Part 2: Results of 2015 Perfect Muslim Wedding and Marriages Survey

This is the second part of the results from the 2015 Perfect Muslim Wedding and Marriages Survey. In the first part of the survey we shared answers for questions 1 to 3. In part two we are sharing results for questions 4 to 6.

Photo courtesy of Xyra's Photography
Photo courtesy of Xyra’s Photography

What were ways you/they saved money on the wedding?

  1. Asking for donations. One guest brings food, another brings cups, etc.
  2. At my wedding we invited a small group, found a beautiful restaurant with waterfalls and flamingos and kept it simple.
  3. Can you save money on a wedding? (Editor: Yes you can).
  4. Coupon…Sunday venue.
  5. Cutting down on some of the extra stuff – chocolate fountains, DJs and choosing a non-popular day for the venue location.
  6. Flowers and cake from Safeway; dress from China; cheapest menu offering.
  7. Free college meeting room. Food was supplied by the community. No decorations, no gifts. Simple white pant suit for bride.
  8. Getting cake from Safeway or having a fake cake where only the first tier was real cake.
  9. Getting friends bibliography and video. (Not a good idea, unless the friend has an actual business in video and photography), printed our own wedding cards, and got a friend to do my make-up.
  10. Had wedding at mosque, saved money, had wedding in Ramadan saved money.
  11. I came from simpler time and chose a simpler wedding, made my own wedding dress and cake and sweets and held the wedding at my parent’s house with limited guests. Unfortunately Muslims like other groups have not been immune to materialistic way of life for the most part.
  12. I had a friend do my henna, my family pitched in to make DIY centerpieces.
  13. I made my own dress, we had a small party (we were new in town) in our apartment and we prepared the food.
  14. I made my own wedding outfit and had it on the beach, it was free!
  15. In the union of marriage that was most memorable for me, the bride and groom decided to save their money for planning a nice getaway, in addition to giving whatever was left for charity. Rather than waste it on the glitz of the “weddings” that usually take place.

What do you think caused the most stress during wedding planning (that you later realized didn’t matter)?

  1. Everything! Explanation: when in the middle of planning, people take everything too seriously and in reality none of it matters in the long run! Just make sure food is good and the functions are somewhat organized.
  2. Focusing on small details and taking anger/frustration out at people who were there to help.
  3. I’ve been involved in at least 5 wedding plans. The beginning and very end are the most brutal. A majority (if not all) of the brides are on a budget, and responsibilities mostly lie on other family members to arrange and plan. So the preparation is horrendous because there is no central location to get ALL the items, and the very end (clean up and put away) is the most tiresome because of the need for it to be done right away. The duration of the celebration of course is the best and most enjoyable time, which then makes us go into considering “it was all worth it”… sort of.
  4. Large guest list, elaborate decoration, catering many many dishes, paying for photography and video. Spending too much on the brides and grooms’ dresses, having many parties.
  5. Pleasing everyone and inviting all with kids.
  6. Stuff that in the end no one cares about.
  7. The bride taking most of the wedding planning burden onto her own shoulders instead of sharing it with her husband, family, or wedding planner.
  8. The cake! We ended up throwing away a lot of cake because our caterer didn’t serve them on time and once they served them they used small and thin portions.
  9. The craziness, music and who should dance. And also, being to economical as to not invite too many people, I ended up with 25 less people who didn’t make it. So, wither be 100% that everyone you invited has RSVP’d or invite a few extra, because a few will not show up.
  10. Wanting things to be perfect instead of good enough.
  11. Wasting time, energy, and money selecting the perfect invitation, decorations, center pieces, entertainment, etc. The most stress was caused by people not working together, everyone trying to do their own thing, and respectful boundaries not being maintained amongst the families. This set the stage for what the marriage turned out to be as well as relationships with in-laws and in the end, this mattered more than anything!
  12. When the bride over stresses about her dress/how she will look. They always look beautiful.
  13. Who to invite/not to invite!

Based on your experiences what advice would you give a couple planning their wedding?

  1. This is a one time affair – don’t spend money trying to outdo others. Have it in a place where all your guests have a place to sit, have sufficient food, and pick the colors you like to decorate the place. Be sure to plan to walk around and greet everyone who came.
  2. Be simple, forgo this materialistic life and enjoy the moment and cherish the memories. Instead of worrying about stuff, connect with the guests and enjoy your time with your spouse-to-be and family. Lots of true laughter.
  3. Discuss things with the families instead of just the couple deciding on things. Also, choose a time where most of the family can attend.
  4. Don’t go into debt over one night of memories. Have a simple wedding and put the money you saved in something that matters like a down payment on a real home.
  5. Don’t worry it will all work out regardless of all the minor things that aren’t perfect. Your wedding will still be perfect and memorable to you. Even the things that don’t go perfectly will likely end up as a happy or funny memory. “Remember how stressed I was about learning how to tie on a bow tie…it still ended up crooked in half the pictures..haha”
  6. Enjoy it and don’t go overboard. Make sure you never get stressed enough to snap at your family that day it’ll ruin your memories.
  7. Even if things don’t turn out EXACTLY how you wanted, still enjoy your big day because at the end those things won’t matter, you feeling happy will and don’t let anything ruin that.
  8. First choose the right spouse. Then spend just enough to make it special and not enough to ruin the rest of your life because it’s a marriage, not a wedding that is important.
  9. Focus on welcoming your guests and ensuring all your closed ones are a part of your most memorable moment of your life.
  10. Invite 10 percent more than you think will attend because people will bail on the day of.
  11. It is important to involve your parents and respect their wishes but at the same time do what is true to you and your future spouse as it is your day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
  12. Keep your guest list small to only your family and closest friends because paying per head adds up very quickly, pick a more intimate venue.
  13. Make sure you are getting married for the right reasons. Make sure expectations of each other and a life together are discussed, agreed upon, and committed to. Communicate to each other what is and is not important to have/not have for the wedding, including the type of wedding, budget, who is involved in the planning, decision-making, etc. Plan the wedding program together. Decide on what would be appropriate speeches, etc, select carefully those who will be making speeches, and speak to them about what you would like and would not like. Speak with the Imam who will be conducting the wedding and discuss what will be happening, what you can expect, what you want to see, etc and come to an agreement that is reasonable and satisfying. The couple should seriously consider pre-marital counseling.
  14. Take it easy and start planning well in advance. Whatever happens will be nice either way. At the end of the day its not the beautiful hall you should care about. It’s the marriage of you and your spouse-the love of your life- that matters the most. Always try and think practical and know that it’s only a matter of one night and then all your stress is enjoy it instead of stressing.
  15. Take plenty of time to plan, But also be open to ideas from n with sides this way there won’t be the feeling that the wedding is just a one person event. Don’t cheapen out on videography, photography and makeup artist.
  16. The wedding should represent Allah ‘s blessing for people that respect and love each others.
  17. to be modest in their expectations of what a wedding should look like, not to compare their celebration with what “others” have done, and to critically think about what an actual “wedding” should be worth to them. After all, it’s ONE day. And perhaps the $10,000-$100,000 could more preferably be invested in their future rather this very one day.
  18. Try not to stress too much. Everything does NOT need to be perfect. Everyone just has to have a very good time 🙂

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