All Posts By

Maryam Saleem Khan

Culture Entertainment

5 Wedding Venues for Bridal Season 2017/18


The tinker of wedding bells sparks an enthusiasm and fervor in the entire family, be it the groom’s or the bride’s. A typical wedding season is bustling with excitement of pre marriage arrangements. From hall bookings to deciding the menu and sending out invitations the amount of work is cumbersome. And all this needs to be done within a set budget.

If you are getting married in the beautiful city of Lahore you are in luck! Here we have a detailed guide of all you can desire to know about some of the best options for your wedding venue selection. Other than these venues, farmhouses remain a wonderful option for those who seek a more customized location that can be personalized according to your taste. You can check about these from the best event managers in the city.

Brides & You carried out a survey to compare different options available to help you decide upon a venue for the big day! Bookings run out fast, so hurry up and get on with it before your favourite venue gets booked.

Pearl Continental Hotel

Pearl Continental is perhaps the most popular venue for holding a wedding party. Located on the Mall Road in Lahore, it has many banquet halls and two are in the pipeline. Crystal, Emerald, Shalimar, Palace, Kohi-Noor, Shahi Khema and Pearl are some of the most popular and established wedding venues. Ballroom A and Ballroom B are under construction, soon to be launched.

The capacity of each hall varies. Crystal Hall can accommodate up to 500 people. Emerald can hold 200. Shalimar can hold 300 people. Palace and Koh-e-Noor have a capacity of 500. Shahi Khema can hold a total of 600. Ball Room A and B will have a capacity of 800 people.

PC offers a standard one-dish menu. If mutton is on the menu the cost will be Rs 1725 approx. per-head. In the case of chicken the cost is Rs 1425 approx. per head.

PC has a carpeted stage, chairs and tables. The flowers and other décor arrangements such as the sofa and lighting etc have to be imported from proper décor vendors, which can cost between Rs 50,000 and two lakhs depending on how lavish it is.
The months November and March are the busiest. The pre booking of a hall all depends upon availability, so you better plan well in advance.

Garrison Golf & Country Club

Another favourite among the wedding venues seems to be Garrison Golf and Country Club. The Qasar-e-Noor Nauroze hall boasts of close proximity to Cantonment and Defence Housing Authority and is quite a popular choice. The décor and colours make you feel like you are entering a grand palace of some royal era.

The place offers a wide range of menus that range from Rs 1400 to Rs 1900 depending on the choice of mutton and chicken dishes; both curry and rice. Also, on the menu are the traditional Lahori Puri and Pathooray. The rates of Qasar-e-Noor halls are Rs 50,000 for a full hall and Rs 35000 for half occupancy, but they offer discounted rates for Armed forces personnel and Garrison Golf Club members. Qasar-e-Noor offers an approved panel of decorators, out of whom any one can be selected.


If you are looking for an old world charm setting for your special day, Faletti’s Hotel is your go-to choice indeed. The place itself offers that colonial ambience which is due to strike a chord with old school romanticism.

The wide range of menu options is priced between Rs 1250 to Rs 1800 approx. and the hotel offers its own especially appointed event decorator, who can be hired from Rs 50000. The spacious newly refurbished hotel offers four halls, the smallest being Shalimar with a seating for 100 people. The busiest season is from October to mid April and it is recommended to book way earlier to avoid disappointments. There is ample parking at the venue and the staff at the Hotel is courteous and friendly.

Royal Palm

As time passes trends change and new options pop up. Royal Palm is another option open for weddings. Located on the canal bank road, it holds three banquet halls: Summit Hall, Dome Hall and Fair Way. Summit holds 300, Dome 200 and Fair Way 120. Rates are Rs 25,000 for Summit, Rs 25,000 for Dome and Rs 15,000 for Fair Way. The décor charges vary between Rs 50,000 and 100,000, depending upon client’s preference. The menu is one dish and the price per head which includes tax and beverages is Rs 2000 approx for mutton and Rs 1750 approx for chicken dishes.

Lahore Grande

Lahore Grande is a banquet hall located on 144 Upper Mall, Lahore. It has three halls, namely Mirage, Empire and Signature. Mirage can accommodate up to 250 people. Empire can hold up to 300 people and Signature can hold up to 600.

