Crisis in Marriage Do I want to get there?

I need advise on the following concerning nikkah.
1) What is the Islamic Ruling on the Mendhi Ceremony?
2) Is it permissable to exchange gifts before the nikkah? (Eg. Boy's family giving of presents to the bride to be)
3) After nikkah & walimah, does the groom take his bride to his parent's house and bid farewell from there? (If they will be living on their own)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "The Nikah with the most amount of barakah is the one with the least expenses".
Unfortunately, today many marriages are void of barakah, and there is so much turbulence and grief in marriages. One of the major contributing factors to that is extravagance in our marriages. Travelling to Dubai just so that the colour of the toothpick matches the tablecloth, wedding cards, mehendi ceremonies, visiting beauty parlours, decorating the hall, photography, etc. are some of the many unislamic practices that have crept in our marriages. Mufti Jawed from Sri Lanka is a second year Ifta student. He is from the memon community. He has outlined the different unislamic practices in Muslim marriages and substantiated them from the relevant sources in response to the above query. This detailed fatwa is worth reading in full and should be passed over to as many people as possible. May Allah Ta'ala accept the efforts of Mufti Jawed Sallamahu and grant him barakat in his ‘Uloom. Ameen!
Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Damat Barkatuh)
Darul Ifta - Camperdown
We acknowledge your zeal and enthusiasm for enquiring about the Shari'ah ruling in such aspects of life, and we encourage you to keep up with your efforts. Hence, we wish to explain briefly a few facts related to Nikah (marriage) before we proceed with answering the questions posed in the query.

Unlike majority of the other religions and sects, Islam does not confine its teachings to the worshiping of the Divine Lord, but its teachings encompass all aspects of life, whether it is acts of ‘ibadah (virtuous deeds) like prayer, fasting, zakat and hajj or other aspects of life like business, politics, marriage, interpersonal relationships, cleanliness, etc. Consider the following Hadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):
بنى الإسلام على خمس شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله ، وإقام الصلاة ، وإيتاء الزكاة ، والحج ، وصوم رمضان. (رواه البخاري)
The foundation of Islam consists of five things. To witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah; and to be steadfast in prayers; and to give out charity; and Hajj; and to fast in the month of Ramadhan. (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.1 Pg.9/10 - Dar al-Fikr)
In the abovementioned Hadith, Islam is compared to a building. Basic beliefs and ‘ibadah are considered the foundation of the building whilst the other aspects of life form the actual building of Islam. Hence, as much as we exert our efforts to make the foundation strong, we should also portray the teachings of Islam in our weddings, businesses, interpersonal relationships, etc. for us to be called Muslims in the real sense. It was this Islam that had attracted the non-Muslims of the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and virtually compelled them to accept Islam. It is very sad that the Muslims of today have confined Islam to the basic beliefs and ‘ibadah alone, and adopted the ways of the west in the rest of their affairs. It is important for us to learn the teachings of Islam in all these affairs and conduct ourselves according to these teachings.

A few broad rules of Shari'ah
Before we point out the unislamic practices taking place in Muslim marriages, we wish to elaborate a few teachings of Islam in order to understand the severity of those practices.
Extravagance: Islam does not prohibit us from spending and consuming, but Islam forbids us from being extravagant. Allah Ta'ala mentions in the Holy Quran:
... وكلوا واشربوا ولا تسرفوا إنه لا يحب المسرفين
... Eat and drink and do not be extravagant. Surely, He does not like the extravagant.(Verse: 7:31)
Under the commentary of the abovementioned Verse, Mufti Shafi Saheb (RA) explains that eating more than what is needed to remove hunger is not permissible. Similarly, eating so less that one is unable to fulfil his obligations, despite having the means, will also fall under the prohibition of israf (extravagance) mentioned in the Verse.
Hence, one should adopt moderation in his eating and drinking.
The implementation of moderation and abstinence from extravagance has also been emphasised in other Verses of the Holy quran.
إن المبذرين كانوا إخوان الشياطين وكان الشيطان لربه كفورا
Surely, squanderers (the extravagant) are brothers of satans, and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord.
(Verse: 17:27)
والذين إذا أنفقوا لم يسرفوا ولم يقتروا وكان بين ذلك قواما
(The true servants of Allah are) those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, and it (i.e. their spending) is moderate in between (the two extremes).
(Verse: 25:67)
Mufti Saheb (RA) further explains that this ruling of moderation is not restricted only to eating and drinking, but will apply in clothing, living standards and every other aspect of life.
(Ma'arif al-Quran (English Translation) Vol.3 Pg.569/570 - Maktabah Darul Uloom Karachi)
Therefore, all unnecessary expences in a marriage will be regarded as extravagance and will fall under the prohibition mentioned above.
Imitating the disbelievers and transgressors: Islam prohibits us from following the ways and conducts of other religions and sects. Allah Ta'ala mentions in the Holy Quran:
ولا تركنوا إلى الذين ظلموا فتمسكم النار وما لكم من دون الله من أولياء ثم لا تنصرون
And do not incline towards the wrongdoers, lest the Fire should catch you, and you have no supporters other than Allah, then you should not be helped. (Verse: 11:13)
It has been mentioned by reliable commentators of the Holy Quran that those who follow and imitate the nonbelievers and transgressors in personal looks, fashion and ways of living will fall within the ambit of the warnings mentioned in the abovementioned Verse. (Ma'arif al-Quran (English Translation) Vol.4 Pg.678 - Maktabah Darul Uloom Karachi)
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has prohibited us from following and imitating the ways of nonbelievers and transgressors:
عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم)، "من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم". (رواه أبو داؤد)
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "Whosoever imitates or follows a nation, will be regarded from amongst them".
Under the explanation of the abovementioned Hadith, it has been mentioned that whosoever imitates or replicates the clothing, etc. of the non-Mulims, or those Muslims who transgress the rules of Shari'ah, will also have a share in their sins. Similarly, whosoever imitates the pious from amongst the believers, will have a share in the rewards of those pious people. (Bazhl al-Majhood fi hal Sunan Abi Dawud Vol.12 Pg.59 - Dar al-Bashair al-Islamiyah)
Moreover, the Jurists have explained that adopting practices that symbolise other religions and hold religious values could take one out of the fold of Islam. For example, wearing a Jewish hat, fastening a string around the body in pursuing the ways of Hindu priests, applying sindhoor upon the forehead, etc. are not permissible and could take one out of the fold of Islam.
يكفر بوضع قلنسوة المجوس على رأسه على الصحيح ... وبشد الزنار في وسطه ... وبخروجه إلى نيروز المجوس لموافقته معهم فيما يفعلون في ذلك اليوم
(Fatawa al-Hindiyyah Vol.2 Pg.276 - Maktabah Rasheediyah)
(Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.19 Pg.550 - Jami'ah Farooqiyah)

