Getting Ready for the Mayoun!

Hi Guys!

So it’s been a pretty hectic few days; I’m blogging this as I get my hair coloured! My mayoun is on Tuesday and so were trying to get ready for that and then the rest of the wedding days to follow, of course!

So the mayoun (typically the kick-start of Pakistani wedding festivities, where the bride to be wears yellow, and her friends and family adorn her with flowers and ubtan (yellow tumeric paste) is typically a pretty low-key event. That said, with South Asian Weddings nothing really is low-key I guess, lol, and people can make the pre-events as much of a production as their pocketbooks allow them too, but I wanted my mayoun to be a very low-key function, and if it wasn’t able go happen at Lahore Tikka House (they double booked) I just preferred to have it at home, Now, my brother lives in a small townhouse downtown Toronto (and I live with him) so there’s not that much space, but me being me I still want to maximize the feel for the mayoun!

Here’s a before pic:

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And here’s what it looks like now (we’re not done yet!

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I’ll do a proper post of the Mayoun and all the accents post event!

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Quick Update! 9 Days to Go!

So I have a million things going through my head but I wanted to still do a quick update on MyBigFatPakistaniWedding!

Good news is: My friend’s sari blouses are ready!

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The bad news is two of the blouses don’t fit my friends!! And you know how I blogged about Saira Auntie on Gerrard Street – there are pictures of her taking their measurements!! Such a pain! Now
I have to go back to get these fixed tonight!

But at least one of them fit my friend Kirsten, and ironically she didn’t even get measured!

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Tonight’s agenda is more Gerrard Street and decorator appt!

Pakistani Fashion Designer Misha Lakhani

Today, during my regular a.m. Facebook newsfeed review, I came across this sari that I instantly loved (and hence saved the photo of for future reference purposes!):

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It’s designed by Misha Lakhani, a graduate of Columbia’s Prestigious journalism graduate program, and, a former intern of Bunto Kazmi, renowned Pakistani bridal couturier.

I love this look (give me pink and pearls any day and I’m a happy girl!) I think there is nothing more elegant or classy than a simple pearl necklace and earring set. And I love the pairing of simple pearls with a Pakistani sari, as you still usually see desi outfits with more traditional, heavy gold jewelry – I find the jewelry (and the amount of it) to be the perfect compliment. I also am a big fan of this hair style (also a sucker for a side swept up do) I think it’s so timeless and chic and the model’s makeup, which was done by Pakistan-based artist, Natasha, is also perfectly radiant.

Overall, I love the styling of this look and I would totally want to add it to one of my post-shaadi outfits (if I were still shopping for them!)

In Lieu of Wedding Favours Donation Program

Throughout my wedding planning process I attended a few South Asian wedding shows (Suhaag, Kismet), but I never really got anything out of them except learning about one thing: the Canadian Cancer Society’s In Lieu of Wedding Favour Donation program.

When I saw a Canadian Cancer Society booth at the Suhaag show last year, I stopped to find out why they were there. It turns out the Cancer Society has a wedding Favour donation program where instead of giving your guests traditional favors, you make a donation to the society and they provide you with embossed cards or bookmarks which you can personalize for your guests, so you’re essentially making a donation on their behalf. I instantly loved the idea. I’ve always thought favours are pretty useless and a cost that’s just not worth it, with the exception of extremely practical, usable favors that don’t have the couple’s names written on them in a permanent fashion. Otherwise, people always just end up throwing favors out (because why would you want to display an engraved decorative object with a couples name that’s not your own in your home?!). I can’t remember a wedding Favour I’ve ever saved, and so the idea of donating the money I would have spent on something that probably would have just ended up in the trash was a no brainer!

Also, the Canadian Cancer Society resonated with me because my dad passed away from Cancer when I was 13, and so it felt like the perfect way to bring him into the wedding. I also felt that weddings get so expensive and exorbitant in themselves (especially desi weddings!) that this was a nice way to give back.

The way the program works is that you go onto their website for wedding donations and you can choose either blank bookmarks ($2) and cards ($3.50) which they will send you once you donate the amount – which would equal the cost of the bookmark/card times the number of guests you have. I donated $640 and they sent me 320 bookmarks (blank perforated pages and string – from which you can choose certain colors) and then I had them printed myself.

I decided that seeing as I wanted to have a wedding programme to give guests an idea of the sequence of events, instead of printing them separately, I would just have the programme printed on the bookmark itself, with the dedication at the end: “With your Favour a donation has been made to the Canadian Cancer Society in honor of Safa’s father, Ghias Mahmud Zaki.” I was quite happy with myself about this idea – cost savings and environmentally friendly!

I had them printed at a little Indian print shop called SL Graphics, 1246 Bloor Street West, and the guy their did a great job, even putting up with me for an hour in his store as I went over exactly what I wanted lol, (I love mom and pop shops, I felt right at home) and charged me $60 for printing 81 pages, which is a great deal.

