Have you just been invited to a Pakistani wedding with no clue about the wedding traditions in Pakistan? Don't worry because we've got you covered. This blog post will walk you through all the critical aspects of a Pakistani wedding and will give your a glimpse of what makes it truly unique. We will also teach your Urdu words to appreciate better the practices like a real local. Ready to get started? Keep reading below!
Pakistanis love marriage, and we embrace it with a big heart and a few scowls because no matter what, the guests have a keen eye for flaws. We approach the planning of our weddings way too seriously, so if you are also planning a Paki wedding, let me inform you that there will be no easy route ahead of it.
Amazing abilities are often required of the photographer and event planners because everyone these days is obsessed with the idea of making their wedding "cool and unique." What you can never ignore in a perfect Paki wedding is thumping music, the lavishly decorated balconies, and the overwhelming magnificence of the whole venue. Let's learn more about this in the sections below!
Planning for an ordinary Pakistani wedding might take up to a month since it usually involves several cultural elements. Basically, it all starts with a proposal followed by an engagement announcement. Fast forward, the group of the groom's best buddies, parents, and cousins (known as the "Baraati") will follow the tradition wherein they will follow him to the bride's home. Typically, the bride dresses up in a red or maroon lehenga that is richly embellished and complemented with gold accessories.
But of course, what is an event without some good food, right? Classic cuisine such as kabobs, Pulao, Chicken tikka, Tandoori, and blended veggies are served as part of a lavish supper. During the festivities, each of the families will be invited to the stage for the newlyweds' wedding photographs.
The first event to make the wedding official is nikkah, and finally, all the celebratory events like Mayun, Dholki, Baraat, and Walima. Sounds too elaborative, right? Let's get to know the phases of these traditions better below!
The first step to any marriage is sending a wedding proposal. This is often criticized by the current generation of Pakistan as they suppose it dehumanizes the couple (by going and scanning them like an object), especially the bride. But it is still an essential part of a Paki wedding.
Despite the growing rate of love marriages in Pakistan, there are still practices of tying the knot through receiving proposals. It is still highly challenging for a Pakistani guy to submit a marriage proposal of his pick since the mixing of men and women is still frowned upon in many homes.
Particularly in Pakistan, a girl might get a surprise proposal anywhere at any time. A family member who wishes to make her their daughter-in-law might ask for her hand in the ceremony if relations are cordial and if relatives get along well.
To do this, the groom's mother would go to the bride's family with some sweets and ask for her hand. If the bride's family approves, the groom's family prepares for the wedding. They choose the wedding date, and the wedding celebrations commence from that point.
The first of the wedding events is the engagement ceremony, a mangni, and it is essentially the couple's engagement.
This may be a modest family-only get-together or a spectacular event. It includes exchanging rings to symbolize marriage and the acceptance of the proposal. Some families could choose to skip the official engagement celebration.
Every bride, groom, and family wants the most admirable decorations for their wedding in the modern day. The lighting, flowers, bridal seat, and stage design should all be magnificent. The ramp is the primary entertainment venue and is designed to be stunning. The ceremony's theme must have a distinctive wedding decor appearance and a special touch. When a person is engaged, they should also consider the wedding card's content, design, style, and look to ensure that they will fit the couple's personality.
The Mayan/Mayun ritual is yet another traditional practice in Pakistani weddings. The ceremony is held in the bride's home in the presence of friends and relatives. Haldi application on the bride's skin was described as the "rejuvenation custom" in the past. Because of the mayun, the bride's attire, makeup, and hair are often kept simple so that it won't draw away the focus on the designs.
The Haldi paste is made from turmeric, corn flour, sandalwood powder, and other essential oils. It is often purchased by the sisters and mother of the groom, who would then spread it on the bride's hands, face, arms, and legs. In addition to applying this glowing paste, the bride's friends and acquaintances wrap a Gana (rose thread) around her wrist. In many families, the same is followed for the groom, while some only confine this beautiful ceremony to the beautiful bride.
The name Dholki comes from an Indian musical instrument called "dholak," a type of drum. Dholki evenings are a women-only event that occurs the week before the henna night. The evenings mostly begin with Suhaag, a traditional Punjabi folk song, and Dholki played and sung by the bride's female relatives and friends. Also, people often recite Urdu poetries related to romance during this event.
On a floor covered in colorful carpets and pillows for this little ceremony, everyone springs up in a loop to sing traditional Pakistani wedding melodies and songs to the rhythm of a dholak. Dholak is a drum-like instrument that will certainly give you the beat that you need for an event. Women of many ages come together, one playing the dholak in time with the rhythm of the beats while the other sits across from her with a spoon or metal silverware.
The grandparents pray for the bride and groom and sing a few traditional songs while tapping a dholak. As the others cheer and applaud, a lady taps on the dholak.
