Turkish Wedding Vows

Interested in Turkish wedding vows? Want to know what is included in both the bride & grooms wedding vows? Read on for more facts & information…

Wedding traditions in Turkey have been shaped by Muslim law and are different from the traditions practiced in countries where the primary religion is Christianity. In Islam, marriage is not a sacrament as it is in Christianity and vows are not commonly used. Until the mid 20th century, most Turkish marriages were arranged by the couple’s parents and even today, arranged marriages are not unusual. Marriages may only be arranged with the consent of both the prospective bride and groom and until recently, Western style courtship was unknown in Turkey and bridal couples may have only met a few times in the company of their parents prior to the wedding.

Short & Sweet

There is no religious ceremony for Turkish weddings and if both the bride and groom show up for the wedding it is considered a sign of their commitment to the marriage. In cases where vows are spoken, they are usually a single phrase. The bride and groom are asked the question “ Without any pressure or influence and with your free will do you accept him/her as your husband/wife?” The bride and groom simply answer yes to this question.

Signing The Documents

The Turkish marriage rites are secular rather than religious and although couples may opt to have an imam present at the wedding to offer a blessing or read from the Quran, this is a matter of personal preference and is not required to legalize the marriage. The actual ceremony involves a civil official, witnesses and the bride and groom signing relevant legal documents. Once the documents are signed, the marriage is legal and no vows are required.

Family Marriages

Until fairly recently, most Muslim women had very little contact with prospective mates since the dating rituals of Europe and America were not practiced in Turkey. Islam is a practical religion and the Quran discourages love matches since couples who marry for love are often incompatible and strong emotions and jealousy can destroy a marriage. Instead, loving Muslim parents were counseled to find compatible mates for their children. Since love was not an issue in most Turkish matches, wedding vows promising to love and honor were not really appropriate. Unlike many other faiths, Islam recognizes that couples may not be compatible and divorce is permissible so the phrase till death us do part does not really apply.

Only about 1% of Turks practice religions other than Islam and the wedding vows for these individuals would follow their own religious practices. Turkish wedding vows really do not exist for Muslims who marry in secular ceremonies.

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