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Taking Shots In A Car Outside Of An Iranian Wedding


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sallie Lechner



Attending an Iranian wedding is like stepping into a world of vibrant colors, lively music, and rich traditions. One particular tradition that has gained attention in recent years is the practice of taking shots in cars outside of the wedding venue.


While this may seem unusual to some, it is a fascinating cultural phenomenon that has its roots deep in Iranian customs. The act of taking shots in cars has become a significant part of wedding celebrations, symbolizing joy, unity, and the start of a new chapter in the couple’s life.


Throughout this article, we will delve into the background of Iranian weddings, the tradition of taking shots in cars, and the importance and significance of this practice. We will also explore the role of alcohol in Iranian culture, the controversy and criticism surrounding this tradition, as well as the potential complications and dangers that can arise.


Furthermore, we will touch upon the legal implications of taking shots in a car and discuss alternative, safer options that can still preserve the festive spirit of Iranian weddings. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding of this unique aspect of Iranian culture.


Background on Iranian Weddings

Iranian weddings are known for their opulence and grandeur, with elaborate celebrations that can last for several days. These weddings are deeply rooted in Persian traditions and are seen as a significant milestone and a union of families.


The wedding preparations typically start months in advance, with the families of the bride and groom meticulously planning every detail. From selecting the venue to arranging the decor and entertainment, no aspect is left to chance.


During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom participate in various rituals that symbolize their commitment and love for each other. The Sofreh Aghd, or wedding spread, is a focal point of the ceremony, adorned with items symbolizing blessings, prosperity, and fertility.


After the ceremony, the real celebration begins. Iranian weddings are known for their lively music and dancing, with professional bands or DJs providing entertainment for the guests. It is a time of joy, laughter, and creating lasting memories.


While traditions can vary among different regions and families, one common aspect that has emerged is the tradition of taking shots in cars outside of the wedding venue. This practice has become a popular way to celebrate and express happiness in a distinctively Iranian fashion.


The origins of this tradition are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have arisen as a means of expressing joy and celebration in a private and intimate setting. The car serves as a symbol of mobility and freedom, allowing the couple and their loved ones to share a moment of jubilation away from the crowded wedding venue.


Overall, Iranian weddings are a blend of rich cultural traditions, familial customs, and modern influences. The tradition of taking shots in cars adds an element of excitement and spontaneity to the festivities, creating an unforgettable experience for all involved.


Tradition of Taking Shots in Cars

One fascinating tradition that has become synonymous with Iranian weddings is the practice of taking shots in cars. This unique ritual holds a special place in the hearts of Iranians and has become an integral part of their wedding celebrations.


After the wedding ceremony and formalities are completed, the newlyweds, along with their closest family and friends, gather outside the venue. It is at this point that the celebration continues in a more intimate and personal way.


The car becomes the focal point of this tradition. Decorated with ribbons, flowers, and other festive accessories, it symbolizes the start of the couple’s journey together. The car serves as a private space where the newlyweds and their loved ones can express their joy and share heartfelt moments.


Inside the car, a bottle of traditional Iranian liquor known as Aragh Sagi or other alcoholic beverages are passed around. Shots are poured and raised in celebration of the couple’s union and the beginning of their married life. The atmosphere is filled with laughter, cheers, and well wishes for the future.


This joyful tradition not only allows the couple to spend a few moments in solitude amidst the excitement of the wedding, but it also provides an opportunity for their family and friends to express their happiness and support for the newlyweds.


It is also worth noting that this tradition is not limited to just the bride and groom. The car becomes a gathering place for close friends and family members who want to celebrate the occasion and share in the couple’s joy. It is a time for bonding, creating memories, and strengthening relationships.


Moreover, the practice of taking shots in cars is not limited to traditional Iranian weddings. It has become a cultural phenomenon that extends to more modern and non-traditional celebrations as well. It has found its way into the hearts and minds of Iranians, both in Iran and within the Iranian diaspora around the world.


The tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings embodies the spirit of celebration, unity, and excitement. It is a way for the couple and their loved ones to come together and mark the beginning of their journey in a joyous and memorable manner.


