Afghan wedding

Wedding Photography


Location: Öbölház, Kopaszi-gát

A Day to Remember…

Ilo & Krisztián, July 21, 2017

The different traditions are always entirely enchanting. Ilo and Krisztián’s special Afghan-Hungarian wedding is a perfect example. The two almost entirely different ceremonial celebrations are stunning. During the traditional Hungarian ceremony, the alternative of lighting candles, the meaning of the two becomes one, and your life together begins. While at a traditional Afghan wedding, the couple is covered, the groom lifts the cover, and they look in the mirror together. This is when the groom can see his bride for the first time.

Hungarian wedding traditions

A traditional Hungarian wedding has many parts that practically cannot be missed. We can see many of these at the wedding of Ilo & Krisz, where all this, mixed with Afghan wedding events and customs, creates an inspiring and eventful environment.

But let’s first return to what are the typical Hungarian traditions that were observed at this wedding. During the civil ceremony, the couple often pours sand into a glass one after the other to create a complete marriage and hold it all, symbolizing their life together.

Along with this, there are several similar traditions, but their essence is all the same. For example, when two different candles are lit together, or in modern weddings in the summertime, it is expected to prepare the typical Hungarian drink spritz together, which means the same thing, that their lives become one.

Wedding story of Ilo & Krisztian

As a wedding photographer, I have had the pleasure of photographing a wide range of weddings, but one that stands out is the beautiful Afghan-Hungarian wedding of Ilo and Krisztian. Their wedding was a beautiful celebration of their cultural backgrounds and love for each other, and I was honoured to be a part of capturing their special day.

One of the most striking elements of the wedding was the traditional wedding dresses worn by the bride. Ilo wore a traditional white Hungarian wedding dress and a stunning Afghan wedding dress after the ceremony featuring intricate beading and embroidery. In contrast, Krisztian wore a conventional Hungarian wedding suit. The combination of their outfits perfectly represented their cultural backgrounds and made for some stunning photos.

The ceremony was a beautiful blend of Afghan and Hungarian traditions. One of the unique elements of the ceremony was the presence of a Sofreh Aghd, a traditional Persian wedding spread that symbolizes the couple’s future life together. The Sofreh Aghd was beautifully decorated with candles, fruit, and other items that represented blessings for the couple.

After the ceremony, the couple and their guests moved on to the reception, which was a true blend of Afghan and Hungarian culture. The reception featured traditional dances, music, and food from both cultures, which created a fabulous and festive atmosphere.

As a wedding photographer, it was an honour to be a part of capturing such a unique and meaningful event, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a wonderful couple.

Afghan wedding traditions

At Ilo and Krisztián’s wedding, in addition to the Hungarian traditions, there were also a lot of fascinating Afghan traditions. I would highlight a couple now.

Perhaps one of the most exciting is the mirror, with which the married couple sees themselves together for the first time. The tradition is that in genuinely traditional Afghan weddings, the couple cannot see each other until the wedding day.

Although this was not the case for Ilo and Krisztián, it was vital for them to include this critical moment in their wedding, so they resolved it all as shown in the picture.

Another fascinating tradition is the Afghan dance and traditional Afghan clothing, which all appeared at Ilo & Krisztian’s wedding.


Marriage holds great significance as it is a fundamental institution representing the union of two individuals, their love, commitment, and partnership. It serves as a cornerstone of society, providing stability, emotional support, and the foundation for starting a family. Beyond its practical benefits, marriage carries deep emotional and spiritual significance. It symbolizes the bond between two people, their shared values, dreams, and aspirations.

Marriage fosters a sense of belonging and connection, offering a haven for personal growth, companionship, and nurturing love and intimacy. It is a sacred covenant that encourages personal development, challenges individuals to grow together, and provides a framework for building a life filled with love, trust, and shared experiences.


An Afghan wedding is a vibrant and joyous celebration that reflects the rich cultural traditions of Afghanistan. The festivities typically span several days, each marked by various rituals and customs. One of the most significant aspects of an Afghan wedding is the “Nikah” ceremony, the formal Islamic marriage contract. During the Nikah, the bride and groom and their families and witnesses gather to recite prayers, exchange vows, and finalize the marriage contract. This ceremony is followed by a festive reception filled with music, dancing, and feasting.

