Although hard data is hard to come by, event planners in Iraq say the number of weddings has doubled since shortly before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Ali Mukhtar, party planner at Baghdad’s Hunting Club, told the Times that he now arranges about a dozen weddings a month, and cannot find enough floral designers to keep up with clients’ décor demands. Judges in Basra see so many requests for wedding contracts that they have to turn away would-be brides and grooms.
Most Iraqi families throw three to five parties for weddings, including an engagement party, a celebration of the signing of the marriage contract, and the wedding itself. The bride’s family pays for the engagement party and the groom’s family the wedding party.
Observers speculate that the surge in weddings could be due to many factors, from a better living standard to a release of pent-up demand to the urge to celebrate life in the face of chaos.