Dholki Song Booklet (Urdu Edition!)

Ladies, and gents,  I’m sounding an alarm bell: our generation is at risk of losing our rich cultural traditions. How so? This past weekend I was at a dholki (pre-wedding event where you play the traditional drum and sing wedding folk songs). An aside,  this is what I wore, another outfit from Chinyere, the same one that I wore to my own dolki in Pakistan last year, with the kussas (shoes) I wore on my mehndi, from Kussa Mahal in Liberty, Lahore, costume earrings from Shabi’s in Richmond Hill, costume jhummar (that piece of jewelry I’m wearing on the side) that my Khala sent me from Karachi, and a purse my sass (mother-in-law) gave me as part of my wari (trousseau gifted to the bride from the groom’s family)!


And at this dholki, not one of the twenty of us twenty-somethings knew the words to one full song, and only one person knew how to play the actual dolak itself! And that is a problem.

Sure, we could start “Lathay Di Chadar Uthay Salayti Rang Maaiya Ao Samne Ao Samne Gholo Di Uske Na Rang Maaiya”…But what comes after that? Ok ok, how about “o kala shah kala…” Wait, but then what? And so on, and so forth until our voices fizzled enough that we had to resign ourselves to finding a youtube play list!

If we don’t learn these songs from our mamas, khalas, phupos, chachis, mamanis (basically all the female aunts, as typically it was women who sang these songs, even though nowadays both girls and guys give it their best efforts), then what are our own children’s wedding functions going to look like, when they’re not around to drown out our unsure voices? How will we keep our rich traditions alive?

I grew up in a really small town in Canada where I was literally the only South Asian kid in my class…Every. Single. Year. I never had the opportunity to attend dolkis because there was just no community around us and so I was never exposed to these songs, in fact the first time I had ever heard any of these songs was when my cousins sang them perfectly at my own dolki in Pakistan! So now when I attend dholkis with people who were surrounded with large desi communities, and who grew up singing these songs on the regular…and they don’t even know the words, I can’t help but think what chances do we have to preserve it?!

Having song booklets to learn the words help! Here’s one that you can download that my sis-in-law sent me: Songs Booklet! My BFPW tip: when you have them printed for your dholkis/mayoun/mehndis, have them printed on bright yellow paper – it will blend into the decor and look so much more festive than plain white sheets!

Be sure to look out for my Punjabi song booklet next post!  (I know, this one doesn’t even have the classics like Chitti kukar! Hehe 😉 ) What classic songs would you add to your song book?!




Desi Weddings: Then and Now

Hi All!

I wanted to share with you a feature article I wrote for a new South Asian magazine, called ZINDGI (meaning, “LIFE”, for all my non-Urdu/Hindi speakers!) They wanted me to write a piece about weddings (broad, I know!) so I decided to write about the evolution of South Asian weddings; how for so many in our generation, so very much has changed!

You can read it here!


Weekend Brunch Outfit

Hi ladies!

So, as you may have read on here, this time last year I was in Pakistan shopping for all of the clothes for my wedding! (Sigh, I want to go back!) This meant getting all of the wedding dress(es) for the main events, but also all of the “trousseau” outfits (clothes traditionally given to you by your family as gifts for your marriage).

When I was shopping, I knew that yes,  I needed to get some semi-formal outfits with “kaam” (bejewelled work), but I also wanted outfits that I could wear more casually – during the day, for brunches, lunches etc. (Side rant: I feel like the entire Pakistani community in the GTA goes completely overboard when they dress for functions – e.g. why is wearing an outfit with ‘kaam’ to a dolki the norm?! In Pakistan, I noticed that people wear clothes that are much less fancy – e.g like a nice lawn outfit for a dolki would suffice – and I think that’s way more appropriate, too! ) Anyway,  being cognizant of wanting a diverse assortment of outfits in my bridal trousseau,  this is one of the shirts I brought back:


It was from FP Lounge near MM Alam Road in Lahore – a store that has a bunch of different labels under one roof. It was one of my top 3 shops for ready to wear outfits in Lahore. I loved the ‘chicken’ material on the front and the hand block printing panels on the side. I think this shirt was around 10,000 RPS (about $100), which to me, was worth it because a) I knew I could never find anything like this in Canada and b) I knew that I’m most comfortable in outfits like this. You cant see it in the picture, but I paired it with pearl earrings and it made for a great family brunch outfit, for when SM’s relatives came over! That would definitely be one piece of advice for brides who are starting to shop: get all types of outfits as part of your bridal trosseau- not every occasion calls for ‘kaam’ 🙂

Quesion for readers: Where do you get Pakistani outfits if you’re looking for something more simple?!


