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Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts for Wedding Guests

The United Arab Emirates is one of the top labor destinations across the globe. Apart from that, it also welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Needless to say, the UAE is a hot-bed of different cultures and traditions. But, being a Muslim country, there’s a couple of factors that have to be taken into consideration when attending a court marriage in Dubai or any of the 7 emirates. Here are important things to remember when you’re invited as a wedding guest in the country:

Do: Dress appropriately.

Residents and visitors alike have to dress modestly, most especially in public places and conservative areas. During the wedding reception or celebration, swimwear is acceptable in private swimming pools and private beaches. However, visitors are to cover up elsewhere. Remember that cross-dressing is illegal in the country. This can result in detainment by the local police. If the wedding is in a mosque, the women will be required in wearing a headscarf upon entering.

Don’t: Keep on taking photos during a wedding ceremony.

There is a reason why a lot of couples nowadays are opting for a device-free or unplugged wedding ceremony. As any professional wedding photographer will tell you, the wedding ceremony shots can easily be ruined completely with well-meaning guests trying to whip out their smartphones to take pics.

Unless the couple explicitly invited you in taking photos, it is best that you keep your smartphone away. That is what any photographer is hired for anyway. We know you’d like to take quick snaps of the happy newlyweds. But, do you want to be among the guests whose iPhones interrupted the snaps of the couple’s first kiss?

Instead, allow yourself to be present during the ceremony by turning off your phone. Simply enjoy being immersed in the special time and remember that a couple can share professional photos after the day.

Read also: Tips for Planning a Simple Wedding in UAE

Do: Try to arrive early.

As wedding guests, you’re all expected to arrive on time. Court marriage in Dubai, in particular, is scheduled by marriage officers to a tee. This includes the start time for the ceremony up to the speeches and other traditions. Although it is acceptable for a bridal party to arrive late (as it’s considered fashionable), it’s most definitely a faux pas if you are the one who’s late.

Make whatever preparations that you need to make sure that you arrive at the wedding venue twenty minutes before the scheduled start time. Should it be your first time to go to the venue location, try to leave for the wedding earlier to allow ample time for traffic, navigation, and parking.

Of course, you have to arrive at a designated pick-up location exactly on time or earlier if the couple organized a group transport. Nobody wants to wait a long time for a guest to arrive and for the bus to leave.

Don’t: Stuff with food and beverage during the wedding.

Food and beverage are among the most memorable aspects of any wedding. However, they are the biggest wedding costs. If a wedding you’ll be attending has a buffet dinner, dessert station, open bar or feasting menu, then be mindful of the serving sizes. Only take a fair share or what is offered to you. Remember that a couple has organized just enough for everyone. The food and beverage are always planned to reflect the exact number of guests. Going overboard will leave other guests empty-handed.

Enjoy the catering, by all means. However, be respectful of the other guests. Don’t try to take advantage of free food. Keep it classy!

Do: Make sure you have a blast.

The main priority of any newlywed is for guests to have an amazing time during the wedding and the celebrations. From the wedding decorations to the DJ, every single element of a wedding is chosen thoughtfully to make sure you’ll have a great time. Return the favor by making the most of what’s provided!

Let loose, get up and groove, and mingle with the other guests. Celebrate the milestone moment of the happy couple. Any element that the couple has organized is for the benefit of the guests, including the photo booth, party favors and lawn games.

If the décor, venue or catering is not your preference, don’t make negative comments. The worst thing you can do is complain. This is a memorable experience for the newlyweds.

Read also: Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Tips

Don’t: Ignore the rules of interacting in a Muslim country.

It’s important that you don’t offer to hands for shaking unless a member of the opposite sex is a Muslim extends his/her hand first. People don’t prefer shaking hands in UAE for religious reasons. It’s also customary to accept any food and drink provided with the right hand. If you’re going to be interacting with Muslims during the wedding, don’t ask them if they want pork and alcoholic beverages.

For information regarding the legal aspects of getting married in Dubai, call us here in Dubai Court Marriage!

Hazim Darwish Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.