Marriage in Islam is entirely different from the wedding in the United States. In Islam, marriage is viewed as a religious duty and sacred social contract between bride and groom. Two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to attend my Saudi friend's wedding in Jacksonville city. The celebration wedding was held in two different places one for men and another one for women. I attend this wedding with my wife and my three children. For my culture event essay, I would share my experience of attending a wedding celebration of my Muslim friend because this event is reflecting the unique Muslim culture regarding wedding's process, ceremony, and reception. In the pre-wedding ceremony that take place before the actual wedding, I met with my friend" the groom" and we went with two other friends to the bride's house so that he can sign the marriage contract. To make the marriage legal according to civil and Islam law, the marriage process starts by signing a marriage contract with the supervision of marriage officers Madhu and two male witnesses. In the contract, both parties define various terms and conditions of their liking that both mutually agreed. After the bride family welcome us, the marriage process started by reading the terms in the contract in front of us. Then, Madhu asked the bride and groom demonstrating their agreement by saying the word "I accept." Then, the couple and two male witnesses signed the contract. After my friends had signed the contract, he paid the Meher, which is a monetary amount that groom pays for his bride; and provided golden jewelry and gifts for her and her family including her parents, sisters, and brothers. Then, the bride's father invited us to the dinner. .
In wedding ceremony day, the real preparations began. Usually, the entire event is quite expensive. The groom arranged the festivities in two separate places one for women in Hyatt Regency hotel and one for men in the Holiday Inn hotel to keep them separately as an Islamic law.