My Shaadi!

This is the culmination of months and months of planning of my big fat Pakistani wedding! These are just some choice moments, well captured by Mir Anwar, which I’ve put together to tell the story of my big day; enjoy!

Dress: Karma

Hair and makeup: Summera Studio

Decorator: Lemon Truffle Designs

Cake: Fine Cakes by Zehra

Photographer: Mir Anwar


My mother’s jewellery from her wedding trousseau…I wore it as is with no changes, and had the tikka (piece on forehead) made to match._DSC1826The pearls! Pearls are a theme throughout! The vision was deep red, gold, and pearls 🙂_DSC1847One of eight of my adorable bridesmaids!_DSC1882My beaming big brother 🙂_DSC1886Summera starting to work her magic…_DSC1893_DSC1902_DSC1908

_DSC1956_DSC1982_DSC2000_DSC2045_DSC2053_DSC2079_DSC2103The dupatta (head veil) is as heavy as it looks…at least 20lbs!!_DSC2119My wedding Louboutins which I had imported from Spain…long story! You can read about it here, and my brother’s matching red shoes, lol!_DSC1939_DSC1996My beautiful mother:_DSC2132

_DSC2144 _DSC2154My beautiful bridal party! Remember their saris? I got them on Gerrard Street! Didn’t they turn out wonderfully? You can read about my bridal party’s saris here:_DSC2156_DSC2184_DSC2188Checking myself out!_DSC2197_DSC2211My maid of honour:_DSC2265My big sis!_DSC2259Enter into the hall…the receiving table:_DSC2339The hall, itself:_DSC2342The beautiful work of Amna Rather of Lemon Truffle Designs! My vision was classy; ornate; elegant; timeless…and to me nothing is more classic than red roses and pearls. So, naturally, I wanted my centre pieces to be red roses and candelabras with pearl strands:_DSC2296

_DSC2328My favours (I donated to the Canadian Cancer Society in honour of my dad who passed away from cancer; they sent me bookmarks and I had them printed with the wedding programme.) You can read about that here!_DSC2312The stage, note the pearl strands in between the fabrics!_DSC2317_DSC2323_DSC2398Waiting for the Baraat (groom’s side to arrive!)_DSC2472SM and his beautiful little sister!_DSC2476_DSC2478My brother greeting SM and fam:_DSC2483Well settled on the stage, SM now sees me for the first time…DSC_3557…as my brother walks me down the aisle.DSC_3553And we get this ceremony started!_DSC2618_DSC2610_DSC2619The filigree pen I bought just for this very moment, lol! You can read about that here:_DSC2693_DSC2695“Yes!”_DSC2607

_DSC2740The Cake! (Oh, is there ever a story behind this!) Note the cake knife that I ordered from Etsy especially for this! (You can read more on that here!)DSC_3534

_DSC2753My lovely, new fam!:) _DSC2831“We’re marrrried!” 🙂DSC_3735The “dood palai” (custom where your sister feeds the groom a glass of milk…and he gives her money, obvi) Note the special dood palai glass with small roses on it that I brought back from Lahore to match my theme 😀_DSC2800The Rukhsathi begins. (Traditional farewell of bride, all of the wedding guests accompany the bride and groom out to bid farewell to the new couple!)_DSC2886




97 thoughts on “My Shaadi!”

      1. Hi, loved all your wedding days!
        Since you didn’t have a wedding planner, can you write a blog post of how you managed to do it all by yourself. My wedding’s in a year and I’ve started a little, but it’s quite stressful.

      2. Hi Amun! Thanks so much. That’s a great idea for a post, I’ll definitely do one on it! And– don’t stress, everything will work out! xo Safa

    1. OMG OMG!!! That’s beyond admiration. I wonder how did you manage it all? Please share with us about how did you add details to your big day? And it actually turned out to be BIG!!!
      Besides, you look wonderful and the event, site, decor, sarees, flowers were so fascinating.. I hope you have a wonderful journey ahead. Xo

  1. Wow! I am beyond impressed. I didn’t think it was possible to pull off a wedding without a planner, but you have changed my mind. Also, you looked ravishing and you guys make a great couple Mashallah. Thanks for your help!

  2. Hello beautiful bride! This is a great blog and I’m glad I came across it. Love every last bit of detail. 🙂 Is this paradise hall? If you don’t mind me asking how much was pp? or the hall price?

    1. Aw thanks Nina! Yes, it is Paradise hall! We had negotiated the price to $40/pp and went with their in house desi caterer which had changed from when we first booked to my wedding time, ended up being the Host and we were very happy with the food! Im not sure the rates would be that anymore tho because we did book when it wasn’t the host and in 2012 but always just negotiate as much as you can !

