Let’s face it there is no shortage of advice you will get from well-meaning family and friends about your wedding, relationships, and marriage overall. Here are the 13 worst pieces of advice about Muslim weddings.
- We can save money having a potluck in our parent’s home. Keeping things simple and within your budget is good. Being cheap and taking shortcuts is not. Most Muslim weddings have a large number of guests and factoring in the mehndi, nikah, reception, and valima, makes it challenging to integrate all of these into one low-budget affair.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not advocating for glitzy wedding processions. “The logistics of a wedding exponentially rise with its size and duration.”
- Include everyone in the wedding planning. Although you want to make your wedding inclusive, you will have to draw some boundaries. Getting input from people you respect is good, but trying to please everyone is a recipe for disaster.
- It’s not a real engagement without a diamond ring. Says who, De Beers?
- It’s the most important day of your life. Correction, it is an important day in your life. Everything may not go perfectly, but remember it is one day out of your lifetime, so keep things in perspective.
- Everyone has a camera, you don’t need a photographer. It is true, the world has gone digital and there will be plenty of smartphones at your wedding. However, the best photography and ones that you will look back on require a touch of professionalism. A good photographer knows how to capture the mood, compose the photo, plus their camera and lighting cannot be compensated for even with the best Photoshop touch-ups.
- What will the neighbors (or relatives think)? Weddings and marriage are about compromise. Rarely an either-or thing. You should neither be driven in all your decisions by what others will think, nor just go with everything that you want or don’t want. It is a delicate balance and only you and your family can best figure that out.
- Your reception and caterer should allow for all your invited guests and more. Muslims traditionally are very generous, and it is good to have a little extra food. However living here in the West, where the per person charge for a wedding can easily go from $30-$90+, those numbers start to add up. It becomes doubly painful when 15-20% of them do not show up.
- It is all about you. Sorry, it’s all about your guests and family. You are the means and the wedding is the end.
- You must wear a white (or red or green) wedding dress. In most cultures, there is a norm for the color of a wedding dress. In Muslim cultures, South Asians used to be red, Afghan were green, Turkish, Arab, and Persian were white, and Africans were multi-colored. Whatever you, your family, and spouse can agree upon is good.
- You should leave for your honeymoon right after the wedding. Yes, we know you and your spouse want to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the wedding, but giving yourself a little margin to regroup, take care of important post-wedding activities will God-willing lead to a more stress-free honeymoon.
- It’s okay, we can pay for it with plastic. Unless you’re planning to pay the balance off at the end of the month, going into debt for your wedding isn’t the best start to it. Check out our budget worksheets and guidelines in the Perfect Muslim Wedding Planner.
- Know your rights and responsibilities. You could say this applies to any relationship. As important as it is, we tend to focus more on our rights and less on the responsibilities we owe. Although it is important to know our boundaries, too much focus on the letter of the law and not its spirit is a bad thing. There is a lot of giving and take in marriage. It is not a 50:50 or tit for tat exchange of transactions.
- Don’t worry about the weight, you can crash-diet. Trying to lose a lot of weight just before the wedding is not healthy. You will be low in energy and don’t want to look gaunt. A long term outlook is better all the way around.