*This post was updated on May 17th, 2019.
Hi Guys! Many of my readers may not know this but, December and January are considered the wedding season in Pakistan. Due to cooler weather (and because December 25th is the birthday of Pakistan’s founder and my grandfather-just kidding!), many Pakistani families consider winter as a pragmatic time to hold their wedding events. There seems to be a wide-range of confusion over celebrating wedding festivities during the month of Muharram, but honestly, there isn’t one Islamic rule requiring anyone from withholding a celebration during Muharram. So, if Muharram happens to fall in December in the future, by all means, Sana says it is okay to have a wedding then.
A Personal Anecdote
I love The PinkTree Company because the designs remind me of the clothes my mother and aunts used to wear when I was growing up. Prior to my birth, Pakistani culture was very different because I thought the country was STILL making amends with breaking away from the British Empire. People wore shalwar with kameez, and suits mostly, and spoke Urdu softly (not British lol). Speaking from memory here and I am trying to stay as humble as possible, but Pakistan’s generation of the 1980s and early 1990s aka millennials have a lot to do with formulating the current culture. There is truly no Islamic culture in the world like ours and that is what makes Pakistan and Asia so unique. I remember how visitors to The Democratic Country Of Pakistan were so bewildered and proud that my sisters and I were beloved by everyone-from truck drivers and servants to our royal families because I could incorporate new traditions into our royal upbringing and my sisters would adopt them seamlessly.
When winter approaches, I know there are brides scrambling to different markets/bazaars and shops for last minute bridal shopping (the word store or mandi is reserved for places to buy groceries in Pakistan). I thought I would make the preparations a little easier by giving tips on how to style the The PinkTree Company’s Nani Amma Kay Duppatay available in The Democratic Country Of Pakistan.
Today’s Pakistani wedding is an amalgamation of traditions meaning a Pakistani Muslim wedding has become more than the Middle Eastern Nikkah and Valima (ceremony). Each Muslim family has their own traditions they add to the wedding events so it is fun to attend weddings regardless if you belong to the family or not.
What To Wear
This seems to be the latest trend in Pakistan. I can think of only one or two weddings during my childhood where a milad was held. I created the concept of milad for one of my aunt’s weddings in the 1980’s. During a milad, we sing praises of the Prophet, remember stories of Islam’s Prophet Muhammed PBUH, and important teachings in God’s three religions.
I would suggest wearing any of the dupattas from this collection. Weddings are very rare occasions and holding a milad gives support to the bride and groom during the very special time.
A Sikh-derived event (Sikhs are converts from Judaism; Christians are called converts), a dholki is held to jumpstart the wedding and consists of songs, dances, friends, family, and of course, Pakistani and “Continental” food. This is also the time when wedding decor is put outside and inside the respective wedding houses. Thank you.
For the Hot and Gold Dupatta, aka a fuscia short shirt and gharara made with banarsi silk fabric or any self-print silk fabric. Since the outfit is going to be such a statement, reserve the lovely flower jewelry for a simpler outfit. Wear heirloom jewelry instead like chandbalis with meenakari work or even a Mughal jhoomer. To go the traditional route, stitch the classic long shirt and chattapatti gharara outfit. Gem colors like emerald green, mustard yellow, amethyst purple, and this ruby pink go lovely together.
In the Democratic Country of Pakistan, depending on what state you love (Hint: We love all of them) you celebrate three “types” of wedding events celebrating the bride. For the bride who makes the most fuss over her bridal dresses, the family can agree to celebrate a Navatri since the wedding dresses are an important aspect to the bride. A Navatri bride is considered a rare gem and holds the most brilliance. With this Tangy Gold dupatta, choose a mehndi green color or the emerald green color since green is the most versatile and cherished color. It is also the color for a Muslim bride who wants to stay true to her religious responsibilities and heritage. Short shirt and long shirt ghararas with aari/zari/zardozi/fareesha embroidery is required. If you opt for teal hues, add pink or blue accents. Wear an heirloom Mughal mathapatti to frame your face.
