Let’s start off with the fact that mistakes will happen. However, with careful planning at least common ones can be avoided. Plan, Pray, and hope you have a great wedding.
Photo by zzclef available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
- Running Late
Desi Time, Arab Time, Muslim Time: It comes in many names. There is nothing more annoying than seeing on the invite for Nikkah and Reception (Please be on time) and then the host, bride, groom(or whoever) are running totally late. If you expect your guests to be on time, you as host have to set a good example.
- Boring Wedding Speeches by the whole entourage
For you as a bride or groom, it may be very sentimental to have all your siblings or all your close friends give a speech. Especially when the speeches precede dinner, there is nothing more frustrating than having hungry guests bored out of their minds listening to endless speeches which are only of interest to the bride or groom. If you still insist on having them at least overlap them with dinner.
- No Agenda
Both for Muslim guests and Non-Muslim ones it creates anxiety when they don’t know what is coming up and when. Besides a printed agenda, it is the job of the M.C. to follow the adage, “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
- Unprepared Father of the Bride or Groom Speeches
For an event that is so important for their son or daughter it is surprising how many fathers or family members will go in saying, “I was just told I have to give a speech”, “I didn’t have time to prepare.” Really? Consider how much time and money you will invest into the wedding. If you’re not a toastmaster and or comfortable in public speaking, it doesn’t cost much to get help with your wedding speech.
- No Wedding Rehearsal
Although wedding rehearsals are common in American weddings, they are less so in Muslim weddings. We’re not advocating having a Nikah rehearsal. At least the receptions main entrance and farewell should be thought about. In one particular wedding, the bride and then the grooms families made the entrance, the bride and groom were announced about to enter, and in comes an elderly uncle with a walking stand (true story). Yes stuff happens but with just a little coordination, major gaffs can be avoided.
- Cutting Corners and Cost on Catering
Every Parent and host wants to offer truly amazing food on their son or daughters wedding. However, not every wedding’s food is that great. Why the gap? When you meet with a caterer, you will request certain dishes and possibly do a tasting. Unfortunately, when food is prepared en-mass it is not always to the same level. If you start to negotiate with a caterer, the caterer may cut corners. Eg including less meat in a dish or rather than using boneless meat, just using bony meat which doesn’t sit well with guests. If you are working on a budget, it is better to cut on another area (eg number of guests) rather than on the menu.
- Free for all Food Lines
In a large wedding, there is nothing worst than when finally it is time to eat, everyone is told “dinner is available.” Guests get stuck in long buffet lines. Manage the lines by announcing one table at a time.
- Mixing up Cuisines
Although it is tempting to accommodate guests from different backgrounds, it is better to stick to one theme. Most caterers have one specialty. Imagine going to a restaurant where they serve Afghan, Pakistani, Nepalese and Chinese food? An exaggeration but hope we make the point of having a focus.
- Too many desert choices
Choice is nice, but too much choice actually works against you as a host. We have experienced this at multiple weddings where the hosts have generously offered eg multiple types of cupcakes, mini-deserts etc. Rather than picking just one, not knowing which one they are going to like, guests fill their plates. They end up eating possibly one, wasting the rest, and worst of all leaving no desert for the guests at the tail end of the line. Keep it simple and avoid too many choices within a category. For example cupcakes and fruit is fine as they are two different categories.
- Not Acknowledging Guests and Hosts
It is human nature that we like to be acknowledged. For hosts it is important that as guests walk in they are greeted. Once the reception is in full play it is a nice gesture if the bride and groom walk around the tables and thank the guests. The alternative is for the parents to do it. Similarly there is a lot of work the bride and or grooms family puts into the planning of the wedding. It only behooves us as guests to thank the hosts and recognize somethings you really like about the wedding, eg the decor, food, venue, speeches.
It is not easy bringing our heaven and earth together. Unless you are a scholar or a student of deen, it is sometimes very challenging to connect our faith to every day life. In the last post we covered Retox.
Photo by livnir available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
In this one we would like to share some of the highlights from The Guru in You: A Personalized Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Soul by Cameron Alborzian.
It is an amazing book, we do not know the authors faith, but many of the questions he asks and the spiritual path he shares overlap with Islam and the Prophetic way. Below is most of the table of contents, can you make a connection?
- We become attached to the material world. First step towards happiness is intention (niyah)
- The practice of nonviolence, kindness towards ourselves and others.
- The practice of detachment, allowing what nature intends for us.
- Letting go of excess, knowing when enough is enough for the perfect amount.
- Posture, practice, and the pursuit of inner beauty.
Here are some of the highlights that we got from browsing the book.
Questions to ask ourselves
- Do you fill your life with constant chatter and entertainment?
- Am I constantly eating or drinking (even if its soda)?
- Do I constantly watch TV or films?
- Am I always in front of a computer or phone?
- Am I constantly watching everything that passes by on the street?
- Am I constantly listening to music or talking on the phone?
To detox the author says we don’t need products, just drink hot water for several days. Here are some more nuggets.
- With the above examples, when our senses our stimulated our breath goes out of balance.
- Our stimulated senses induce attachments and desire.
- We love our opinions, we love having them. Learn to listen to difference of opinion.
- Detachment. eg when watching a a game, rather than hoping one side wins, just enjoy the game. You will be less drained from the experience.
- Enjoy friends company. You don’t have to fill silent gaps with meaningless chatter. It is good to have silent moments.
- The author shares a great example of attachment. We apply for a job. We see that we have a perfect fit.. We see ourselves in that role. We are attached to it, and then crushed when we don’t get it. Detachment means telling ourselves that experience may not pan out as we would like, another one is around the corner, nature (God) didn’t intend it for us.
- If we are attached to getting an object (maybe a car or whatever) detachment from goods and objects when you don’t get them means there may be a better time to get that object or it may be beneficial to not have it all.
