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Turkish weddings: how to book musicians for your special day

Turkish wedding bands

If you’re planning a Turkish wedding in 2019, you’ll want to have the best Turkish musicians to play to delight and entertain your many guests! Here’s our guide to what musicians you need for your wedding celebrations, whether traditional or modern.

Key to all traditional Turkish wedding celebrations are your davul (drum) and zurna (pipe) players. They’ll be with you for most of your wedding day, so you’ll want experienced players who can stay the distance with you both! Book them early, as the best UK zurna and davul players are in high demand all year round.

Henna night (kına gecesi)

Henna night is a special time for you as a bride bride, when your hands are dyed by your girlfriends using a palmful of traditional henna. In a traditional wedding, the bride will be circled by younger girls singing gentle sad songs that often reduce the bride to tears! Nowadays, most brides prefer a enjoyable atmosphere full of lively chat and music (and maybe some prosecco!). 

Why not treat your henna night guests to authentic Turkish entertainment, from a traditional Turkish oud player to a cutting-edge Turkish DJ. 

Second night wedding party

Back in the days when a bride’s family and a groom’s family lived in different villages, there would sometimes be a wedding party on the second night, held at the bride’s home. This would be followed by another party the next night, held in the groom’s home. These days, most Turkish couples opt for a one-day wedding so everyone gets to enjoy everything on offer! 

Your wedding convoy (Gelin Alma)

On the wedding morning, the groom traditionally comes to fetch the bride from her home in a horse-drawn carriage. Today, it’s much more likely to be a bridal car decorated with sashes and flowers, followed by a convoy of cars driven by all the groom’s mates! It’s time to let the neighbourhood know you’re getting married, as the convoy drives around heading (eventually!) to your wedding venue. According to custom, your bridal car often stops en route and there’s a burst of music from the davul and zurna players, before you move on again!

Make a grand entrance!

Making a grand entrance to your wedding reception is the start to your wedding celebration nobody will forget! As a bride, you’ll be followed by close female your friends all dressed up to the nines, and the groom by his smart-suited friends, and then your family.

Traditionally, the procession is led by the high soaring melody of a single zurna and the rhythms of a double-ended davul drum, followed by your bridal party of family.  You can also have a violin and drum duo if you prefer for a more gentle overall effect.

If you’ve got lots of guests (and most Turkish weddings do have LOTS of guests), a full Turkish zaffa band guarantees a spectacular musical procession of drums, percussion instruments and zurna. 

Pin on your wedding gifts

Many non-Turkish guests may be confused by what to bring you as a couple, so make sure they know about the tradition of pinning gifts to sashes draped across your shoulders. Otherwise, it could be awkward as they try to attach a toaster or cutlery set! 

Traditional wedding dances

No Turkish wedding is complete without some traditional dancing. 

  • For the halay, your zurna and davul band will start slowly building to a furious pace as couple dance together, fingers entwined.
  • You might also opt for the testi, a dance that includes a starring role for an earthenware pot filled with sweets and money. When the pot is smashed, the number of pieces it breaks into reveal the number of children the newly weds will have! (Kids love this dance, needless to say!)

Before the dancing starts, remember to ask your unmarried friends to sign the soles of your wedding shoes. The person whose name gets rubbed off first will get married. Hint – don’t use a permanent marker or you’ll have permanently single friends!

Your wedding meal

As you guests feast on your specially-selected menu, or just after, why not also treat them to a display of spectacular Turkish belly dancing. They might even want to get up and have a go themselves!

The best Turkish wedding bands for your party

Once the meal is finished, it’s time for dance the night away! Choose a traditional Turkish band that might include derbouka, saz, oud (or ud), violin and Turkish vocalist, or opt for something more unusual, like a percussionist and DJ fusion.

On the other had, bring the party bang up to date with a wedding cover band who play all your favourite music, from cheesy disco to the latest chart tracks! 

Traditional Turkish or modern wedding, call us first!

At Matters Musical, we’ve got the acts, bands and musicians to make your special day sound as good as it looks! Call us with your requirements, and we’ll make it all happen. 

Tebrikler. Dünyadaki tüm mutluluklar üzerinizde olsun.

(Congratulations! Wishing the both of you all the happiness in the world.)