Why not have a lavish Arabian Nights themed wedding

Picture the lush extravagance of a desert oasis. Colorful tents stand under a starry sky. Veiled dancers and fire dancers dazzle the crowd. Guests recline on tasseled cushions as they nibble at platters of honeyed delicacies. If you’ve always loved the romance and adventure of the stories in One Thousand and One Nights, there’s no better place to bring them to life than as the theme of your upcoming wedding.

Catering Ideas

Captivate your guests with platters of Middle Eastern delights served throughout the night. Offer ever-popular appetizer favorites like triangles of toasted pita bread, spiced falafels, dipping bowls of baba ganoush and hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and plates of assorted olives. For the main course, serve kebabs of lamb interspersed with roasted peppers and onions (tofu wedges and mushrooms make savory vegetarian options), as well as chicken and fish with a mouth-watering pomegranate reduction sauce.

For dessert, treat your guests to slices of flaky baklava, sesame-honey bars, squares of sweet Turkish delight, and rose water rice pudding. Pieces of your wedding cake can be served sprinkled with pomegranate seeds for an added special touch. 

Beverage Ideas

A Moroccan tea service is more than a delectable drink; it’s also a way of honoring important guests in Moroccan culture. Green tea with sugar or honey should be served in attractive cups and always kept full by attentive servers. Dress up your tea with flavorful additions such as pine nuts or fresh mint leaves. Pour tea from high above the table to produce a bit of distinctive foam on top. In Moroccan tradition, three cups of tea are poured from the same pot. Because it has been steeping, the middle cup is said to be “as strong as love.” 

Strong Turkish coffee is a popular after-dinner beverage. Boil roasted, ground coffee beans with sugar and serve it in cups where the grounds can settle at the bottom. Your guests will be up and dancing in no time!

Did you know roses are edible? Rosewater martinis garnished with candied rose petals bring an exotic flair to your reception bar. 

Décor Ideas

Think of your venue as a lavish sultan’s palace. Decorate with layers of plush cushions, ottomans, and low, carved wooden tables. If you’re looking for a fun DIY craft project, invite a few friends over to attach tassels to the corners of pillows for a few hours one evening. Any pillow will work, although pillows with a satin or iridescent finish look best in a room with romantic lighting.

Transform the ceiling into the top of a tent by hanging a parachute and fastening it around the walls of the room. (Used parachutes can be found fairly easily online in the range of 100 to 200 dollars.) 

Pair ceiling decoration with tapestries on the walls and floor to create a warm, comfortable feeling. Drape fabrics from the walls and ceiling, layering generously. Semi-translucent fabrics of multiple colors work very well when layered below a soft light. 

Nothing sets the mood of a room more quickly than hanging lanterns. Look for lanterns with panes of stained glass for a colorful effect, or metal lanterns with patterns carved in the side walls. Not only do they create a cheerful glow and act as art pieces themselves, but they also cast intricate colors and patterns on the floor below. 

Decorate tables with “genie bottles” of colored glass, or with woven-wire “genie lamps” that have candles inside. Arrange peacock feathers in porcelain or copper vases. Scatter plastic “table jewels” on tabletops to create a lavish palace feeling. Rent potted palm trees to bring the beauty of a desert oasis to your reception.

Don’t forget to decorate your wedding cake! Place your cake toppers on a rolled-fondant “magic flying carpet” to represent the soaring romance of your new marriage.

Entertainment Ideas

An Arabian Nights theme provides ample opportunity for unusual entertainment. Hire a troupe of belly dancers to dazzle your guests with veil dances, sword dances, and shimmying coin belts. Snake dancers will awe your reception as they dance with their exotic reptiles. Fire dancers and sword swallowers will add an extra dramatic flair.

Round out your music playlist with upbeat selections of Turkish, Greek, and Arabic music that will get toes tapping on guests of all ages. Don’t forget other Arabian Nights inspired songs like The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” and love songs from the Disney movie Aladdin.

Add some truly exotic excitement to your affair with rented animals. Horses are most commonly available for special events, but you may live in an area where rented camels and even elephants are available. Always visit the rental company first and ask plenty of questions about their handling methods to ensure that the animals are being treated humanely. 

Rock Your Casbah

Your wedding will be one of the splendors of fairytale history when you imbue it with an Arabian Nights theme. Rest your feet on an ottoman, grab a cup of mint honey tea, and relax as your wedding reception takes off faster than you can say, “Open sesame!”