Planning a wedding is one of the most momentous occasions of your lifetime but also can be one of the most stressful, possibly due to the pressures of having everything done perfectly and going to plan. This is a unique day that comes with one attempt at getting it right so we can understand why you maybe feeling “feeling the heat”.
Believe it or not, the act of getting married in Islam is actually quite simple! However with many options with cultural and modern influences, things can start to get challenging. Here is a checklist to kick things off and help you answer that dreaded question – Where do I start? Right here of course at Desi Wedding Hub!
This is a general to do list for an Islamic wedding. Certain sections maybe condensed so just click on the highlighted word to expand the sections of interest to you. You will find more information on some headings which will be available under the guides section of our homepage.
- Family meeting
This occasion certainly calls for a family meeting. Round up all your close friends and family that will be helping you plan and execute the big day. Here are some of the points to discuss at your meeting;
You need to agree with the opposite side (bride/groom) on the type of wedding your expecting. This should cover things like the size, formality, themes, guests numbers, timings, suitable and unsuitable dates and other broad discussions to set expectations for both sides.
You will need to appoint your main wedding co-ordinator. Think of this as the role of a best man or brides maid at a traditional English wedding. In an ideal world they should be patient, pay attention to detail, be well organized, easy to contact and able to offer regular time. Having a co-ordinator of both genders can be particularly useful.
You will need to agree on your Shariah committee in other words your spokesperson(s). This will usually be close family and they will be responsible for arranging a marriage officiant such as an Imam, creating and checking your marriage contract, agreement of the Mahr and related conditions where necessary. This must be discussed in principle prior to the actual ceremony to ensure this is conducted without problems on the day.
Although difficult to predict at this stage it is wise to work out a budget for the benefit of both sides. You can start with a budget for a particular part of the wedding process like a budget for the jewellery for example. This will set expectations and allow sufficient time for funds to be organized as many people maybe saving up for this day so funds maybe not be immediately accessible. Try to work out a budget for the wedding day itself and the gifts that are due to be exchanged like jewellery and clothing. A good tip is to write this down and give the other side a copy of this if possible and ensure both parties are agreed on these budgets before proceeding. From here you can start dispersing money to the appropriate people and allocate them a specific budget for their duties i.e. £1,500 on wedding photography. Remember to keep receipts of spend so you can complete a final account at the end of the wedding for those concerned.
This may or may not be the same family members but in essence they will organize the venue which is an important task. To help guide this delegate you should paint a picture of what you’re looking for to help ensure this is done correctly (we will be updating our ideas section to help you do get some inspiration). Here are some generic points to consider;
Probably the most memorable part of the wedding for your guests! You will need to consider catering for the wedding, drinks and desert options. You will need to think carefully about quantity as you will certainly not want to run out but enough to have a little bit left over for the unexpected additional guests or even to allow some guests to take some home.
Groom’s Thaal- this is the traditional roast chicken with salad and pillau rice. This needs to be prepared early and kept clean and warm if possible.
Bride side – Bring Indian sweets to the wedding so this can be shared out to guests on the wedding day. This is usually done by family heads i.e. parents.
Cake – This will come with various options from size, color, design and ingredients.
Decoration of the wedding venue. This includes but not limited to stages, signage, table and chais covers.
You will need to set a program for the wedding to include things like serving the food, arrival times of bride and company.
- Time keeper
This will ensure the wedding day is kept to the program and punctual. Allow time for a potential delay for any suppliers. This can be common when booking long distance suppliers who may not be familiar with your area or face travel disruptions along the way.
Clothing for the wedding day and gifted clothing wear for both parties and their close family members.
Men – Generally this will be either a suit or a sherwani. Either way you will need to allow time to order, tailor and collect the suit and accompanying clothing such as tie, cuff links, shirts, socks and shoes.
Women – This maybe a Saree of which you are likely to want to agree on a color theme for immediate and or close family members. This will require time to pick, order, tailor clothing and any adjustments.
Bride/Groom – you will need to arrange collection of the finished items especially the bridal wear as this will almost certainly need to be ordered in advance.
- Invitation cards
Invitations will need to be sent out in advance of the wedding to notify confirm and allow notice for guests to make plans to attend the wedding.
Groom’s entry banner – this is done by the bride’s side. This is the traditional sign to display at the entry point for the groom. It usually states a comedic sum of money before entry is granted by the brides “door keepers”. You may want to arm yourself with party poppers and sprays as a welcome gift for the groom’s entourage!
Parking and travel – It is really helpful to inform your guests of any travel disruptions and alternative routes. It is also a good idea to guide your guests where they can park the car. Be prepared to hand out permits subject to the venue facility or provide a coin changing facility.
Gifts & “Salami” – Arrange a person to look after gifts and money gifts to the couple. Also make a note of who it was from in many cases you will need to ask as you may not have met them before. It is wise to keep a small notepad handy so the couple can thank the appropriate person in due course.
Bride and groom will need to agree on where they will live and start making arrangements accordingly whether that be study or work related. Plans need to be made to transport the bride’s belongings over to the groom’s home. This will require arranging suitable times/dates with in laws and the transporter.
After wedding reminders
- Welcome breakfast
The brides family members will take a whole heap of various food up to the the groom’s home and welcome the new couple by sharing a breakfast together. There is no formal time unless agreed in advance but this is a relaxed get together as a newly joined family.
The couple and the grooms immediate family are invited to brides family member’s houses for a meal and and causal get together. Invitations are given verbally to the couple or to their parents is also acceptable. The brides family member/host would provide a gift to the visitors usually clothing is generally given on such occasions. Ideally the bride would be able to inform you of relevant sizes however it is still a good idea to keep a gift receipt just in case.