Invited to a Muslim Wedding?

You have been invited to a neighbor, co-worker, or friend Muslim wedding. What should you wear, what you should take, and what should you expect? So many questions, so little time.  Below are the three important questions addressed.

  1. How should you dress? For women, modesty is the keyword. You can dress elegantly but avoid showing “skin,” eg cleavage or wearing short skirts. Full sleeves and a long skirt or pants work. For men a suit or dinner jacket and pants are safe.
  2. 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 eg $101 et.c
  3. 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 eg if there is gender separation.

Due to the cultural diversity of Muslims and then the observance of practice (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 their differences, the bottom line is go, enjoy and participate in the event.