Kids at Weddings – Yes or No?

We know the scene all too well. Beautiful hall and decor, coupled with screaming kids. It just doesn’t work. There are mainly 2 ways of dealing with this. Either state in the invitation that you kindly request no children under a certain age attend, or you can provide babysitting for your guests. Both will work perfectly fine. We will discuss how to word your invitations and how to keep the kids entertained throughout the night.

For the first option, which is probably the route most will go with because it’s just less headache. There are many ways you can politely tell your guests that no children are allowed. Here are a few ways:

  1. Adult-only Reception.
  2. We kindly request no children under the age of __.
  3. Due to limited space, we cannot accommodate children.
  4. Please no children under the age of __.

Remember to be both straightforward and polite. Most adults will understand, but others may be a bit sensitive if you don’t get the wording right.

As for the second option, depending on how many kids are expected, you can hire 1 or 2 babysitters to watch over. You can bring in a TV, movies, books, games, etc. You might want to discuss this with your venue to make sure it’s allowed. We wouldn’t recommend anything like paint or coloring, to avoid any damage to the venue.

Be sure to let relatives know whether or not they can bring their children. In most cases, you probably want to allow them.

This is your special day, if you don’t want children, you can let your guests know without offending anyone. Good luck and congratulations!


7 Inexpensive Wedding Centerpieces

We’ve discussed inexpensive weddings in general. Things you should try or avoid to cut costs, so now let’s take it a step further. For this post we’re going to discuss inexpensive centerpieces. Your theme really shines through your centerpieces at every table, so let’s give your guests something spectacular to look at while your wallet remains intact.


Candles. This is probably the easiest way to give your overall wedding reception that elegant vibe. Candles can be purchased anywhere and everywhere, but for the purpose of this post, you will find candles that are budget-friendly at any dollar store, or Walmart.

Photo by Nabeelah Is available under Creative Commons Attribution License.
Photo by Nabeelah Is available under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Flowers & Mason Jars. Not only will this be super easy to put together and inexpensive, they look super chic as well. You can find jars at the dollar store, and you can pick up a couple of flower bouquets from any grocery store, and you’re done! You can also use fake flowers, which can be found at any dollar store or Michael’s.

Photo by Annie C available under Creative Commons Attribution License.
Photo by Annie C available under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Flowers & Vases. You can’t get any simpler and inexpensive than this right here. You can go a step further and paint the vases to match your wedding theme. You can again find vases at the dollar store, flowers from the grocery store, and you may want to splurge a little on good paint. After the wedding, you can decorate your house with these vases or give them away.

Photo by smflood available under Creative Commons Attribution License.
Photo by smflood available under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Fruit & Vases or Jars. This is such a great way to utilize nature’s candy. You can fill up a vase or jar with lemons, limes, oranges, or even red/green apples depending on your theme. Super easy and super cute.

Photo by Beatrice Murch available under Creative Commons Attribution License

Floating Candles. Another easy and budget-friendly centerpiece. Everything can be purchased again at the dollar store, just add water!

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Photo by Jasmine Ward available under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Candy or Chocolate. How about giving your guests something to snack on in between meals and mingling? You can easily buy candy or chocolate in bulk from places like Costco or Sam’s Club. Then purchase vases or jars from your local dollar store and you’re done. Leave little boxes or bags on each table for each guest to take some home too (can be purchased for cheap at dollar stores or Walmart). It can accompany a floral arrangement or alone.

Photo by MjZ Photography available under Creative Commons Attribution License

Mini Cakes Per Table. With this you let your guests decide when dessert time is. This can be a little pricey, but if you know someone who can bake a decent cake, you’re covered. Also check your local grocery store bakeries, they’re usually not too bad in terms of pricing. This way all you need is another mini cake for you and your spouse to cut.

The options are truly endless. You don’t have to splurge to make something beautiful for your guests. All you need is a little creativity!


8 DIY Ideas for Your Wedding Day

There are many details to pay attention to when planning a wedding.  As we all know, these little details add up, quick. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could handle most of these little details yourself at an affordable price? Here are a few DIY ideas:

1. Table overlay

Your best bet is to check out “Flea” Markets or the Swap Meet for rolls of fabric that you can measure and cut.  For mine, I purchased an entire roll of lace fabric in which my mother and I measured and cut for each table. Overlay can be viewed below.

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2. Gift Card Holder

There are many ideas from your typical “box” to something as unique as a bird cage (can be found at Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods).  The one pictured was from my wedding.  Purchased at Ross, with a simple lace ribbon attached to a hand-written card.  If the color doesn’t go with your theme, you can easily purchase spray paint.

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3. Menu Cards

All you need is pretty paper (think stationary-style) and a printer.

4. Reserved Signs

All you need is a pretty frame, paper, and a printer.  This frame was purchased at Home Goods.  You can then use it for your wedding photo to decorate your home.

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5. Centerpieces

If you’re not into going above and beyond – purchase or rent vases and fill them with lemons or purchase flowers the same day from your local grocery store.

6. Candy Bar

Purchase vases and holders from Ross/Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Target/Wal-Mart/Home Goods and purchase candy in bulk.

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7. Photobooth

All you need is a cloth backdrop and props, your guests will love it.

8. Flower Girl “Baskets”

Get creative! Don’t settle for the usual basket, try something like this instead.  Found at Michael’s in the gardening section.

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Marwa Diaf


Inspiration Board To Reality

There I was about a year away from my wedding wondering how I was going to get from my inspiration board to reality. I began by buying every wedding magazine I could get my hands on, made an inspiration board and brought it to every meeting with every vendor. My first stop? Wedding planner.

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I was convinced that I could not plan this wedding on my own, but then after receiving the estimated invoice I thought to myself, why pay for something I can do myself? So I crossed that idea off my list. Then, I began my hunt for the venue.

