Stellar Guest Guide #3: Muslim Weddings

May 28, 2013    |    By +
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Wedding-Thumbnail_muslimSometimes we get invited to an event and have no idea what to expect or what is expected of us. We’ve all been there; confused, bumbling and ultimately embarrassed. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m doing a whole series on weddings so that no matter what kind of wedding you get invited to, you’ll show up like a pro. This time, I’m setting the record straight on Muslim wedding guest etiquette. What’s going to happen? What are you supposed to wear? Will anything weird go on that I have to participate in? Read on and get rid of your wedding attendee jitters.

The Gift:

Traditionally, people give Islamic artwork that helps tell the story of their religion or Arabic calligraphy of the couples’ names. But, as a non-Muslim, it can feel weird getting something so culturally specific.

Instead, give something that you know reflects the couple. Just because they’re Muslim, doesn’t mean they don’t want or need things that all newlyweds want and need. As always, consult a registry finder or a member of the wedding party for gift ideas that you know they will want, use and not be turned off by.

Don’t get gifts of alcohol or anything to do with alcohol for that matter. This includes champagne glasses, barware and sixty-year-old aged whiskey, as lovely as they might seem. Islamic practitioners don’t drink and would be offended by anything alcohol related.

The Rules:

Islamic receptions in America don’t differ greatly from Western wedding celebrations, but there are a few things that you should be aware of.

Mosque Etiquette

  • Shoes aren’t allowed on the carpet
  • Cover your whole body including your head (men cover their heads less than women)
  • Most mosques keep extra head scarves around that you can borrow, too.

If you’re not invited to the mosque, it is still customary to dress modestly.

Strict Islamic wedding rules are similar to Jewish wedding etiquette.

You arrive together, eat and dance in separate rooms, and then collect each other at the end of the night to go home.

In addition to there not being alcohol, you won’t find any pork served, and cigarettes are forbidden.

There you have it! It’s your easy guide to surviving a Muslim wedding with savoir faire. I hope that you feel better about being a guest and can have some fun now. Remember that weddings are celebrations after all.

Stay tuned for more wedding guest etiquette.

And, if you want to go rogue and buy a wedding gift without consulting their registry or their traditions…see all of our favorite wedding gifts!


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.