If you are reading this article, it is quite obvious that you have never attended a Muslim wedding before. Don’t panic, it will be a lot of fun!
Different cultures have different wedding events
Every religion and country have a specific way of celebrating weddings. In the case of Muslim weddings, you might also observe that apart from a few obligations, Muslims from different countries have a different way of celebrating their weddings. For example, in Pakistani weddings, you will attend a lot of events; pre and post-wedding events. There are a lot (and when I say a lot, I mean it) of rituals involved within those events. For other countries such as Turkish weddings, you will see a lot of Turkish traditional dancing involved.
The location of a Muslim wedding
I am a Miami based wedding photographer, and most of my brides and grooms are from South East Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. Muslim weddings Among many events involved in a Muslim wedding, you are most likely to attend one of those events in a mosque. This is the Nikkah ceremony. Before entering the mosque, please, take your shoes off and place it in a shoe rack available at the entrance. Inside the mosque you must be respectful in order not to offend people around you. Try not to make unnecessary noise and you have to dress appropriately. Ladies may want to cover up their hair. It is important that Muslim women cover up their hair during prayer. Ask your Muslim hosts for guidance before but it is respectful of non-Muslim women to also wear hijab, a scarf that covers their heads, when visiting a mosque. It is not appropriate for either men or women to wear short clothes that show much skin. Long trousers and shirts or t-shirts are suitable for men, long-sleeved shirts with a headscarf are suitable for women.
Wedding events are short
Muslim weddings have a lot of events involved, these events are short in duration as compared to other religions. During wedding events you will see that the family members will be performing different rituals.
The most important elements of a Muslim weddings are the following: Mehendi, Mayun, Nikkah, Baraat, and Valima.
This event is mostly performed at the beginning of South Asian weddings. This is sort of a pre-wedding event where a henna artist applies henna on the bride’s hand and leg. Female guests and little kids receive henna, as well. Cousins and friends typically perform dances. They may be followed by short speeches.
Mayun and Mehendi are similar sorts of events, most families combine them together in a single event. In this event, a few rituals (rasm) are involved. The women in the family take turns and feed the bride with something sweet.
This is the main event of the wedding, without this, the bride and the groom will not be considered as married. The event involves the signing of a Muslim wedding contract which certifies that both the bride and the groom give their consent for marriage. In this paper, the bride and the groom can list any of her conditions, the Mehr is defined in it, as well. Mehr is the money in the form of a guarantee that the husband is obliged to pay to her wife anytime later during the marriage.
The baraat is an event where the bride’s family invites the family of the groom. They arrange for dinner. Some people combine nikkah with baraat. At the end of this event, the bride will be taken by the groom to his house.
This is another essential event in the course of the wedding. Nikkah and valima are the two events that Muslims are obliged to perform. In Valima, the groom and his family invite people and offer them dinner. Family members usually give speeches and followed by dancing.
Normally this is the last event of the whole wedding and after that, the bride and the groom can start their life together. Go for a honeymoon or attend family gatherings that follow.
Know the limitations
Unlike western culture, Muslims are more considerate of genders. The male and the female members present at the wedding can talk and mingle but within their limits. You will have to be careful that you are not violating any of these limitations. You should certainly avoid touching, being too close, or talking to the opposite gender for too long.
Most of Muslim weddings have genders separated
This trend is changing nowadays. Still, most of the wedding events have men and women separated. You should not enter the area specified for the other gender until you are asked for it.
To take photos of the girls’ side, I often work with a female wedding photographer. Fortunately, there are many female Miami wedding photographers.
There would be no alcohol
Muslim weddings are dry, meaning that no alcohol is served. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, it is not typically served at Muslim weddings. Even in liberal families you are not likely to see any kind of alcohol involved. At the same time, no alcohol does not equal no fun when it comes to a Muslim wedding. You will have tons of fun!
What type of clothing should I wear?
There are no set criteria for clothing. You can wear anything you want as long as it is not inappropriate in the Muslim religion.