Planning a simple nikkah can be complicated if you’ve never been part of the planning stages of one before. I recently had my simple nikkah ceremony done and that was only within a couple weeks of agreement between my parents and in-laws. I would’ve appreciated the help of a simple nikkah ceremony step-guide parting from that experience so that I could relieve myself from all the worries I had of missing anything. Hopefully, this blog will put any future bride in peace.
Step 1: Apply for a marriage license at your city hall.
A marriage license is necessary to make your marriage official by law and you will need the sheet to hand to your Imam later. Two identification cards must be brought per spouse and about $150. Note, there are options to do this process alone bringing the identification cards of your spouse without them being present, however, it’s recommended to go together. This process can be quick depending on when you go and how busy the city hall is. I had my certificate signed and paid within half an hour.
Step 2: Go to the masjid you would like to host your simple nikkah and book a date with the Imam.
Almost every Imam who hosts salah at a masjid has hosted nikkah ceremonies. After prayer, my dad connected with the Imam and asked about the ceremonial process and booked mine. I recommend going to the Imam in person to see how organized they are and if you feel comfortable with them leading your ceremonial speech. In the GTA, Imam’s ask for roughly $300 to $500 depending on how much experience they have and which masjid you go to. About the same prices apply if you do it at home. I had my simple nikkah ceremony done at the masjid as we thought that would be a better experience for us personally.
Note – The Imam will ask for:
- The contact information of two witnesses of the marriage, generally males that are reliable and will attend the event. I had one witness from my side, and one from my husband’s.
- The Mahr and whether it will be paid in cash or at a later date
- The marriage license
Step 3: Create a simple nikkah ceremony invitation and send it to close family and friends
An invitation can easily be made through Canva since there are many free templates available. Just ensure you include you and your spouse’s full names, the date, time, and location of the ceremony. After modifying the words on a template, you can either download the image and send it to family and friends through social media, or print it at Staples and hand-deliver the invitations. For ours, my spouse created it on Canva and we sent it out through whats-app.
Step 4: Order and package (or prepare) food to distribute
Distributing snacks at the end of the ceremony is traditional for most cultures since the event is taking about an hour’s time of anyone invited so they could get hungry. I bought cultural snacks from local shops like dates cut with almonds, samosas, meat rolls, lychee juice boxes, and baklava. I bought small paper boxes to put them in and take. It’s optional to get stickers with words or have the box written on with both your names. I opted out.
Make sure to ask family or friends for help with the food preparation and distribution at the masjid if there are many people you are inviting because it’s better you take care of your appearance and smell that day rather than scrambling with the food.
Step 5: Get a good pen
You will sign your nikkah papers with the pen you bring, so get a good one if you think it’s worth it. I was rushed to use an ugly pen by my brother though I brought a good pen which is a unique situation. Sigh, I’m still salty about that. Anyway, one of you will need to bring a working pen and if your family is fine with it, you can use a pretty one.
Step 6: Prepare for ring exchanges
Ring preparation depends on whether you have had an engagement party or not. My husband and I treated our simple nikkah like an engagement so that we could have a halal relationship earlier until the actual wedding ceremony.
The ring exchange happens at the end of the event when the groom is allowed to finally see the bride.
Make sure to get your sizes checked before buying the rings but don’t worry if it doesn’t fit, it’s a quick job for jewelers to fix. Anyway, I custom-designed my husband’s platinum ring which included a high quality blue sapphire by Lanka Gems Toronto. I also had the ring engraved with our initials which he very much appreciated. He loved the ring and it only took a couple weeks to get done so I highly recommend getting them custom-made if your budget allows for it.
Step 7: Plan for your ride home and photographer
I recommend spending on a comfortable ride home or borrowing a car from family or friends that are willing as it betters your experience. There are many rental car companies that provide luxury vehicles, I personally borrowed my dad’s 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE which I love. Photos can be taken from anyone with a good camera, I had mine done from a close friend with a Canon camera.
Step 8: A month or so after your nikkah, get your marriage certificate.
This process is done online in Ontario, and will take about half an hour to complete as it asks for all your personal information. There is a fee of about $15 per certificate.
That wraps it up! Make sure that you have chosen your partner wisely and that you are ready for marriage. Afterall, you will be husband and wife according to Islam once your simple nikkah is done. Praying Istikhara is recommended as it helps with the decision-making process.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it was helpful!