The charges per head are Rs 1100 approx. plus tax for chicken and Rs 1450 approx. plus tax for mutton. The menu décor prices vary starting from a minimum of Rs 20,000 and can go up to as high as 700,000. The vendors for the décor are provided by Lahore Grande and it is up to the client to decide on how luxurious a décor he wants. The busiest seasons according to the manager are from November to April. The prices remain the same irrespective of the wedding seasons.

Wedding is a special occasion not only in a couple’s life but in also in the cultural setting of South East Asia, for the entire family involved. The entire journey from the engagement to the date setting and finally the big day can get extremely taxing. Gone are the days when functions were held in house lawns. But we also feel that lavish spending on weddings to the extent of it becoming a carefully staged show, can be a waste of money and useful resources. There is elegance in simplicity but you will still need a venue to accommodate all your guests who come in for the ceremony to shower the couple with best of wishes for a happily ever after!

Editor's Pick

The stars, the studs and the evening


Sequins, zardozi, mukesh, applique and the dazzle of lots of stars- this is what the PLBW day 3 was made of. The first part of the evening showcased collections from Tabya Khan, Farah and Fatima, Zuria Dor and IVY Couture. One of the positive impacts of PFDC Loreal Paris Fashion Week is the platform it provides to the new entrants of the Fashion World. Some of which survive and evolve to dazzle; others provide a flicker and then gradually disappear.

During the afternoon shows, Ivy Couture’s experimented with fabrics including chiffon, net and lamay giving their collection a wearable and pretty runway look.The highlight of their collection, however, was the sister act, carried out by the Instagram sensations, Mawra and Urwa Hocane.

Zuria Dor, an upcoming fashion brand, with its recent delves into bridal fashion, adjusting its essentially western sensibility to eastern traditional look, boasted some elegant looks.

Iman Ali, took to the stage wearing Tabya Khan and sheer star power on the ramp was awe inspiring.

An exquisite mélange of colours and style accompanied the one and only Nomi Ansari’s bridal collection. Set off by some beautiful jewelry by Hamna Amir, Mughal inspired prints and chata patti borders looked ravishing and the floral patterns enhanced the shararas.

Saira Shakira, showcased their trousseau in pastel embroidered hues and stayed true to their brand identity of polished, glamourous and feminine.

Nickie and Nina’s bridal palette showed off some very interesting colour schemes; uniquely identifiable cuts and a distinct design sensibility.

It has to be said though, that rarely does a fashionably new brand, warrants such an eager anticipation as the one garnered by SFK bridals. It was interesting to see that Sadaf pretty successfully set aside her design aesthetics from the raw star power associated with her brand. Her collection boasted of elegant silhouettes set off by intricate details in patterns.

Fantastical crowns and dramatic head gear was the highlight of Fahad Hussayn’s Hoshruba; Dara Shikoh aur Sunehri Churail. Despite the designer’s penchant for theatrics, it is quite evident that Fahad does possess a uniquely fine-tuned sense of style and aesthetics; predictable-yet never quite boring.

The star studded event ended with Fahad Hussayn’s show stoppers Mikaal Zulfiqaar and Amna Ilyas, and a beautiful composition by Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash.

Celeb Insight

PFDC L Oréal Paris Bridal Week Day 2 Highlights


PLBW17 Day 2 line up was divided into two parts. Early evening shows featuring Jeem by Hamza Bokhari, Sarah Rohale Asghar, Ahmad Sultan and Faiza Saqlain and later in the evening the luxury design houses like Sana Safinaz, Misha Lakhani, Mahgul and Sania Maskatiya. There were moments where fashion ruled with unbridled joie de vivre, colours struck rainbows on the catwalk and design was reinvented with a renewed vigor.

Whereas Ahmad Sultan has recently showcased his collection on HUM TV’s Bridal Couture Week, in 2017 and has emerged as a promising talent.

Sara Rohale Asghar has been exhibiting at various local and international platforms. Sara’s enthusiasm for the traditional eastern cuts and colour palette was visible on the runway.

