Clothes, Shopping, South Asian, Wedding

What to Do Before you Go Wedding Shopping in Pakistan (or whatever other place in South Asia)

Hi Everyone,

Some of you were interested in knowing how to best prepare for your wedding shopping trip back home, wherever that may be! Well, this is what I did before I went to Lahore in March 2013, hope it’s helpful to you too!


1.      Make a List

This may sound simple and obvious, but my sister insisted that I write every, single thing down that I wanted to get – and it was extremely helpful. Include anything and everything you can think of: items like the dupattas (scarfs) for your boys for the mehndi to choorian (bangles) for your bridesmaids; the types of oufits you want to get for your jahez (How many saris do you want to get? And what types? Break it up into the kinds, e.g. 2 lace saris; 2 banarsi saris, etc.);  Gifts for your in-laws; Your Accessories; Your Friends Outfits/Accessories, Mehndi Decor, Decorative items you may need for the wedding (e.g. glass for the ‘dood palai’),  even any souvenirs you want to get your friends/co-workers back home! Of course what you list will  be estimates  because you never know what you’ll find, but it gives you some direction and an idea of what you’re looking for (for example, if you have 8 bridesmaids you know you need to get 8 outfits and 8 accessories). I broke my wedding shopping list down into these sections:

Things to Buy For Me:

Accessories for me:

Gifts for my Susraal (In-Laws):

For my Friends (Clothes and Accessories):

For the Mehndi Decor & Shaadi Stuff:

Other Gifts:


2.       Do your research and print out pictures.

Look at as many blogs; Pinterest; fashion runway pictures, designers’  Facebook pages to get an idea of the types of wedding lenghas and jahez clothes that you would like to have.

I really liked this one for picture inspiration: http://shaadi–

I printed out all of the pictures of outfits that I liked and took them to Pakistan with me so that I could give them to the shop keepers. For example, you can see what picture I gave a shopkeeper and the sari he made here.

3.       Make the appointments with the designers you want to go to see ahead of time.

Truth be told, I wasn’t interested in meeting lots of designers because I didn’t care about whether my outfit was designer or not (money does not style make!). I went to Pakistan with the mindset that if I saw a wedding outfit in a shop, and I loved it, then I would get it (like I did with my Mehndi outfit – I got it for 27000 RPS, about $270 from Liberty – you can see it here on the Story of my Mehndi post!). From doing my research though, I knew that there were some designers that I wanted to at least meet to see what they could do in my budget.  For example, I was very intrigued by Fahad Hussayn’s designs, and my cousin Safiya happened to go to college with him and was a friend of his, so she took me to go see him. And,  I had loved Karma’s collections ever since I learned about them when I was in uni and I was set on going there, so I had made an appointment with them beforehand.

4.       Make a calendar of your time in Pakistan/India/Wherever.

I actually made a calendar of the month of March 2013 in Word and had written in when we would arrive in Lahore and when we leave. Doing just that lets you see how your month there is actually more like three weeks because of travel time and settling in! I also had researched the exhibitions and fashion events that I wanted to go too and put them in. Secret Closet is a fantastic Pakistani blog where you can keep up with all of the latest fashion events happening in Pakistan. When I went in March, there was a bunch of lawn exhibitions happening. I loved Sania Maskatiyas’s designs (as you know from my previous post!) so I had put in my calendar her exhibition dates. I also put in all of the appointments I had made with the designers I wanted to visit beforehand. Doing that just made it easier to plan my days there. I went around Lahore with my sister, and my mom who trekked through the streets with arthritis, god bless her! My sis had lived in the city for ten years, so she knew how to best go to different shopping areas based on proximity and traffic. When you actually make a calendar and can see your appointments in it, you get a sense of where you’re going to go in the city, and if it’s Lahore, you’ll pretty much be in Liberty all the time, lol! Below is my simple calendar that I made when I went! I took that thing  everywhere with me and it totally got me made fun of by my cousins 🙂

march pic

Happy Shopping Ladies!!!

P.S. This post was inspired by reader Salihah (thanks Salihah!). If you guys have any other questions/topics you’d like me to write about, let me know! 🙂


7 thoughts on “What to Do Before you Go Wedding Shopping in Pakistan (or whatever other place in South Asia)”

  1. Thank you for sharing everything with us. Just wondering how long it took you to do all your wedding shopping in pakistan, did you go for a month?

    1. Hi Sofya…I can’t because that’s really up to the discretion of the family that’s giving it! I believe that you only give if it comes from your heart and if it’s in your means…there is no black and white list of what to give, that will depend on each and every family.

  2. Wedding shopping is a very serious issue and every woman wishes to have the best collection. I am dealing with the jewelley and after reading your story I’m imaging that how difficult is it to manage everything? Can you please guide more about your jewellery collection and by the way thanks for sharing your life experience with us.

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