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Agony Aunt: Convincing Parents for an Intimate Wedding Celebration

by in Culture & Lifestyle on 16th June, 2024

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Salaams Aunt Maya. Alhamdulillah I’m getting married this December and I couldn’t be more excited! My dilemma is that my parents are insisting on a grand lavish wedding similar (or probably better) than those they have attended; but my fiance and I would much rather have a small wedding with close friends and family only. I tried talking to my parents once about saving that money for themselves or taking a family Umrah trip but they brushed it off and things started heating up really fast. Do you have any tips for talking to them? I do want them to be happy with the wedding but it makes me really uneasy to spend a ton of money on the venue and food when we can do so much more! 

Maya Areem Responds: 

Salam Alaykum,

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! It’s truly a joyous occasion, and it’s heartwarming to hear about your excitement. 

Navigating differences in wedding preferences between generations can indeed be challenging, and the key is in approaching it with sensitivity. I understand that you’ve already tried expressing your thoughts to your parents, but sometimes the initial conversation might not yield the desired outcome. This may also be an opportunity for you and your future husband to work as a unit and approach your parents together

Here are a few tips to help guide your discussions further:

Consider approaching them with your potential husband instead of alone. Making it clear that this is something important to both of you and how you start your lives together may help. Begin the conversation by expressing your gratitude for their enthusiasm and desire to celebrate your marriage. Reassure them that your intention is not to disappoint them but to find a balance that aligns with both your vision and theirs. 

It can also be difficult to draw these boundaries when parents are the ones spending the money instead of yourselves. Before you enter the conversation, think about your grounds for compromise that will respect both your wishes and your parents’ expectations. Consider what would be the middle ground in terms of money spent and number of guests, as this will help guide the conversation. Perhaps there are specific elements of a grand wedding that they value, and finding a middle ground can help maintain peace. For example, you can reflect on which is more important, only having small numbers or spending less? If they are set on having a lavish wedding, this can be balanced with smaller guest numbers and so on.

This can help ensure that you are calm and confident when you have the actual conversation with your parents. Try sharing your vision for a meaningful ceremony focused on close relationships and spiritual connections. Use “I” and “We” statements to avoid sounding accusatory, making it more about your preferences rather than criticising theirs.

Discuss your preference for a more modest wedding in accordance with Islamic principles by drawing on the teachings of the Sunnah to emphasise the values of moderation, simplicity, gratitude, and consideration for others in life events. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ provided guidance on the simplicity of marriages, stating, “The marriage which produces most blessing is that which involves least burden.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 3097)

Explain with kindness and respect that you have been reflecting on the virtues of making the marriage process simple and accessible, which is guaranteed to bring ease and convenience in your lives as compared to unnecessary extravagance. 

Share your concerns with your parents about the financial aspects and express your desire to start your marital life on a solid financial footing, without burdening them with unnecessary expenses. Suggest alternative cost-effective options for the wedding that align with your vision, such as a simpler venue or an affordable catering plan.

For additional guidance from the Amaliah community, you can also read: Small Nikah to a £100k Wedding: 3 Brides Share Their Financial Tips With Us

If the conversations become challenging, consider involving a trusted elder. Sometimes an external perspective can help bridge the gap between generations.

Be open to finding a compromise that respects both your wishes and your parents’ expectations.

Remember, the key is to approach these conversations with love, respect, and understanding. May your wedding be a beautiful and blessed celebration, bringing joy to both your families.

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and love,

Love + Duas,

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.