Iranian Wedding (2)


Party Girl
by Party Girl

Part 1 here. 


So, let’s talk about Khastegari this time.


This is a meeting arranged for a suitor to go to the bride’s (-to-be) house with his parents and elders to ask for her hand in marriage.  In older times, this quite possibly might have been the very first time the boy and the girl would meet each other.  More and more, khastegari is a matter of formality for a couple who know and love each other, making this the occasion for their parents to meet and to receive their blessing for continuing on to the wedding plans.  Of course it is not unheard of for families with marriage age girls to receive calls from mutual friends and family, inquiring about the girl and her family’s willingness to receive a khastegar, but blind khastegaris seem to be a dying trend among most Iranians in most big cities in Iran.

As can be expected, the girl’s home is usually put in immaculate shape for receiving such guests, specially if the couple are already in advanced stages of a relationship and this meeting is the kick-off to the actual wedding.  Platters of sweets and fruits are arranged nicely in the reception room of Iranian homes, and the best china tea service of the household is made ready, for tea serves a very important purpose in khastegari!

At least one of the several servings of tea made during the khastegari ceremony is made by the bride-to-be.  In the old days this was intended to let everyone catch a glimpse of the girl and for her to show her social and homemaking skills by balancing the full tea cups on the tray, while going from guest to guest and offering them their tea.  Again, this is all moot these days and if the girl even makes the tea serving appearance, it is really a tongue-in-cheek gesture, paying homage to old traditions than anything else.

During khastegari, families of both sides ask each other general questions, trying to gage each other’s character and family values.  Usually families take a few minutes to introduce themselves and their background in an attempt to ease the other into feeling comfortable and friendly.  At the end of the usually short session which is typically arranged on an afternoon, the families bid each other goodbye and leave, postponing serious talks for another meeting particularly intended for those talks, called Shirini Khoran.  I’ll talk about that next time. 


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Party Girl

Dear Ali P.

by Party Girl on

You’re a tough customer, Ali P.!  See how nice Bajenagh is to me?!! 

O.K., so to reiterate what I’m trying to do here… (what is it I’m trying to do here?...Oh, yes), I’m trying to put together some information, with the help of other commentators, about traditions related to Iranian weddings.  Many of these traditions may be defunct, specially for Iranians in diaspora, but I think it’s important if they are documented. 

No, Ali P., I’m not really that up on khastegari these days!  I did attend a khastegari session in my parts not too long ago, though!  These kids who had been living together (ha ha!) had decided to get married and a meeting had been arranged between their parents.  My friend who is the groom-to-be’s mother took me along to help her break the ice, because she was really lost on what to say and what to do (more like what not to say and what not to do!).  It was a good night and we had a much better time than expected. 

I know for a fact that Khastegari is still happening in Tehran, even among highly educated families.  It is a tradition, that’s all.  I don’t think it ever went out to make a come back now.  True, it doesn’t pursue the same objectives as before (get a glimpse of the bride, check out the groom’s viability, etc.), but it has turned into a less cumbersome gathering where the two families acknowledge their kids’ intentions to get married. 

The result is another story, Ali P.!  No better than where there is no khastegari and no family orientation, I’m afraid!  The results still fall within the sad statistics of divorce.  But, hey, I’m talking about weddings here, not divorces!  I’m trying to forget about the skeletons myself!

Ali P.

Inquiring minds want to know...

by Ali P. on

PG jaan:

You seem to be on the top of all things Iranian.

Is khastegari making a comeback?

Any modern Iranian man/woman has gone through this lately?

If so, what's been the result?

bajenaghe naghi

party girl jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

that was very nice and I enjoyed it very much.  i hope shoma ham khosbakht beshid (if you haven't already).