My Cousin’s Chaldean Celebration

I’ve been to many styles of weddings over the past forty years. Some large ones, other’s more intimate, outdoor ones, elegant ones, and some with alcohol and music, and some without. But I can honestly say, I’ve never attended a wedding that exuded this much love, celebration, and family connection quite like the one I had the honor of attending this past Friday.

A huge thank you to my gorgeous cousin Kim and her new Chaldean husband Marty for the invitation to help celebrate their special day.  It was a pleasure to meet Marty and his family and learn several things about the unique social and strong Roman Catholic Chaldean culture.

The Chaldean women adorned themselves in elegant gowns that were embellished with lace, glistened with sparkles, and sequins. Their hair curled, pinned and placed perfectly around their heads, their make-up done exquisitely. The men were clean-cut, shaven  and sharply dressed in fitted suits. They exuded joy with many hugs and both cheek kissing throughout their groups.

The mass was somewhat traditional for a catholic wedding. The reception on the other hand, WOWED me. The moment you entered through the banquet room doors you knew these people and this culture know how to celebrate.

The decorations were done in metallic grays.  Bursts of live colorful flowers adorned each table. The wedding cake was tiered with pillars and stood over five-feet tall, the decorated arches, swag draping, flashing lights, and the huge dance floor guaranteed  a good time was well on its way.

As we got comfortable at our tables and waited for the bride and groom’s arrival, we enjoyed beverages and chat. It wasn’t long before there was a rumbling, a vibration that not only could be heard, but was felt. The hall doors burst open and the thundering (Dawlah)drums rolled in and a(Zornah) flute-like instrument loudly played. The bridal party had arrived! Some of groomsmen pumped tall decorated sticks in the air to the beat of the drums. The bride and groom were led into the hall by this parade and directly on to the dance floor where several circles of loud cheering guests, friends, family and loved ones closely surrounded them.

The bride and groom must have the first dance before anyone else. Once they began dancing, everyone else joined in, every seat was empty.

For two solid hours people danced, clapped, and tossed the bride and groom on their shoulders to dance in the air. Continuous hoots and Chaldean ululations went up all around. The women held hands and danced, the men held hands and danced, they kicked and stomped, raised themselves up and lowered themselves in moves all in the rhythm of the pounding drums. The music never stopped and neither did the people. By that I mean, no they didn’t take a break for a drink or the bathroom or anything else. They just DANCED in celebration while their loving hearts and blessings  poured over the newlyweds.

The entire evening was amazing. Below are a few photos given with permission from the newlyweds.


Daddy Daughter Dance

Bride and Father

Kim and Marty's wedding

The new Mr. and Mrs.



Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom

Groom and Mother

Groom and Mother


Air Dancing

Air Dancing

Gorgeous Gowns

Gorgeous Gowns





Filed under Chaldean Wedding

3 responses to “My Cousin’s Chaldean Celebration

  1. Pingback: My Cousin’s Chaldean Celebration | Writing Naturally

  2. Carol Simmons

    Wow, that was some event. Aren’t you glad you were able to just go and enjoy the whole thing, and didn’t have to have anything to do with the planning. What a job that must have been.


  3. Maryjo Maffessoli

    Meline, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Joyce Carol Oates’ fiction/poetry/essays, but I’ve been reading a lot of her short stories for decades and the new one BML just got is *very good.* I’d love to get your take on it sometime. The title is *High Crime Area*. She was a professor at Wayne State when she was a young grad student and a number of her stories are set in Detroit/WSU/Cass Corridor…including the title short story in the above book. Also, do you know yet if you are going to the Poetry Slam at the Rockery next Tuesday 8pm? I am definitely going, reading but not competing, and possible judging again. Get back to me sometime? Maryjo


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