Muslim weddings, known as Nikahs, are one of the most joyous occasions one can experience. They are a day for celebration, new beginnings, and a chance to share in the bliss and love of a couple. And, if you are unfamiliar with the traditions that come with a Nikah, you may find yourself unsure of how to best honor and celebrate the couple.
At Windows on the Water in New Jersey, we are dedicated to helping make your special day a beautiful and memorable event. From helping you choose the perfect decorations and themes to providing delicious catering and high-quality service, we are here to make sure your Nikah is one to remember. In this article, we have gathered a helpful guide to share with your guests on what to expect at your Nikah.
You’re Invited to a Muslim Wedding!
First and foremost, be sure to read the invitation thoroughly, as it will often contain important information about the event, what to expect, and the dress code. Islamic tradition differs slightly in different countries, so it is important to be respectful of the couple and their culture.
Muslim wedding tradition has several different stages. Guests may be invited to all or only some parts of the wedding. Be sure that if you are invited to certain parts of the event, you arrive on time and attend each one.
Additionally, there may be guidance on the gift policy, how traditional the ceremony will be with regard to religious practices, and other important elements that can help you avoid a faux pas during the main event. Be sure to RSVP promptly to give the couple time to plan accordingly.
Make Sure You Dress In a Modest & Respectful Manner
It is important to dress appropriately and respectfully for the occasion. A good rule of thumb for both men and women is to dress modestly in traditional clothing that covers the arms, legs, chest, and shoulders.
Additionally, it is important to avoid any clothing that is tight-fitting or revealing. The traditional dress code for women includes a few extra elements, such as avoiding wearing too much makeup and jewelry as this could be considered offensive. Women are also expected to cover their hair with a hijab or scarf and should avoid wearing black clothing, as this has other meanings in the Muslim culture.
In some Muslim weddings, it is customary for guests to remove their shoes upon entry. This tradition is a sign of respect for the house of the bride or groom. Be sure to check with the hosts to ensure that you are following the proper etiquette.
What to Expect During the Ceremony
In some traditions, wedding guests may be separated by gender to show respect for the couple. Be sure you know where your seat is and that you sit on the correct side. Additionally, it is traditional for guests to remain silent during the ceremony and not to take any photos or videos.
The ceremony will likely be conducted in Arabic and it is proper etiquette to understand that the couple and their families are the only ones who are meant to speak during the event. At the end of the Nikah, the couple is blessed with a prayer and will likely sign the marriage contract and exchange rings. It is also tradition to offer congratulations and well-wishes to the couple in the form of a dua or prayer.
After the Ceremony: Let the Celebration Begin!
When the ceremony is over, the feast and revelry begin! In some Muslim wedding traditions, a separate area is set up for the men and women to celebrate. If this is the case, be sure not to associate, talk to, or touch guests of the opposite gender. The reason the genders may be separated is that it gives each gender an opportunity to behave a little less traditionally.
Even if the celebrations are mixed-gendered, there should be no handshaking, hugs, or hand-holding between the genders. If you happen to forget and put your hand forward expecting someone to shake it but they do not, you should not be offended. They are merely following tradition.
A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind
To avoid some awkward moments, there are a few other things guests should keep in mind. For one, it is best to avoid asking the couple personal questions about their relationship. Additionally, it is important to avoid discussing topics such as politics, money, or religion, as these can be seen as disrespectful.
There will most likely be no alcohol at the wedding, nor should you bring it as a gift. Further, when it comes to gift-giving, avoid bringing boxed gifts such as jewelry, perfume, or electronics. Instead, the preferred gift for the couple is cash. It should be inside of an envelope and handed to the couple after the reception or sent to their home so they receive it after they return from their honeymoon.
A Perfect Muslim Wedding Ceremony at Windows on the Water in New Jersey
Windows on the Water in New Jersey is the perfect setting for a beautiful Muslim wedding ceremony. This exquisite venue offers exquisite views of the lake, making it the perfect backdrop to celebrate the special day. We provide couples with a variety of options to make their wedding ceremony unique and special. With its stunning views and lush gardens, this venue is the perfect place to exchange vows and celebrate the union of two souls.
We provide an array of services to bring the couple’s vision to life, from catering and décor to music and entertainment. The staff at Windows on the Water understand the importance of the Muslim faith and will work with couples to ensure that all of their religious requirements are met. Contact us online or call us at (609) 208-9475 today to discuss your perfect Muslim wedding ceremony in New Jersey.