Every now and again, we might be attending an Islamic or interfaith wedding, which makes it important to have some actionable advice on what to wear, how to behave or simply what to expect during the ceremony. So if you’ve been invited to such an event, here are the four things to keep in mind.
1 – Choosing the Outfit
Most Muslim women choose to wear modest outfits and hijabs (head-coverings), even on wedding functions. So in order to blend in, choose an outfit that’s modest and not too eye-catching like short dresses or mini skirts. If the wedding event is being held at a mosque then it would be best to keep a scarf to cover your head with.
The majority of the Muslim communities, do not prefer wearing the colour black for women on weddings so do avoid it, other than that, there are no colour restrictions as such. Being a non-Muslim, all these things are not expected of you nor will anyone complain if you don’t follow them, but you can always do it out of love and respect for the couple.
2 – What to Expect?
The duration of the event varies, just like any other non-Muslim wedding but it’s best to be on the time mentioned on your invitation card. The function will usually start with the groom entering the hall with his friends and family and the bride’s family welcoming them. After some time the bride is brought to the stage by her family.
The bride and the groom sit on the stage together then, mingle with guests and have pictures taken with all the guests. After some time the food is served, following which, most guests start leaving. Whenever you get the chance, you can go meet the couple, congratulate them and give a gift if you want.
If you wish, you can stay till the end of the event when the bride and groom leave the venue. Or you could leave earlier if you want, by bidding farewell to the lucky couple. If you feel like the couple is too busy then you can turn to the bride/groom’s parents, greet them and be on your way.
3 – Wedding Gifts
If you’re really close to the bride or groom, then you can always ask them about the gift they want. Otherwise, you can pretty much choose anything you like such as crockery, picture frames, perfumes or fashionable accessories. If you want, you can also give cash since it is a tradition at many Muslim weddings. The money can be presented in an envelope or a card with your name on it. Whenever you meet the couple during the event, you can present your gift.
4 – The Event Highlights
One of the main highlights of a Muslim wedding will definitely be the food. Muslim weddings are known for the amazing food so make sure you enjoy your meal. However, alcoholic beverages will not be served, so don’t look forward to them.
Other event highlights could be the wedding rituals, which vary in different Muslim communities. In Indian and Pakistani weddings, there is often a ritual where the bride’s sisters or cousins bring a beautifully decorated glass of milk for the groom and then ask him for a cash prize as a gift. The groom and his friends/family then try their best to avoid this payment or negotiate the price.
Rituals like these are designed just for fun but there are no compulsions for them to be performed. Who knows, you might just witness some of the best dance moves ever or you could see lots of emotional scenes as the bride leaves the venue. If you’re worried about what to expect then you can always discuss it beforehand with the person inviting you.
Once again, do keep in mind that Muslim weddings vary from one country to another and even from one community to another. While some wedding functions can be extremely conservative with separate sitting areas for men and women, other functions can be completely different with men and women dancing together. So don’t consider these suggestions to be rules, just go with the flow and enjoy the function to the fullest!
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