12+ Months Before
- Begin to envision your ceremony. Should it be long and symbolic? Short and sweet? Do you want to include all the rituals or just the highlights?
- Pick wedding date and time preferences. Muslims favor weddings during the month of Shawwal and avoid weddings during the sacred months of Muharram and Ramadan. Sunday is favored for weddings because it’s the start of the week. The Islamic year follows a lunar calendar, so corresponding Gregorian dates vary from year to year — consult your local mosque to determine when dates will fall.
- Choose a location and officiant. The wedding needn’t take place in a mosque, and any Muslim who understands Islamic tradition can officiate. However, many mosques have marriage officers, called qazi or madhun, who can oversee any marriages held there and confirm appropriate civil documents.
- If either you or your mate isn’t Muslim, consult your mosque about intermarriage and possible conversion. Because Islam is a patrilineal religion (passed down through the father), a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman of another monotheistic faith (such as Christianity or Judaism) without a conversion. However, a Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam.
- If this is the second wedding for either of you, contact your mosque about remarriage requirements. While divorce and remarriage are allowed in Islam, you’ll need legal documents proving the divorce is final, and there may be a three-month waiting period.