The Top Five Walima (Reception) Blunders

I haven't been to many weddings in my lifetime. And noooo, that's not because I'm a nuisance to have at weddings! It's mostly because my current social circle is either already married or single, or friends from past lives in various cities got married when I happened to move away. So anyway, I have been to a few weddings from our people (aka Muslims!), but have heard MANY stories about wedding trends from friends. Some sounded cool, but some sounded a little illogical. Here's a rundown of my take on these trends:

1. Midnight Dinners

Ok, so this is an exaggeration, but my God, why on earth does dinner have to be served after 9:00pm when the invitation states that guests need to be there three hours earlier? Does the bride need more time to get ready? Are the chickens being slaughtered out back for dinner? Or do people just like holding reception guests hostage and hearing their stomachs groan? Get organized people, this ain't the motherland! Let's eat and ensure that your guests are happy!

2. The Fashionably Late Couple

It also irritates me when the bride and groom decide to enter the hall three hours after the guests have arrived. Not only does this cause great restlessness among children and adults alike in attendance, but it's somewhat annoying to have spent your time getting ready for the wedding and arriving there on time only to wait. Ugh! Let the couple enter early and then let the show begin! They aren't Hollywood celebrities that need to arrive at the end of an after party...they're human, so get 'em in there and on the darn stage!

3. Volcanicly Spicy Food

I know that most brown people can tolerate spicy food, but there are those of us who sweat profusely and cry upon eating it. And what's even more frustrating is when there aren't any other options left, so you're left eating roti, lettuce and yogurt...like a rabbit. I mean, these days, more than solely brown people attend brown weddings, so there needs to be mild food available for those who aren't spice inclined! PLEASE!

4. Gossipy Aunties and Wedding Nay-Sayers

There's nothing like seeing aunties sit and gossip about how the wedding should be this or decorations should be that or the bride should be wearing this, etc. Here's a suggestion: why don't these aunties re-new their Nikah and do things their own way?! My God, way to spread negative energy. And let's remind these aunties again once and for all that this is NOT the motherland and there is MORE than one way to throw a walima.

P.S. If you aren't happy with things, the door is yonder!

5. The Depressed Bride and Emotionless Groom

Ok, so, I know it's cultural for the bride to look very shy and not have that special twinkle in her eye (at least from what I've seen). But really, come on! You JUST did the Nikah with your husband, you guys are HALAL now! Let's see you two acting normal with each other...talk, smile, laugh, high 5 (oh yeah, halal baby!!), whatever it takes! But for crying out loud, look UP when people take pictures and stop looking as if your life has ended now that you're married.

As for the groom, let's try and make your wife feel comfortable, eh? Keep a list of jokes in your pocket if you have to, but loosen up dude, that sherwani ain't made of steel!

On the plus side, there are many stories I've heard where simple methods have been employed to make the reception meaningful and comforting for all. For example, I'd start by making sure dinner was at a stomach-friendly time, have the bride and groom enter relatively soon after guests have arrived, ensuring the food is amenable for most stomachs, and squatting people off the guest list who will do nothing but sit and whisper under their breath!

As for the more creative ideas to make weddings memorable and intimate...yeah, I won't be spilling any of those beans quite yet! ;-)

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