- A great example he share which we can put into practice, is going to a bakery where you love the smell and are tempted to try out the pastries. Instead we go, take in the aroma, but control ourselves. The next time we go again we can up the ante, but each time you are in control. The key takeaway is we don’t need instant physical gratification.
- What happens when we become fearful of not getting something. Fear leads to desperation (not inspiration).
- We need spiritual freedom, a fully realized state, beyond material, mental, and emotional limits.
- Practice non-violence towards self and others. In self talk this means avoiding ‘I’m not smart enough, I won’t ever find success, I’ll never get married.”
- Cultivate sexual energy. The practice of guarding and cultivating our sexual energy and finding that balance of extremes of frustration (not having sex) versus excess.
It is hard to encapsulate a wonderful book like this, bu hopefully it gives you a flavor.
Do you want to look awesome on your wedding day? If so you should consider a complete body Detox.
Photo by istolethetv available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
If we follow Prophetic ways detox should come naturally. Of course for Muslims the month of fasting in Ramadan is the best detox. Given our modern lifestyles we found something to compliment our busy and crazy lives. We came across a great book on the subject titled RETOX: Yoga*Food*Attitude Healthy Solutions for Real Life by Lauren Imparato. Here are some of the highlights from the book.
- Go for nutrients over calories. eg if for lunch you have a choice of beef over chicken, although both have protein and most health conscious people will opt for chicken, instead go for the beef. Why? Beef has more iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamin B. Another example is for a snack if you have a choice of a 100 Cal snack bar, or a 300 Cal Avocado, opt for the the Avocado for its Omega 3’s.
- Nutrients feed dells, cells construct you, so watch what you eat and drink. Processed food is bad, fast food even worse. Make H2O your beverage of choice.
- Your body needs 72 hours (3 days) to fully process everything you ingest. So the body is constantly working to digest and metabolize, so it too needs a break. Try to leave a 10-12 hour break (fast) between dinner and breakfast.
- Follow the 2/3 rule. Make 2 out of 3 meals healthy. Make 2 out of 3 things on your plate to be pure nutrient.
- Nourishment is not about dish but ingredients. Instead of fries or other fried food, order a side of greens when eating out.
- Don’t mix proteins (this was a new one for us). Have only one protein in your meal. eg have a veggie starter and then fish for main course. Mixing proteins adds additional stress to the digestive system. So forget the combination Kabob or the Lamb/Beef Gyro.
- When you buy fish, make sure it is Wild and not farm raised. Beef should be grass fed.
- Drink tap water (not ice water)
- Watch out for Asian restaurants that use MSG.
- Mexican restaurants avoid the fried foods and go for eg a Fish Taco.
- With Pizza have a salad
- Go light on hummus and yogurt based starters. Falafels are fried, so opt for anything grilled.
- Sugar is an inflammatory agent. Sugar is associated with expansion headaches. Cut out sugar of all sorts to allow your body to neutralize.
- Also watch out for too spicy, fatty, foods and focus on water, mint, ginger.
Depending on your level of knowledge you may find these tips helpful or not. But here is what we find amazing in the book.
- Share a meal at least once per day.
- Talk to someone you love every day.
- Take one minute each day to connect to your breath and thoughts.
We’re not scholars, but isn’t this Sunnah, it’s the way of our Prophet (SAW)? InshAllah with your spouse and family this will come naturally, but if doesn’t then try to make it a practice. It is hard to summarize a book in a short blog post, but we hope you find this useful. Anything you would like to share?
Whether you are Newly married or married for a long time, it is nice to be able to getaway to a far distant land to charge (for a honeymoon) or recharge your relationship (say an anniversary). Having privacy and time to get to know each other as well as discover new cultures, food, and places makes it very exciting. In no particular order, below are the top 10 picks by Perfect Muslim Wedding for the most romantic places in the world. You may disagree and that is ok, we would love to get your addition to the list.
Here are some great photographs of these Romantic Muslim Destinations.
Ko Yao Noi, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photo by Azlan DuPree x available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Medina, Saudi Arabia
Marrakesh, Morocco worlds largest tannery
Istanbul, Turkey across from the bay
Cairo, Egypt with the Pyramids of Giza in the background
Granada, Spain (The Alhambra in the background)
For more details checkout our Perfect Muslim Wedding Honeymoon Guide.
Top 10 Muslim Wedding Songs by Artist
- For The Rest Of My Life by Maher Zain
- Wedding Song by Zain Bhikha
- Munasabat Zawaj by Ibrahim Majid
- Mehndi nee Mehndi by Musarat Nazir
- Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja by Mohammed Rafi (Neel Kamal)
- Mubarak Mubarak by Udit Narayan (Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya Hai)
- Tum Hi Ho by Arjit Singh (Aashiqui 2)
- Teri Ore (Singh Is Kinng)
- Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge)
- Saajanji Ghar Aaye (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
Top 17 Muslim Bollywood Wedding Songs
Photo by S Pakhrin available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
- Sadi Gali (Tanu Weds Manu)
- Kabira (Encore) (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
- Iski Uski (2 States)
- Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan (Roy)
- Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge)
- Lal Dupatta (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi)
- Rab Kare (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi)
- Maahi Ve (Kal Ho Naa Ho)
- Sajan Tumse Pyar (Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya)
- Yeh Ladka Hai Allah (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
- Bole Chudiyan (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
- Dulhe Ka Sehra (Dhadkan)
- Mehendi Hai Rachne Wali (Zubeidaa)
- Le Jayenge Le Jayenge (Chor Machaye Shor)
- Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (Aadmi Sadak Ka)
- Jute de do paise lelo (Hum Aapke Hain Koun)
- Hamari Shaadi Mein (Vivah)