Hamza Bokhari has won accolades for his collection ‘Naurooz’ showcased at Fashion Pakistan Week in 2016 and it has to be said that his choice of designs and fabric, seen on the ramp, has come a long way from this time last year when he won the Bank Alfalah Rising Talent award.

Faiza Saqlain, a graduate from PIFD worked with her interest in classical fusion choosing a very safe colour palette.

The upcoming designers’ collections could gain a lot more from developing their own signature styles and placing greater focus on innovation in colour compass.

Sana Safinaz opened the later part of the evening show reflecting a sense of relaxed elegance. The brand offers timeless but stylish pieces that are an eclectic mix of old crafts and modern ideas.

Mahgul took center stage in the later evening shows presenting artistic designs in an otherwise commercial realm of bridal fashion. Tassels swishing from the chiffon heavily worked dupattas and hanging from the edges of embroidered clutches accessorized the collection beautifully.

A line up that was high on craft and exquisitely detailed cuts was Misha Lakhani, essentially a pret’ a porter and haute couture label, delving into traditional bridal fashion.

Sania Maskatiya closed the second day with her signature of traditional elements- the modern touch, working with rich sequined patterns.


PFDC L Oréal Paris Bridal Week 2017 – Day 1 Highlights


Every year fashion enthusiasts gather to celebrate the most sublime in haute couture. This year Pakistan Fashion Design Council in collaboration with Loreal’ Paris enlarged the scope of Bridal Platform and at #PLBW17 the council welcomed two distinct set of shows. In the early evening the PFDC brings to Fashion Week Bridal and trousseau shows for popular commercially acclaimed brands. Later in the evening, the PFDC presents shows from luxury design houses.

The lineup for the #PLBW17 first day consisted of GOLD BY REAMA MALIK, in collaboration with WASIM KHAN. The pieces by Wasim Khan were classic and traditional in rich and vibrant colours. The focus was not the embroidery but the bespoke jewellery worn with it.

SHAMSA HASHWANI with her crisp modern silhouettes was the next designer and indeed put on a brilliant show with classic embroidered shirts, gowns and flared pants with a contemporary cut.

The later shows in the evening consisted of SHIZA HASSAN with her extremely safe and stable collection, with a few memorable designs.  As her models walked down the ramp, mostly on Bollywood tracks, the audience could not help but think of the memorable movie scenes from which the music was taken.

The first day of #PLBW17 was closed by the King of Theatrics ALI XEESHAN, where his models walked down in knee length coats and shimmery, decorated umbrellas on the beat of Michael Jackson’s ‘They Don’t Really Care about Us’ and then on the traditional Punjabi Bhangra music with characteristic decorated Eye Glass Wear. 

The theatrics included life-like portraits of the models carried behind them. The audience was wondering about the connection between the portraits being carried clumsily by costume clad guys and the bridal collection. In the past Ali has thrilled the audience with far more interesting presentations.

Editor's Pick Trending

Shine on


Hate when your hair looks dull? Give it a nice glow-up with this fine oil mist. What’s cool about this product is that it gives your roots a noticeable shine without weighing your hair down since it’s 96 percent natural. 

Culture Entertainment

5 ‘Desi Totkay’ all desi beauties need to know


So, there is an impending festivity in your family or close friends around the corner, and you in your busy schedule are too busy to find a way to appear your usual lovely stress-free self. You meet your family on the dining table for one of the mandatory meets of the day, which could range from breakfast, lunch or dinner and find out those ‘quick fixes’ also known as ‘desi totkas’ to look beautiful.

These ‘totkas’ range from hair care to ensuring you become the favourite ‘bahu’ of your (non existent) in laws. Let’s take a look at some of these age old ‘totkas’ which have defied the test of time.

To achieve Rapunzel locks!

Hair is an essential beauty item which is listed in the “I want” section since times immemorial. You will also come across various reasons described in detail by various aunties on different occasions as to why girls are losing out on hair these days. Those insane blow dry and shampooing rituals will be cursed repeatedly. We have all tried or have been forced to try yogurt and egg on our hair to achieve Rapunzel like locks!

