Pakistani wedding

Pakistani wedding

A Pakistani wedding typically consist of four ceremonies on four separate days.

Mangni/Sagai

Mangni is a formal ceremony to mark the engagement of the couple. It is usually a small ceremony that takes place in the presence of a few close members of would-be bride's & groom’s families. Prayer and blessings for the couple are recited and the wedding date is usually decided.

Mayoon or Mayun

Mayoon is celebrated at the bride's house. Usually the bride's friends and close relatives get together at her house and they dance and sing, often accompanied by drum music. Generally the bride's family give bangles and sometimes clothes to her friends, depending on what the family can afford. The evening also usually includes a henna where the women put designs in henna on each others' hands. The mayoon can last up to late night. The bride usually wears a simple yellow Shalwar Qamiz. Mayun is a custom of the bride entering into the state of seclusion eight to fifteen days before the wedding. She is made free of all the chores and errands during this time. The bride and groom are not allowed to see each other after the Mayun. The beautification rituals begin during this time.

Mehndi/Rasm-e-Henna

"Mehndi", or the "Rasm-e-henna" ceremony, typically takes place one or two days prior to the main wedding day. The event is traditionally held separately for the bride and the groom, and henna is symbolically placed on the couple's hands. The groom's friends and family bring along sweets and henna for the bride, and the bride's family does the same for the groom. On the bride's ceremony the groom normally does not participate and similarly, on the groom's event the bride stays at home. Female guests are sometimes offered mehndi at the host's discretion.

The ceremony may also be held simultaneously for both the groom and the bride.

The bride normally wears a green dress or yellows/oranges for mehndi and uses only light, or no, make up. The groom will typically wear a casual shalwar kameez. The bride and/or the groom are brought forward in the ceremony under a decorative dupatta by their close relatives.

Uptan

Uptan is a paste made from turmeric, sandalwood powder, herbs and aromatic oils, which groom's mother brings for bride. She blesses bride and applies “uptan’ to the bride's hands and face. Groom's sister also does the same, and a thick string called a “gana” is tied to the bride’s arm. “Uptan” is applied to the bride's skin each day leading up to the wedding. Similar ceremony is held for the groom, where bride's mother, sisters, cousins and friends bring “uptan” for groom and rub it on his skin.

Dolki

Dolki is a popular ceremony of singing traditional wedding & popular songs accompanied by two or three percussion instruments Dolki being the main. The girl is officially treated as bride (dulhan). She wears traditional Pakistani yellow outfit. Her brothers, sisters, and cousins bring her (bride) in the dholki party.

Rasm E Mehndi (Henna Party) takes place a day before the wedding. It’s a ceremony mainly of women. They apply Mehndi (Henna) to the bride's hands and feet, sing, dance, and bless the bride. Sadka (warding off evil) is performed on the bride i.e. donating money circling three times on the bride’s head. Traditionally mehndi was brought by groom's parents. Mehndi (Henna) is applied in beautiful floral designs and sometimes groom's name is written in designs. After the ceremony dinner is organized for the guests. Traditionally, the bride is not allowed to take part in the celebrations and keeps her face hidden in veil. Rasm E Mehndi is organized for grooms also in some parts of Pakistan.

Baraat

Baraat is procession of family, relatives, and friends of groom that accompany the groom to bride’s home for official wedding ceremony. Groom makes his way to the bride's home on a richly decked horse or in a car and “baraat” follows in different vehicles. Groom is given warm welcome by the bride’s family with flower garlands and rose petals. Family and relatives of the groom and the bride exchange glasses of juice or sherbet along with money. Guests are welcomed by the bride’s sisters by playfully hitting them with a stick wrapped and decorated with flowers.

Nikah

Nikah is purely Islamic official wedding ceremony that usually takes place at the bride’s home. Nikah is attended by close family members, relatives, and friends of groom and bride. Usually, the men and women are made to sit separately, in different rooms, or have a purdah, or curtain, separating them.

Nikah-naama (document of marriage contract) is registered in Nikah. The Nikahnaama contains several terms and conditions that are to be respected by both parties (bride & groom). It includes bride’s right to divorce her husband. Nikahnaama specifies “Meher,” the monetary amount the groom will give the bride. Meher includes two amounts; one that is due before the marriage is consummated and the other that is a deferred amount given to the bride at a time to be determined. The Meher guarantees the bride's freedom within the marriage, and acts as the bride's safety net.

