Pakistani weddings are typically, at least a four day affair and sometimes even a lot more. Planning and preparations for the main days start long before, with dholkis for young girls and boys who practice dances for few days.
The event's formal first day starts with the Milad - where the family members recite verses in praise of Allah and the Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAW) to seek blessings of Allah for the new relation being started.
The next - a semi formal event - is Mayoon when the bride wears yellow clothes and is massaged with Ubtan a yellow mud like herbal substance. The family enjoys with songs and dances. Henna or Mehndi is applied on the hands and feet. The bride's Mehndi is very elaborately designed on her hands, forearms and feet. Some of the mehndi designs are given below:
The second formal day of Pakistani weddings is the Mehndi day, the family of the bridegroom brings all the dresses and jewelry that the bride is to wear on the main days. Sometimes the same day or the next day the bride's family takes the outfits for the groom along with other gifts for the groom as well as his immediate family members, to the groom's house. This is called bari.
The third day of Pakistani weddings is the main event i.e. the Wedding day which is hosted by the bride's family.
On this day the family of the groom is dressed up in usually the traditional Pakistani attire while some opt for western suits as well. In traditional options, the groom wears a Sherwani which is a long prince-coat like outfit on top of shalwar kameez of some fine fabric. The sherwani is made also of fine fabric which may be khaddar silk jamawar or banarsi brocade. On his head he wears a turban with of some lovely color or a simple white or off white colour. In some families they also place a floral veil like ornament which is raised after the nikah.
Dressed handsomely like a prince, the groom along with his relatives and friends, who are equally beautifully attired, arrives at the venue of the wedding. This procession is called a bara'at - the arrival of the groom to wed his bride and take her to her new home with him.
The Nikah - which is the solemnization of the wedding - is performed by the religious representative of the area. He recites the verses of the Holy Qura'an and takes the consent of the groom once he has obtained such a consent from the bride in the presence of witnesses and the assigned representatives of the bride and the groom.
The bride is then brought to sit beside the groom. She is dressed in a beautiful outfit made specially for the occasion, usually by the groom's side of the family with her approval. She is attired like a princess to match her handsome groom.
After many fun activities, gifts, lots of pictures and dinner (some weddings are during the day, so lunch is served instead the time for goodbyes comes and the bride is sent away with the groom and the family to her new home with lots of tears and prayers.
The fourth official day of Pakistani weddings is the Valima event, which is hosted by the groom's side.
The bride and the groom dress up again as on the wedding day though a bit different but still with all the traditional designs and styles. The bride is officially introduced to the extended family, friends and associates as the new lady of the house.
Again there are gifts and a dinner/lunch and lots of pictures the event officially marks the end of the Pakistani wedding day festivities.
And then starts the many many lunches and dinners by family and friends to honour the newly wed couple and to meet the new member of the family.
Weddings are really a lot of fun for the immediate family and close friends. There are songs and dances and merriment all around for days on end. The most fun event by far is the Mehndi Day Event when there are lots of dances and songs and each side's young ones try to out do each other, as a mock challenge.
These days there are very good wedding planners who do up the wedding areas beautifully. Each set gets better than the last one.
While many kinds of fabrics are available in the market, we will try to cover some on our website. For more on beautiful traditional suits and saris in Banarsi silk go to ... Banarsi Fabric-Sarees, Suits, Silk