To look like a peach! 

There was a time when good ‘gharelo’ girls used to apply raw milk on their skin instead of running out of the gate to try the new skin treatment offered on a discount at a local trending spa. Well, it is supposed to give a peachy rosy look to our ‘murjhayee hoyee’ (read exhausted) skin.

To improve eyesight! 

God forbid if you have ruined your eyesight due to excessive ‘parrhayee’! We have been advised on countless occasions to use fennel seeds to remarkably cure failing or weak eye sight. Because, no one in their right mind will want to get married to a ‘chishmish’.

To ensure a loving relationship with in laws! 

Hmm, so if you have asked someone to apply mehndi and the colour has turned out to be light, this probably means your in laws (read mother in law) will be a living breathing dragon. However, if the mehndi turns out to be a rich dark colour, well, you can see yourself dancing away on the horizon of a big happy family version of a Pakistani movie. On numerous occasions we have also seen poor girls trying to get a darker shade of the said mehndi by pouring a strange concoction of sugar and lemon on their mehndi designs.

To ward off “nazar” 

This one is our favourite by far! So, what do you do, when things are not going in your favour and life becomes a series of unfortunate events? Did you spill curry on your new ‘jora’? It was definitely due to an evil eye. Did you find out at the last minute that your ‘parlour wali’ has taken a day off?  Did you sprout a fresh pimple on your face right before your big day? This is all due to ‘nazar’ or ‘evil eye’ and can be warded off by burning red chillies on a ‘tawa’ or on fire. Once the evil eye has been warded off, you are free to roam around the streets and well, ‘jalnay walay ka moo kala’!

Editor's Pick Trending

A perfect summer blush


Summer sun calls for a fresh looking skin. You want to look your best while stepping out and need the perfect product for the perfect skin tone. Lancome brings the freedom to play and create countless looks from a single palette.

The Sienna Sultry Eye Palette creates bright luminous eyes and delivers pure color for a lustrous finish. Its 8-hour long wear that does not fade stays shimmering with lustrous pearls that provide an intense radiant finish.

Culture Entertainment

Rishta aunty types and how to deal with them


We have all had our rendezvous with them. Good or bad, sweet or caustic, love them or hate them, rishta aunties have become the phenomenon that has seen tremendous acknowledgment from all the quarters of our eastern social fabric. Much has been written about these aunties and their anecdotes. Looking at the immense material available both on and off the net, we sat down with the damsels in distress *read young girls of a marriageable age* and categorized these aunties into five, hard to miss types. What’s even better, we have also researched on the tried and tested ways to deal with the situation. Here you go!

1. Sweet and irrational:

These aunties have just hopped on to the roller coaster ride of a suitable match making spree. They have heard thousands of stories about how people hate the matchmaking games. So they are extremely cautious and nice. Sadly, they are equally clueless. They would try to make small talk but fail miserably. Also, they are usually accompanied by a bhabi (larrkay ki phuppo) or behn (larrkay ki khala), which more often than not belong to category 2. They would probably like the girl on the first meeting without knowing why but unfortunately, will not be taken seriously by the other controlling figures in the family. Our advice to you: Be nice and polite to the hapless creatures. Just don’t get your hopes up.

2. Rich and controlling:

“Tau ye ghar kitnay kanal ka hay?” is going to be the conversation kick starter. There will be several references to the houses, servants and jewellery the family owns in the middle of the chat. Also, several clichéd hopes of an ideal bahu will be shared. These aunties usually try to gauge the girl in the light of the moolah the family has. Also, if they are *ahem, well connected (if you know what we mean), because well,” logon pay acha impression parrta hay”. Our advice to you: unless you want to have reruns of saas bahu dramas on repeat in your life, run like hell and don’t even look back.

3. Bahir wali aunties (who live in 1950s):

These moved out of the country back in the turn of the century and have had very little connection with the changes that have taken place. Now that they are back on the scene, because, well, “larrkay nay job kerli hay”, they are on a constant lookout for a gharelo Pakistani larrki. Sadly, their ideals for a Pakistani larrki date back to the 1900s. Our advice to you: Try to know the guy beforehand, maybe he belongs to the modern ages and does not share his mom’s vision of ideal bahus. Keep your fingers crossed!

