Planning, Wedding

Real Talk: 3 Things I Learned From Planning MyBigFatPakistaniWedding

1. Weddings  are expensive. Like crazy  expensive. The word wedding is the industy’s cue to up their price points! How do you combat this? A budget  is a good place to start. Listing  every single  expense that  you  can think of for the wedding, and the estimated cost beside it in an excel sheet, will quickly give you an idea of how things add up. The easiest way to lower costs is to lower the number  of guests, because venue  costs are based on a per person charge and so more people = more money. Of course  that has its own challenges to sell family on inviting  less guests  but  it’s definitely  my # 1 reccomendation to keep costs down! The second, which  I’ve  talked about  how in retrospect I would have  done, is doing a two day event: 1 mehndi  and 1 shaadi/reception combined, with costs split down the middle. Again, the idea may not be loved by our parent’s generation, but I think  the next generation  of weddings are going to do this more and more!

2. There will be some things that you can’t control. And trust me, I tried. With my type A, detail oriented, neurotic personality, I planned for everything on my shaadi day, but despite  my best efforts, there were things  I couldn’t  control: namely the imam going on a rant (grr) and people talking during speeches (the worst). What I was terrible  at, but will advise  you to  try to do, is that if things  aren’t  going  as you had imagined – smile. SMs fam gave him this advice  beforehand  and many of our pictures tell me I would  have benefited  from hearing  this  too lol. It’s way easier said than done, but remembr that when something  is happening that you don’t  like on your big day, looking  upset  is only going  to be  captured in the photographs  forever!

3. Afterwards, try to let any imperfections go. I put a lot of time, thought, effort any energy  into planning MBFPW and so the things that did go wrong bothered  me for quite a while. (It’s been over a year and the thought  of our imam still irks me!). But the advice  I’d give  you, and myself, is that  you have to take a deep breath and let it go. My momma said it best when  I was sulking  about  the things that  bothered me: “Your shadi was beautiful, don’t worry about what didn’t happen, look to the future with your handsome husband. Be always happy. Mashallah you have lovely family.”

Ameen 🙂

23 thoughts on “Real Talk: 3 Things I Learned From Planning MyBigFatPakistaniWedding”

  1. One more thing just remember all the things that went well. Alhamdulillah it was beautiful Union of two people who are meant for each other by Allah , may your love continue to blossom. Amin

  2. I’m beginning to plan my wedding (just got engaged :)) and I’m searching for a good photographer. I love your wedding pictures and was wondering if you could do a post on your experience with narrowing down photography options for the big day and the entire process. Your blog has been a huge help and an eye opener.

    1. Hey Amna! Congrats!!! Exciting times ahead!! I actuallly wrote an article about this for Suhaag you can check it out here , the one thing I would say though is that really invest in photography. ..I was happy with our pictures but I wish we had more, because we only had one photgrapher and not an assistant not all the moments were captured, also we didn’t have time to do a photo shoot on the shaadi day and I totally regret that so make sure you have time for that!!

  3. Hello safa!! OMG I just stumbled across your blog, im an Irish Pakistani and im having a BFPW next year here in Dublin Insha Allah, and im totally loving all the tips and advice you have provided. Unfortunately we don’t have a big desi influence here in Ireland so im trying to incorporate as much as I can insha Allah! I didn’t know how to contact you so im leaving you a comment!! looking forward to reading all your posts!

  4. Great post Safa! Can a woman really have a perfect wedding? I have been following wedding blogs for help with our wedding and many people have said what you are saying that nothing can be perfect. So much work though!

    Secondly, this comment is for Amna: Amna you should also check the work of os photography. Another blog I follow, recommended him and she seems really happy with his work. The photos look great.

