Muslim weddings involve varying customs and traditions depending on the country where the wedding takes place, such as Pakistan, India, US, Philippines, Egypt and other nations. These countries have different cultures, so the celebrations may vary widely, but all these traditions aim to bring the new couple happily together.
A wedding in Muslim religion is traditionally celebrated over many days. Days before the wedding, the families of both parties will visit each other’s homes and have an exchange of gifts in the form of fresh fruits, candies and baked goods. This tradition creates excitement for the upcoming event while the two families are getting acquainted with each other.
A Muslim wedding may or may not be held in a mosque, the Muslim place of worship. In some countries, the ceremony and the feast are held in the home of any of the couple’s parents. However, because Muslim weddings are often a large event, outdoor locations and banquet halls are now being preferred by the modern Muslims to accommodate the guests. In whatever venue the wedding takes places, the site is decorated typically with lavish décor and bright colors.
The Muslim Wedding Dresses
Muslim brides’ dresses vary from one country to the next, all designs feature head covering and layers of clothing. The colors also vary according to the styles with some countries preferring to have the bridal white, and the other countries choosing other colors. In India and Palestine, for example, wedding dresses in bright red colors are very popular.
Some regions allow wearing a wedding dress that is similar in appearance to the western style. The material is white satin or silk and features long sleeves and a high neck, with a separate headpiece to cover the hair.
The groom wears a long designer shirt with matching trousers (Sherwani), a head cap (pagdi) and Dupatta. He may have special shoes called the Jootis Majaris.
The Muslim Wedding Ceremony
On the day of the wedding, the groom and bride arrive separately at the place where the rites will take place. They will be led each to different rooms and will not be together when the cleric solemnizes the ritual. The celebrant will go from one room to the other and ask questions, such as whether or not they consent to the marriage. The couple will not be together even during the brief sermon, which solemnizes the marriage, and even in the signing of the marriage contract.
The main part of the wedding celebration is called nikah. This is the ceremony itself, and can be a mix of Islamic traditions, and may depend on the families’ cultures that can be Asian, European or African, among others. The groom and bride will not recite their wedding vows, but instead listen to the sermon delivered by the religious official. In this sermon, the meaning and importance of Muslim wedding is imparted to the couple as well as to the guests. There will be a reading from the first chapter of Quran before blessings are bestowed.
The signing of the contract includes a meher, which, in essence, is a monetary gift guaranteed to give by the groom to the bride. The meher will be given in 2 parts – one before the wedding and another after the wedding. The gift that is given before the wedding is usually the ring in modern times.
After the marriage contract has been signed, the couple will be brought together. As they leave for the reception, the bride will be showered with coins by the attendees. The wedding feast is also called Valima or Walima and it is traditionally hosted by the family of the groom. Some couples may invite only close friends and families for a fairly modest feast, but others love to invite a great number of guests. In traditional Muslim weddings, the female and male guests will eat separately. When the meal is over, the groom and bride will sit together for the first time as couples, have their heads covered by yellow Dupatta (scarf) and will be prayed for. They can begin then to receive gifts.
The food at the Muslim wedding feast consists of a mix of non-vegetarian Indian delicacies and Indian cold drinks and sweets. The Boulevard Room excels in preparing small Muslim weddings