There is no doubt that the UK is the second home to many Pakistani citizens. Punjabis, Kashmiris, Pashtuns, Muhajirs, and smaller numbers of Sindhis and Balochis are among the South Asian groupings represented by Pakistanis in London. Many British Pakistanis who immigrated to London in the 1960s had advanced degrees as teachers, doctors, and engineers. As there is a vast community of Pakistanis in the UK & Wales, their marriage ceremonies there include a number of events and sometimes a huge group of friends.
In every culture, a wedding is the happiest event, celebrated with excitement and joy at a beautiful union. A Pakistani wedding is a vivid, colorful, and lavish affair that often consists of many festivities spread over a few days. The wedding festivities, which typically run for three to seven days, can vary.
There are different events or customs in a Pakistani wedding which all require a typically different set of clothing options to opt to not only look stylish but typically are communicated among the close members of family and friends of the bride and groom.
Following are the events as part of a traditional Pakistani wedding:
A Dholki typically kicks off a Pakistani wedding. This pre-celebration often occurs one or two weeks before the major festivities. In attendance are the bride and groom’s bridal party, as well as their close friends and family. Visitors to the event sing and dance traditionally while playing the dholak drum.
One of the most significant occasions for a bride is the Mehndi (henna party), where she gets elaborate henna designs painted on her hands and feet before the main ceremony. The ceremony sometimes takes place at the groom’s end as well or a combined event also takes place sometimes. The groom’s name is typically buried inside the meticulous workmanship, and the decorations represent luck, joy, and love. In addition to the bride, female friends and family members will have henna tattoos with simpler designs.
The bride spends her “bride’s day,” also known as the mehndi, with her closest friends and family. However, in recent years, the groom has started participating in the celebration by having friends and relatives rub oil on his head. Music and dancing are involved in creating a fun atmosphere and getting everyone excited for the upcoming wedding.
Nikah & Barat:
The Nikah, a formal ceremony where the bride and groom exchange vows and make promises to one another, is the most significant aspect of the wedding. A Mehr, or symbolic giving of goods or cash, is made to the bride by the groom before the pair are even permitted to see one another.
The wedding reception, also known as the Walima, takes place after the Nikah ceremony. Once the couple is legally married, this is the last supper the groom’s family will provide as a way to honor their union. The bride will typically wear a stunning dress with gold jewelry donated by the groom, and the husband will typically choose a traditional Western suit or tuxedo. The reception is a sizable celebration with numerous family members and visitors from both households.
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