“When’s the big day!?” is a fairly simple question that is asked of brides-to-be. And typically, the anticipated answer is straightforward: a date. ONE date.

Unless you’re having a Big Fat Pakistani Wedding (BFPW -consider the acronym officially coined!).

Which, I am.

So, when I’m asked “when’s the big day!?” my first response is usually “well, the big dayS are August 29, August 30, and September 1st  2013…not including all of the functions before and after.” When there are looks of awe I proceed to offer this explanation: “I’m having a Big Fat Pakistani Wedding!”

It’s this type of distinction that was part of the inspiration for this blog. Between explaining to my co-workers that I’m taking a month off to go ‘wedding shopping’ in Lahore to making all of my non-Pakistani friends understand that they will be performing choreographed Bollywood dance routines (ahem, sober) in a dance-off against my fiancé’s family (and I’m expecting them to win)…I thought this blog could act as a bit of a guide for my oh so many non-desi friends.

Plus, this blog is for my fellow South Asian brides-to be. You can get access to real insights of wedding shopping and the brilliant fashion scene in Pakistan (I did the trip in March 2013!) and at the same time, I’ll cover the full spectrum of planning that’s gone into my BFPW in Toronto. And of course, what would be a wedding blog without mention of weight loss, the common thread that, for better or worse, connects all the ladies – Pakistani or not; engaged or not!

So with that said, I’m excited to take you on the journey that is My Big Fat Pakistani Wedding!


Safa Zaki I February 2013


While my wedding is officially over  (mehndi photos! shaadi photos! valima photos! next-day edit video!), check out this blog for Pakistani  / Desi / Asian / Indian wedding inspiration, planning tips, and vendor reviews, peppered with my regular social commentary and general banter on all things wedding, culture, and pleasing aesthetics!



35 thoughts on “About

  1. Alvina Nadeem says:

    Hi Safa!

    Shaadi Mubarak hun! you look beautiful in all your pics (even those you’re not supposed to lol).

    So I need some help. I have no idea how to handle this. I am planning to get married next year and the dates are starting to get tough. Also it’s an intercultural wedding so I don’t know how to handle the different events…mehndi, mayoun, etc (my hubby-to-be is French-canadian).

    There is this one magical place that we really connected with and it’s awesome because it’s semi outside, under a chapiteau (the word tent makes it sound tacky..use French to add class). but really it’s like a fairy tale setting with a little pond with ducks and a little island where the ceremony itself will be held.. I wish I could show you a pic.

    Anyway, the thing is they only have Fridays available. The only Saturday is oct 25th (brrr too cold in montreal!). Although the tent can be heated, my guests and I wont be able to enjoy the site and it’s magical presence in October because of the colder temp.

    so now im wondering, will people mind attending a Friday wedding that starts at 5pm. To account for desi standard timing, I will probably ask guests to show up for 4pm lol!

    To add some details, my fiance and I will paying for this event ourselves so a Friday wedding would not only allow us to have the wedding in warmer weather but will also be nicer to our wallets.

    I’d love to hear from you! if there is a way you can email me back or add me on facebook, that would be great!

    Alvina Nadeem

  2. salihah says:

    Hi Safa
    First of all many many congrats on your wedding. You’re so lovely and made such a beautiful bride mashallah, may you both be forever happy.
    I have to admit I have read all your posts and followed your blog religiously because i too am about to brave a shopping trip to pakistan for my upcomimg wedding eeeekkk!!!!! Yes! Thats right I got engaged in the summer and will be getting married in June 2014 god willing! I absolutely loved your wedding dress and looking for something similar with regards to the work but perhaps with different colours. Similarly all your outfits were just spot on, perfect timeless elegance, I SO would have gone for the same things!

    I’m from the UK and never been to Lahore for shopping ever and with only 3 weeks to find my outfits I deffo need some expert advice please. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as to which boutiques/shops to definitely check out. Due to obsessive research lol I’ve found there’s many designers on MM Alam Road but was wondering if perhaps you had a diary or a list of shops to go to perhaps in some sort of chronological/geographical order haha I’m a sucker for organisation. Would genuinely appreciate your any advice/tips you may have please.

    Deffo looking out for your wedding pics, please post em quick =)
    Love Salihah xxx

  3. Peachesandblush says:

    Dear Safa,
    My name is Mehak and im Indian (obsessed with Paki couture however). We are launching a wedding website next month where we would love to feature brides from across the border. I would absolutely love to not only feature your wedding but also talk about your blog as one of the best Pakistani wedding blogs online ! Do let me know if interested and we can take things from therE?

