Post # 1
So my hubby is Turkish (just got married on 8/1/09 over here in the ‘States. However, it looks like we are going over to Bursa, Turkey, in May for our “Turkish” wedding. However, I had a few “cultural” questions, that I would love to get some responses for!
1. Is it a “tradition” to wear a veil or just a style? I’d rather forgo the veil since I’ve been married once already!
2. If I don’t wear a super full ball gown, will everyone be upset? It seems that everywhere I turn, all Turkish women are wearing really full ball gowns, with gloves, and that’s not really my style. I was planning on wearing a gown with a simpler structure since I have to travel with it.
3. Can I do my own hair the day of the wedding? My Mother-In-Law has told my husband that it is a “tradition” to take the bride to a salon to get her hair done. I have naturally curly hair, and would much rather do it myself.
4. Is it really the “norm” to not serve food at the reception? Right now, it looks like we are having 300 people, and serving cake, cookies and punch.
5. Are there any beautiful inexpensive venues in Bursa for a wedding reception other than a banquet hall?
Post # 3
Hello, and congratulations on your wedding! I’m Turkish but lived here for a while so I can’t claim to be an expert on the culture and traditions back home…As far as I know Bursa is a more conservative, traditional city than Istanbul where I’m from, but I’ll take a stab at it from my own experiences.
1) Most girls wear a veil but I don’t think anyone would be upset if you didn’t. For my first wedding ten years ago I had an after-celebration in Turkey like you did. My mom says she can’t remember if I wore a veil or not, so apparantly noone would’ve noticed if I didn’t 🙂
2) I think styles are changing. When I was there this summer Pronovias seemed to be the popular brand and they have a lot of mermaid styles. I wore an A-line, strapless,corset-top Maggie before.
3) Most people do go to a salon, but again I can’t see anyone getting upset if you didn’t. Maybe if the family insists , just go with them for the experience and only get your nails done or something.
4) Actually all receptions I’ve been to served food, but my mom says this is a new trend. She says 20-30 years ago there was no such thing as a reception because not many people could afford one. If you’re having a traditional Turkish style “dugun”, I’m guessing dancing will be more important than the food 🙂
5) One of my coworkers’ brother just got married in Bursa so let me ask him..I’ll pm you if I find out anything.
Post # 4
Thank you so much for responding! I’ve been going off of what my husband has been telling me, but you know how men can be with this type of thing (he doesn’t know what he’s talking about sometimes.)
I think that his mom has all these ideas about what I should wear, etc. partly because she never raised any girls. haha. I love her though. She’s terribly sweet and I definitely don’t want to do anything to upset her!
IF you get a chance to talk to your co worker about the Bursa wedding, please let me know! I know that the traditions can vary a lot per region. The food thing especially seems a bit weird to me. I come from a multicultural upbringing where every family event is based around food! I can’t imagine having a party with 300+ people and no food, but I realize that this is a different culture than mine!
Also, I”m not familiar with the term “dugun.” Is that a type of wedding reception?
Tessekuler! I REALLY appreciate your input! 😀
Post # 5
Here is another Turkish bride and my fiance is actually from Bursa:-). I agree with what Meliss said about the food. Most of the Turkish weddings I’ve been to served food. However, there were also some weddings which were just cocktail- style; younger people chose to go somewhere else for fun all together after the cocktail.
As for the veil and the gown, I think it really depends on your fiance’s upbringing. I’ve been to Bursa many times and I don’t think it’s actually that more conservative compared to Istanbul. I know lots of people from Bursa- some family friends and friends from high school and middle school whose families are quite open-minded like themselves but again, it depends on his upbringing. Does he specifically ask you to wear a veil and a certain type of gown? I started seeing a lot of mermaid style gowns in Turkish weddings and I don’t think it would be upsetting if you went with something else other than a ball gown.
The only place that I know is Kervansaray in Bursa but it’s probably not inexpensive. I’ll see if my friends know of a good and inexpensive place and let you know.
Post # 6
Thanks so2203! We finally had a conversation with his mom yesterday about the dress. Basically, all she cares about, as well as he is that I wear a floor length gown and have some type of veil on my head. Now that I know this, I think I’ll wear something long but more simple and fun… like a reception dress.
As for the food at the reception… they both swear that this is perfectly normal to serve punch and cake. I guess I don’t really have a choice in the matter, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut. hah.
I wonder why they keep telling me this and at the same time, you two have a totally different opinion! Hmm…
Post # 7
Glad you two had a talk, all should be fine as long as you and the fam are on the same page and there are no surprises on the last day. About the reception, like we all mentioned there are so many different traditions based on locale, upbringing etc. I think that’s true whichever country you’re in. For my wedding reception I can’t imagine anything but a sit-down, four course dinner and a string quartet, whereas I just read in a magazine about this wedding where they served root beer floats in a barn and danced under the moonlight, and everyone seemed to have a fabulous time. I wouldn’t worry too much – it’s your day (even if it’s an encore:) ) and you should just enjoy it. Turkish families are usually very welcoming and a bit enamored with foreign brides/grooms so expect to be showered with lots of attention and affection!
Post # 8
After our barn wedding here, I am also heading over to Turkey for a second wedding in Gaziantep. I’m just going to go with the flow with whatever they want but my my only concern is the dress; I’m wearing a poufy fifties-ish tea length dress with a birdcage veil and I am a bit worried that it will be very different than what is worn there. Fab you mentioned long and veiled was required by your Mother-In-Law. I hope mine doesn’t set the same standard!! Does anyone every wear tea length there?
Post # 9
Rosaliz, my dad is from Gaziantep- so I know the culture and the city well. About your dress, just like it is here in the US, tea length dresses are not as common. I would say that yes, your veil would be unconventional in Antep BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would get a negative reaction from your in-laws. They know that you are not from Turkey- so they should not be pushy about traditions.
Did you talk to your fiance about this? I am sure he will give you advice/guide you about what to expect.
As I wrote in my previous post, I am sure that everybody will be super nice and welcoming towards you and the originality of your wedding day look will add to the joy of your wedding!
Post # 10
Hi So, small world! You don’t happen to know any beautiful, preferably historial locations in the city to have a wedding that aren’t a large hotel? My finace is clueless about all things wedding so he’s not much help. I’ve done a lot of reading, so I’m hopefully not completely clueless. I don’t know if he’s mentioned to his family about my dress. I doubt they will care (I hope) I guess I will just be different. Any if they hate it, they are coming here first, so I will be forewarned! 🙂