How much is too much when it comes to your Shadi?

Care to know what is happening with the wedding ceremonies now? What is all that will be expected of you if you want to emerge successful at the end of the functions as being known for having thrown a great party? Do you need to break the bank? If you are about to organize a wedding or get married yourself, you better read on what the two event organizers we interviewed have to say. They are Hirra Waqas of Peppermint and Shazreh Khalid of Z and S Events.

Hirra Waqas Ali tells us, “Traditionally the functions were supposed to be a Mehndi, Baraat and Valima. The latest trend is that of throwing a Sangeet as well as multiple mehndis- one from the groom’s side and the other from the bride’s side.

The concept of joint reception has evolved but the number of parties keeps increasing. A joint reception or a Shalima (shadi/valima) seems to be happening a lot.  The cost for a Sangeet function varies from class to class. The upper class can have singers such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunto, Sukhbir who demand up-to 1 million. Singers such as Humaira Arshad & Ali Sethi demand about 5 lakhs. Sangeet is basically a commercialized version of a dholak.”

Zareen Khalid was the pioneer of event management in Pakistan. According to Shazreh Khalid, Zareen’s daughter, traditionally a wedding event commenced with the Milad followed by Mayun.

Bye Bye Milad/ Mayoon- Hello Sangeet

“The Mayoon has now been taken over by the Sangeet. A Sangeet is an event which has any kind of musical performance. According to Shazreh, the current trend is to have the mehndi/shaadi together which saves up on cost. The rasams, dances, rukhsati and dinner are all summed up in one event. The Valima is usually a function from the groom’s side of the family. So the groom pays for the Valima whereas the bride’s family pays for the baraat. When it comes to food, the one dish menu on staged events is strictly according to law. However, if you have a dholki without a stage, a menu with a larger variety can be served.

I Need 10 more jewellery sets for Sangeet daddy!

Traditionally, the jewellery used to be floral but now the trend is more towards polki or kundan. On the Sangeet, the bride usually wears traditional clothes with gota on it. There are two schools of thought when it comes to fashion- the old school and the new school. Kamiar Rokni for example follows the philosophy of the old school and Khadija Shah of Elan for one, belongs to the new school. The old school follows a traditional pattern of kundan, jhoomar, tikka, choker, sat-larra haar in jewellery and dabka, tila, sitaara and hand embroidery. On the other hand, the new school follows diamonds as well as polki, stones and crystals. All the embroidery is done by hand and this has a lot of detailing, with touches of dabka etc. But the look is more contemporary.”

Shazreh goes on to tell us, “Wedding décor is in white usually in fresh flowers such as gladiola or roses and mehndi cum sangeet is usually designed using yellow flowers traditionally known as the gainda. Flowers are my passion they can make or break a wedding event. Every event that I design is customized according to the requirements. I love using pastel colours for receptions and themed colourful decor for more festive events like mehndi and sangeet.”

(Yayyyy to Sushi for Sangeet!)

Hirra Waqas tells us, “The food can be as extravagant as sushi, Chinese, desi or as simple as only a one dish menu depending upon the scale of the Sangeet. If it’s a typical qawalli setup then the traditional one dish sometimes enough. Otherwise, the amount to which one can spend has no limits.

Farmhouse = I can party till dawn!

A Sangeet is often held at Bedian in a farm house. Residents of Bahria town have a proper venue in their community but the trend is towards Bedian. Although the law doesn’t allow functions to extend after 10 pm, the law does not apply on farm houses.”

The trend of destination weddings is on the rise in Pakistan. Amal Mujtabah got married in Nathia Gali in the Lawrence College lawns. Another wedding was done in Shigar Fort, hospitality by Serena, in Baltistan. Natasha of Natasha’s Salon in Karachi got married in Dubai. The famous Gulzar wedding took place in Istanbul, Turkey. So different venues are chosen within and outside of Pakistan depending upon what the client likes.”

One destination wedding Shazreh attended was of Amal Khan which took place in Muree which was fabulous. In Bedian, Shazreh has worked with different farm houses as well as people’s homes with big grounds. When questioned about Bahria Town she was of the view that it was not such a popular venue with people but again it depends from person to person.

My giveaway must make hearts stop!

Hirra Waqas: “There are two types of giveaways. One, which come with the invitation card which are in a paper or a crystal box. Another which is the traditional bid given on the Nikah in a pouch which includes chawara, makhana, badaam, saunf and supari. These can be upgraded according to status as well. Some can add eclairs, others chocolates and others can add more expensive chocolates.

Shazreh Khalid tells us that the giveaways for the bid usually is the traditional chawara, almond eggs and some dry fruit and the mithai post nikkah has either balooshahi, ludoo or Fazal ki barfi. Chocolates from Lal’s or Patchi and dates from Bateel are also in trend.

Which one is the bride?

In most weddings held in Punjab, particularly Lahore the trend is the heavier the look in makeup and jewellery, the better! One cannot differentiate the bride from the rest of the relatives. The bride does not shine as everybody is dressed equally formally. This pattern follows mostly in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan and Islamabad. In Karachi people still prefer to dress practically and not to go over the top,” says Hirra.

Is my wedding hashtag trending?

Social pressures are on all of us, but at the end of the day it is you who is important and not people’s opinions. People have short memories and usually trash all fancy boxes and pouches! On the other hand how would you get your hash tag trending on social media fabulously, if you didn’t put a solid dent into daddy’s pocket! Which kind of bride will you be?

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