4. Al Huda aunties (halal and mahram):

We don’t have anything against these aunties. Well, as long as they don’t try to recruit you in the abaya brigade against your will. Also, on numerous occasions, we have found some of them to be pretty enlightened. Our advice to you: Try to engage them in a conversation and see if they are radical *read unable to live with.

5. None of the above:

It might be hard to believe but there are the types who have gone through the same charade ages ago and vowed never to become a typical rishta aunty nightmare. They would not observe the girl under a microscope and would be pretty much ok with a ‘aaj kal ke zamanay ki larrki’. Our advice: Be nice to them girls, their laadla might turn out to be ‘the one’!

Celebrities Interviews

Hina Butt- Juggling three jobs and looking gorgeous doing it


Hina Butt, MPA & Director of TEENA by Hina Butt, debuted her eponymous womenswear luxury brand in 2010 and the brand has since skyrocketed to great heights due to the exuberance, style and panache that it represents. We sat down with the stylish entrepreneur, politician and the hands on mom to talk about her work, life and her passions.

1. How did you come in this field?

I always had an eye for fashion. Everyone loved what I used to wear as I always used to stand out. While studying at LUMS all my friends wanted me to design clothes for them. Right after my MBA, I knew I wanted to open my business of fashion. I launched my fashion house in 2010. 

2. What is your definition of the term, “fashionista”?

Fashionista is an avid leader and follower of fashion.  For me a fashionista is someone who leads in fashion by bringing out new fashion trends. A fashionista does not need support from brand products to look nice. Sometimes you have it in you. You can be minimalistic but make a fashion statement by mixing and matching.

3. If you had to dress up in another Pakistani designer’s outfit, who would it be?

I personally love Elan. Their outfits are elegant and chic. I also like Karachi based designer Sania Maskatiya- love the way she plays in cuts and prints. 

4. What is your ‘to go’ perfume?

Oud Isphani from Dior is my favourite perfume. I don’t go out of the house without it. It’s an exquisite and mysterious scent and everyone always asks me what perfume I’m wearing. 

5. What is that one shade of lipstick that you always carry in your bag? The one that you think can go with all your designed outfits?

The Spirit by Mac and recently I am loving the new matte lip gloss from Huda called Trendsetter. 

6. What is one difference between your clientele from Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad  (the regional hubs of Pakistan) 

Clientele from Lahore wants to wear whatever is in fashion. The clients from Karachi only like trendy fashionable stuff focusing on cuts and minimalistic work. Clients from Faisalabad want over the top gaudy stuff. 

It’s innovative, bold and unique. Our designs are minimalistic yet luxurious, capturing the individuality and confidence of today’s women. 

8. Who in your view is that one designer that has left a lasting impression on fashion world?

Hands-down Coco Chanel! Her ‘little black dress’ collection of the 1920’s gained universal popularity and greatly helped to move women’s fashion forward. Her uncluttered styles, with their boxy lines and shortened skirts, allowed women to leave their corsets behind and freed them from the fashion shackles of that time. 

9. What differentiates your work from that of other designers in the current fashion scene?

My designs are chic, trendy and fresh. We’re constantly innovating and embracing new trends. For example recently we started tulip pants and scalloped kurtas in fun vibrant colours which sold like hot cakes! I never compromise on quality and try to give my clients gorgeous outfits for the best possible prices.

11: How do you deal with the pressure of being a young mother, an entrepreneur and an MPA? 

It’s all about balancing and work delegation. Sometimes it gets overwhelming but the key to success is hard work and persistence. For my business I have set up a team but I am involved fully in the design and management. In politics the drive is to do something for the country and bring change especially towards Women Empowerment so it’s my passion and it never tires me. My son is my priority and my best friend; my best moments are spent with him. 

12. What does Eid mean to you?

Eid means spending relaxed and happy time with family but I spend some part of Eid with needy people like going to the orphanage and spending time with kids who have no parents. Giving back to the society is the key to happiness. Giving them small gifts for Eid and the smile that brings on their face is irreplaceable.