A Dholki is a customary element of a Pakistani wedding that comprises plenty of unhurried enjoyment for the bride and groom's close friends and relatives. The bride and groom often have private Dholki celebrations at their homes.
In the past, at least twenty Dholkis were mandatory. As days pass by, people's lives get fuller, and as a result of the hecticness, the tradition of Dholkis is waning as just one, two, or at most one week of Dholkis are observed.
Nikkah ceremony is a beautiful and emotional ceremony for Pakistanis, and it is the same as saying, "I do," at a western wedding. It is essential to have at least two male witnesses for the Nikah who can verify that the couple was not forced into saying "I do" or "Qubool" by family members or anybody else. The bride and groom used to sit in different rooms in the past. Now, this trend is changing, and the bride and groom sit next to each other with a white net as a separation.
The bride or her family might ask for the Mahr, a gift the groom gives to the bride. The bride's father, the Wali, sends his daughter. The bride's permission is obtained by the Wali, who never acts on her behalf without first consulting the bride.
The bride and groom are meant to look at each other in the mirror while wearing an embroidered shawl over their heads. Aarsi Mushaf Dikhana, also called the munh dekhai, is a rite that involves the "showing of the face." This is a ritual from the past and not as prevalent now.
The marriage contract, which may be provided by the imam (priest) or obtained by the couple themselves, is signed by the couple and the two male witnesses. The bride and groom repeat "qubool hai" or "I accept" three times.
The first glimpse the groom receives of the bride is with the mirror as soon as she is freed from the veil. The couple then helps each other taste honey, symbolizing their marriage's sweetness. Some brides go completely makeup-free and wear just the most basic attire. Others go all out and wear vibrant hues.
Pre-wedding festivities include a Mehendi celebration for the bride and her closest female relatives and friends. The Solah Shringar, or sixteen bridal adornments in the Hindu tradition, have a part called Mehendi.
When you attend a Mehendi celebration, prepare for a fun-filled evening filled with tons of food, music, and dancing. Henna, sometimes referred to as Mehendi, is a dye produced from the Lawsonia inermis henna plant. Choosing classic Indian designs to elevate the henna is the trend in Pakistan these days.
The typical image of a Mehendi celebration resembles a Bollywood movie scenario, complete with coordinated dance, vibrantly colored gowns, and bhangra music. Women often perform songs and play the Dholak (a kind of drum) while seated and surrounded by bright throw cushions and exuberant decor. Gifts like candies, bangles, or even henna cones will be given as party favors to visitors.
Music is the main focus of the Mehendi celebration, and a DJ should be in control of the music. Saeed often advises brides to choose hues contrasting their dresses so they stand out rather than blend in. Clear the space in front of the stage for dances. Mehendi is kind of like the dholkis but an upgraded version. So you can think of the dholkis as a rehearsal for a final event day which is mehendi.
Without great tunes and dancing performances, no Mehendi is perfect. Many Pakistani people use a choreographer's services to master the spectacular moves they have always wanted. The first dance between the groom and bride is the most glorious thing globally.
Mehendi can be combined or separate events for the bride and groom. If the Mehendi is not combined, then the bride's family arranges her Mehendi, and the groom's families take care of his Mehendi, mainly at the groom's house.
Some rituals are performed for religious reasons, others to heighten the festive atmosphere. One noteworthy occasion is the Baraat tradition. Pakistani wedding rituals are rich with rules and practices. The Baraat is a joyful wedding procession for the groom that includes dancing and live music. The concept began in North India but has now been embraced by various cultures and countries, including Pakistan.
The Baraat is one of the primary features of the leading wedding day. The groom is placed on a ceremonial horse while his guests dance in front of him.
Even if there aren't many Baraatis, the Groom may still exude confidence and swagger. You've hit the jackpot for your wedding if one of your friends can play the Dhol. Pure Dhol is enjoyable and cost-effective since it reduces the price of Baraat and leaves all the fun-making to your friends and family.
The women from the bride's family will have rose petals on the plates to throw at the groom's family near the entrance to welcome them. Later the bride comes out and sits with the groom. Many small rituals then take place.
Kursi ki rasam literally means the ritual of the chair. In this, the women from the bride's side sit with the bride leaving no place for the groom to sit. The groom's family has to give some money, and after playing around, they do so, and the groom gets to sit with his queen.
Dudh pilai is also similar to the previous ritual as the girls from the bride's side make the groom drink milk with several delicious ingredients and thug him with pure swag, meaning they get money from him.
Bride leaves by the end of the event with tears in her eyes, some crying badly, expressing feelings of attachment with the family, hugging their family members, and saying their goodbyes. They then go to a groom's family, where more rituals are performed.
