In Turkish culture, just like in most of Islamic countries, the wedding is a big event. Traditionally, marriage is regarded as one of the biggest changes in one’s entire lifetime. The wedding is the ceremonial establishment of a new and supposedly a long standing social institution. It is a declaration to the social environment that two individuals have combined their lives and that they are henceforth connected with a very strong tie.
The bigness of the “wedding” as a social event is one of the most important reasons why families in Turkish society are so strong. The “wedding event” by itself does not bring as much change in the lives of two individuals as it brings change in the minds and perceptions of other people surrounding these two individuals.
Weddings are very much crowded in Turkey, sometimes with mostly with an average number of guests that reaches a thousand person. Weddings are loud and colorful in Turkey. Weddings are social announcements. Wedding is an oath which is witnessed by hundreds of people. It means that the bigger the oath, the more difficult to renounce it.
When couples silently agree to live with each other and no one knows about the decision, it will be easy to stop the relationship. However, when hundreds of people know that you have given a word, made a promise that you will share both happiness and sadness with your partner and that you will never leave him/her no matter what will be the hardship, it will not be easy for you to break your word.
In Turkey, “wedding” is a seal on an envelop that contains a lifetime commitment, determination, devotion and mostly a sacrifice.
That’s why in weddings, Turks will strive to inform and invite everyone that they know. Not close relatives or friends, but every possible person that they know.
Wedding, I believe, is the biggest a social construction event in Turkey. An institution is being constructed in the minds, imaginations, perceptions, ideas and beliefs of other people. It is this wedding that makes the marriage “socially” legitimate. In Turkey, wedding is a social declaration. Wedding is the recognition of a new social institution by other individuals of a certain society. By wedding “the family” as a social institution, comes into being and by wedding “the family” becomes socially acceptable and legitimate.
I strongly recommend you to participate a wedding ceremony in Turkey and observe one of the most interesting social construction events that is full of fun, meaning and social lessons.