  3. hey! your wedding is soooo great i loved every single thing !! but i just wanted to say that can you put more of your married life pictuers its great to watch an know about you ❤

  4. i wish you should learn it soon inshallah…… because i loved watching you……. its just like i know you form year’s ……. an waiting for your new pics 😀 ❤

  5. Hi there! Fantastic Blog and a stunning bride! This is very helpful. I came across your blog this past week. Can you share the cake story with us ? 🙂 I don’t see it on here yet! Best wishes to you and your husband!

  6. Wow! You looked ravishing & the decor by far the classiest I’ve seen in Toronto, or Canada, for that matter… desi Canadians have a long way to go where aesthetically pleasing shaadis are concerned. Do you mind telling me, even a ball park figure, of how much your planner/decorator charged both days, that is Shaadi & avail a. It was breathtaking! & I have my wedding coming up in less than 18 months. Thanks so much for sharing all that you did & best wishes for the future.

    1. Hi Yasmin, thank you so much for your kind words!!! And congratulations on your upcoming wedding; such exciting times 🙂 So I didn’t have a wedding planner (that was me!) but yes I did have a very skilled Decorator Amna of Lemon Truffle Designs. So because I booked prices with her in 2012 her rates have for sure changed so Im not in a position to comment, but I will say that I was very clear on how much I wanted to spend, for example I shopped around and I knew I wanted fresh red roses as center pieces but the max I was willing to spend on those were $50/centre piece
      I also lowered centre piece costs by doing half of the tables with the red roses and tge other half candelabra (which cost less) to save a bit there, and it also made for a more interesting dynamic in terms of the room look. Re: the stage I also determined what I wanted to spend and was able to find someone who could work within my budget. I think when it comes to keeping costs in check the newer talent you can find the lower their prices will be because they’re just starting out. Sorrry I couldn’t be more explicit with pricing, but research as many options you can and have a max budget in mind.

  7. Hi, i was wondering if you can list the locations of all your events? I really liked the barn idea very creative! also congrats. 🙂

  8. Hello,
    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I’m getting married in June and I have loved reading and re-reading your blog. You looked beautiful mashallah. I am going to trial with Summera (I don’t want to go with Shirley either!!) Curious to know, how did your makeup hold up through out the night. As well as your dupatta etc.
    I’d love to know!

  9. Hi Safa,

    Love your shaadi outfit – i know that you said you got it in Lahore when you went to Pakistan, how much did you pay for your outfit? Also, did you order your outfit ahead of time or did you end up liking this particular outfit when you went to their store? I’m from the US and going to Pakistan for shaadi shopping and wanted to get a feel on how much the bridal outfit costs as yours is so intricate. Thanks!


    1. Hi Sahira! Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I liked this outfit after I saw it in the store, tried on their sample, and placed my order 1 wk later, and they actually had it made in two weeks! Their pricing starts at 3500 but to reduce the price I reduced some kaam on the back and they made it for 2000. Overall I was so happy with Karma, they were fantastic!

  10. Hi Safa! I know both Sarah and Saad from highschool times and I just wanted to wish you congratulations.. what an absolutely stunning blog of your wedding! Thank you on behalf of all soon to be brides for your thoughtful and detailed insight. Much appreciated. All the best, always

  11. Heylo there! Found you via WMG You made a stunning stunning bride and love your taste in detailing. Very lovely. By the way, you look a tad like Ana Ortiz, except prettier and way younger All the best! x

  12. Great Blog and I like how you’re so open with sharing details about everything. Congratulations and everything was so beautiful! Congratulations on being featured on Wedmegood as well 🙂

  13. i have a concern and would like some advise please. I would like to have my Nikha and reception on the same day but would prefer to have the Nikha in the afternoon and the reception in the evening of the same day so we can take pictures in between is that crazy thought? Also will it be too stressful if i were to change outfits in between as well?

    1. Hmm I don’t think it is, that’s how most non-desis structure their weddings as well….as long as it’s organized and you can ensure it runs on time, I think it could work out really well!

      1. thank you, I loved your wedding outfit. I may have missed it but what store did you purchase your outfits from in lahore?

  14. Love your blog. I just had a question. I am having my nikah on stage like you and my dad keeps insisting we need a coffee table on stage for the duration of the signing. I think this will not make for good pictures. It appears your nikah is in some sort of book or hard surface? Do you have any suggestions to make the nikah signing easier without a coffee table obstructing the view.

    1. Hi Mariam! Hmmm, I think the imam just put a book of some sort on my lap for the signing of this, but to be honest cant recall! We didn’t have a coffee table though and it worked out fine!!

  15. hi, amazing wedding !! i am one of your biggest fans ! just love how you put all the wedding details which are very helpful for the future brides! one question for you: what was the name of your wedding hall and how is your decor person? Thank you love !

