Post # 1
Hi guys, lovely to meet you. I’m a long time lurker but first time poster!
I have a dilemma.
My SO and I are both easy-going liberal muslims born and raised in England, we are of Pakistani and Bengali origin respectively. We’ll inshallah be getting married in Autumn 2013.
Now the problem is that we can’t figure out what happens at a Walima! Neither of us (or our parents) have been to many weddings, and they’re always lavish grand affairs which we find too much. We intend to have a Nikkah after Jumma prayer on Friday, and then Saturday for the Walima, but other than sitting down for a meal, what happens?
I’d love to hear from other lovely muslim ladies about what they did or what they’ve seen at Walimas.
The walima is the first time the guest will see the bride and groom in all their wedding finery. How does that work? Does the bride walk down an aisle towards the groom, like in a church wedding? Do you publically exchange rings or vows, despite having the nikkah beforehand? Is there a speech, and if so, who does that? What kind of entertainment is there beyond a meal? If there are bridesmaids, what do they do? Where do they fit in a walima?
I just feel that after going to all the effort of inviting a bunch of guests, wearing beautiful clothes, decorating a lovely venue… it seems a shame to just sit and eat. Surely there is something else that I’m missing!
Help much appreciated!
Post # 3
Hi assalaam alaykum!
Congrats on your marriage! After the nikkah there is usually a reception from the bride’s side. Its the traditional “wedding” function, and sometimes the nikkah even happens on site for all the guests to see. A walima is a sunnah and is a reception from the groom’s side- and usually is just an event where the guests eat and the new couple mingles with their guests- as opposed to sitting on stage the entire time. Also, the bride doesn’t usually wear red (as she would on her wedding). there are no customs associated with a walima, but having been to plenty myself- it usually just starts with the bride and groom entering together, walking down the aisle (as a married couple), then sitting on stage, maybe some speeches from friends or family of the groom, a cake cutting, then mingling with guests. In any case, have fun and congrats! May Allah bless your union
Post # 4
Assalamu alaikum! Thank you so much for all this info, very helpful!
Okay so just to clarify – the nikkah should be followed by a reception, and then there’s a walima as well?? Is it possible to combine the nikkah reception and walima together? Or can the nikkah reception be a private family affair?
In the weddings where you’ve seen the couple say vows or exchange rings, is that their actual nikkah? Or is it more of a public declaration sort of thing and of no religious significance? And who would officiate such an exchange? Is a public nikkah a common thing, or is it not seen as appropriate?
My SO and I are keen to keep things a little simple and not too lavish/public 🙂
I guess in the end, we can do what we like, right? xD Thanks again for your expertise, I really appreciate it! And thank you for the well wishes.
Post # 5
@lizardspots: I could help you out a little since I’m muslim and fairly religious so I’ve been to a lot of walimas. A lot of people do the nikah and walima together which usually follows the timeline of cocktail hour, nikah, dinner, speeches, dessert. If you do a small nikah and a bigger walima, it’s basically dinner and some speeches but you could incorporate a fun game into it like the shoe game (you can google it if you’ve never seen it) you can exchange rings if you’d like, you can toss your bouquet, have a photobooth..you get the idea. In my area, both public and private nikahs are common.
hope that helps 🙂
Post # 6
@bossypants: I have never seen a public nikkah, in the very few weddings I’ve been to! I don’t know how my and SO’s parents would feel about that, but I’ll ask them. Thank you for all your ideas! A photobooth sounds like a fun idea 😀
Post # 6
yasssk : Hello…..your answer is really informative. Can you tell me if there’s any links to religion anywhere or customs? Or is it a religious free custom free meal?
Thank you 🙂
Post # 7
katielocke6 : I don’t know if there is one common set of customs. It seems to largely depend on the culture of the families. For instance, my Fiance is Indian and nearly all of what we are doing at the wedding and reception (besides the very specific and few nikkah requirements) are Indian customs and non-Muslim Indian weddings often tend to do them as well, while some non-Indian Muslims probably do not. (henna/mehndi on the groom’s finger, certain grand entrances, flower garlands, shoe game, certain dance/song performances, certain music).
Post # 8
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