Fancy Dresses

Weddings are a big business here in Saudi Arabia. Quite often they are extremely lavish events held in elegant ballrooms where no expense is spared. All of the weddings I have attended here in Jeddah have been segregated functions attended only by women, but I have been told that some people do have mixed gender weddings. There are countless tailors here who will custom make ballgowns. Sometimes the design elements and embellishments are way over the top…


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Celebrations, Clothing, Culture, Life, Photo, Saudi Arabia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Fancy Dresses

  1. Meshi says:

    By the way, these are not dresses, but the men working in such shops pin the fabrics on mannequins in a way to give some ideas for customers of how could several colors or types of fabrics go together..

    About segregated weddings preference, we defiantly preferred them segregated…
    because simply if there are men, we will put our hijab on, and therefore we won’t be able to dress up!!!
    but just to clear things up, when we cover ourselves, we cover because it is a part of the religion in the first place..
    and because our country considers Islam as the religion, it follows the rules and regulations of Islam, and hijab is one of the rules for women..
    Women in the old testament in “Judaism” and Virgin Mary in “Christianity” are always described covered up.. Moreover, Virgin Mary has never been portrayed without wearing a scarf on her head and long loose dress. Therefore, it is a sign for women in the three divine religions.. So, why complaining about that in Saudi Arabia that follows Islamic rules!!
    I’m now doing my Masters in Canada in one of the famous universities and I still wear my “abaya” and my face veil.. My research is mainly in the Air Traffic Control, so I visited some main airports for the sake of my research and conducted personal interviews with several air traffic controllers in Canada and the US. I’ve also published scientific papers and spoke in several conferences in Canada and in the US too, and my abaya and face veil never stopped my from doing whatsoever..
    I’ve walked in the crowded streets of Manhattan wearing my “Black” abaya, and I haven’t seen any single bad look, so why should I see bad looks in my own Islamic country!! Really strange
    If anyone has an honest belief in a concept, a doctrine or a religion, he/she will apply it in their life whether they were in the pole side of the earth or in the Desert..
    The way you disliked our appearance, the way I disliked seeing many of your criticism about many things in Saudi including the hijab. You even in one of your blogs called the abaya and the face cover a “tent”!!!!
    Believe me, seeing a girl with that “tent” is a rest to people eyes and has an incomparable positivity than seeing a lady walking disgustingly half naked in the street! Not even in the street but at least in a place where decent cloths must be worn like universities..

  2. Lili says:

    My friend, who lives in KSA, has told me that women really dress for each other since men, except family, never see them. Segregated celebrations are apparently not limited to weddings. It is my understanding that a house party is sometimes a segregated event though it depends largely on the men present or the head of household. Susie what are your experiences with parties aside from weddings?

    • Hi Lilli – Most of the functions I have been to have been totally segregated, except for the few family gatherings where men and women have mingled. But on those rare occasions, I have had to cover my hair and skin.

  3. iqra says:

    wearing fancy gowns on wedding would be fun but i would want my brother so i could tease him whn im bored……..

  4. Pingback: Colorful Evening Gowns « JEDDAH DAILY PHOTO JOURNAL

  5. Tamy says:

    well the segregation in wedding is for obvious cause
    women wear abaya when they are outside

    so if we have mixed wedding then women will stay in their abaya and they won’t have fun .
    it’s also the same for home party when a girl invite her friends they wear anything they want as any normal girl .

    and by the way .. those are too bad dresses 0_0 ill never wear that xD


    I’ll complete the wedding story for you 😀
    while people start to arrive ,the pride and groom usually with their photographer taking pictures and alone and with their family “as any normal people do”, when they come out they cut their wedding cake ,change their rings place form engaged to married giving gifts and flower to whom there .

    while the dining room open , other male family member will join as fathers, brothers ,cousins and they take family photos . dancing all to gather and having fun

    at the end it different from family to family but the common things is starting 11 pm ending 5 am . have a loud music “which i hate it ” and some have DJ which i like :p
    and women dress like models and some other like clowns in my opinion :p

    sorry for the long v.long comment ^^”

  6. Pathfinder says:

    Man! Those cloths looks like a carnival costume in Rio!

  7. Judy says:

    Over the top is right!! I would miss having my husband with me at a wedding. It just wouldn’t be the same.

    • Pathfinder says:

      Judy, husbands are part of the wedding!

      • In all honesty, the weddings I have been to have been as follows: Arrive at the wedding between 11pm -midnight. Check your abaya and scarves at the desk, get searched for cameras, and take a seat in the extravagant wedding hall. There are women only dressed in exquisite ballgowns. Music is blaring so loud that the glasses on the tables shake. There are munchies, like chocolates, nuts, cookies, etc., at the tables. Some women go up to the catwalk (which leads from the stage out into the hall amidst the tables) and dance up and down. Other women watch. Servers bring around fruit juices. At about 3am, women begin to scramble to get their abayas and scarves on. The lights are dimmed and there’s a big introduction of the bride, who appears with her groom from up above. They walk down the stairs with the spotlights on them, walk down the catwalk to the stage, which has been decorated with a fancy seating area with lots of flowers. They sit, and then the dining room is opened and everyone makes a mad dash for the food banquet in the adjoining hall. I don’t know what happens to the bride and groom at this point. But after we eat, we leave (by about 4-5am). Every single wedding I have been to has been like this. The groom was visible for maybe ten minutes, and I have never met either the bride or the groom. So even though he is a part of it and so is the bride, as a guest at their wedding, to me they play a very minor part in the evening.

  8. Dina says:

    So it’s allowed to show some skin at weddings?

    • Dina – There is lots of skin showing at weddings here, but this is at totally segregated weddings so it’s only women present.

      • Dina says:

        Wait, so if this is one of the few opportunities for women to dress up, do they maybe actually prefer gender-separated weddings?

      • I don’t know that it’s a matter of preference at all. It’s just the way things are done here. I think the women are so used to being segregated from the men that they think they prefer it that way because they don’t know any other way.

  9. I’m assuming these are the over-the-top versions!

  10. leif Hagen says:

    Very elaborate, elegant gowns! It would certainly be more fun if all the friends and family could attend the wedding together, both men and women!

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