  16. Woww. Congrats!!I have been going crazy looking for makeup artists in Toronto. My sister got her makeup done from Shirley Wu but im looking for somebody else. Im loving your blog. It’s really late at night and I can’t stop reading.

  17. MashaAllah thank you for sharing these beautiful moments with us! I absolutely enjoyed going through your wedding pictures and you looked so beautiful mashaAllah, mashaAllah, mashaAllah!! May Allah subhanhu wa-ta’ ala bless you and your husband with lots of love, light, happiness and His divine wisdom Insha’Allah Ameen! Congratulations ❤

    Much love and light,

  18. Wow Safa I don’t personally know you but came across your blog and I need to ask if you have any hints for me, I am a bride to be (sooo exciting even typing that) Getting married in Pakistan Dec 2014!
    It is mostly the boys size but I would still like to have a few touches for myself incorporated throughout the functions.
    I had tried to just have a joint mehndi and a 1day Nikah ceremony but it didn’t go down well with the boys family so I am now left with a baraat and valima and not all my siblings will be making it so I really would like a bit of ME with this wedding.
    I still have no dress for my main day and am hoping to go 10 days earlier and wishing I fall in love with a dress
    PS its in Lahore so your blog is very helpful
    Thank you sooo much and ye guys looked stunning – the barn is my idea of heaven!

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Aisha, congratulations!! I don’t know how helpful I can be in terms of hints, but I guess just think about what details are important to you? I’m the type of person who is quite detail oriented and so I had a lot of things which I envisioned. ..just think about what you would like the baraat (because Im guessing thats the day you’ll have more influence over) to feel like. Think about what style you want, what colours you like, what you want your wedding to look and feel like. Use pinterest and start a board for inspiration! Good luck and inshallah everything will turn out great!:)

  19. Hi Safa! I absolutely love everything about your wedding! I have a question about your husband’s outfit though. Where did he get his shervani from? Do they have a website? I have been looking for something for my fiancé and haven’t found anything i like so far, please do let me know! thanks

  20. Hi Safa! I have really enjoyed reading your blog and your wedding was stunning! I am getting married in aug inshaAllah and wanted to ask you about the schedule of your day. Was the cake cutting and dood palai before or after the guests and everyone ate? Also were photos taken before or after food…. Thank you in advance! Sofia xx

    1. Hey Sofia! Thank you and congrats!!! The cake cutting and dood palai were after dinner and we had planned to do a photo shoot outside during dinner but it was raining so we never got to 😦 make sure you carve out some time for a photo shoot either before or during dinner!

  21. Hey Safa,
    Could you just brief me on your gorgeous nikkah dress, please. Did you custom make it and if so which vendor in Lahore? Where can I find them? Also, how much was it in USD and how long did it take (including alterations etc)?

    Too many questions…sorry haha
    Your answers will be much appreciated! Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Hey! My dress was made by Karma, and yes I went to Lahore and had it custom made for me. It was $2000 and actually only took two weeks to make but Im told thats very rare! Good luck!!

  22. Love your pictures Safa! I have actually ordered the same dress from Karma and was looking up some pictures and came across your blog; so glad because this is an awesome resource! I’m a huge fan of your colour combo and had a question; my consultant at Karma told me to go with a gold skirt and the swatch she showed me was a very rich gold, very similar to this picture:
    Personally I prefer a lighter shade but she told me that’s the lightest gold they have. Looking at your pictures I’m now wondering if your skirt is actually that same rich gold and your camera/lighting is making it look lighter, or if you picked a beige colour? Thank you!

  23. Hi Safa,
    Beautiful pictures. I hope you’re having a lovely married life.
    I just have a question about your husbands turban – where did you get it from to match your dress so well?

    1. Hi Aisha, thank you! I actually got Karma to get me matching fabric as the jamawar design in my skirt, but in the same red as my shirt! We bought it, but I can’t remember how much it was!

  24. Soo….doubt your getting a lot of guys posting here…but always a first time

    I’m planning my Valima…and to be honest I’m really set on having great food…given how detail oriented and specific you were, I’m sure you did alot of research and consideration on your menu and caterer.

    Do you have a post about that? Or maybe you could provide some insight about what you chose to serve, and who you chose for catering? It’s really something that can make or breaks the whole event.

    Some tips on your budget would be great as well…honestly we should all be so lucky to duplicate your event!

    1. Hey Adu! Thanks for your comment. I actually just used the caterer from the Banquet Hall, which was originally a Pakistani resto, but when we did the full menu tasting at the Host, we preferred that. My mom, bro, sis, fiancé at the time, and maid of honor went to the menu tasting and tried a bunch of dishes and then collaboratively decided. It was actually a fun process, and we were all very happy with the Host. We had negotiated with the venue on price beforehand and we paid $40/pp which included cocktailed appetizers and a mango shake when guests first arrived. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for your response.

