Mayon, mehndi, nikah, baraat, and walima are the main components of a Pakistani wedding, with mehndi, baraat, and walima taking place on separate days. (One or more dholki events, primarily dance and singing, may precede or follow the Mayon.) All significant Pakistani wedding events are open to friends and close family, who are expected to attend. Even though the only portion technically required is the nikah – the actual marriage contract – and everything else is purely cultural or customary, this formula is followed relatively consistently. Also, this model is here to remain, as the couples being married and their parents will most certainly continue to struggle to accept that the ceremony is not as significant as they believe.
Oil and turmeric are applied to the bride’s face and hands to make her look pale and bland, and she is also forced to wear yellow – all to make her look especially lovely and glowing on the mehndi day (in some cases, this transformation is reserved for the baraat). It used to be exclusively a female event, but in our enlightened new world, it is now gender-neutral, though it’s tough to see how oil could make most guys blander than they already are.
The mehndi is done separately in the houses of the boy and the girl. The idea here is to make the bride look gorgeous. Henna and bright clothing are used to achieve this. The boy, for his part, shaves or trims his facial hair. There is a lot of dancing and music. Everyone eats food. In recent years, young guys have been seen at mehndi celebrations wearing dupattas, which are conspicuously absent from most young women’s attire.
The nikkah ceremony is the signing of the legal marriage contract between the bride and groom at a Pakistani wedding. At the time of the nikkah ritual, at least two witnesses from both sides must be present. Nikkah in masjids is on the rise, with extremely close friends of the groom and bride going to the masjid to sign the nikkah.
It is a highly emotional event for the Pakistani bride’s family and the bride herself, as she will now be signed under her husband’s name for the rest of her life. The nikkah is usually a modest, intimate gathering of the bride and groom’s relatives or close friends to commemorate the couple’s marriage.
The nikkah dresses are usually pastel colors, and the bride usually wears whites with a red dupatta or pastel colors with natural makeup and a delicate look. The groom wears a basic shalwar kurta with a golden or light-colored waistcoat.
The bride’s family hosts the baraat, and the groom’s relatives and guests arrive in a procession (baraat in Urdu). The baraat’s key events are the nikah (if it hasn’t already happened), certain games for entertainment, exchanging gift money (the salami), the participants being photographed, and everyone eating chicken. Finally, the husband and the procession accompany his bride home.
At this event at the time of Rukhsati, there are tears in everyone’s eyes, not just the family’s, but also a sense of relief in the parents’ hearts that they have completed their duty and can now focus on hoping for their daughter’s new life to be happy. The Holy Quran is placed over the head of the Pakistani bride by her parents as a sign that they are sending their daughter under Allah’s favor and protection. On the other hand, the groom’s family is ecstatic to welcome the new addition.
Participants give salami, have their pictures taken, and, last but not least, eat chicken at the walima. Hugging abounds, just as it did at the baraat. The groom’s family is hosting this celebration. The girl returns to her parent’s house at the end of the event, which implies the boy must return to that residence and escort her back.
Elegance is the term that comes to mind when thinking of a Pakistani wedding. The bride, groom, and guests enjoy a lot of enjoyment. The outcomes are intriguing. Regardless of how cold it is, women never require sweaters. Wearing anything that has been worn previously is also a cardinal sin. Of course, whoever has the time and energy to remember what someone wore on a previous occasion can argue, but that is incorrect: the ladies remember everything. Before their weddings, brides used to go to beauty salons to be ‘groomed.’ It was later becoming usual for the grooms to do so. It’s nearly a requirement for all ladies who attend to obtain a ‘facial.’ Wedding-hall/marquee proprietors, tailors, photographers, and beauty-salon owners are certainly not complaining.
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