Muslims see marriage as a very important and natural part of life. It is the means through which a family is created and a couple can establish a relationship.

The rituals of marriage are quite simple. Both bride and groom should freely consent, at least two witnesses need to attend the wedding ceremony (nikah or aqd) which is often conducted by an Imam or community leader. At the ceremony the bride and groom sign a marriage contract and the groom should give a gift (mahr) to the bride.

In addition to the nikah which will often happen in a home, mosque or community centre and is traditionally organised by the bride’s side, there is also a celebration called the walimah, usually organised by the groom’s side when the bride has joined her new family.

In many cultures the bride and groom may also have a henna party (mehndi) before the actual wedding. This is a party where relatives and close friends can party, sing, have fun and often decorate their hands with henna paste in preparation for the wedding itself.