You have been invited to a neighbor, co-worker or friend’s Muslim wedding. Yeah, we know, tons of questions are flooding your mind. What should you wear? What you should you take? What should you expect? So many questions, so little time. Below are the three important questions and answers.
- How should you dress? For women modesty is the key word. You can dress elegantly, but avoid showing too much skin, e.g. cleavage or short-skirts. For men, a suit or dinner jacket and pants are safe.
- What should you take? The invitation is your best guide. Most weddings will have some text like, “No boxed gifts.” In this case, cash is king. Depending on how close you are to the family, if the invite is for you and your significant other, then e.g. a $100 bill may be good slipped in a card and handed at the reception. If it is the whole family invited double it. In some cultures the amount should be an odd number e.g. $101.
- What to expect at the wedding? Most, but not all, Muslim weddings are multi-day affairs. Again there are several posts relating to the different religious and cultural aspects of Muslim weddings on the site. Although you may be invited to the nikah (the religious ceremony), there is a greater likelihood that you will be attending the reception where the “rules” are more relaxed. Follow the cue of your hosts and it will become fairly clear if there is things like gender separation.
Due to the cultural diversity of Muslims and the observance of practices (liberal to conservative), there is no single set of answers. When in doubt the best thing to do is ask your host. A wedding is a wedding, and although Muslim weddings do have there differences, the bottom line is to enjoy and participate in the event. For more questions about Muslim weddings please refer to the Muslim Wedding FAQ or comment below.