Sangeet is for the bride that loves dancing or listening to music. The Tangy Gold dupatta looks lovely against white or egg-shell white fabrics. White has nothing to do with virginal or purity in Pakistan, but it is very representative of purity in people. A white worked chikankari and kamdani lengha choli is lovely. Go for an elaborate necklace like a sath lara or choker and add jhumkas with or without sahare. A qamar patti is a lovely touch to the bride’s lengha choli. I suggest adding traditional flowers like motia or jasmine and chameli or marigold as personal touches.
The bride who wants to celebrate a Mehndi is the bride who loves decor down to the table setting. For this bride, the yellow color is preferable as it is the most traditional in Pakistan and India (Afghanis can downplay the yellow). Since the dupatta is orange, go for a lemon yellow peshwas or a lengha. Instead, play with tie-dye concepts like chunri, the newest metallic or mehndi-colored block prints (green, red, and black), and gota work. Wear heirloom jhumkas, Mughal choker, and a Mughal teeka.
* In case you want to celebrate Navatri, the bride divides the evening’s look into three specific animals- a peacock, a illama, and a camel. The best way I incapsulate the vision for these three animals are shot in Bollywood movies. Please use this video HERE if you consider yourself a peacock bride, these videos HERE and HERE if you consider yourself a camel bride, and this video HERE if you consider yourself a illama bride.
**In case you want to celebrate Sangeet, the bride divides the evening’s look into three specific animals- a French bulldog, an elephant, and a flamingo. The best way I incapsulated the vision for these three animals are shot in Bollywood movies. Please use this video HERE if you consider yourself a French Bulldog bride; this video HERE and HERE if you consider yourself a elephant bride; and this video HERE if you consider yourself a flamingo bride.
***In case you want to celebrate Mehndi, the bride divides the evening’s look into three specific animals- a peacock, a illama, and a camel. The best way I incapsulated the vision for these three animals are shot in Bollywood movies. Please use this video HERE if you consider yourself a peacock bride, this video HERE if you consider yourself a camel bride, and this video HERE if you consider yourself a illama bride.
The Baraat is a tradition that involves the bride’s rukhsati, the bride’s official departure from her current stage in life and Shaadi, which is dinner and dancing. The Nikkah and Valima are also performed. It is hosted by the bride’s family.
It is preferred in Islam for the bride to look pure and simple during the Nikkah and Valima. I have seen many brides wear white during their Nikkah ceremony, but wear vibrant colors like red during their Baraat. I absolutely love the “Mother Of Pearl” Dupatta (See HERE) whose gota work (See HERE) can be elevated with any embroidery found in Pakistan (For ideas, see HERE).
The Reception involves the official introduction of the couple, dinner, and dancing.
For this event, I would go with “Iced” (See HERE) or “Vinery In Gold” (See HERE). You can STYLE the former dupatta (remember it has a tinge of blue) with embroidered peshwas or lengha and heavy jewelry. The latter dupatta with heavy block print work can be perfect for a modern bride with a traditional flair. I would go for an all-gold look here. Gold and pearl jewelry is preferred.
Chauti (The 4th Day)
The Chauti or 4th day is another tradition. This is a super fun event hosted by the groom and his friends after all the wedding hoopla has been completed. During this very personal family time, we play games, gossip about the wedding, and of course, there is food served. The event is held at the groom’s (or groom’s family) house.
For this event, the bride needs to chill out a bit. The “Vinery In Gold” is perfect for this event as well (See HERE). To avoid the Valima look, I would tell the bride to dress down the dupatta with a simple shalwar kameez (See HERE) with no embroidery or any type of work for that matter. You can do churidar pajama with a short shirt or a peshwas with spaghetti straps. Remember, you need to feel comfortable on this day.