Weddings in Turkey: Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated by Gizem on June 30, 2021
Rustic style weddings in Turkey

Are you planning a wedding in Turkey? Or maybe you will attend one soon and you are asking yourself basic questions about organization and wedding customs in Turkey. If you are, you are at the right place. We have the answers!

In this article, we have gathered the most important frequently asked questions about Turkish wedding ceremonies in Turkey. You will find all the answers below.

If you still have unanswered questions after reading this article, don't hesitate to ask us in the comments section. We will answer all of them, with pleasure.

Wedding in a Luxruy Hotel in Turkey

1. How Long Does a Turkish Wedding Last?

The whole process of the wedding ceremony in the registry office takes around 15 to 20 minutes. After that, people usually gather in front of the hall, where they congratulate the newlyweds and present gifts (money or gold). Usually people linger here for 30-60 minutes, chatting and taking photos.

However, the actual wedding celebration typically takes place in the evening. It begins between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and goes on for several hours. As a rule, between 11 p.m and midnight, the wedding celebration ends. Generally, the end of the wedding is introduced by a few slow songs.

In some regions, Turkish weddings can last for 3 days. But these customs are generally not seen in wedding ceremonies in big cities, like Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir.

Wedding in a Palace in Turkey (Editorial)

2. Where Do Weddings Usually Take Place?

In terms of cities, Istanbul, Antalya, and Cappadocia are extremely popular places for foreign and multicultural couples to get married and who want to have an unforgettable wedding in Turkey.

In terms of venues, wedding halls, luxurious hotels, seaside locations, outdoor venues (Kır Düğünü), and many more are available in Turkey.

Learn more about this topic in our guide to the best wedding venues in Turkey.

3. Do People Get Married at the Registry Office or Does the Marriage Officiant Come to the Wedding Celebration Venue?

In fact, a marriage officiant can preform your wedding at the venue you choose, but you will have to pay an additional fee for them come to you. The price varies depending on the city where you are getting married. If you wish to do so, you will need to give plenty of notice and book the date in the city hall.

Marriage in the registry office in Turkey

4. What Are the Steps at a Turkish Wedding Ceremony?

Many Turkish couples prefer for the registrar to attend their wedding celebration instead of going to the Registry Office. In this case, the wedding begins with the entrance of the bride and groom at the venue, around 8 p.m. Guests are expected to arrive 1 to 2 hours in advance and take their seats.

Then, the wedding ceremony is conducted by the officer. The bride and groom say "I do" and both sign their marriage certificate. At this point, or while signing, a fun Turkish wedding tradition takes place. The bride or groom (usually the bride) tries to step on their partner's foot, which determines who calls the shots in the marriage.

Afterwards, the registrar pronounces them husband and wife, the newlyweds kiss and head to the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. Now, the actual celebration starts with plenty of dancing, eating, and a boisterous atmosphere.

For information about paperwork and legal procedures for foreigners, please see our guide to getting married in Turkey.

The Engagement Gifts in Turkish Weddings

5. Can You Kiss the Bride at a Turkish Wedding?

One question many foreigners deal with is whether kissing the bride at the wedding is frowned upon in a Muslim-majority country like Turkey.

The kiss that follows the “I do” is an important part of any wedding, also in Turkey. However, most locals prefer a kiss on the forehead out of respect for their family. But a tender kiss on the lips is no longer a rarity either. It will all depend on the sensitivity of your Turkish partner's family. Ask your partner and make sure not to offend anyone...

6. DJ or Live Band?

For musical entertainment at Turkish weddings, a DJ or live band is usually hired.

Live bands are often preferred at Turkish wedding celebrations. In addition to providing entertainment with music, they also accompany the party as an animator and moderator. This can be very entertaining and fun, but for people from abroad this can also be a bit strange. However, you can discuss this with the band. 

Since the market is mainly dominated by Turkish-speaking wedding bands, it can be a bit difficult to find a professional band that has both Turkish and English songs in their repertoire and also good English pronunciation.

One advantage of hiring a DJ is that you can give them a list of your favorite songs. It doesn't matter if the songs are a colorful mix of English, German, Turkish, and Russian songs. For multicultural weddings, this is an excellent way to cater to everyone's tastes.

A third option is the combination of a DJ and a band, which makes it easy to cover all languages and music styles, and to create a great atmosphere. There are a number of bands that collaborate with DJs in such cases.

Dreamy romantic weddings in garden in Turkey

7. How Long Do Hotels Allow Weddings to Last?        

For hotel weddings, the same time restrictions apply as for wedding halls and other venues. Weddings must end by midnight.

8. Is Alcohol Allowed at Turkish Weddings?

Serving alcohol at weddings is not as common in Turkey as it is in Western countries.

Although alcoholic beverages are served less frequently at Turkish weddings, this decision is usually up to the bride and groom and their families. It's also interesting to note that although alcohol is not served at many Turkish weddings because of religious or financial reasons, it's still common enough for alcohol to be available unofficially.

Most venues in Turkey offer alcohol service, so it should not be a problem to find a wedding venue that can accommodate this request. When talking to them, you can find out how the venue handles this issue.

Wedding fireworks in Turkey

9. Are Fireworks Allowed at Turkish Weddings?

Several Turkish municipalities, including Istanbul and Izmir, have banned the use of fireworks at weddings and parties due to noise pollution. Some wedding planners use laser shows instead.

In Antalya, the use of fireworks is still allowed in some areas. Due to environmental impacts, fireworks are not as favored for weddings these days as they used to be.

Amazing wedding photographers in Turkey (Editorial)

10. Covid Measures at Wedding Venues in Turkey

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special rules are currently in place for weddings and wedding ceremonies in Turkey.

Wedding venues must adhere to certain regulations, including hygiene rules such as regular disinfecting and airing, and sufficient table space to enable physical distancing. All attendees must also wear a face mask at all times.

There are currently no restrictions on the number of guests (under the condition that there is a minimum of 4 m² in open areas and a minimum of 6 m² per person in closed spaces).

Food and drinks may be served again.

Music is only allowed until midnight.

If you have additional questions, please leave them in the comments and we will give you a detailed answer as soon as possible.

For more Turkish wedding related articles, please see these articles:

Get help creating your big day in Turkey from our team of M.I.C.E organization experts and learn more about weddings in Antalya with the links below.

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