An Arabic term implying the sense of gathering and assembling is called Walima, and it is the ritual carried out to recognize the Nikkah formally. It is carried out together with the Nikkah, following the Nikkah but before the celebration of marriage or during the marriage ceremony. Typically, the groom plans the Walima celebration. People from both sides of the family, acquaintances, and neighbors are invited, and it's unethical to ask privileged people.
The bride's parents and other family members receive lunch or supper from the groom's parents as the centerpiece of this joyous occasion. When distributing these salamis, the females on both sides exercise control. The salamis are given to the groom by the bride's family and returned to the bride by the groom's family.
The kind husbands look after their kids all the time, which includes mealtime and salami time, and their women, including both sides. The greeting ritual is highly amusing, and while visitors are being showered with rose petals, the exchange of sarcastic remarks between the two sides is customary.
The Walima is equivalent to the English wedding feast when newlyweds host a dinner to celebrate. In Pakistan, Muslims organize Walima with ceremony and fanfare. The wedding dinner is held in an outside tent or one of the many popular wedding marquees.
Now that we have told you about all the main events, you might wonder, "Okay, but what's Shehendi, and why is it trending?"
In Pakistan, weddings are among life's most touching occasions. Mehendi and Shadi (Baraat) are two rituals that are merged and celebrated as a single event. Nikkah, Rukhsati, and Walima are all that exist in Islam.
Shehendi is a celebration that brings many a lot of conveniences, but it's also quite big and difficult to manage. Because it condenses the costs of a two-day event into a single day and eliminates the difficulty and time needed to complete two days' worth of duties in a single day. Basically, Mehendi is similar to a bachelor party for young people, although grownups enjoy it.
Pakistani wedding ceremonies are all about festivities and a variety of activities. The Pakistani bride's attire is on the prioritized list for a ceremony. Everybody at the nuptials in Pakistan awaits to see the bride's and the groom's clothes. The Pakistani bridal attire is thus the most essential aspect of a wedding and most loved since she receives all the attention. Every woman in Pakistan wants to appear her ultimate best during her marriage; thus, elaborate needlework and color combinations on the bridal dress are significant.
Let us just face it. Pakistani weddings are pricey. Incredibly costly. And to surpass one another, these nuptials get more extensive and extravagant yearly. Traditional marriage in Pakistan has 250 or more visitors and more than three primary celebrations.
A Pakistani marriage may last for another week or more. Also, people have certainly acquired several cultural practices. Relatives often participate in the wedding dress selection and choosing the marriage jewelry for the bride.
Additionally, it's a meaningful ceremony when Pakistani marriage invitations are distributed to each guest individually. Nevertheless, these cultural customs and practices run counter to the religious nature of the wedding.
Organizers are increasing their rates by suggesting to newlyweds the most absurd ideas, including riding exotic animals, to serve up the most original marriage ceremony of the year. And it all comes with a hefty base price.
An entire business plan is being created due to Pakistan's expanding wedding business. Couples require a makeup artist for their weddings, which may cost them up to Rs 260,000 per day, as well as a program director, catering, Musician, and canopy, to mention a few.
Let's look more closely at this and uncover the mystique surrounding such traditions.
By choosing a Shehendi, which blends the Mehendi with the marriage, households in Pakistan are one method to save costs. You will simply need to merge the ideas of Mehendi and Baraat. You can have all the things required for a regular Mehendi on the day of your Baraat with some intervals.
You don't need to make the wedding customs lavish. The wedding dress selection for bride and groom must be a perfect mix of Mehendi and Baraat.
The other is the tendency toward hosting events, which lowers the required invite list. Pakistani wedding traditions can be extravagant and, therefore, highly costly considering all the pre-celebrations and main events.
This can be more cost-effective if the bride and groom invite family members only. You might get frowns from the people around you, but in the end, it's your function, and every Pakistani wedding is bound to some criticism. So, why not do things your way and get the best out of this exceptional and close-to-heart event?
The main traditions of Pakistani weddings are Mehendi, Baraat, And Walima. However, there are also other events like Dholki, Gharoli, Ubtan, etc., which this article has described in detail.
The word "Shaadi" is used for an ordinary Pakistani wedding, and it's the same in India (Hindi speakers).
A Pakistani wedding is usually 3-15 days long, and it simply depends upon the family backgrounds and financial conditions of a particular family.
As alcohol and intoxicating drinks are banned, Pakistani weddings do not have alcoholic beverages. In the elite areas, some families might have, but the majority do not, as it strictly goes against their religious values.
That's it for this blog post. I hope you are now able to slay any Pakistani wedding like a diva. But unfortunately, all that can't be done unless you can also speak to the Pakistani people at a wedding. For that, we suggest you start learning the Urdu language now.
Now you might also be worried about where to find the best Urdu language learning platform, so I would like to introduce you to the Ling App, which is blissful for a language learner. On Ling App, you can start with the basics and eventually find your way up to the intermediate level and attain the fluency you have always wanted.