Muslim Wedding Ceremony Program Must-Haves

Planning an Islamic wedding? Here's what to include in the wedding program.
Elisabeth Davies
by Elisabeth Davies
Updated Sep 11, 2021

Depending on where you are in the world, Muslim weddings can vary greatly depending on local culture and traditions. However, despite the differences between weddings within the Muslim community, there are some standard elements you can plan to include in your ceremony program so that friends and family members can understand more fully what's happening during your wedding.

While traditional weddings in Islam can be more solemn and involve a short twenty-minute ceremony, some are lavish events that last for multiple days. In North America for example, Muslim couples may opt for wedding traditions like the first look or the first dance, while South Asian Muslim brides and grooms might host a henna party with their closest friends or make a grand entrance with a baraat, respectively. But regardless of which route you decide to take, some of the core traditional wedding elements may be unfamiliar to non-Muslim guests, such as the concept of gender separation, the tradition of the Mahr, or any desired wedding dress and attire standards you want in place on your wedding day. All these decisions should be discussed during the wedding-planning process and can then be communicated to attendees via an informative program.

If you're having your ceremony in a mosque, including a note to guests about the significance of attendees removing their shoes may be something to consider including in your wedding program. While this should probably be communicated to guests beforehand, it might be worth explaining the practice in a bit more detail.

Including brief descriptions of these or other inclusions in your wedding program will not only help guests follow along with the ceremony, it will help them get the full experience of the wedding traditions you've chosen to incorporate into the ceremony.

While your local and family traditions may vary, there are certain elements that are considered essential to a Muslim wedding ceremony which are outlined in detail below.

What To Include in a Muslim Wedding Program

Key things to include in a Muslim wedding ceremony program are:

  • Mahr: A gift requested by the bride or the bride's family from the groom during the wedding.
  • Nikah: The part of the wedding where the bride and groom are legally wed to each other under Islamic law.
  • Nikah-Namah: The Islamic marriage contract that is signed by the couple in front of their guests during the wedding ceremony.
  • Fatihah: Short prayer read from the Quran, read by the Imam or officiant.
  • Savaqah: This is the final part of the wedding. During the Savaqah, the bride and groom are showered with coins in celebration as they recesses away from the ceremony.
  • Walima: The Muslim wedding reception and feast that may last multiple days.

Muslim Wedding Program Wording Examples

Depending on how in-depth you'd like to be in your wedding program, you may wish to outline every single step for your non-Muslims guests or keep it fairly simple.

Here are some examples of how you may want to word the various sections of the wedding ceremony:

  • Mahr: The Mahr is an obligatory gift that the bride or the bride's family may request from the groom and the groom's family, part of which will be offered during the ceremony. The engagement ring is sometimes considered part of this gift, but can be anything the bride wants such as money, gold, a trip, etc.
  • Nikah: The Nikah ceremony is the central part of a Muslim wedding. Even if the couple has been legally married according to the laws of the land, they are not officially married under Islamic law until this ceremony is done. The bride's father, or Wali, will ask the bride's consent to be married before giving her away. The couple repeats the word "qubool" or "I accept" three times before they and their witnesses sign the Nikah-Namah, or Islamic marriage contract, which is read in Arabic.
  • Fatihah: The officiant will recite the Fatihah, or first chapter of the Quran, and say blessings, or dua, over the couple. Vows are not common in Muslim marriage ceremonies, instead, the officiant will talk to the couple about the meaning of marriage, their commitments and responsibilities to each other and to Allah.

Where to Buy Muslim Wedding Programs

When it comes to actually designing and printing wedding programs, you must first consider how customized you want the programs to be. If you're looking for a ready-to-go semi-custom option, customizable options ready for purchase are aplenty on The Knot. However, if you're looking for a totally custom and personalized option, then it's a great idea to partner with a stationery vendor who can design all your paper needs, from wedding invitations to programs, for you. To find a great local vendor for the task, peruse The Knot Marketplace.

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