Definition: a marriage ceremony, colourful, month-long, packed and a circus.
Definition: a marriage ceremony, white, 1 day long, magical
I’ve been to so many Pakistani/Asian weddings in my life and I can tell you that it is havoc! Its colourful loud and big! Recently my friend’s sisters who is white got married and we both were talking about the similarities and differences between Asian and White weddings. With her explanation and me watching Don’t Tell The Bride I can tell you that both weddings are full of happiness and joy but boy there are a lot of differences between Pakistani weddings and White weddings.
The Wedding Ceremony
Usually the Bride and Groom get married in a church, for most Christians its important to get married in a church with the minister but those who are not religious also get married in one as it just seems like tradition. Its all about personal preferences. The bride and groom stand side by side to exchange there vows. After the wedding ceremony ends, the bride, groom, officiant, and two witnesses go off to a side room to sign the wedding register or marriage license. After this, the wedding celebrations will move on to a reception at which there is toasts and speeches and dances and people getting drunk.
In the other side of the world there are us Pakistanis celebrating someone’s marriage by having numerous amounts of events. All together throughout the wedding process we have 8 events for a wedding. We have the celebration day of the “Marriage Proposal” Then the day of the “Engagement party” and then there is the “Dholki” (This is where guests come over to the brides house and start to sing and dance while beating on a drum)
After that It all kicks off on the “Mehndi “ ( putting on henna) Later in the month it’s the day of “Barat“ (The event where each family meet up) then the “Nikah“ ( Where the bride and groom sign the solemn and sacred social contract) Furthermore there is the “Rukhsti“ (Farewell, where everyone starts crying) and finally we have the “Walima“ ( Another gathering of some kind) YES WE HAVE ALL THAT! Asians don’t go small its go big or go home!
When white people have a wedding the bride and groom invite there closest friends and family. After having a chat with my friend she said the maximum amount of guests invited is 150 it’s the bride and grooms closest friends and family and it’s a strict invite. There’s none of that lets invite the brides mum best friend and her cousin and the cousins best mate. Nope its 150 people that can fit in the wedding venue and that’s it.
There’s no such thing has having a limit with Pakistani people! Not joking about this guys are you ready for this? In my sisters wedding there was 900 people invited and I am not exaggerating! The turn out was huge. Are you all wondering why there’s so much guests? Well its all because there’s always a huge Asian community. Yes our closest families and friends were there but also random people we didn’t know. A person came up to my sister and asked her if she recognised her. The answer was no. Of course she bloody didn’t. She sat there confused at who she was taking a picture with.. Yes random people are invited like our Mums best friends sisters dad who we don’t know. And to answer your question yes its loud and yes all of us don’t fit in the venue. But it still doesn’t stop us from inviting a load of people.
The dress is traditionally white for white people. It doesn’t matter what kind it just has to be white. There’s always the odd few people who have a different coloured one but normally its white.
On the main wedding day the “Baraat” the Bride traditionally wears red and gold. On the Mehndi its usually warm and vibrant colours like orange and green on the Walima its more subtle like pink or peach. There’s a traditional theme for each day but some brides mix it up.
White people have a hen night or the bachelor party before the wedding but the actual wedding ceremony is 1 day.
The duration of a Pakistani wedding is sooooo long! And omg when I say long I actually mean loooong. The preparation takes months or even a year in some circumstances. Because there is 8 events to prepare for and then all the extra bits such as the flowers venue dresses ect! And the actual wedding ceremony is a month long itself!
Weddings are always and will always be expensive end of. The dress the bridesmaid dresses suits flowers venue cars and food and decorations and everything else cost a shit load of money no matter what background you come from.
However I can say this for certain an average Pakistani wedding can pay for someone’s mortgage and a car and a house. Its fricking expensive! 8 events and that means 8 different dresses for the bride and groom 8 different venues along with that its food for 8 days and the rented cars and the decoration and the gifts. I can go on but it will kill people to hear about it so I’ll stop. Yes I know its ridiculous.
To conclude this whole wedding segment, from my Pakistani upbringing I can tell you that weddings are so stressful it takes ages to prepare for it and the cost really does make me puke! I have always seen white peoples weddings as princess like and elegant and Pakistani weddings seen as colourful bubbly and loud which I’m pretty sure everyone can back me up on. We don’t do the whole speeches or drinking instead we blast Bollywood music out and everyone has loads of photo sessions. The Bride and Groom would be sitting on stage, and every single person would come to stage and pass on some money and force feed them something sweet (mithai) and smear oil on there hair and whilst that is happening we get introduced to every single relative that you never heard of or seen and they will expect you to remember them all by name. But in reality we sit there completely baffled to who the hell these people are and why they are invited. In a world where people are from different backgrounds and culture I just wanted to introduce you to my world; Pakistani style.