The 2018 Muslim wedding checklist

18 Jan 2018

A Muslim wedding is a spectacular occasion, bursting with colour and culture, and here's how you can ensure your special day is as seamless as can be

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Image gallery

Planning a wedding is a joyous time as you prepare for what will likely be the most extravagant, emotional and memorable event of your life - but there’s no denying wedding planning comes with an almost endless list of duties and considerations, meaning it can all become a bit overwhelming without an airtight action plan.

Here, hijab and abaya retailers at AbayaButh share all the most essential ingredients for an unforgettable Muslim wedding - from the ceremony itself to the fashion and, of course, the food. With this guide by your side, you can plan an unforgettable event that’s as beautiful, elegant and disaster-free as you’ve always dreamed.

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The ceremony

Deciding what kind of ceremony, or nikah, best suits you and your partner is a crucial first step when it comes to planning your wedding. From deciding whether you’d like to be married on a Sunday in the popular month of Shawwal (or on a less traditional date) to choosing your officiant and planning your ceremony’s length, structure and content, there’s plenty to think about. Yet by taking these tasks on one at a time you can compartmentalise this seemingly huge job and breeze your way through the lot.

In Islam, weddings can be officiated by any Muslim familiar with Islamic tradition. There will be a marriage sermon, in which the bride, groom and participating guests are invited to a life of mutual love, kindness, piety and social responsibility. Following the sermon, there will be a prayer for the bride and groom, their families and the community, and the ceremony may also involve the officiant reciting the first chapter of the Quran (Al-Fatiha).

In terms of wedding length, this can vary significantly based on a range of cultural factors, rather than being dictated by religion. In India and Pakistan, for example, everyone typically gets together a few days before the the wedding - meaning the entire event can last up to five days or even a week.

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The venue

As well as the what and the when, you’ll also need to give due consideration to the where - and that means finding a location for your wedding that works for everyone involved. Whether you’d like to be married in a mosque where the ceremony can be guided by an imam or in a less conventional setting, there are a number of overarching factors that will influence which venue you choose. It isn’t essential for Muslim weddings to be held in a mosque, although it is the most popular setting, but there are nonetheless some key considerations to be made - such as how many people you’ll need to accommodate.

For an overseas wedding, consider whether the costs and practicalities associated with travelling to your destination are a worthwhile investment. If you’re looking to get married closer to home, you’ll still need to ensure that transportation for the bride, groom and bridal party is arranged in plenty of time.

The fashion

Weddings mean glorious colours, gorgeous patterns and elegant embellishments galore - making fashion one of the most important and iconic elements of the big event. As early as possible in the wedding planning process, the bride and groom’s attire and the bridesmaids' dresses should be selected and purchased - and it’s also crucial to factor in time for clothing alterations for the bride and groom to ensure that everything fits like a glove on the day.

The bride is generally the focal point of the whole affair, adorned in brightly coloured shades with vibrant flowers and ornate jewellery. Conversely, you’ll generally find that Muslim grooms look a little more understated on the day, wearing simple, traditional dress or even a western-style suit for the wedding. Naturally, all clothes worn on the wedding day should be modest, in keeping with this core Muslim value.

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The décor

Whether you’re enlisting the help of an experienced wedding co-ordinator or taking charge of décor-related decisions yourself, having a clear vision for the backdrop of your big day will make this part of the process infinitely less stressful. From basic colour scheme ideas to preferred floral arrangements, centrepieces and wedding favours, this is your opportunity to have your say on the way your wedding looks - and by taking a top-down approach, working from the overall concept down to the finer details, you can realise your unique vision.

The food

Last but by no means least, a mouthwatering wedding menu is non-negotiable. Happy occasions like these call for rich, decadent food options - but first on the food agenda should be setting a budget for the catering (unless you’d prefer to take on the cooking yourself).

After that, you’ll need to plan a vibrant and varied walima, otherwise known as the marriage banquet - whether it’s entirely Middle Eastern or includes an ethno-cultural mixture to suit a range of guests - as well as nailing down preparation timelines, serving options and matters of presentation. And no wedding is complete without a delicious, traditionally decorated cake.

With your ceremony set, your décor decided and your menu masterminded, all that’s left to do is relax and embrace this once-in-a-lifetime event with the ones you love.