Having organized three of my sibling’s weddings fully and having helped with scores of others has made me realize how stressful they actually are! There are just so many things to fight over….who to invite, how to do the seating, what traditions to include, how much to spend, deciding who pays for what… There have actually been couples who have called off the marriage because of all the stress and problems involved in organizing a wedding! Sometimes they just can’t agree or one side becomes offended by something or other and it’s called off!
The interesting thing about weddings is that you really learn a lot about the people getting married. Even if you knew the person for years, it’s only when they get married… the things that are important to them are seen clearly. What type of wedding it is tells you a lot. The baby pictures come out on the slideshows. You can see the family dynamics in action. You can see their taste in decor and environment, music and religiosity. A person’s wealth and status in real life can be hidden, but it all comes out at the wedding. The friend’s speeches and anecdotes tell you more about the person. It’s like the underbelly comes out and you are stepping into someone’s home for the evening with their most important friends!!
I’ve attended so many weddings in my life I can’t even remember which one I liked the best! There have been so many beautiful elements in so many people’s weddings. Some of the earliest weddings I remember attending were in Churches, which is a funny thing to say, but being Muslim it is odd! Later on I think Muslims discovered halls and fancy hotels. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve attended a wedding (not just a ceremony) in a Mosque. It’s sad that our traditions and cultures have developed so much that such a spiritual thing of joining a couple under God has been removed from the Mosques, to hotels. I know we don’t have the room, the space, the catering etc, etc believe me I know, but it seems like events like weddings, Aqeeqahs, graduation parties etc, should be celebrated in places that give it a spiritual ambiance. It brings our Mosques alive and makes them happy places. Why don’t they build Mosques with big dining halls? (While we’re on the subject, what about building enough parking?!)
Ahhh anyways, back to weddings…I think each wedding I’ve been to has had something special. I tend to like the one’s where we’re witness to the moment the couple actually become husband and wife. I also like together weddings because I have yet to see a completely separate wedding with absolutely no men nowhere near the women! Somehow we always get waiting staff coming in or the 15 year old boy who thinks he’s still a kid looking for his mom or uncle jee looking for his wife!
Other things I remember from various weddings is one held outside on Mosque grounds with big buckets of candles. One where the nikah and walimah were on the same day a few hours apart, kind of fun running home and changing and going to the next thing. A wedding on the water in Long Island. Chocolate fountains! A tabla player during appetizers. Throwing (fighting over lol) of the bouquet. A funny slideshow presentation. Hillarious skits. A photo booth for guests. A heartfelt speech from the Imam. A beautiful Quran reading. Sweet smelling centerpieces. Roses taped to a wall. Ice cream sundae cake for dessert. Nasheed CDs as a favor or lindt chocolate or a dua book. Bride being carried in on a doli. Scroll invitations. Money necklaces. Clowns for the kids. A tent in the park.
So what are some of the best things you remember from past weddings?