Importance and Significance

The tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings holds significant importance and deep symbolism for the couple and their loved ones. It represents more than just a moment of celebration; it embodies the essence of unity, happiness, and the start of a new chapter in life.


One of the key aspects of this tradition is the notion of togetherness. By gathering in the car, the couple and their closest family and friends are brought together in a shared space, creating a sense of intimacy and camaraderie. It is a moment for loved ones to express their support, love, and well wishes for the couple as they embark on their journey as husband and wife.


The act of taking shots represents the joy and excitement felt by everyone in attendance. It is an expression of celebration and an opportunity to raise a glass in honor of the newlyweds. The clinking of shot glasses resonates with the harmonious spirit of the occasion, forging a sense of unity among the participants.


This tradition also acknowledges the importance of privacy and solitude amidst a busy and lively wedding celebration. The car becomes a sanctuary for the couple, allowing them a brief respite from the crowd and the opportunity to savor a quiet moment together. It symbolizes their commitment to one another and their shared happiness.


Furthermore, the tradition of taking shots in cars is deeply rooted in the concept of tradition itself. It serves as a link between the past and the present, honoring the customs and practices that have been passed down through generations. By continuing this tradition, the couple pays homage to their cultural heritage and shows pride in their Iranian identity.


While this tradition may be seen as a seemingly small aspect of the overall wedding celebration, its significance lies in the emotions, connections, and memories that it fosters. It is a testament to the power of ritual and symbolism in bringing people together and creating a sense of shared experience and happiness.


Whether it is a traditional Iranian wedding or a more modern and non-traditional celebration, the tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings serves as a cherished and beloved tradition. It adds an element of joy, unity, and symbolism to the festivities, elevating the overall experience for all those involved.


Role of Alcohol in Iranian Culture

Alcohol has a complex and nuanced role in Iranian culture due to the country’s religious and legal framework. Iran has a predominantly Muslim population, and Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol. As a result, the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages are heavily restricted and regulated.


However, it is important to note that Iran has a long historical connection with alcohol. Before the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran had a thriving wine industry and a rich tradition of winemaking that dated back thousands of years. Iran was renowned for its expertise in producing wines, particularly in regions such as Shiraz and Kashan.


After the Islamic revolution, the government implemented strict laws regarding alcohol. Public consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages are prohibited, and only a limited number of venues are licensed to serve alcohol to foreigners and non-Muslims. These establishments are typically located in international hotels and specific tourist zones.


Despite the restrictions, it is worth mentioning that there is still an underground market for alcohol in Iran. Homemade wines and spirits, known as “Arak,” can be found and consumed discreetly in private gatherings. However, these activities are considered illegal and carry potential legal consequences.


In the context of Iranian weddings, the tradition of taking shots in cars often involves the use of Aragh Sagi, a traditional Iranian liquor. While the majority of Iranians do not consume alcohol due to religious and legal reasons, this tradition serves as a departure from the norms and provides an occasion for individuals to indulge in moderate consumption under the guise of celebration.


It is important to remember that the tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings is not universally practiced, and many couples choose to celebrate without the involvement of alcohol. However, for those who do partake in this tradition, it serves as a way to express joy and happiness while acknowledging the historical connection between Iran and alcohol.


Overall, the role of alcohol in Iranian culture is complex and reflects the intersection of religious beliefs, legal regulations, and historical traditions. While it is important to respect the cultural context and adhere to local laws, the practice of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings offers a glimpse into the cultural dynamics surrounding alcohol in Iran.


Controversy and Criticism

The tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings is not without its fair share of controversy and criticism. While it holds deep cultural significance for many, there are those who question the appropriateness and safety of this practice.


One of the primary concerns revolves around the consumption of alcohol, which is prohibited in Islam and restricted by the Iranian government. Critics argue that engaging in this tradition may be seen as a violation of religious and legal norms, leading to social and moral implications.


Furthermore, there are concerns about the potential negative effects of alcohol consumption, including impaired judgment, reckless behavior, and health risks. Some argue that the presence of alcohol during a joyous event like a wedding may lead to excessive drinking, which can contribute to accidents, altercations, and other undesirable consequences.


