Most engaging

Second thoughts on engagement, post party. I confess to be confused the following morning, because what we experienced was basically a wedding, without the marriage. There were the vast numbers of guests, the dancing, the photographs. The only thing missing was the nikah. Which begs the question: why not just get married?

Of course, that way of doing it upset nearly everyone in our case. Everyone around us demanded we take it slow, going through the ritual several years of dating to be sure we were right for each other, before getting engaged to plan for a wedding at some distant far off point in the future. A waste of time, if you ask me.

We met, we liked each other, we got married. Then we would go on dates as a married couple, allowing like to flourish into love. The only real difference to what others demanded of us was that we were halal to one another, enabling an intimate closeness to form. A norm amidst the secular majority, perhaps, but not in the practising Christian milieu in which I was raised.

As it happens, we ended up having a party much like last night’s, complete with the insane hamshen horon, dancing the night away. But that was eight months after our nikah in a fine hotel in an upmarket part of Istanbul. The whole clan was there, plus some of my family and a few close friends. A completely different approach.

Still, perhaps theirs will serve as a dress rehearsal for the real thing at some point next year, whatever great arrangements have to be put in place. Admittedly, I’m probably a utilitarian here, less interested in flashy displays of wealth and pride. For me, it’s more important that it’s all tayyib (good, pleasant, lawful), than flashy and impressive.

In any case, may the One bless their union. Let it be a beautiful marriage and life together, fruitful and long lasting.

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