I remembered one wedding I attended at the Marriott. I remembered the elegant ambiance and how I wanted my wedding to reflect that as well. So we checked out the Marriott in Rancho Cordova, California. Everything was perfect. There were two separate halls right next to each other (one for the men and one for the women), there was a way to customize the offered package and even better they offered “halal” meat. I knew that was the one. After I decided on the venue, my next stop was the dress.

It was about July 2011, I believe, when I began my dress hunt. I did not find the one until about October or November 2011. I had no clear vision when it came to my dress which made it pretty easy to find the one.

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Now for the theme. I told you I was going to tell you the do’s, the don’ts and the never think about doing. Well here it goes… Don’t rule anything out, keep an open-mind and really dig deep – what do you want to accomplish on your wedding day? Now this may sound silly, but I told myself I would not use the color pink. I thought, “I want something different.” But guess what? Pink was everywhere!

It was March 2012 and my family and I were in the middle of planning my sister’s wedding, we purchased the centerpieces from a small local party and crafts store. They did such a great job that I knew I wanted them for my wedding as well. Do. Remember to be specific as possible. Bring photos and always follow up with your vendors. My centerpieces did not come out the way I wanted, but it still worked out just fine.

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Your wedding won’t be complete and utter perfection, be prepared for the hiccups. Everything else came together so quickly. In the last 3 months before the wedding I booked make-up, hair, stage decor, DJ, and cake. That’s when the stress really hit. I felt like I was unorganized and running out of time. Don’t leave things for the last minute. There is no such thing as planning too early.

I was also making arrangements for the henna party that was being held on the Friday before the wedding reception.  Although not as extensive as the reception plans, there were still things to sort out. Because a lot was going into the wedding, we wanted the henna to be on the simple side.


The venue was the Holiday Inn Express catered by Fresh Med in Sacramento, California. The centerpieces and decor were done by my sisters. Do. Always utilize the talents of your family and friends. I was also very lucky to have a great photographer in my family circle.

Now let’s talk logistics. Do. Make sure to create a set schedule and a list of duties for people in your wedding party. I can’t stress how important it is to make sure everyone is on the same page and everything is being taken care of. From bride to bride – you don’t want to worry about anything on the day of. Never think about doing. Never think about NOT making a list. A list will save you. The day of I remembered I didn’t purchase candles to accompany the centerpieces, and thankfully my cousin was able to run to the store. If I had made a list of things to do – I could have avoided that minor issue.

Do. Relax, as the bride and groom that is all you should be doing the days leading up to the wedding. Stress is not a pretty color. After all the vendors were booked and everything was taken care of, it was time to see it come to life. The henna party was cultural with a modern twist.  I was probably one of the few brides that did not apply henna.  I wanted my wedding to have a more modern feel, but still have that connection with my culture. The henna party was simple and easy, as it should be, you really want the wedding reception to really have that wow factor.

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I remember when my husband and I walked into the hall for the first time; it was better than I had imagined. It was elegant, just like the wedding I had attended years before. It was modern, it was different. Why was it different? Because it was our wedding. It was the celebration of the rest of our lives together. Although planning was stressful, try to remember what and who the wedding is for. It is the celebration of your love, your union. No matter all the bumps in the road in terms of planning, it’ll always be the best day of our lives.

I did not have Perfect Muslim Wedding to guide me, but now you do. Your wedding won’t be perfect to a tee, but it’ll be as perfect as you can get it if you use the right resource and that’s PMW. It’s the wedding planner you don’t have to pay for. With PMW you will not waste time checking out venues that cannot accommodate our religious needs, because you’ll know exactly which ones are perfect for you. You’ll know of the all the great caterers that serve “halal” as well. You’ll know where to find henna artists, make-up artists, so on and so forth. All with your religious customs in mind. The Knot cannot give you that.

So remember, utilize your resources and you’ll create the most memorable day of your life. Happy planning!

Marwa Diaf

How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Florist

The ambiance of your wedding will be created by many factors including the venue, decor and yes, flowers. Their rich hues and fragrance bring a wedding to life with their beauty and brightness. The floral arrangements from the bouquet to the centerpieces can make your day, everyone’s day.

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Once again, your budget and time you have will play a critical role in your approach to this. The detailed questions for you to consider when meeting with a florist are listed in the Perfect Muslim Wedding Planning Kit. However, to help you get started and give context here are things to think about.

  1. There’s no getting away from it, your budget and all the other components of the wedding will vie for attention, and amongst them are the floral arrangements.
  2. A skilled florist should be able to suggest solutions based on your budget.
  3. There are many variables that a florist can work with. In-season flowers are less costly than exotic imported ones.
  4. Less is more with flowers. Having them strategically placed and being a focal point is far better than having wall to wall flowers.
  5. Use expensive roses, orchids, stargazer lilies and gardenias sparingly and complement them with carnations and daisies.
  6. Ask your florist about the current floral trends for weddings.
  7. A large portion of weddings take place in summer. Make sure that the flower you choose will hold up in the heat and or humidity.
  8. Bring cutouts of floral arrangements you like from magazines, weddings you have attended, and anything that caught your attention.
  9. Bring any accessories or samples of them that you have decided upon e.g. wedding dress, color theme, napkins, tablecloths, so the florist has something to work with.
  10. Follow the KIS (Keep It Simple) principle with flowers. The more elaborate the floral arrangement the more the labor. Simpler displays will allow you to spend more on the actual flowers.
  11. The florist’s work has to be congruent with the venue, planner, decorator and, of course, yourself.
  12. As with selecting other vendors, references, quotes, and your chemistry all count when it comes to finalizing who you will work with.

A comprehensive list of questions for wedding planners is listed in the Perfect Muslim Wedding Planning Kit.

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