Though I and my intended are Muslim, and though he is from Pakistan, I still wish to incorporate some "American" traditions into the wedding so long as they do not violate the restrictions of Islam. That is from my understanding that it's acceptable to do so. After all, as Islam has traveled the world it has taken on the customs of each various locale--adopting those permissible customs of the people.
And many people have asked me about my wedding attire--my wedding dress. And so I will say that it is a traditional (American) white gown. Although, technically it's actually ivory. It has lace, and beading, and all sorts of beautiful details. Since it has a halter top instead of full sleeves, I intend to pair it with a matching ivory satin jacket and, when in public, a beige headscarf as well.
I didn't choose my gown to disrespect my fiance--in fact I truly hope to dress in a more Pakistani style for our walima in Pakistan. I'm looking forward to that, but since we are having the nikah here where my family is I thought it worthwhile to incorporate some of my own local traditions.
And those traditions don't really stop with the dress. Planning the wedding has been a tedious balancing act between family traditions and Islam. Many of those family customs are based in superstition, and others in a religion which I do not follow--and it is those which I will avoid inshaAllaah. But what I hope for observers to really see from the wedding here in Raleigh is that while it is fully Islamic, it isn't simultaneously foreign.
And even though my initial wish about a wedding was that it be very simple and quick has not come to fruition, what I have been planning is an inclusive affair with diverse attendees--all of whom I want present on my happy day. I've gone to (what seem to me to be) great lengths to normalize the wedding as much as possible according to American customs--especially for my family, who are not Muslim and do not understand much at all of what will transpire. So I will include some things that not every Muslim girl in my position might, and some things which might not be at all necessary. Like my American wedding dress--it shows a part of my life and though small and seemingly inconsequential, a part of who I am.