There is also criticism regarding the financial burden associated with the tradition. Some individuals argue that the emphasis placed on the act of taking shots and the need to provide alcohol for the guests may create unnecessary expenses for the wedding couple and their families, diverting resources that could be allocated elsewhere.


In addition, there are those who question the environmental impact of this tradition. The use of single-use shot glasses and the potential for littering outside the wedding venue can contribute to waste and harm the natural surroundings.


It is important to acknowledge and respect these criticisms as valid concerns. However, it is also essential to recognize that the tradition of taking shots in cars is deeply ingrained in Iranian culture and holds significance for many individuals. It is a celebration of love, unity, and happiness, and its intention is not to promote excessive drinking or disregard religious and legal norms.


As with any cultural practice, it is vital to approach it with sensitivity and understanding, considering the diverse perspectives and beliefs of all involved. For some, this tradition may be an integral part of their cultural identity and a way to connect with their heritage.


Ultimately, the decision to engage in this tradition during an Iranian wedding rests with the couple and their families. It is important to strike a balance between upholding cultural customs, respecting religious and legal boundaries, and ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved.


Regardless of one’s personal opinion on this tradition, it is crucial to approach the topic with open-mindedness and an appreciation for the complexities of cultural practices. Criticisms should be acknowledged and addressed constructively, fostering dialogue and understanding rather than perpetuating division and judgment.


Complications and Dangers of Taking Shots in a Car

While the tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings may be exciting and joyful, it is important to recognize that there are potential complications and dangers associated with this practice.


One significant concern is the consumption of alcohol while inside a vehicle. Drinking alcohol can impair judgment, reflexes, and coordination, posing a risk to both the occupants of the car and other road users. Engaging in this tradition increases the chances of accidents, especially if individuals decide to drive under the influence after the festivities.


The confined space of a car also presents challenges in terms of safety. With multiple people inside, the risk of overcrowding becomes a real concern. This can lead to difficulty in exiting the vehicle in case of emergencies or accidents, potentially compromising the well-being of the individuals inside.


Additionally, the celebratory atmosphere and the adrenaline of the moment may lead to reckless behavior. Participants may become overly enthusiastic, engaging in dangerous antics like sticking their upper bodies out of moving vehicles or engaging in other risky behavior that can result in injury.


Furthermore, the use of glass shot glasses can be hazardous within the confined space of a car. In an accident or sudden stop, the glass can shatter, causing injuries from broken shards and potentially causing additional safety hazards.


There is also the potential for noise disturbances and inconvenience for others in the vicinity of the wedding venue. Celebratory car honking, loud music, and cheers may disrupt the peace of the neighborhood and cause discomfort for those not directly involved in the celebration.


To address these complications and dangers, it is essential to prioritize safety and responsible behavior. Couples and their families can consider alternative ways to celebrate, such as gathering in designated areas away from roadways where alcohol consumption is permitted and ensuring designated drivers are available for transportation.


Moreover, it is crucial to educate and raise awareness about responsible alcohol consumption. Encouraging guests to drink in moderation, providing non-alcoholic alternatives, and arranging transportation options can help mitigate the risks associated with the tradition of taking shots in cars.


Ultimately, by being mindful of the potential complications and dangers, couples can enjoy the celebration while ensuring the well-being and safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the broader community.


Legal Implications

When it comes to the tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings, there are legal implications that need to be considered. In Iran, the consumption, sale, and public display of alcohol are strictly regulated and restricted under Islamic law.


According to Iranian law, the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited for Muslims. Non-Muslims and foreigners can consume alcohol in licensed establishments, but even then, it is limited to specific locations and subject to strict regulations.


Engaging in the tradition of taking shots in cars outside the wedding venue can potentially conflict with these laws. Publicly consuming alcohol or engaging in other prohibited activities can result in legal consequences, including fines, imprisonment, or both.


It is crucial for individuals participating in this tradition to understand and respect the legal boundaries and consequences that exist in the specific jurisdiction where the wedding takes place. While the tradition may hold cultural significance, it is important to prioritize compliance with local laws and regulations.


Furthermore, the act of consuming alcohol in a car may also violate road safety regulations. Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only dangerous but also illegal in most countries, including Iran. It is vital to consider the potential legal repercussions and the safety of all individuals involved when consuming alcohol in a vehicle.