Here’s what they turned out like:

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I’m fairly certain that other charities also have such a program – it’s definitely a worthwhile alternative for traditional wedding favors in my opinion!

MORE Weekend Wedding Preparations

Hello hello!

So, I’m now in the home stretch of this wedding planning business (feels surreal!) and this past weekend was also full of preparations!

After we finally got our marriage license on Friday (see previous post!), my mom and I hit up Gerrard Street Little India Bazaar to go shopping for supplies we needed to package susraali (in-laws) gifts and to find my mom clothes she’s going to wear on the wedding! (Yes – my mom still doesn’t have all her clothes! Grrr)

After a successful morning finding the perfect packaging supplies we also managed to find material for her to make a suit for the shaadi – it’s off white and red, which I’m really happy about because my mom, brother and sister all coordinate with my red dress, and well, it’s not like I did that on purpose or anything….haha of course I did, think about the pictures!! My own family can’t clash with me in the pictures! (P.S. I’m a perfectionist control freak? Lol)

So after Gerrard Street, my mom had been wanting to check out the stores at Albion and Islington in Toronto – particularly Kohinoor. We weren’t impressed. I mean, I’m well aware that Albion Road doesn’t have the…classiest reputation, lol, but c’mon neither does Gerrard Street, and I’ve managed to find some diamonds in the rough there! So we checked it out, both Kohinoor and its sister store Kohinoor Haute Couture, and well to be quite honest nothing was ‘haute’ about it! Everything there was so flashy, lots of bling, gaudy designs… I didn’t see anything elegant with fine “kaam.” I mean, we also had the same problem in Lahore, because this seems to be the new style, but at least when you’re in the PK, you have the opportunity to search until you find the unique pieces you’re looking for. The other issue was that most of the ready to wear clothes come in small or medium, which usually doesn’t work for mommas! Needless to say, we found nothing at either of the Kohinoor Stores!

When we got home that evening my sister and I got straight to work on gift wrapping the susraali gifts – I can’t show you how we did them til after the wedding – but we took over as much of my mom’s bedroom as we could: (yes that’s a samsonite suit case lol – Pakistanis love samsonite!)

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The next day we roamed around the mall in London, ON looking for a luggage set for me (I desperately need a luggage set! Where can I get a nice one?!) and although we didn’t find that, we got fun LED lights from the dollar store for my mehndi trays (our mehndi venue won’t allow open flame – you’ll see why soon!)

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So that was my weekend of wedding prep!

The BigFatPakistani Marriage License Adventure!

So this past Thursday and Friday I was off work for Eid (yay religious accommodation!). Seeing as I was off and city hall is only open Monday – Friday 8-4 (gotta love government hours) SM and I decided to go get our marriage license on Friday.

Now, if there is one thing that can be said about SMs family, it’s that they love to celebrate. And so, in true M style, they wanted to make getting the marriage license an event! SM started off with wanting me to wear a sari to city hall…after trying to explain that this was just the license to get married, and that we will in no way, shape, or form actually be getting married, I convinced him that a maxi dress would suffice, hehe!

So, my momma, bro and I meet poppa M, momma M, and sisters and brother bears at Mississauga City Hall at 1pm.
After a circuit of hugs, momma M gives me this beautiful bouquet of pink and white roses: šŸ™‚

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After a photo shoot (standard) and completing the form, we take a number, and naturally, I photograph said number lol:

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When they call us, D74, up to the counter, the lady asks us for two pieces of ID. I proceed to pull out my Drivers License and Health Card, and SM his Drivers License and Credit Card.

The lady at the counter then looks at us and proceeds to say: “You can’t use a health card or credit card, you need your passport or another form of identification on the list on this form.

To which SM and I say: “Uhhhh”

Lady at counter then says: “You did read the form beforehand, right?

SM and I: shit.

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Lol.

Defeated, we turn back from the counter and tell our families what just happened, lol, sigh. Fail! After five minutes of “what?! Didn’t you read the form! Aw, It’s ok!” My brother says: “OK I’m going back downtown, and getting your passport, we’re getting this done today! I took the day off for this!” Lol (Yes, best brother ever – Mississauga to downtown is a 30 minute drive – if traffic cooperates!)

So, my brother leaves and in the meantime we go have lunch. Fast forward to 3:30p.m. and just SM and I leave the restaurant, head Back to city hall (which closes at 4!) take a number and wait for my brother. (This time we’re D97.) Our number gets called. My brother still isn’t here. It’s 3:52. We tell the clerk we’re just waiting on my brother. 3:53. 3:54. At 5 to 4pm we hear the ding of the elevator and in walks my brother, with passport in Hand!! Hooray!!!! We run to the counter and present our info to the clerk, who then proceeds to process it and asks us to sign and verify that it’s all correct. He then, after what feels like forever, hands us our marriage license!

Ta da!!!! (SM is feeling shy to appear in my blog these days hence the sad crop, lol)

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So there you have it folks! It may have taken the entire day and our incredibly patient families (thanks, incredibly patient families especially brother bear!) but we’re now officially licensed to marry!

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