Compulsion of what is not obligatory: The obligation of what is merely a preferable act is forbidden in Shari'ah. For example, it is preferable to read Quran and send the reward to the deceased, but people started gathering on stipulated dates (like the 3rd day after demise, 40th day, Thursdays, etc.) and regarded them obligatory; thus, Shari'ah prohibited such gatherings in spite of the gathering being for a virtuous act. If such is the ruling for virtuous acts, then the prohibition of the obligation of something that is not virtuous, and is merely a custom, will be more severe.
أن الإصرار على المندوب يبلغه إلى حد الكراهة فكيف إصرار البدعة التي لا أصل لها في الشرع.
(Al Si'ayah fi Kashf ma fi Sharh Wiqayah Vol.2 Pg.265 - Suhail Acedemy)
Hence, all practices in marriages that people regard as compulsory or give it the importance of a compulsory act of Shari'ah, will be considered impermissible in Shari'ah.
Innovation in Deen: If a person carries out an action thinking that it is part of deen, whilst it is not part of deen, he will be sinful for his actions, as he has included in Islam what is not part of it.
عن عائشة قالت: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد ". (رواه البخاري)
It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "Whosoever innovates in Islam that which is not part of it, such an action is rejected and futile". (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.3 Pg.222 - Dar al-Fikr)
Actions done to show and please others: The ultimate objective of our lives in this world is to please Allah Ta'ala; hence, any action done to solely please the creation of Allah Ta'ala is disliked in Shari'ah. Consider the following:
وعن عبد الله بن عمرو أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: " من سمع الناس بعمله سمع الله به أسامع خلقه وحقره وصغره ". (رواه البيهقي في " شعب الإيمان)
Mulla ‘Ali Qari (RA) explains the meaning of the abovementioned Hadith that if a person does actions to show and please other people, Allah Ta'ala will make his bad habits known to everyone, and will ridicule him in this world.
(Mirqat al-Mafateeh Vol.10 Pg.64/65 - Maktabah Imdadiyah)
Moreover, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) resembles such actions to ascribing partners to Allah Ta'ala and regards them as Shirk Kahfi (a lower form of ascribing partners to Allah Ta'ala).
وعن شداد بن أوس أنه بكى فقيل له : ما يبكيك ؟ قال : شيء سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول فذكرته فأبكاني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : " أتخوف على أمتي الشرك والشهوة الخفية " قال : قلت يا رسول الله أتشرك أمتك من بعدك ؟ قال : " نعم أما إنهم لا يعبدون شمسا ولا قمرا ولا حجرا ولا وثنا ولكن يراؤون بأعمالهم . والشهوة الخفية أن يصبح أحدهم صائما فتعرض له شهوة من شهواته فيترك صومه " . (رواه البيهقي في " شعب الإيمان" )
It has been narrated on the authority of Shaddad bin Aus (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that he was weeping one day. Thus, someone asked him as to why he was weeping. Upon this, he remarked that it is something I heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying; the memory of which makes me weep. He mentions that he heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, "I fear upon my ummah the lighter from of shirk and desire'. He says that upon this I asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), "will your ummah ascribe partners to Allah Ta'ala after you?" Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, "Yes; they will not worship the sun or the moon or stones or idols, but they will do actions to please others...
(Mishkat al-Masabeeh Pg.455/6 - Qadeemi Kutub khana)
To be Concluded