Hospitality plays a significant role in Afghan weddings. Lavish feasts are prepared, featuring a variety of traditional dishes such as rice pilaf, kebabs, and naan bread. It is customary for guests to be served generous portions and offered tea, sweets, and other traditional treats throughout the festivities. The celebration is accompanied by traditional Afghan music, including the rhythmic beats of the tabla and the melodious tunes of the rubab and the harmonium, which encourage guests to join in lively dances and celebrate the couple’s union.

Overall, an Afghan wedding is a time of grand celebration where families and friends come together to honour and rejoice in the union of two individuals. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Afghanistan, with its traditional clothing, music, and cuisine, while emphasizing the importance of community, love, and togetherness. The festivities create lasting memories and strengthen the bonds between families, profoundly impacting all who participate in this joyous occasion.


The dress code for an Afghan wedding reflects the country’s vibrant cultural traditions and customs. Both men and women dress elegantly and modestly and are often heavily adorned with intricate details. The dress code varies based on the specific region of Afghanistan and the preferences of the couple and their families. However, certain elements and styles are commonly seen at Afghan weddings.

For women, traditional Afghan attire includes beautiful embroidered dresses such as the “Sharara” or “Kamdani.” These dresses typically feature vibrant colours, intricate patterns, and delicate embellishments like sequins, beads, and gold thread. The dresses are often accompanied by a matching headscarf or dupatta draped elegantly over the head or shoulders. Jewellery, such as earrings, necklaces, and bangles, is an essential part of the ensemble, adding a touch of glamour and elegance.

Men typically wear traditional Afghan attire known as a “Sherwani.” The Sherwani is a long, tailored coat often made of silk or brocade fabric. It is paired with loose-fitting ” Pyjamas ” trousers and a waistcoat known as “Jabba.” The Sherwani is typically richly embellished with intricate embroidery and is worn over a collared shirt. To complete the look, men often wear a turban or a cap called a “Pakol” and traditional Afghan footwear known as “Peshawari chappal” or “Khussa.”

It is important to note that Afghan weddings can be lavish and formal events, so guests are expected to dress their best. Women often opt for formal, floor-length dresses or elegant salwar kameez outfits. Men usually wear suits, dress shirts with ties, or traditional Afghan attire. The dress code reflects the significance of the occasion and shows respect for the couple and their families. It is advisable to adhere to modesty guidelines by choosing attire that covers the shoulders, arms, and legs, as Afghan culture places great emphasis on modesty and decency.


In Afghan culture, giving gifts is essential to weddings, symbolizing blessings, well-wishes, and support for the newly married couple. Traditional Afghan wedding gifts often hold cultural and symbolic significance, reflecting the values and traditions of the Afghan community. Here are a few examples of traditional Afghan wedding gifts:

  1. Jewellery: Gifting jewellery is a common practice at Afghan weddings. Gold jewellery, such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, or rings, is often given to the bride as a symbol of prosperity, beauty, and marital status. These precious pieces of jewellery are cherished and passed down through generations.
  2. Cash or Monetary Gifts: Cash gifts, usually presented in decorative envelopes or traditional embroidered pouches, are customary at Afghan weddings. The amount varies based on the relationship with the couple and the guest’s financial means. The cash gift helps the newlyweds with their initial expenses as they marry.
  3. Household Items: Practical items for the couple’s new home are often given as wedding gifts. These include kitchen appliances, bedding sets, home décor, and furniture. The intention behind these gifts is to assist the couple in setting up their household and creating a comfortable living environment.
  4. Traditional Clothing and Textiles: Afghan textiles hold cultural significance, and gifting traditional clothing like embroidered shawls, scarves, or silk fabric is a familiar gesture. These items represent Afghan culture’s rich heritage and craftsmanship and can be treasured by the couple as heirlooms.
  5. Qur’an or Islamic Books: Given Afghanistan’s predominantly Muslim population, religious gifts such as a Qur’an or Islamic books are often presented to the newlyweds. These gifts symbolize spiritual guidance and blessings for their journey together as a married couple.

It’s important to note that while these gifts are traditionally associated with Afghan weddings, modern Afghan couples may also appreciate a wide range of other gifts, depending on their personal preferences and lifestyle. Ultimately, the most meaningful gift comes from the heart and shows support and good wishes for the couple’s future.



Lower angle of a tattooed couple arms on their wedding portrait session



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