Walimah means gathering for a marriage feast or commonly known as a Muslim wedding. It is performed after nikkah, either within the same day or different day. Your nikkah is still valid without a walimah. However, it’s a sunnah to do so. Learn how to plan your dream walimah in this simple wedding planning for Muslim brides and grooms.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “How much did you give her?” He said: “A Nawah (five Dirhams) of gold.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Give a Walimah (wedding feast) even if it is with one sheep.”Grade: Shahih | Sunan an-Nasa’i 3351
1. Decide your mahr (dowry)
Mahr is essential for your nikkah. It’s the bride’s right to ask for a mahr. Discuss with the groom how much mahr you would like to have. It could be money, jewelry or any valuable items that he is able to provide.
There’s a beautiful hadith about mahr that we all can ponder upon.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The best dowry is that which is most easy.”Grade: Shahih | Bulugh al-Maram 1035
2. Pick your perfect walimah date
Sit down and discuss with your partner and the respective family to decide which date you want to get married. It’s necessary to consider the season, especially if you want an outdoor walimah.
You may also want to avoid the peak season since it’s generally more expensive. Approximate how much time you need to prepare for the walimah carefully.
3. Estimate the walimah costs
Set the budget you can afford and plan the walimah accordingly. I believe that walimah doesn’t have to be expensive. In Indonesia, you can get married for free at the registry office. Weddings are the big we’ve been waiting for in our lives. But you don’t have to spend all of your savings on it. By being considerate, you’ll save yourself from unnecessary financial issue after the wedding is done! I will share helpful tips to save money on your walimah in the future, inshaaAllah.
4. Create your walimah guest list
Even if you’re paying for the walimah yourselves, it’s a good idea to get the families together and talk about the guest list.
It’s compulsory to announce the wedding, but you need to be realistic about the number of guests you want o invite. Make a priority list and a wish list. Track the RSVPs, so you’ll know if you have some extra space you can give to the wish list.
5. Find the best walimah venue
First, decide the general location where the walimah will take place. While it’s convenient to marry in your hometown—or your partner’s, you can also have a destination wedding on your dream island. Check its capacity and facilities to make sure the venue can comfortably accommodate your guests.
6. Get your marriage registered
Your nikkah is still valid even though you haven’t legalized your marriage. But, I highly advise you to make it legal because it’s going to protect your rights (women are put in a very vulnerable situation in a unregistered marriage).
When you decide to marry someone outside your country, understand that you need to do extra paperwork that may take months to proceed. I suggest you prepare it way ahead. If you need help, please consult with the embassy. There are supportive Facebook groups of multicultural families you can join.
I explained the required documents for a British-Indonesian marriage in separate post.
7. Choose the walimah vendors
Picking a theme for your walimah will make it easier. Make a list of the vendors you need, then do research to choose the best vendor. Ask friends and families for recommendations and attend the events that use their services if possible. Some of the essential vendors are catering, attire, decor, photographer & cinematographer, and invitations.
Mabrouk, you made it! To help you on the D-day, you can hire a wedding organizer and leave the rest to them. Make lots and lots of ad’iyah (prayers) and trust Allah. If something doesn’t happen exactly the way you planned, let it go. Make it a priority to be present with your spouse and cherish the moments with your guests.