Wedding Souq in Riyadh

It hadn’t occurred to me that there would be a wedding souq in Riyadh, probably because I’ve had no reason to go in search of wedding paraphernalia.  As getting married seems to the be major life goal of most young women in Saudi Arabia, I shouldn’t have been surprised such a souq existed.  Anyway, a Kiwi friend, Miss M, had a ball coming up and what better place to find a fancy dress for a glamorous occasion than at a wedding souq.  When Miss M asked me to tag along, describing with much enthusiasm the gowns that could be found at reasonable cost, me and my camera weren’t about to stay at home.

Jessica’s girls

It was obvious on entering the place that the clientele wandering through this souq probably didn’t hail from the top notch of Saudi’s elite.  This souq catered more to the mid-range crowd.  The wedding gowns are upstairs, but our first stop was looking at a few Jessica brands in a shop downstairs where some not so shy young men were happy to pose for photo’s.

Jessica, so Miss M tells me, has designs that cater to the larger figure, which is helpful to know as I’ve been a member of the big girls gang for quite some time, with occasional forays into skinny land.  With a love of cakes, coffee and lots of cream, ‘skinny’ isn’t how my hips and thighs like to spend a lot of their time!

The gowns weren’t as gaudy as I presumed they would be given some of the over-the-top dresses we’ve come across at the Princess Souq, (and you can read about that in my Princess Souq post).

As Miss M also likes to sew her own clothes (this ball came upon her before she could organise a Do-It-Yourself job), she spent quite a bit of time looking under the more interesting dresses to see how they were put together.

Orange, or variations of, was quite popular the day we went.  I have to say, I’m quite partial to a burnt orange though not too sure about the mirror bodice.

A number of creations weren’t really our cup of tea….

…though I did quite fancy this one because, apart from burnt orange, I’m also partial to various depths of purple.

While there was a lot of color among the gowns, there was a lot more white with various amounts of shimmer, ruffles, pearls, beads and lace.

We couldn’t get over how Madonna-esque many of the bodices were with sharp pointy bits all over the place.  Not really very welcoming, but then perhaps keeping the groom at bay till the blushing bride is good and ready for him in this arranged marriage is the idea.

This gown was the most interesting.  Miss M had a good rummage under it’s skirts.  We’re still undecided if we really like it.

The wedding souq I visited with Mis M is in Makkah Mall, which for a long time I thought was called Mocha Mall because for the life of me I can’t understand the words emanating from the lips of Miss M’s driver!  Suffice to say when I wanted to return to the mall with Mrs B to show her what can be found at Riyadh’s out of the way malls, it took some time for Mr Noor, my ever reliable taxi service, to figure out what I was talking about.

Mr Noor:  Mocha Mall? I don’t know Mocha Mall.
Kiwi:  Perhaps I’ll get you to talk to Miss M’s driver, then he can tell you.
Mr Noor:  Are you sure it’s Mocha Mall?
Kiwi:  No, Noor, I’m not sure.  I can’t understand most of what he says, but that’s what it sounds like when he says it.

Mr Noor:  Mocha Mall?  Mocha Mall…(thinking)

Kiwi:  It has a wedding souq in it.  We’re going to look at wedding dresses.
Mr Noor: Wedding dress?  What’s wedding dress?
Kiwi:  You know, ladies get married in them.  White dresses.  Fancy dresses.  For weddings.
Mr Noor:   Ohhh….I know a mall that ladies go to for nice lady clothes.  
Kiwi:  That’s sounds like it Mr Noor.  Let’s go there.
Mr Noor:  It’s Makkah Mall, ma’am.  Not Mocha Mall (and he laughs).

Location of the Wedding Souq and Makkah Mall

There aren’t just gowns at Riyadh’s Makkah Mall wedding souq.  You can also order flowers and decorations and all the accessories required to make your special day fantabulous. The day Mrs B and I went a couple of blokes were busy putting together some beautiful floral arrangements. But the dresses take up most of the space upstairs and if you fancy looking at wedding gowns for the not so upper class in Riyadh, this souq is where you’ll find them.

Ka Kite,

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