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A Day as an Assyrian Bridesmaid

BEEP BEEP… BEEP BEEP…It’s 4 am and time to get up to start your day as an Assyrian bridesmaid- but have you even really slept?

Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog ever! Let me start off by saying that there are pros and cons to everything, and especially when it comes to being a bridesmaid at an Assyrian wedding. It is obvious to say that waking up at 4 in the morning is not the most exciting thing in the world, but getting your hair and makeup done is! Or is it?

This might be debatable but to prepare yourself, I suggest you moisturize and appreciate your natural face before the makeup artist applies a pound of makeup on it. Next is the hair- it is probably best to just hold your breath during this process, because it can make or break your day. If all is well, you’ve only spent about a good 4 hours at the salon. Time to go go go!

Alright- we’ve arrived at the bride’s house; starving, yes of course, and the pinching has begun. This “pinching” is an Assyrian superstition; to be pinched in the arm as a bridesmaid is a wish for you to be next in line to get married. Ouch, ouch, and who are you? After your arm has had enough and the dresses are on, the awkward photography has begun. The group shots will be cute but oh- wait what? You want me to look in the mirror and smile? Alright, I guess I can do that for you. Hours later, and thank God that’s over.

​It is time to stand by the door and negotiate the dowry. This is an Assyrian tradition where the groom’s family exchanges money (for show) to bring the bride out of her house. This is often a very emotional time so ladies- bring your tissues! As the bride leaves her house, it is time to dance to traditional music. This is definitely very fun as a bridesmaid; trying new dances and experiencing the cultural heritage through the art of music.

One of the best things of being part of a bridal party is the fun on the party bus and the great memories shared at the reception; prepare to be offered drinks left, right, and centre. This can be quite a good time! When it comes to your entrance, it is always best to practice or this can look very disastrous and will haunt you for years. It is important to keep in mind the purpose of being there- to celebrate the love of the couple whether it is your best friend or the daughter of your dad’s best friend’s cousin’s uncle.

One of the most memorable moments at the wedding reception is the line dancing, or what we like to call “khigga.” Now there are many khigga rules but that sounds like a whole new blog! I’ll cut it short- just make sure you are in sequence with everyone else and all will be good! After this, is the real awkward part- the slow dance. Hands awkwardly intertwined, awkward stares in between camera takes, and an unsequenced choreography. They always say that laughter is the best medicine and that is exactly how I feel about this part of the night.

Being a bridesmaid has its ups and downs- but it is ultimately a great experience. The night will soon come to an end and the next thing you know- it will be time to join in the “Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye” song and wave to the camera….But oh wait don’t forget to slide in that envelope at the end of the fun day!

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