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american girl marrying an arabic guy-both of us are muslim

I recently got engaged to my arabic boyfriend of 5 years. I am american and we are having issues with planning our wedding because of differences in our families. his family wants to be able to dance at the wedding but cant because im going to have it guys and girls mixed. everyone in my family drinks and I know my fiance's mom would freak out if there was any alcohol at the wedding. we are also having an issue with location being that our families live hrs from eachother. if anyone has some suggestions for me I would love to hear them!

Re: american girl marrying an arabic guy-both of us are muslim

  • edited December 2011
    having same issue the good/bad of it is most of my guy's family is still in egypt but what a mess! i think i'm just settling on a champagne toast you can pitch it to your family as doing it for money reasons, open bars are ridiculously pricey!
  • bkay326bkay326 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I don't know much about Arabic traditions.  But could you have dinner without any alcohol.  Then start serving alcohol at a predetermined time after dinner and allow those who don't want to participate to leave.

    And then you should party and celebrate!  You have alot of reasons to celebrate and it is YOUR wedding, not theirs.  But, maybe that would be a respectful way to have both?

  • edited December 2011
    The best you can do in terms of alcohol is have your wedding at a venue where the bar area is separate and ask people to drink there instead of bringing it to the main room.  if there is room for negotiation maybe they can even bring the drinks over from the other room with the bar.  that's how i've seen it done with conservative muslim families at weddings.  I hope this helps!
  • edited December 2011
    Hi brianna,
    I'm having a similar issue. We pretty much decided that since our families are probably going to be sitting in seperate areas of the room, the area where my family will be sitting will have a bar serving alcohol. We also don't know what to do about the music, since they usually play arabic music the whole time, and we (I'm Spanish) usually play Spanish/American music....so, it's a tricky one... we would have to find a dj that can mix all these types of music....let us know what you decide to do.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Asalam Alaykum.....
    Wow!!!! This is the story of my life as well!!!!  I can relate because I am ging through the exact same thing!!!
    I am Italian and a Muslim convert................ My fiance is Lebanese born Muslim.  My parents are still not happy about me getting married and concerting to Islam  (By the way, I converted on my own - NOT to be with him)
    Although my family finally gave in and accepted things, they are still giving me a hard time about the wedding details.  We are having it at a hall in Dearborn MI that is owned by Muslims and they DO NOT allow alcohol in the hall.  My family is not happy at all about not having alcohol (you know Italians and their need for wine and champaign...)
    My family does not think that it is fair that his family is "stopping them from drinking and being able to stop their Italian traditions on their daughters wedding."  I am trying to explain to them that I do not want alcohol at my wedding as well, and it is not respectful since his family is pretty religious......

    Anyway, it has been a rough last fwe months for us......

    Do not stress too much about it.  Although your family may not be very pleased at first, they will still accept what makes you happy and what you want.  Try to include your family as much as possible though so they do not feel left out.

    Keep in touch!  I would love to find out how things are going. 
  • shawwal6shawwal6 member
    edited December 2011
    My advice to you is to explore how YOU feel about dancing and alcohol at your wedding reception.  Try to help the families meet in the middle and make lots of duaa.

    What you should brainstorm is:

    Who is paying for the alcohol
    Who is sitting at a table with alcohol

    Some people get wrapped up in the smaller things--like whether SOMEONE ELSE is drinking at their table.

    But you are a convert, and you need to be gentle with your family to let them see the beauty of your new path and encourage your fiance's family to follow the example of the rasool Allah saw...the religion was taught over time...

    To be a hardliner with the family of a convert is unneccesary stress and may Allah swt help us all to soften our hearts and perfect our dawa to non-muslims AND muslims...

    hugs and duaas!

  • edited December 2011

    I am also an Italian convert I converted before meeting my husband he is lebanese muslim they are the best!! I think that a women wedding day is her day I think you have the right to be selfish one day out of the 365 days in a year I think if you stay calm and family sees how happy you both are this is what matters. I think that at the end of the day your weddding day is between you and your husband. Family needs to keep their needs and wants to themselves they already had their day!! Ramadan Kareem!! GOOD LUCK MABROUK

  • edited December 2011
    hi ladies! ramadan kareem!
    so happy to see so many converts here! i convered too and being from a very catholic spanish family, it has not been easy. if we weren't so far away from one another i would love to meet with you guys!

    anyway, the alcohol thing keeps coming up with us- even though we agreed to only have alcohol on my side of the room, FI doesn't want anyone to know about it because his parents are giving him a hard time. this means my family would have to keep quietabout the alcohol, which i know is impossible. it is very difficult to respect everyone's wishes, and FI's parents are being very pushy about what they want (no alcohol, only arabic music, only arab vendors, over 400 guests!!!...). not sure what to do at this point, but even though I am Muslim I am still Spanish and I still want to respect my family and my guests.... I guess this is a tough one for all of us...
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Maybe have like an afterparty with the dancing and alcohol. 
  • nmoshernmosher member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are doing the same as suggested above, dinner without alcohol and a dance later with alcohol.  This seems to staifsy even the Imam that we invited though he and his wife will leave before the dance.  I made an exception for my father and his guests as we have a gap between photos and the reception I suggested he could bring them to the dressing room the hotel provided and share a glass or two of champagne or wine.  This isn't perfect but at least it isn't in people's faces and provides a bit of a VIP reception with the bride and father which I am confident will save-face for him.  I assume no one will get "drunk" at this point so I don't think it will offend our conservative guests.  We also upgraded the meal and are serving appetizers and two kinds of fruit punch (had a good laugh over offering a choice of "white or red?") hoping that people would receognize that we are making an effort to meet hospitality expectations.
  • lenergyrlahlenergyrlah member
    edited December 2011
    I have the same problem (I'm not muslim, FI was born muslim but isn't practicing, his family is muslim).  We're thinking of doing an open bar (FI can't imagine a wedding without one) but having sparkling cider for the toast so his family can participate.  We will seat his family (parents, cousins, etc.) at their own tables so there won't be any alcohol at their table.  I know his parents won't be happy with the alcohol but everyone is going to have to compromise on something.

    Also they are not paying for the wedding and definitely not the alcohol so I do not think that it is 7aram to be at a party where alcohol is served, as long as they are not serving it or drinking.
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  • My fiance is Muslim, but not practicing. However, it is very important to his parents that there is no alcohol at the wedding.. they are from Saudi and alcohol is illegal there. We're disappointed to not be able to have a champagne toast, but there will be plenty of time to toast each other on our "honeymonth" (a Saudi tradition that I don't mind!!). We may also go out with close friends following the reception (which begins at 6pm and shouldn't last too too late considering there is no alcohol being served.)
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