By Tracey Sgambato
Malorie Rupert Tadimi says that she has “been lucky enough to marry a Moroccan man and truly experience what it means to be dropped into another culture and soak in every bit of beautiful difference up.” Their traditional Moroccan wedding immersed her in her husband’s culture. Malorie’s husband is currently a law student at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
To follow Malorie and her husband Mouad Tadimi’s story from Morocco to New Orleans, we must first go back to where it started – in Pittsburgh. Marlorie had graduated with a degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh the year before when a friend told her she had someone Malorie should meet. His name was Mouad, and he was working as the director of a local soccer club, having found himself in Pittsburgh after his own professional soccer career in Paris ended prematurely due to an injury.
And so, a blind date was set. But the day of the date, Malorie called to cancel their plans. She had been out of town on business. Her flight had been delayed and she was simply exhausted from traveling. “I called him on my drive back home from the airport to tell him I couldn’t make it.” Mouad said, “No way, we are still going to hang out!” She thought he was “crazy,” but invited him over to her apartment for dinner where she could relax. That was that.
Things moved quickly for Malorie and Mouad. They were inseparable. “We knew that this was the real deal and we wanted to be together forever. We both knew that we wanted to get married,” said Malorie. So, six weeks after our first date we looked at each other and said, “So, when is the wedding?” The couple wasted no time and began ring shopping straight away. “I showed him what I liked, but I definitely let him pick out the engagement ring. We had it sized and went to pick it up together. I was way too excited to wait for a formal proposal,” said Malorie.
Over the next year, Malorie and Mouad planned their wedding at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, During that time, they spent six months putting together their plans for a traditional Moroccan wedding in Casablanca. Once the big day in Pittsburgh had finally come and gone, the couple rested up for their trip to Morocco a month later with Mouad’s family. Malorie’s parents and brother also traveled to Casablanca for the wedding.
“Morocco is one of the ultimate destination wedding locations. It’s a country that has the ability to put you in a moment of time and allow you to actually live in that moment,” says Malorie. In her own words, Malorie describes what it was like to fly to a foreign country to get married in a traditional celebration:
Our wedding in Morocco lasted three days and included five different elaborate dresses. The first day, a Friday night, we had the henna ceremony. It’s customary for the bride to get henna on the bottom of her feet because it is a privilege reserved for married women. I sat in a room filled with excited women getting henna too, surrounded by tables covered with dates, milk, and eggs to bring me good luck with fertility. I spent hours getting henna applied to my hands, arms, feet, and legs while I wore my first dress.
On the second day, the “women’s day” usually occurs. The bride gets to wear five to seven dresses and sit on her throne…It’s an ornate golden chair that is up on a platform. About every hour the bride puts on a new dress and jewelry. During this time, the women play music and dance. There is a daylong feast while the events happen. About half way into the day there is a carriage that the bride goes into and gets lifted into the air by four people. This event is called Aamarya. They play traditional music as the bride waves to the crowd. It was so much fun, but I had no idea I would have to sit on a throne all day, for five hours! I thought I would just be sitting there for a few pictures!
On the third day, the “men’s day” usually occurs. On this day, the men have a feast and there is an Imam (Islamic priest) that gives a talk. The men didn’t have quite a big of a celebration as the women had for our wedding, but nonetheless had a meaningful time. They spent their day in prayer and catching up with each other while eating traditional Moroccan foods that bring up vibrant images of the spice markets that we so often see in movies.
There is also a more modern version of the wedding where the women and men both attend, and it’s only one day. The same events occur, but the weddings are not separate. The women will still have five to seven dresses and the men will have three outfits ranging from a suit to traditional Moroccan clothing like the Jellaba and Gandoura.”
If you are interested in a destination wedding in Morocco, the planning is very similar to planning a wedding in your hometown. Malorie explains, “You need your guests, a venue, food, flowers, an officiant and music.” She reports that her entire Moroccan wedding was extremely affordable. “The venue, food, flowers, and music were much cheaper while being more decadent and engrained in history.”
If you are interested in traveling to Morocco, Malorie recommends the beach resort town of Agadir for a destination wedding or honeymoon. “The large resorts will have everything you need and make planning a breeze.” She says that the scenery is stunning and there will be plenty of activities for your guests. “You can swim in the Atlantic or in the resort pool, go ride four wheelers in the desert, or even go camping in tents with the glowing stars in the Sahara Desert. Your hotel will arrange all of this for you,” suggests Malorie. “On the other hand, the city of Fez might be of interest in you are looking for something off the beaten path,” says Malorie, “because it is steeped in history and is known for its casbahs and leather productions.”
For now, Malorie and Mouad are busy with their new lives in New Orleans. Mouad continues his studies at Loyola, while Malorie works as the founder of a tech company that moves data between pharmacies and healthcare insurance companies. She is writing her first book, entitled “The Bacon Method: Improve Your Life, Work, and Make Your Greatest Difference by Finding Your Sizzle.”