It is recommended that those who wish to engage in this tradition during an Iranian wedding consult with legal professionals or seek guidance from wedding planners who are well-versed in local laws and regulations. They can provide invaluable information on how to navigate the legal landscape and ensure compliance.


By understanding and respecting the legal implications, couples can make informed choices about how they choose to celebrate and incorporate traditions while bearing in mind the potential consequences of their actions.


It is important to note that the legal landscape and regulations surrounding alcohol consumption can vary from country to country and even within different regions. Individuals should always consult the local laws and regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any legal issues.


Alternatives and Safer Options

For couples who wish to celebrate their Iranian wedding without engaging in the tradition of taking shots in cars, there are alternative and safer options available that can still embody the spirit of joy and celebration.


1. Non-Alcoholic Celebrations: Instead of focusing on alcohol, couples can choose to highlight the festive atmosphere through other means. They can organize vibrant music, energetic dancing, and creative entertainment that will engage and entertain guests without the need for alcohol. This ensures a lively celebration while eliminating the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption.


2. Mocktail Bar: Create a mocktail bar where a variety of non-alcoholic beverages are served. These mocktails can be creatively crafted to mimic the flavors and presentation of popular cocktails, offering guests a range of delicious and visually appealing options. This allows guests to partake in the celebratory mood without the presence of alcoholic drinks.


3. Cultural Performances: Incorporate traditional cultural performances into the wedding celebrations. This can include live music, traditional dances, and theatrical performances that showcase the richness and diversity of Iranian culture. These performances not only entertain guests but also celebrate the couple’s heritage in a meaningful and memorable way.


4. Food Stations: Focus on offering a wide array of delicious and culturally significant food options. Create interactive food stations where guests can sample various Iranian delicacies and experience the flavors of the region. This culinary experience adds a unique touch to the wedding celebration and creates a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.


5. Safe Transportation: Prioritize the safety and well-being of guests by arranging designated drivers or transportation services to ensure that everyone arrives and leaves the celebration safely. By providing transportation alternatives, couples can promote responsible behavior and discourage individuals from driving under the influence of alcohol.


Remember, the goal is to create a festive and joyous celebration, and there are many creative alternatives that can achieve this without the need for alcohol. By exploring these alternatives, couples can ensure the safety and enjoyment of their guests while still honoring their cultural heritage and expressing their love and unity.


Ultimately, it is important for couples to consider their personal preferences, cultural values, and legal requirements when deciding on alternative options. By carefully planning and envisioning a celebration that aligns with their desired atmosphere and values, couples can create a memorable and inclusive wedding experience for all.



The tradition of taking shots in cars during Iranian weddings is a fascinating cultural phenomenon that holds deep significance for many. It symbolizes joy, unity, and the start of a new chapter in the couple’s life. However, it is important to approach this tradition with awareness of the various aspects surrounding it.


By understanding the background of Iranian weddings, the tradition of taking shots in cars, and the cultural and legal implications involved, individuals can better appreciate the complexities and significance of this practice. It is essential to strike a balance between upholding cultural customs, respecting religious and legal boundaries, and ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.


Alternatives and safer options exist for couples who choose not to engage in the tradition of taking shots in cars. Non-alcoholic celebrations, mocktail bars, cultural performances, interactive food stations, and prioritizing safe transportation can provide equally vibrant and memorable wedding experiences.


Ultimately, each couple must make their own decisions about how they wish to celebrate their special day, considering their personal preferences, cultural values, and legal requirements. It is important to respect and honor the traditions and customs of Iranian weddings while also being mindful of the evolving social and legal landscape.


Through responsible planning, open-mindedness, and an appreciation for the cultural significance of Iranian weddings, couples can create a wedding celebration that incorporates traditions, promotes safety, and embodies the joyous spirit of the occasion for all involved.


Whether the tradition of taking shots in cars is embraced or alternative options are chosen, what matters most is the celebration of love, unity, and the start of a new chapter in the couple’s journey. Iranian weddings are a vibrant and beautiful display of cultural richness, bringing families and communities together in a celebration that is filled with love, happiness, and cherished memories.