Marriage, according to the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), is an act of Sunnah. In his response to one of his companions who wanted to dedicate more time to spirituality and abstain from marriage, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “…And I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Thereupon, every Muslim is advised to have this intention upon going to marriage in order to get the required reward for it.
As for the etiquettes of wedding ceremony in Islam, below is the fatwa issued by a prominent scholar and author, Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid,
“With regard to having a wedding party in the Islamic manner, one has to keep away from things that are forbidden in Sharia of which many people do not pay attention to during their celebrations, such as drinking alcohol or eating pork.
Amongst those prohibitions that a Muslim woman should avoid is going to a male, non-Mahram hairdresser to have her hair done; or adorning herself in ways that are Haram (unlawful), such as thinning the eyebrows by plucking them, or wearing tattoos, or wearing hair extensions, or other kinds of Haram things, because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, cursed the one who plucks eyebrows and the one who has that done, the one who adds hair extensions and the one who asks to have that done; imitating the Kuffar (polytheists) in their dress.”
He adds: “There is no limit to the number of guests one can invite to a wedding feast (Walimah). So, one can invite whoever he wishes from among the bride’s relatives, friends and anyone else as long as there is a good reason for inviting them.
Providing the wedding feast is the husband’s responsibility. The Sunnah is to slaughter one sheep or more for the guests, if one can afford that, as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said to `Abdur-Rahmaan bin `Awf in an authentic hadith that: “Hold a wedding feast, even if it is with a sheep” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawud and Sunan al-Tirmidhi).
Also, Sheikh Sayyed Ad-Darsh, former Chairman of the UK Sharia Council maintains:
“It is the advice of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, not to be spendthrift. But it is not intended to prevent people from having a good time and enjoying what is a memorable and happy occasion. Entertaining guests with food and lawful songs is actually a Sunnah of the Prophet.
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had a maid who was preparing to marry an Ansari and the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, asked her whether she had arranged for singers at the wedding. `A’ishah inquired as to what they might sing and the Prophet sang some simple lines of instruction.
I am completely opposed to the idea of splashing out. There is a Hadith of the Prophet which says “The worst wedding dinner is the one which is given to the rich and denied to the poor.” If there is going to be an expensive dinner party, then it should make provisions for the less well off in the community. There are a wealth of causes deserving of our wealth and there could be no better start for the newly-weds than to invoke the blessings of Allah by not forgetting the needy.”
Also, he adds: “Here, what can be condemned is the extravagance involved in spending huge amounts of money on a fashionable wedding dress that will only be worn once.
In the early days of Islam, it was encouraged to lend beautiful clothes and other items to those who were going to get married. `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, borrowed a necklace from one of her sisters on the occasion of her marriage, which is analogous with the tradition today of hiring a wedding dress. From the Islamic point of view, this beautiful occasion in the life of a woman and a man, and they are allowed to make themselves look beautiful for each other.
The only objectionable thing is too much extravagance on such an occasion.”
We would like to finish conclude with these precious words of Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid:
“Finally, both partners should know that the more the teachings of Islam are followed in the wedding party, the more blessed their marriage will be, the more love and harmony there will be between them, and the less problems they will encounter in their married life. If marital life is based, from the outset, on Haram things, how can the couple expect the marriage to be successful after that! There have been many marriages in which there were things that went against the commands of Allah, and they did not last. There People should fear Allah with regard to this party and keep it free of things that are forbidden in Islam.