Starting this Blog

The most important time in any woman's life is the time she gets engaged up until the big day. But when planning a wedding as an adult, it's not as simple as the fairy tale weddings as a child. Dealing with budgets, ordering things in on time, and schedules can take the simplicity out of a wedding pretty quickly; and though there are professional wedding planners out there to help, not everyone has room in their budget to put upward to a thousand dollars for a little help on their big day. And, even with a wedding planner, they are only there to help make sure everything goes off without a hitch. But, what about decoration ideas, or meal ideas, help with flower arrangements and centerpieces.

I am not a professional, and I don't claim to be, but I do have a passion for weddings and detail. My blog will center around weddings, all around the world, with a number of different themes, ideas, and a list of must haves for every wedding. Weddings are special things, and even though most brides have an idea in mind, they need a little help with all the small details and that is where my blog just may come in handy. I take the time to find where to buy a wedding cake in Nashville, or a dress in Paris, or where to book hotel rooms or churches in Annapolis. Though I can only recommend places because of what I read, sometimes just a stepping stone is all a bride and groom will need.

Every wedding I blog about, I have planned in detail and only offer links to items I would pick/have at my own wedding. For some places, I may offer multiple themes for the location and that is simply because in any location there can be different themes specific to that location. With multiple themes, it is easy for couples to pick and choose what they want so they can have a little bit of everything. Either way this blog is simply to give ideas and make things a little simpler on the happy couple.