Stages of an Asian Wedding

The stages of how a pakistani wedding is preformed

Wedding is usually considered as the most memorable day in a couple’s life. This is where two people are united in marriage. The wedding traditions and customs always vary greatly between the ethnic groups, cultures, religions, social classes and countries. During this time, you might find that an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, presentation of gifts and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure is usually involved. The couple always puts on some special wedding garments and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Readings from the various religious texts, music, poetry or prayers are also things that are commonly incorporated into the ceremony.

In Pakistan, marriage is usually seen as a legal union between a man and a woman. From their culture point of view, it is not only seen as a link between the husband and the wife but also it is an alliance between their respective families. In Pakistan, the Islamic law also known as the sharia is usually observed since about 97% of their population are Muslims. Since the Muslims are always diverse, some of the most common events that are held includes marriage proposal, engagement, Dholki, Mehndi, Barat, Nikkah, Registration, Reception, Rukhsti and walima. From these, the only Islamic requirement is the Nikkah and Valima. The other events are cultural additions and the registration part is usually a legal requirement. Pakistanis also have arranged marriages which has also been an integral part of their society for years and are still prevalent. They usually arrange the marriage within the family or the same community or ethnicity. For the Asian wedding,they always look at the social and educational status which they consider important in arranged matrimonial alliances even though love marriages are starting to be more common and acceptable. Arranged matches can then be made after taking into consideration factors such as wealth and social standing of the families. A marriage can also be made within the extended family like between cousins.

For the marriage process, arranged marriages often take long periods of time to finalize. It may take more than a year from the preparation up to until the wedding day. All the close relatives are usually invited when the wedding date approaches. This is for the typical Pakistani wedding that requires a considerable budget for all of them to be accommodated.The wedding date in some cases can be postponed until the important relatives are able to arrive to the reception location. The wedding customs and celebrations may also differ significantly depending on the geographical location as well as the families involved. A typical Pakistani wedding always have at least three main customs involving the Henna ceremony, the Nikah which is also part of the actual wedding, and a subsequent walima which is offered by the groom’s family. A proposal party is then held as a reception at the bride’s house. This is where the groom’s parents and family elders formally ask the bride’s parents for her hand in marriage. For the religious families, once the proposal is accepted a religious text is read and then tea and refreshments are served. The bride to be may also be presented with an item of jewelry and some other gifts, this depends on the individuals family traditions.

In Pakistan an engagement is usually a formal ceremony that marks the engagement of the couple. This is a small ceremony that usually takes place in the presence of a few close members of would-be bride’s and groom’s families. Rings and other items of jewelry among affluent families are later exchanged between the would-be bride and the groom. The bride and the groom were not to seat together traditionally and the rings were placed on the bride’s finger by the groom’s mother or sister and the same was to be done to the groom. Prayers and blessings for the couple are then recited and later the wedding date is decided. The mehndi ceremony then takes place like one or two days before the main wedding day. Traditionally, the events takes place separately for the bride and the groom. The henna is then placed on the couple’s hands symbolically. The groom’s friends and family bring along sweets and henna for the bride as the same is also done for the groom. The groom does not participate in the bride’s ceremony and similarly on the groom’s event, the bride stays at home. The female guest are sometimes offered mehndi at the host’s discretion. The mehndi stages used are of the finest quality and this is usually the focal point of the day. They usually have specially manufactured fabrics and just the right lighting adjustments. The stages are always decorated making them to stand right out of the venue. Both the traditional and contemporary mehndi stages are always available in various colors and styles. They always hire the best to make and decorate the stage at a fair price.

If the couple are Muslim, a Nikkah is usually performed. This is an Islamic official wedding ceremony. This is where a marriage contract is signed by both the bride and the groom in presence of their parents and close relatives. A wedding without the Nikkah is considered as illegal and this is always performed by a religious person who has a license issued by the government to perform this ritual. In the final day of the wedding, walima is held by the couple as they host their first dinner as husband and wife. This is done to celebrate the consummation of husband and wife. Without the groom’s parents this ritual cannot be performed because traditionally, his parents are the people concerned with the organizing of this event. So for the walima to be valid, the parents’ blessing and presence is the most key aspect for walima to take place. After all these, the honeymoon follows. Murree and Nathia Gali are just some of the most popular destinations for the Pakistanis. More well-off couples may also go overseas for their honeymoon. This is usually 2 to 7 days long and it gives a chance for the couple to have some private time of their own, especially in joint families where the bride lives with the husband’s family.

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