On Saturday, some of the family gathered to celebrate our exciting news. It was a simple dinner that required restraint on behalf of the Turkish side of the family. Like so many cultures and traditions, engagements and weddings in Turkey are dictated by tradition.

I have learned about many of these traditions over the last few weeks….(mainly highlighting our strong diversion from tradition). Here are some of the basics:

In Turkey, the proposal occurs first, but the engagement is not official until the families come together to celebrate and acknowledge the engagement.

The engagement ceremony is traditionally held in the bride’s home. During the engagement ceremony, rings are exchanged in a short ceremony.

It is traditional for the bride to receive jewelry and gold coins from the grooms family.

Both the bride and groom traditionally wear engagement rings.

Our family celebration was held at C’s grandmother’s house on the asian side of Istanbul. She lives in the same neighborhood where C grew up, and in so many ways is like a second mother to him. It was an informal, but joyous affair. We feasted, we drank wine, we posed for pictures and I was warmly welcomed into the family by his father in a lovely toast. While we were posing to cut the cake together, I decided to introduce some American flair and tradition, and with limited explanation, I covered my groom’s face with cake. You can imagine his surprise, and the absolute delight of his family. The entire room erupted in laughter. Afterwards, the wonderful women in his life (who I adore): his grandmother, his aunt and his mother, as well as his uncle, spoiled me with beautiful gold coins and jewelry. I was overwhelmed by the attention and generosity. Overall, it was a very lovely and joyous night.

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An Engagement Celebration


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