Istanbul was once the center of the world, and to this day is the only large city situated on adjacent shores of a sea. Sultanahmet, it’s historical city center, has hosted many important lovers, many weddings, and many celebrations for the past centuries.

In such a unique location, where all religions meet and roads intersect, who were the people getting married centuries ago or in the more recent past? What were their weddings like?

We believe that the answers to these questions will add special meaning to a couple’s choice to wed on the historic peninsula.

Let’s make a short trip back in time…

The oldest known weddings in the historic city center of Istanbul were recorded in the Eastern Romans- Byzantine period. Aristocratic and imperial weddings were most frequently documented in this period, according to written accounts and historical research. During the Ottoman period, the most commonly documented ceremonies were the weddings and circumcisions of the sultan’s children or close relatives, as is clear from annual logs and miniatures.

Here are a few of the weddings that took place in the Eastern Roman-Byzantine period:

• Antoninus and Fausta Year: 141 (oldest known wedding, (They minted marriage coin)
• Valentinian III and Eudokia Year: 437 (They minted marriage coin)
• Emperor Mavrikios with Aelia Constantina Year: 585 (This was the first Byzantine wedding in history to bedescribed and recorded in great detail, by Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocatta.)
• Constantine III and Gregoria Year: 629
• Romanos II with Theophano Year: 995
• Romanus IV and Eudokia Year: 1068 (They minted marriage coin)

The first wedding of the Ottoman period was that of Osman Gazi in 1298, and its last was in 1899, recorded in the Abdülhamit II period. Out of 55 total historic weddings, 11 are mentioned in the Sûrnâme. There are also miniatures, artistic illustrations that give visual accounts of these ceremonies and shed a light on earlier practices and their historical significance.

Prof. Dr. Metin And includes Topkapı Palace, the Hippodrome, Incili, Yalı, Alay and Tersane pavilions, Ok Meydanı, Dolmabahçe Palace and Kâğıthane as locations for important celebrations and receptions.

If we look at the descriptions below, we understand that Ottoman weddings were significant events. For example, they give detailed information about the date of the wedding, the duration, descriptions of dress, gifts given, who gave them and how much they were worth, food, the names of drinks and their attributes, hamam culture and objects in popular use, fireworks displays, oil lamps and illuminated messages, visual arts, artists, amusement, games, musical scores, musical instruments and components, wish trees, wedding candles and their features, trousseaux, wedding and engagement processions….

Some of the weddings that are in the Sûrnâme:

• 1524- Yavuz Selim’s daughter, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman’s sister Hatice Sultan and İbrahim Paşa (Hippodrome)
• 1539- Kanuni Sultan Süleyman’s daughter Mihrimah Sultan and the Governor of Diyarbakır Rüstem Paşa (Hippodrome)
• 1675- IV. Mehmet’s Daughter Hatice Sultan and Treasurer Mustafa Paşa (18 days)
• 1709- III. Ahmed’s daughter Ümmü Gülsüm Sultan and Second Vizier Abdurrahman Paşa’s engagement party
• 1720- Sultan II. Mustafa’s daughters Emetullah Sultan with the Governor of Musul Sırkulu Osman Paşa ve Ayşe Sultan withAğrıboz Guardsman İbrahim Paşa
• 1858- Abdülmecid’s daughters Cemile Sultan with Mahmud Celaleddin Paşa and Münire Sultan with iİbrahim İlhami Paşa

If you would like to like to get married on this historical pensinsula, making your happiness and pleasure a contemporary continuation of the tradition that played such a significant role in hosting prominent Istanbul weddings for centuries, we invite you to the Armada Hotel.

For more information on Istanbul weddings from historical times up to the present, please click on the link below:

Istanbul Weddings Throughout History