Bracing for the Karachi wedding season: A guide for hosts and invitees

Its that time of the year again, folks. Either side of Bakra Eid very nearly every committed couple in the city decides to get hitched for good. There are both cultural and practical reasons why the fag end of December and the early parts of January are popular months for getting married in Karachi but what this does mean for the average invitee is not always very pleasant.

Late night eating, all night sing-o-thons and tons and tons of functions (there’s this one wedding I know where there were no less then six separate functions, ranging from the mendhi, dholki, mayoon -one each for the bride and groom separately-, the baarat, the valima and in some cases a chohti or a chutti on the fourth or sixth day after the valima!) can all be quite overwhelming after the first few outings. To help you keep a brace with the festivities, here are some handy tips.

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For the invitees:

– Invited to several functions of the same wedding? Prioritise. Decide what’s more important to attend, a mayoon or baarat. Think practically, not emotionally, for every function will cost you money in terms of cost of gas/petrol to reach venue and gifts to be given. Ideally, if you are invited to 3-6 functions per couple, pick out 1 or at most 2 functions that you’d attend. RSVP as not attending the others.

– Invited to three separate functions on the same day? Yes, it happens. All the time. Last year, I had three shadis to attend on the 25th. Thanks to the fashionably late style most Karachi weddings take place in, attending any number of events on the same day can be accomplished. For this just call all your hosts and asked them for a realistic time at which dinner will be served. Schedule the event where dinner will be served last as your last outing and the one where dinner will be served earliest as the first. Accommodate everything in between by simply dropping by, saying quick his and hellos, and leaving before eating. Reserve the eating for the first and last event only.

– Carry an umbrella. Karachi’s weather is very unpredictable, it can be bright and sunny all day, but suddenly, it can be pouring as you’re making your way to a shadi. If it starts raining after you’ve reached a shadi, it’s advisable to make a quick head-away before rain gets heavier, traffic gets worse and flooding begins. If it’s starting to rain while you’re still getting ready to leave, call up hosts and check if the function is still on.

– Not sure what to wear on one of the pre-wedding functions? Semi-formal is the norm. Casual can work, but supposedly only with a lot of “make-up” (sorry, this is not my area of expertise). For actual wedding and post wedding functions, do not think beyond formal. And always carry a shawl or sweater, I know you’d want to show off those fancy dresses but you don’t want to freeze either.

– Always call your hosts around Maghrib on the day of the event and ask for a realistic time at which things will proceed. If you’re one of those people who hate waiting for hours and hours for the bride and groom to arrive so dinner can be served and you can leave, this exercise will save you from considerable headache. If you know that a certain family’s events are always late, do not bother turning up at least half and hour after the “realistic” time they tell you to arrive at. And carry some biscuits or other small eatables, just in case food is served past midnight and you don’t want to starve.

For the hosts:

– Want to have your function late? You’re more than welcome to. Just tell everyone, don’t lie on the invitation card. 9:00 PM sharp doesn’t translate at post midnight. Tell your guests on the card that they can have a light snack at their regular dinner time, take a nap, then get dressed and promptly arrive at midnight at your events.

– Oh and yeah, if you’re planning on having those all-night-sing-along things at one of the pre-wedding functions, consider keeping the volume levels on the surround sound stereo system low. Just because you’re having a nice event beside Bon Vista doesn’t mean that people all the way across Bilawal House have to hear what’s going on. Others may be sleeping, praying, studying or just sitting trying to watch TV without wanting to constantly hear background music from Jub We Met.

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Henna, originally uploaded by TheShorterStory.

– Want to have your function on time? You’re more than welcome to again. There’s plenty of things you can do, for a starters, get the eldest person in the family (or the one with most authority) to call all the ladies in the house and give them a Musharraf style mere azeez hum wataon wala khitab. Tell them to get ready by 7, no later, or fear your wrath.

– Second of all, talk to the darned photographer (if you’ve arranged for one that is) and ask him or her to keep things simple. He or she can take their three trillion photos in five zillion ridiculous filmy poses, but all after the main wedding function is over, after dinner has been served and the poor, old guests have left. They don’t need to be kept waiting because you’re still asking the bride to do the hold-your-ear-but-show-your-earring pose.

– If you’re the larki walas, send the larke wales constant reminders to bring the baarat on time. For best results, send one member of your family to the larke wale’s residence so he or she can personally push everyone to hurry things up.

– Also keep a strict eye on the caterers, tell them the local sector in charge is your buddy (even if he isn’t), and if the food isn’t ready by nine you’ll speak to him personally. Also prepare in advance for rain, make arrangements for a standby closed venue, or a water proof overhead tent.