The fathers of groom and bride (Walis) act as witnesses to the wedding. If father is not available, the senior male, brother or uncle performs the ceremony. Islamic Imam (called maulana or maulvi in Urdu) reads selected verses from the Quran and waits for the Ijab-e-Qubul (proposal and acceptance) of wedding. Usually, the groom's side makes proposal and the bride's side conveys her assent. Maulvi and witnesses (gavah) take the Nikahnaama to the bride and read it aloud to her. She accepts the Nikahnaama saying 'qabool kiya,' meaning 'I accept and signs it. The Nikahnaama is then taken to the groom and read aloud to him. He accepts saying 'qabool kiya and signs the document. The Maulvi and witnesses (gavah) also do sign the Nikahnaama contract and the wedding becomes legal. The Maulvi recites the Fatihah, the first chapter of the Quran, and various durud, or blessings to mark the closing of Nikah ceremony.

After the wedding is legally announced, dishes of dates and misri (unrefined sugar) are served to the groom's family. Groom is then escorted to his bride where he’s allowed to site beside his wife. This is the time when sisters-in-law of groom play pranks and tease the groom.

haadi

The main day of the wedding is called "shaadi", which is the bride's reception. The event takes place at the bride's house, where large wedding tents may be set up in the garden or a nearby place. It has also become very common to hold the event in a marriage hall or hotel. The bride's family is responsible for the reception and arrangements on this day.

The barat or grooms procession indicates the arrival of the groom's family and friends to the bride's house. The barat is often accompanied by the rhythms of a dhol (drum) as it arrives and is greeted with flowers garland and rose petals by the brides family. It is customary for the bride's sisters and friends to stop the barat from entering the arena until a sufficient amount of cash is given to them. This can lead to banter, usually harmless and just for fun, between the bride's sisters and friends on one side and the groom's brothers and friends on the other side.

The bride traditionally wears a red/pink/purple gharara, lehenga or shalwar kameez which is heavily embroidered; other bright colors may also be seen. The dress is always accompanied with heavy gold jewelery. The groom may wear a traditional dress such as sherwani with a sehra or turban though some may prefer to wear a western inspired
suit.

The nikah is the Islamic marriage contract ceremony. It either takes place at the Shaadi itself or on a separate day at the bride's house, before the shaadi event.

It is performed by an imam which formally indicates signing of the marriage contract. The bride and groom must both have two witnesses present to ensure that the marriage is consensual.

A dinner is served which consists of several dishes alongside pullao, tandoori chicken and naan.

alami

It is also customary for the bride's family to offer gifts to the groom and at their discretion, his family members which is known as "Salami".

Rukhsati

Finally, the "Rukhsati" takes place, when the groom and his family will leave together with the bride. The Qur'an is normally held over the brides head as she walks from the stage to the exit in order to bless her. This is a somber occasion for the bride's parents as it marks the departure of their daughter from their home. The departure of the bride becomes a very emotional scene as she says farewell to the home of her parents and siblings to start a new married life.

Traditionally, the groom traveled by a decorated horse to the bride's house and after the wedding ceremony took his wife in a "doli" (palanquin) to his parents' house to live. The horse and the carts have nowadays been replaced by cars, and one will, in sharp contrast to western weddings, typically see a quiet bride with wet eyes as she sits in the car beside her husband leaving for her new home.

Mooh Dikhai

Mooh Dikhai is the ceremony of first time “showing of the face” after the Nikah. The couple is made to see each other in the mirror and the bride unveils her face that she keeps hidden during the Nikah. The custom of Mooh Dikhai is also called “Aarsi Musshaf.” The bride and groom share a piece of sweet fruit, such as a date and family and friends congratulate the couple and offer gifts. Dinner is served to the guests. The sisters, friends, and female cousins of bride take this opportunity to steal the groom's shoes and demand a sum of money for shoes. This is very popular custom and groom usually carries a lot of cash, due to the popularity of this custom. He pays money to get back his shoes and girls divide the money among themselves.

Ruksati is the ceremony to bid farewell to the bride before her departure to the groom's house. She says goodbye to her parents, close friends and family. The Quran is held over her head as a blessing. It’s a pretty touching moment. Although this practice is un-Islamic but a lot of Pakistani families have come to adopt it.

Walima

This is the final day of the wedding held by couple as they host their first dinner as husband and wife. The groom's family invites all of the guests to their home for a feast at their place or a marriage hall.

The bride wears a heavily decorated dress with gold jewellery provided by the groom's family.Typical colour palettes are pastel shades.

The Western equivalent to the walima would be the wedding reception, though walima's are held the day after the shaadi or wedding.

Nikah can be formed any time either on engagment or wedding anytime before the wedding night.

Indian Muslims

Wedding ceremonies among Indian Muslims is exactly the same as among Pakistani Muslims , but with various minor modifications.

Religious and Ethnic

Wedding ceremonies and customs often differ significantly between Deobandis , Braelwis , Shias and also among the different sub-groups of the Barelwis. Customs are also different among Punjabis , Pakhtuns , Muhajirs , Sindhis , Balochis , Kashmiris and Gujarati Muslims.

ee also

* Culture of Pakistan
* Marriage in Pakistan


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