        To clarify, the catering cost that you paid to the Host was on top of the $40/pp (that included the appetizers and shake), right?

  25. Wow! I am absolutely impressed! Thanks a lot for sharing your journey with us! Just wondering, who did your stage decor all three days? And where did you get the inspiration? That’s where I am stuck now for my wedding 😦

  26. Hi Safa! Your dress was so so beautiful on the shaadi! Absolutely stunning. Was is fuschia or red? I’m asking because I’m thinking about the same colour scheme for my wedding. Thanks!

  27. Hi! I love your blog.
    I am starting to plan my wedding which is a year from now.
    Can you tell me what was your budget for your wedding?
    Also how did you negotiate prices with the decor, cater, ect…….
    That would be very helpful to know!

  28. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for ideas for my daughter’s wedding. You and your husband make an impressive couple MA. I hope you are enjoying a happily married life. Your dress, venue, decor and photographs were all beautiful!
    My family is new to Toronto and organizing a wedding here is going to be interesting!!! I hope my daughter’s wedding looks as beautiful as yours.

  29. Hi there Safa! Beautiful shaadi week! It’s been so much following your journey..although I randomly landed on the blog a few days ago, it’s been keeping me highly entertained! Thanks so much for putting this together!
    I was hoping to obtain some real serious advice…so my Valima/Reception is in Houston, TX around thanksgiving this year iA and although I don’t intend on doing anything super fancy, I do need to pull off the right makeup with my laal jora! I was hoping you could help me find someone there. In my state of utter desperation, I was even contemplating asking Mir Anwar (who’s based in Houston) buttttttt I’m not exactly sure how well that’ll flow :p Help a fellow dulhaniya out please? Thanks a bunch in advance! Lots of love and prayers!

    1. Hi Urooba! Haha I’m glad you’re enjoying it, thanks! Haha actually – I’m sure Mir would be the perfect person to ask he’s based there and would know so many vendors! Unfortunately, I don’t know too much about the Houston scene! Sorry I can’t be of more help – reach out to Mir!!

  30. Hello Safa, I’ve seen many of your mehindi and shadi pics on other blogs and site, I was just asking, can i use some of your pics as well for articles and blogs i’m writing for a matrimonial website? I you wont mind.

  31. Hi – thanks so much for sharing this 🙂 im soon getting married in sha Allah and just wanted to ask did you both have your nikkah together on stage and what was the process? I have often seen it happen where the girl and groom are seperate and the bride then walks in but would love to consider doing this together . Also any pics of your top table decor? Im sure it was lush

    1. Hi Mehru, Yes, for me personally, I STRONGLY disliked the idea of not being in the same room as my husband when we were getting married. To me, this was the moment that I was committing to be with this person for the rest of my life, he better be beside me, ha! The process was basically after I made my entrance, I sat beside him and our imam proceeded with the process, and everyone in the hall were witnesses. There’s definitely pics of my table decor included in the blog post of my wedding – half the tables were red roses and the other half were candelabras with pearl strands! Congrats!!

  32. Hi Safa,

    You made such a pretty and happy bride. 🙂 Hope you’re having a lovely married life.
    I am getting married soon and your blog actually helped me alotttt. Thanks.

    I have one question Safa, I’ll be getting married in Paradise banquet hall in evening (after sunset). Can you please share your experience taking photographs inside paradise? Like bridal and couple photographs. I wanted to take photos in daytime but could not do it.
    There is garden area but not sure If photographs will result nice in night. 🙂

    1. Hi Tasneem, Thank you! So unfortunately, we didn’t really get a chance to do a posed photo shoot inside, so the pictures from the wedding that we have are really us on the stage. That said, I do think there is good opportunity to maximize the space – the interior lobby is a rotunda of mirrors which could make for some interesting photos and the chandeliers are pretty as well. If your photographer is local I would say scope it out with him to plan for it beforehand. Congrats!

  33. Hey Safa! I am currently trying to figure out the best shade of red to make my bridal dress in. I noted yours is more of a pinkish red? or is it just like that in the pictures. I actually want something like that. Likewise, i really like the color of lipstick that sumera chose for u – was that also like a pinkish red – ie magenta/red color?

  34. Hi, I know this is really late, but I really loved how you planned your wedding. Do you mind me asking how much each party is? Also, do you have a list of things every wedding should have? For example, like caterers, florist, etc. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Sidra! I don’t think I have a list like that – only what’s already in my blog posts! Costs can definitely range – the biggest one is the cost of the venue which usually is a per person cost, which can range from $20/pp up to $200pp depending on the venue, so multiply by however many guests you have and that easily the biggest cost. Photographer costs for 3 day’s can be up to $12K on some estimates (less expensive are the ones starting out in the business), video costs a few thousand too as does decor, which is why weddings can get into the tens of thousands of dollars quite easily!

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