Pakistani wedding traditions are closely linked to subcontinent traditions and culture. The Mughals were responsible for bringing these traditions to South Asia. A Pakistani wedding consists of various events. Hence they are a week-long celebration. There is so much going on in the wedding events. Hence, one can easily forget about the dull routine. After all of that fun and excitement, it is hard to return to the regular routine.
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A few days before the start of Pakistani wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom’s close family and friends gather for an occasion known as a dholki. Immediate family members who reside out of town come to the bride and groom’s houses with their bags. They stay there until the wedding ends. Usually, people decorate the floor with rugs and cushions. People sing traditional Pakistani wedding songs. They also perform the dance to the beat of a dholak.
One of the crucial functions of a traditional Pakistani wedding is mayun. In some parts of the country, people take it very seriously. The mayun usually starts a couple of days before the wedding. At the mayun function, close family members and friends of the bride perform some traditions. They put oil and ubtan on the hair and face of the bride. It is just considered a fun tradition. But grandmothers still take this tradition seriously.
The Pakistan Mehndi is famous throughout the world for its fun factor. It is the most awaited event. It is the wedding’s first major function. Mehndi is the first primary function of the wedding. Beautiful mehndi designs are applied to the hands of the brides. It is a night of music, dance, and henna. The bride typically wears a yellow mehndi dress, a traditional attire.
The nikkah ceremony is of great importance in a Pakistani wedding. It is the signing of the bride and groom’s official marriage contract. At the nikkah ceremony, at least two witnesses from both sides must be present. It usually takes place at mosques. Couples prefer only to invite their close friends and family.
The Barat is the main Pakistani Wedding event. It takes just place after the nikkah. It is the day when the groom comes to take the bride away. He comes along with his family and friends. The bride usually wears a traditional red lehenga. It is a grand event organised by the family of the bride. Small traditions like doodh Pillai or joota chupai add fun and delight to the celebrations.
The rukhsati event occurs at the end of the Pakistani Wedding Barat ritual. The bride and her family are extremely sad as she leaves her home behind. The bride is given to the groom with the Holy Quran over her head. It depicts that they are sending their lovely daughter under the protection and blessing of Allah. At the same time, the groom and his family are super excited about welcoming the new member to the family.
Valimas, or wedding feasts, are an important part of the Muslim Wedding Ceremony and are known as the day when a bride is formally welcomed into her husband’s family. Valima ceremonies take place one or two days after the marriage has been solemnized and involve a grand feast given by the groom’s family in honour of their new daughter-in-law. The atmosphere at Valimas is usually joyful, with guests enjoying delicious food, music and dance performances.
The ceremony itself begins with a nikah (wedding) prayer followed by blessings for the newly married couple from close friends and relatives. After this, the bride is presented with gifts and jewelry from her in-laws as symbols of love and acceptance into their family.