Tunisian wedding is an event that retains the distinction of taking place in three days, with the awareness on how to preserve the ancestral customs related to the marriage in the country.
Each region in Tunisia is defined by its own customs and wedding rituals, but in total, the traditional wedding in Tunisia begins according to the traditions of the engagement.
At Tunisian traditional wedding, both the bride and groom don themselves with veils, garbs and elaborate dress on that special day.
Traditional attire for women varies slightly depending on the region, but the most commonly worn is the kaftan, with ceremonial costumes featuring embroidery, gems and other precious metals.
However, Tunisian embroidery is popular for its creativity, with vibrantly colored threads used in such a creative manner.
The traditional wedding dress worn by Tunisian groom is a ‘jebba’. This is a long sleeveless tunic worn over a shirt; a vest known as a 'farmla' and trousers named 'sarouel'. Tunisian jebba is made of flax, silk or whool. This clothes which covers all the body, except forearms and calfs, is very famous in the North African country. Large, cheerfully full of embroidery, jebba looks appealing to people, and still by the way the most cherished wedding dress worn by men. Although some dresses wane with fashion trend, but Tunisian jebba, since the Fatimid period, has been able to face challenge of modernity and become even more popular across borders.
Having had Turkish and Andalousian influences, jebba has been able to preserve its original arabe roots, in terms of general appearance. Ornamental trimmings, colors, fabric’s quality are standards of the location where jebba has been worked in.
There are different types of Tunisian jebba:
This is made of silk, is mostly found in white. It is the usual outfit at traditional wedding.
Jebba of Tozeur Region
This is a type of jebba with wool and silk bands, from southern Tunisia which is worked in a traditional weaving loom.
This got its name from a wool imported from the East and Europe. Woven in classic shades of grey, green and blue, classic colors for winter’s everyday life.
However, jebba is deemed incomplete without its vest, sarouel, and jacket. Commonly called farmla, sadria or bedaia, vests that usually blend well with jebba can be worn open or closed, and are completed by a jacket named mentane.
Farmla is described as a vest full of large gold braids. It is wide opened with full buttons, but no button holes. A sadria is a sleeveless under vest, without back and front opening. It only has three holes leaving passage for head and arms. Sarouel is a bloomer with a silk belt which must be fastened.
When it comes to Tunisian women, there are more variants of traditional clothing than Tunisian men do. One of the most popular modern garments in Tunisia consists of an embroidered blouse, baggy pants, and a white silk or woolen veil called "sefseri" to cover the head.
Nevertheless, millennial women like to blend traditional clothing with modern pieces of the outfit. Such a mixed style is more typical for urban areas, while in rural settings, women often use brightly colored dresses in the Berber style. They are made from red or blue cotton. The fabric is opened on the sides and belted at the waist; there are also two clasps at the shoulders to keep the dress in place.
Basically, Tunisian outfits for brides consist of a fouta and a blouza. The fouta is a wrap-around skirt worn from the waist to the ankles. It is primarily made from cotton or silk. The blouza is a top similar to the bustier.
The traditional wedding attire of Tunisian women vary from region to region. It may consist of a dress of a kaftan or a blouse or a top and a jacket, a skirt or baggy trousers, a scarf or a cap. The main materials that are used to make a formal outfit are silk, velvet, cotton, brocade, and wool. The traditional wedding dresses are always embellished with embroidery, gems, precious metals, lace or patterns on fabric.
Tunisian women are fond of jewelry, hence, the traditional wedding costume is always embellished with plenty of golden jewelry and decorations. The most popular is jewelry made from gold sovereigns; these coins are used in necklaces, earrings, to adorn the headdress etc. But, no one can match Tunisian brides in the amount of jewelry.
The headdresses in Tunisian wedding is also something beautiful to look out for. As the women often wear scarves or veils to cover their heads, silk or fine wool are mostly used. The large white or beige scarf (made from silk or wool) is called "sefseri". It covers not only the head but the whole body, leaving the face open. Sefseri is so popular in Tunisia today.