I’ve decided to write up some etiquettes guests should bear in mind when attending a wedding, these are my own observations so feel free to agree or disagree.
1. Be on Time
Arrive on time, don’t make an excuse of ‘Asian time’ or ‘Muslim time’. Last thing you want to do is arrive late and inconvenience the family and it’s not really fair on those who come on time.
2. Sit Wisely
Sit somewhere convenient to the family and other guests. Try not to sit so far away which inconveniences the catering staff. Most families like to reserve seats in front of the stage for close family members.
3. Meet & Greet
Try to meet a family member or the ones who invited you, invitation is more than just about food.
When the food comes, allow the elderly and young children to take the food first. Serve it to them if you need to. Respected individuals should be prioritised too. Don’t forget to say Bismillah!
5. Don’t be Greedy
Take enough food so that others have a chance to get some too! Be moderate and considerate. Don’t grab all the starters leaving little for the rest of the guests at your table. Also don’t inconvenience the staff by asking for unnecessary things like chillies or salt etc.
Don’t complain about the food; appreciate what Allah has given you. Don’t complain of there ‘not being enough salt’ etc. Remember, those who have invited you have tried their best to get everything right so if the caterer gets the food wrong, it’s not the host’s fault and complaining will not change anything.
7. Show Gratitude
Always say the food was great and appreciate the host’s invite. Keep them happy as they’ve spent so much money and effort in arranging the wedding.
8. Give Gifts
Give a cash gift rather than a bulky box gift. There’s only so many dish-sets that someone will need! Give it to a close family member or friend to give it to the bride or groom afterwards.
9. Bid Farewell
Bid farewell and appreciate the family’s privacy, leave the venue before the family get together (as is of some customs), unless they want you to stay.
10. Some Islamic Etiquettes
Lastly and most importantly, keep in mind the following do’s and don’t’s:
• Do listen attentively to the Nikah ceremony – be quiet when you are asked to do so!
• Do make du’a for the newly wedded couple.
• Do congratulate the bride/groom with the following Du’a: بارك الله لك وبارك عليك وجمع بينكما في خير
• Do eat with your right hand.
• Don’t intermingle or free-mix with opposite the gender especially those not related to you;
• Don’t join in with unislamic practices;
• Don’t take pictures of the bride or groom are not comfortable with it and don’t put photos up on social media without consent.
• Don’t go to the side of the opposite gender. If you are looking for your wife etc. phone her and ask her to meet you outside.
By Mujib Abdur Rahman