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Pakistani Wedding

Pakistani weddings could easily be one of the most captivating and fun celebrations to attend. It is a beautiful event that everyone unleashes their dazzling outfits, gather together and celebrate the union of loved ones. Pakistani weddings comprises of a series of events, all of which complete the couple union with a 'chatkhara'.

Wedding seasons are prepared carefully, the families of both the bride and groom involved. The wedding events usually kicks off with a lot of entertainment and singing, coupled with a 'dholki' session at home. Dholkis are sessions where people from both families get to interact and know each other better. They are held at houses where family and friends of the couple gather for pre-celebrations.

Dancing, singing and usual party activities happen during dholkis. During this event, a large skinned drum known as the 'dhol' is played. Ladies from both families gather around in a circle and dance to traditional Mehndi and Bollywood songs.

Pakistani Wedding Customs and Traditions

Mehndi

This is one of the most anticipated events in a Pakistani wedding. 'Rasm e Mehndi' is anticipated because it is the most fun-filled event of the entire wedding. The event depends on the preferences of the couple, but mostly, it is filled with a lot of dancing. Young people prepare mehndi dances which are dedicated to the couple. Oftentimes, couples also participate in the dance.

During the event, elders put oil and mehndi (henna) on leaves in the couple's hands and feed them 'mithai'. The traditional color for this event is usually yellow, but could change according to the couple's preferences. The bride is usually dressed in yellow, or at least have a touch of yellow in her attire. Additionally, her hands are decorated with various designs of henna. She can also get her arms and feet covered with henna designs if she prefers it.

Celebrating the mehndi event has been changing over years. Today, the color yellow is no longer the event's theme. New themed mehndis such peacock theme and Mughal tradition theme are being applied today. Other events of mehndi are however, still intact.

Mayun

This is an event that takes places before the wedding day. Mayun is basically a beautification ceremony where yellow paste and oil is applied to the bride's skin. The yellow paste is made up of sandalwood powder, turmeric and other aromatic oils. The groom's mother and sister usually bring these items to the ceremony. The groom's sister will then attach a thick garland or gana onto the bride's arm. This is also an event where friends and family from both families get together. There is lots of dancing, music and food. During mayun, the make up and dressing of the bride is kept simple and light. The event is in most occasions, held at home. Other activities done during the event include braiding the bride's hair and doing her nails. It is an occasion that lights up the wedding mood.

Nikkah

This is the most essential event of a Pakistani wedding ceremony. During Nikkah, vows are exchanged and signing the marriage certificate by the couple is done. This event is very important as it unites a woman and her man. It is a bond that establishes a lifetime union between them, with vows said thrice by each one of them.

After that, the couple then signs the marriage certificate known as 'Nikkah-naama'. It contains terms and conditions agreed by both parties. In most occasions, the witnesses are fathers of both the bride and groom. Immediately after the event, the groom's family hands out gifts or 'bidh' to the attendees. This event can be held anywhere and at different times, but mostly before the 'Baraat' ceremony.

Baraat

This is more of a "leaving ceremony" for the bride. It is an event organized and held by the bride's family. 'Rukhsati' is the most important part of baraat. It is usually an emotional moment for the bride's family and the bride herself. Food served during this event is rich and lavish. Some of the common foods include kebabs, curry, biryani, pilau etc. Halwas and kheers are usually part of dessert.

This event can be very stressful for the bride and her family given the of kind of goodbye between them. It can be a tedious process given the preparations for the previous events. During the event, slow music is played. Focus shifts to the presentation and decor of the event.

Who Pays for What

During a Pakistani wedding, different events are paid by different people. The mehndi celebration for instance, is paid by both the groom and bride's family. In some occasions, the groom's mehndi event is paid by his family and the bride's paid by her family. The groom's family pays for 'valima' while 'Baraat' is organized and paid for by the bride's family.

Food

You should expect a lot of food when attending a Pakistani wedding. Different types of food like chicken, mutton, biryani and pulao is served. Dessert can be a wide variety of dishes depending on the couple's preference. You should also expect season food items like gajar halwa and fish.

Attires

The wedding has different attires for different events. For the main event, the bride should be in a green dress or a yellow one with orange fabrics. The make is not overdone, instead, it is kept light and simple. The wedding dress is nothing short of gorgeous. With intricate detailing, vibrant colors and dazzling beauty of the bride, Pakistani wedding attire is one of the most prestigious and admired outfits. There are different traditions and customs depending on the subgroups, but they all agree on the importance of the bride's appearance during the wedding.

The groom's attire is also well done. Mostly, color black is used for groom. The gents attending the wedding are required to dress neatly in trousers and shirts. If you are attending a Pakistani wedding, avoid shorts at all costs. This is considered disrespectful to the couple. Avoid colorful shoes and stick to black or white where necessary.

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