Shout Outs to Wed Me Good and British Asian Bride!

This week my Big Fat Pakistani Wedding was featured on a new, fresh South Asian wedding website based out of India – wedmegood.com.  This site gives you access to tons of ideas and real weddings, and the creator Mehak’s voice is so fun to read! Definitely check it out!

Also, got some love from the U.K. this week with a reblog on British Asian Bride – a great how-to blog by Tina which covers the desi wedding scene across the pond!

Love reading other desi blogs – what sites are on your blogroll?!


MyBigFatPakistaniWedding Blogiversary!

First things first – yes, apparently ‘Blogiversary’ (blog anniversary) is a word. Second, and more importantly, I just passed my first one! I didn’t even realize until it dawned on me that last March I was in Lahore for the whole month, and I began this blog right before I left for that wedding shopping trip in Feb 2013. What a journey it’s been! Of course, my trip back to the PK, and the wedding itself,  but I mean this whole process of blogging about it all!

When I started my  blog last year I said that I’m excited to take you on the journey that is my Big Fat Pakistani Wedding…well one year, and tens of thousands of page views later, I’m so thrilled that you’ve come along for the ride! I could never have imagined such great interest and positive feedback, and I’m so happy to hear that my experiences have helped you plan your Big Fat Pakistani Wedding,  or Indian wedding, or well, just wedding, period! So really, I wanted to say: thank you. Thank you for reading, for following and for all your comments. Starting this blog, aside from how much I enjoy writing it, has made me realize the power of sharing stories; whether it be talking about things like redefining  ‘jahez’ (dowry) or choosing a make up artist, it made me realize that just having a space to have this dialogue is so important, and I’m so happy that you’re all apart of it.
Thank you!



Video! Mehndi & Shaadi Next Day Edit by JF² {Films}

Hey Guys!

If you read my last post, you would have seen the awesome work of the talented Joseph Fernando of JF² {Films}. Well, he did it again with his next day edit coverage of my mehndi and shaadi (wedding).  That’s correct, it’s called a “next day edit” because Joseph filtered through hours and hours of footage, edited it perfectly to a catchy  tune (gold stars if you can guess who the song is by) in time to play it on our valima reception the next day. (Yes, he did all that work in a day. Check out Joseph’s blog for more on his creative process!)

To capture, in three minutes and fifty three seconds, all of the rhythm, warmth, love, tears, joy, happiness, nervousness, energy, excitement, embraces, expressions…and my Louboutins, lol… is to truly tell the story of MyBigFatPakistaniWedding 🙂

See for yourself 🙂 

Portrait (Engagement) Video by JF² {Films}

Hello, hello!

I’m so, so, excited to be sharing with you the work of a very talented young artist: Joseph Fernando. I blogged about my weekend portrait film shoot with Joseph last summer, when he followed SM and me (wearing my perfect bridal shower dress from Cabaret Vintage) around our favourite spots in Toronto to create his signature portrait video (think engagement photo shoot, but video footage to music, instead).

SM and I had a ton of fun picnicking (PB &J), flying a kite (when it cooperated), playing scrabble (l lost, miserably, but thank you Rooster!), walking along the beach (yes, we’re that couple) and eating ice cream (mmm Eds Real Scoop) as Joseph got into his creative zone. Last June I said that if what I saw of Joseph getting into his  zone was any indication, then I have no doubt that his work is going to be absolutely incredible. Well, now you can see for yourself: I present to you, “Run” by Joseph Fernando:

We played the video as part of our valima reception, and it was, for obvious reasons, a big hit. Make sure you check out Joseph’s blog about this adventure too! http://jf-squared.tumblr.com/ and his FB: https://www.facebook.com/JF.SQUARED.FILMS, and look out for my next blog which will be about his next day edit of our mehndi and shaadi! 🙂