Stories about weddings

I’m a Pakistani marrying a gora

The past 10 days have been very eventful for me – no, scratch that-  they have been momentous; I received some excellent news about my future, went on a wonderful business trip to the sunny state of California, and yesterday my gora (foreigner) best friend asked me to marry him. I said yes, in case you were wondering. Yes, I am the other half of an interracial couple. The funny thing about being in an interracial relationship is that in a world where everyone is always talking about race, that’s the last thing on my mind when I’m with C. To me, he isn’t ...

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Where did that desi wedding magic go?

Pakistani weddings are high on my list of reasons I would like to move back to Pakistan. Unlike some of my other ex-pat friends who went to a wedding when they were four-years-old and don’t remember any of it, thanks to desi family traditions I have gone to a gazillion weddings and enjoyed them to my heart’s content. From dance practices to assigning the least attractive jora (outfit) to the valima I love it all. Thinking back to a wedding I attended a couple weeks ago, however, I found myself yearning for the old-fashioned weddings with all the quaint traditions. And so, ...

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Here come the brides (in 6 inch heels)

Ladies and gentlemen, regal velvet, long trains, glittering mokesh, and breathtaking long lehnga shirts are the new trends for bridal wear this year. The Pantene Bridal Couture Week (BCW) 2011, took my breath away. Held by Style 360 the show featured designs by the biggest names of our fashion industry. It also brought to light a few Indian designers and some newcomers with fabulous talent. All in all, the night was packed with glamour and was couture at its very best. J&S did a wonderful job of decorating the waiting area. The theme was predominantly Grecian with textured velvet draping on the walls ...

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Kate and William: Reliving a fairytale

July 29, 1981: Diana weds Charles Here’s a poignant early childhood memory: I was a chubby, short-haired girl, clutching my Lady Diana paper doll (a gift from my mother) in one hand and a milk bottle in the other, while rapturously watching Cinderella’s wedding to her prince, live on television. That’s who I thought Lady Di Spencer was back then, in her romantic, trailing ivory dress. I gazed at a gloriously beautiful Cinderella, her tiara glittering as she waved from a fairytale carriage, replete with white horses and liveried attendants, alongside a prince in full regalia. I half expected my fairytale ...

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Smart weddings: From showy to intimate

Military top brass, bureaucrats, businessmen and the Pakistani elite have struck the path to throwing ‘Smart’ weddings for their offspring. They can afford the once trendy lavish dos, yet are opting for ‘Smart’ weddings – Stylishly short, Manageable, Authentic and Really Tasteful Outcome: they save their own and the guests’ time by having fewer functions, they redirect resources to the happy couple to start their new lives together and infuse the entire wedding with an intimacy and genuineness. Smart weddings are also managing to do what legislation (one-dish rule) or government/ NGO propaganda (Jahaiz aik lanat/trousseau is a curse) never could. These events are making others question the standard ...

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The drawing room culture: Girls on parade

I am one of the many girls who have been through the archaic and bizarre tradition of the drawing room ‘parade’. It involves carrying a tray of tea and goodies to a roomful of strangers and being put on display. Here is how the drawing room scenario unfolds: You are informed by your mother that guests are coming to “see you”. As unwilling as you may be, you to give in to your mother’s orders, or this cliché line may be thrown at you, “Beta, apni ammi ki baat mano. Mein akeli maa nahin, sab hi maayein karti hain,” or “Listen to me ...

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No dowry, no bride, no wedding

My 21-year-old maid Noor Jahan recently told me about her unwillingness to get married so as to avoid putting her parents through any kind of pressure. The ‘pressure’ she spoke of was the high demand for dowry by her would-be in-laws. Culturally, we are accustomed to hearing about the 10 tolas of gold given to the groom’s family along with a bungalow, car, washing machine, furniture, bed sheets, shower curtains, needles, and so on, to feed the desire of greedy in-laws. Sure, when one can afford it, parents give their daughters these ‘presents’ generously. However, Noor Jahan comes from the working ...

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Wedding bling: For the love of money

It’s that time of the year again. Fathers lament the drain of their pockets, mothers get teary-eyed at every glimpse of their daughters, designers smirk behind their overpriced outfits, tailors get threatening calls from customers, salons get overcrowded, caterers lie their way through fancy menus and it’s probably the only time of the year when choreographers and the “band baaja walas” earn a decent livelihood. It’s the wedding season, where we focus on every little detail but the real wedding itself. From designer clothes to custom-made jewellery, weddings these days are known for more than just a simple event celebrating ...

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Do you have what it takes to be a society aunty?

Aunties are the essential thread that holds the delicate fabric of Pakistani society together. In fact, it’s quite surprising that a proportion of our country’s defence budget isn’t allocated towards the Aunty Brigade. ‘Society Aunties’ are the crème-de-la-crème of the Aunty Brigade. Deceptively formidable, they are armed with snubs, icy stares and an ammunition of feline comments. Beautifully groomed, dazzlingly arrayed, and possessing razor-sharp social finesse ‘Society Aunties’ reign drawing rooms, ballrooms, and fashionable weddings. Just don’t make the mistake of addressing them as ‘Aunty’ especially when they appear 39 and Botoxed while their classmates are getting hip replacements. Have you ...

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Queen Kate: A fairy tale ending in waiting

When she was 21, my sister went backpacking across Europe. As she was preparing to embark on her adventure, she asked me if I had any preferences for a present to bring back which she could fit within her backpack. A starry-eyed-fascinated-with-royalty-teenager, I asked her to bring me back something to do with Prince William. This was nearly 10 years ago – when His Royal Highness was still single and had most of his hair intact. Though the sexy black boots and the coloured rainbow socks were an added bonus, the Prince William fridge magnet she brought back for me remains ...

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