The Muslim wedding festivities can last for days and involve lavish ceremonies, music, and food. To get the party started here are a few customs.
The celebration starts with the walima after the wedding contract is signed — a wedding feast that can last for two entire days. Fish, chicken, and rice, ancient symbols of fertility and abundance, are typically eaten together with candy-covered almonds which are considered aphrodisiacs. (Where do you think Jordan almonds came from?) Visitors also arrive at a gift procession to be displayed during the walima.
In India, sweets are given to the bride by the groom’s mother and her family & friends. If the bride is veiled she can show the groom and his family her face (possibly for the first time). Then, the mother of the groom ties an imam zamin — a silk-wrapped gold coin — around the right arm of the bride as a wish for prosperity for the couple.
In Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, the rite of mala badol is performed after the wedding feast. A thin cloth is placed over the bride as well as the groom.
They feed on each other and share borhani sips (a spicy yogurt drink) under the cover. Seeing their reflection in a mirror, the bride and groom are being asked, “What do you see? “With a romantic comment like,” I see the rest of my life, “they each respond. The newlyweds then exchange flower garlands. The ritual has recently been supplemented by a new practice of exchanging rings.
The Regal Bride
The bride may change to an elaborate gown adorned with diamonds, pearls, and gold after the wedding ceremony. She is held aloft like royalty at the end of the dinner, while friends and family watch. She can be paraded around for as long as two hours, before the strength of her bearers wanes at last. After returning to the field, she is put in the arms of the groom, signalling the end of the party.
For certain Muslim weddings it is not appropriate to greet the bride with a kiss (though it is becoming more common in Western cultures). Guests at Muslim weddings, however, deliver several other forms of congratulating the pair.
Eggs, which in Islam signify fertility and righteousness, are also given as symbolic gifts to the couple. Rice, sweets, and dried fruit can be showered to the bride and groom as they leave the party.
In Indonesia, the groom steps onto an egg to show his marriage acceptance. An egg is cracked in Morocco during the reception, since its white color means light and luck for the couple.