  4. Faiza says:

    Hi Safa! Just wanted to let you know that your walima pictures are being used at libasgallery.com under bridal wear. I think you’d like to know.
    – Faiza

  5. Sabrina says:

    Hello Safa!i need a little help. Im looking for a makeup artist. Im considering Masudaface,Seher Sultan and Naila Tausif. Have you seen their work or heard about which of then is good??thanks

    • safazaki2013 says:

      Hi Sabrina! So ive heard of all of these guys – but I don’t know anyone personally whose used them, so I can’t really comment! I wanted to do a trial with Seher Sultan, but she was booked! Let me know how it goes, good luck!!

  6. Saira says:

    Salaams Safa,
    First of all I just want to say WOW and applaud you for creating this fab blog! I’m getting married on 3rd October 2015 (57 days EEEK!!) and I have pretty much exhausted myself with planning for the last 8 months. Pretty much most of the shaadi prep has been done at this stage but I came across your blog whilst searching for mehndi thaal ideas and I’m SO glad that I did. Looking through all of your posts I realised straight away the similarities we both share, in particular your love of detail (the finer details are what’s most important to me), I think only bride-to-be’s will understand as I have had funny looks from many people when talking about the style of the pen i would like for my guestbook table lol! Anyway I really enjoyed looking through your ideas and tips to plan a BFPW and will definitely take some points on board with me. Hope you are enjoying married life – please keep me, my fiancé and our life ahead in your duas 🙂

    Saira xx

  7. Anam says:

    Hey Safa,
    Thank you for putting so much information out here. I’m also having my Pakistani wedding at the gambrel barn, I was wondering who you’d recommend for catering (deliciousness and price wise). Did you have to rent crockery, utensils and servers separately or did you get an all inclusive service? Looking forward to hearing your recommendations.

    • safazaki2013 says:

      Hi Anam! That’s great! All I know about catering is that we used this guy based out of Mississauga – Bilal – and he took care of everything! I do remember him saying it was really difficult to work in the barn because he didn’t have access to a full kitchen…sorry I can’t be of more help! Congrats on your upcoming wedding!!

  8. Molly says:

    Hi Safa,

    Thank you so much for your great website! I am having a Pakistani wedding later this year, but as someone who is not Pakistani (I’m a white girl from the midwestern U.S.), your website has been SO helpful for teaching my family about what to expect during the different parts of the Pakistani wedding weekend!

    Can I ask if you have any suggestions for websites where I could send my friends and sister for buying reasonably-priced salwar kameez for the mehndi and walima?

    Thank you again for sharing your story!

    • safazaki2013 says:

      Hi Molly! Aw that’s awesome! Im glad you’re finding it useful! It’s hard to find reasonable prices online I find, but here are some sites to check out: http://www.labelsestore.com (this one ships from Pakistan), http://www.nucreation.com (this is Toronto based and with your US dollar so strong the prices won’t be bad for you!), and http://store.shabis.ca/sale/ (another Toronto based boutique!) I’ve also heard Chicago has a big Pakistani / Indian shopping centre – I don’t know how far that is from you, but maybe you could check that out! Good luck with the search!

  9. FN says:

    Hi Safa! Love your blog! In the midst of planning a wedding, I have come across a dilemma. I am having the 3 typical days of wedding festivities but can’t seem to decide when to invite my coworkers? Aka do I invite them to the baraat but then I’m worried they might be a little lost due to all the rasms and Nikkah, or do I invite them to the valima where its more of a traditional reception that they can relate to? Thoughts?


    • safazaki2013 says:

      Hey Fatima! The Mehndi ha! That’s where guaranteed they’ll have the most fun! I guess it depends on your relationship with them – I invited my coworkers to all three days, but I worked on a very small team at the time! I also thought that my wedding would be a teaching opportunity for all my friends / co workers so I made sure to have explanations of each rasm on the baraat (as part of my book mark favours) – I love learning about the various traditions at weddings, so you could always do that too!

  10. Zai says:

    Hi Safa!
    Wonderful blog!
    I need gift ideas to give to the groom’s side. We’re giving clothes to the ladies but I have no idea what else to give.
    Would love your insight!

  11. Hina says:

    Hi Safa – not sure if you still check this. Getting married in 51 days in Toronto. Saw your paan table picture. We wanted to do something similar but I was wondering if you hired a guy to make paans at the table like a paan bar or did the guests make it themselves while the ingredients were left there? We contacted several paan shops in the GTA to come setup a table at our mehndi but they either refused or are charging an arm and a leg. Just wanted to know how you did it and who you used?


    • safazaki2013 says:

      Hey Hina!! Congrats on your upcoming shaadi!! TBH on my mehndi I only saw the paan table in pictures lol, didn’t get a chance to eat so I have no idea if there was a dude there or it was self serve sorry I can’t be of more help!!

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