Weddings are a social expression of the occasion of marriages. Moderation is the Islamic concept in all aspects of a Muslim's life. Weddings should not be ostentatious nor are they supposed to be expressions of pride and competition. It is not fair for the parents or the young couple to start their life debt ridden as a result of an occasion which lasted a couple of hours or a little longer. Expenses in all steps leading to marriage should not be a burden. Big cars, fancy wedding costumes, big parties, expensive hotels or halls, all such expenses should be avoided. But at the same time, it should not be a dull and gloomy occasion. It is an occasion of great joy and happiness and should be celebrated as such.
The most important is the walima - the dinner party. It is the sunnah so that relatives, friends and acquaintances may come to share the joy of the occasion, to give thanks to Allah and to entertain needy people within the community.
This was a pre-Islamic custom which Islam accepted. It was the responsibility of the husband or his family. The Prophet(SAW) saw some coloured perfume on AbdurRahman. He asked him about it and AbdurRahman replied, "I got married". The Prophet(SAW) told him, "Make a walima with at least one lamb." The Prophet(SAW) himself made a number of walimas each time he got married.
The walimas differed according to the financial position of the time. The best walima recorded was that of Zaynab. Nearly three hundred people were entertained and fed meat and bread. On other occasions the Prophet(SAW) asked his companions to bring whatever food was available.
The important part is the coming together, sharing the happiness and advertising the new relationship in a moderate and inexpensive manner.