– Finally, call you your close relatives and friends a day before the event and remind that them that the baarat and/or other wedding cruise will leave if they don’t reach by a certain time and dinner wont wait for anyone after its allocated time has reached.

– In short, don’t wait for anything. If you have allocated a time for a certain thing, disregard the fact that xyx guest/family member has not arrived or xyx trivial custom has not been performed. None of this is more important then the dinner being served on time so that your guests can be saved from late-night-eating induced indigestion. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Enjoy the weddings!

See Also: The Essence Of Time In Light Of Karachi’s Weddings

17 Comments so far

  1. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    lol@local sector in charge


  2. IUnknown (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

    i wud say simplicity is the best policy.
    The more simply held the marriage, the more easier its to do it in time.


  3. PixHost Free Hosting Image Picture (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

    If u have to do it once in life, do it memorably


  4. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

    most of marriages get late due to makeup of dulhan which longs for hours. :D

    waise makeup experts aiysa zabardast makeup karta hain k shadi k baad jab couple dawat par kisi k ghar jata hay tu aksar ye shock lagta hay k banda kisi aur k biwi k saath aya hay.

    on other hand, dolha k jitna bhe makeup thop do, uski phitkar pan nahi chupta balkay aur wo “Abbu Abbu” sa lagna lagta hay. :D


  5. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

    Adnan LOL! You are a silly man

    In philipines also girls are bleaching their faces white. This is ridiculous. Tan color looks just fine why do you have to look pale (anemic).
    And why spend so much money on jewelery, which you wont use it again.
    Spend it on something practical such as buying a property.(helps economy)


  6. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 12:40 am

    me and silly?

    Shahid-un-Nisa, wo tu mey tumse pocho ga jab tum par guzray gi yani make se pahla aur make up k baad….


  7. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 2:55 am

    Ms Adnan
    If you are going for a photoshoot, I would recomend a slight make up. Little grooming would not effect your manhood.


  8. balma (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 3:18 am

    * Bakra Eid

    ******
    Miss Radvi, it is baqr-eid, not bakra eid, where baqr = cow in Arabic.
    Of course, if you don’t know the difference between kaaf and qaaf in Urdu and Arabic, then never mind.


  9. SK (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 8:06 am

    I’ve always heard xyz not xyx!


  10. SK (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 8:14 am

    I always think it is a pretty good idea for selecting a hotel as the venue for a wedding, you are charged on a per hour basis and they will kick you out if you are late.

    If one can afford to have 6 functions he can have 1 decent function in which he can spend as much as he wants.


  11. zee_zeeshan (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 9:25 am

    Zainab Razvi
    I will disagree with your comment
    “if you are invited to 3-6 functions per couple, pick out 1 or at most 2 functions that you’d attend”
    If u r invited to 3-6 functions then u r some 1 special or close to the hosts. Wedding functions are truly enjoyable and memorable so you must attend all of them


  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    shahidun-nissa, tum tu dil par hey legaye. mohallay ki borha laraka aurto k tarha tanay marnay shuru kardiye. :>

    balma, repetition of something makes it less interesting and more boring. hope you got my point.


  13. IUnknown (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 11:24 am

    lol @adnan.. plz stop it. Shahid kahen rona na shroo ho jaye


  14. woman in a men's world (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

    “hold-your-ear-but-show-your-earring pose” haha this one is simply great :D

    n “give them a Musharraf style mere azeez hum wataon wala khitab” is the runner up.

    A great post!!


  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

    There was a time when family’s ladies,girls and even kids used to watch Movies[Wedding Movies] with great interest and ladies used to ask with each other on fone about arrival of movie copies. I remember that we had developed multiple copies of movies(both doolha and dulhan walay version) and then all used to sit at a place(specially) ladies and watch with great interest.

    The best of movie is dinner time. Ladies stop eating infront of camera. Sometime one experiences funny faces specially when Niwala is inside and movie maker is busy in his business. Such scene reminds Urdu Mohawara, Na Ugaltey chen na Nigaltey chen.

    Do ppl still watch wedding movies?


  16. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on December 27th, 2007 @ 12:43 am

    Ms Adnan
    Sorry about my tone :)
    I dont miss any dinner party. Log is tarha toot paray kaney pey. mey be chara bhooka hi ghar aa gia.


  17. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 27th, 2007 @ 2:15 am


    mey be chara bhooka hi ghar aa gia.

    Oho.. Jabhi tumhari itni buri tarha se hati huwi hay. Raste se MUNNA BISCUIT ley laytay aur khatay huwa ghar ajatay?

    ab ye mat kahna k shadi hall k bahar tumne do rupay ki CHEEZ layli the aur paise nahi bachay thay.



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