  5. I also have some questions. Besides not having two photographers were you happy with your photographer? (If you could do a detailed post like Amna suggested that would be very helpful:)) I am also making appointments now. I am considering Mir Anwar because of your blog and os photography because of the blog above. Because you wrote the article for a magazine, I am wondering if are you familiar with os photography? If so what are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Hiba,

      I’m not sure if this message is too late but I couldn’t help but leave a response. I can’t say anything about Mir Anwar so I’d leave that for Safa, but I have to say that Omair from OS photography was amazing to work with. I actually had the pleasure of working with him on my Mehndi as the photographer I had hired cancelled on that day last minute but sent him as a replacement. He was incredibly professional (arrived early, dressed appropriately, made the effort to find out who all the important people were and focused many pictures on them, etc.), he went out of his way to get great shots (made me do these unique poses in my venue I never thought of, stayed 2 hours later than I had arranged, and pulled me out onto the balcony to take a shot because the sunset lighting was perfect), and was so fun to work with (made me feel like a model and made sure my teenage cousins ‘fixed’ my dupatta/ haar properly on stage). And the pictures turned out FANTASTIC – my favorite of the entire wedding.

      I haven’t had the opportunity to praise him anywhere else as I don’t want to overshadow my own photographer that was decent (though tired from personal issues) on my wedding day – but I really liked working with him.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Hi Arress, I just saw your comment! Thank you so much for your help and feedback. We had an appointment with him and really liked him too. I’m very happy that you shared your experience. I’m pretty sure we are going to hire him. My fiance really liked him a lot too far more than any photographers we have met. Glad your pictures turned out so well!

  6. Hey! Firstly, thanks SO much for this blog! It is super helpful for me as I am planning my wedding. I had a couple questions for you actually.
    We are likely going with Le Jardin for the Wedding InshAllah! I know you mentioned your cousins wedding was there, so I am glad to hear she loved it 🙂 Do you know which room she was given by any chance (Versaille, Le Parisian, Grand Renaissance etc)? I am asking because I am just a little worried about the hall looking congested (I have about 250 guests) as their room sizes seem smaller then other venues yet they say the room should accommodate.

    Lastly, do you have any recommendations for our Valima hall? We are actually thinking about going with Paradise (The classic room hopefully!). How was your overall experience with this hall and were you happy with your choice? My fiance also likes MCC and Grand Empire and we are still deciding so any advice would be great!


    1. hi hira!

      safa can def speak to paradise and MCC, but i’d be a little wary of grand empire. i had my reception there about 1.5 yrs ago, and of the three days, our least pleasant experience was with them, from the get-go (we even considered cancelling – which would mean losing our deposit – and booking elsewhere but weren’t able to find anything else for the same date). gurjeet and his team are very unprofessional, although they claim to have been in this business for 30+ years.


      1. Thanks Dania!
        If you dont mind me asking, what were your other venues and which did you like best?
        Yeah hopefully safa can shed some light on Paradise and MCC! 🙂

      2. Hey Hira! Thanks for your comments and sorry for the delay in reply! In terms of Le Jarden I actually have no idea which rooms my cousin used, sorry! And in terms of the valima venue and MCC, my in laws dealt with them and so I dont know much about what their process. For paradise, I was totally satisfied! We went with their in house catering though, the host, and loved them. They negotiate too!

      3. No worries, Hira. Our venues were as follows: Versailles (Mehndi), Apollo (Baraat), Grand Empire (Reception). In terms of service/quality/professionalism, I was the happiest with Versailles of the three.

  7. couldn’t agree with you more on #3, safa! i keep playing all the things that went wrong over and over in my head, and we’re coming up on 2 years, lol. how i wishhhh your blog was around before I got married!

  8. Hi Safa, just randomly came across your blog on google searching for Pakistani bridal bags LOL. I hope your well, and married life is good. I would just like to commend you on your blog. I am not one at all to sit and read blogs – I usually find them so self obsessed and very boring. Your blog however, absolutely fantastic. Very well written and as a Pakistani bride myself I laughed so much at the little Pakistani rituals and customs. Its comforting to know I’m not the only neurotic bride – lol. Just wanted to send some love from the UK – your wedding looked absolutely breathtaking as did you.

    Ayah 🙂 x

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