My Valima! (Reception)

Hi Everyone,

And here it is…the post which concludes the main days of my big fat Pakistani wedding: the valima! The valima is the reception hosted by the groom’s side following the wedding; it is truly a welcoming of the newly married couple (making their debut entrance together) and celebration of the families that have become one.

Makeup – Shirley Wu Beauty Concepts

Dress – Kamiar Rokni

Decor – Lemon Truffle Designs

Photo – Mir Anwar Photography 

SM had a vision for the valima – an elegant, Great Gatsby-esque affair, with a live jazz band and a gate on the stage. Thanks to the vendors above it came to life! Enjoy 🙂

Our pre-valima photo shoot at a very kind woman’s  heritage home! She  generously let us use her property for our photo shoot…which we found just an hour before the reception!



SMs stage with the gate, of course, and ode to vintage decor by Amna Rather of Lemon Truffle Designs:_DSC3117

_DSC3363 _DSC3361 _DSC3360 _DSC3358


They had these rectangular tables at the front for all of the family which was a nice way to separate close family from well, the rest, lol, plus these centrepieces with hanging candle bulbs added such a dynamic ambience to the entire space._DSC3120



SM and I make our grand entrance into the reception to the song from Yeh Jeewani Hai Deewani, Subhanallah 🙂 It felt incredible, alhumdullillah 🙂


The rest of the evening was filled with heartfelt speeches by loved ones, the debut of our next day edit by Joseph Fernando of JF squared (which I will be posting on my blog!), Mir’s surprise wedding slideshow, and then a speech by moi! Ladies: I’m so, so glad I decided to deliver a speech at the valima, I felt like after three days of sitting pretty on a stage I was actually able to let everyone in attendance get to know me a little, too.


Also, it made my mom and everyone else cry, I was told there was not a dry eye in the house 😀 (I smile because you know a speech is effective when you get tears out of people, hehe).


SM closed off the night by giving a speech and thanking everyone, and  then we danced the night away with close family and friends. Overall, my Big Fat Pakistani Wedding was such an amazing experience filled with so much love, life, and laughter and I feel so very blessed! I’m so happy for you all you 2014 brides and I wish you the best as you plan your big day(S).



52 thoughts on “My Valima! (Reception)”

  1. Everything looks so perfect! Im getting married this labour day weekend and this blog has been very very helpful! If you dont mind me asking, we are trying to look for a location for our photo shoot. How do you go about booking a place or how do you even find a place! Your advice will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Anum! Thank you, and congratulations to you!!! I’m so happy that the blog has been helpful for you! It’s funny – we actually had planned to do our photo shoot at a downtown Toronto hotel but there was a mix up with my makeup and hair on the valima and so the time change didn’t allow us to go all the way downtown and back to Mississauga…so we ended up actually finding our photo shoot spot last minute – we were driving and saw this little heritage home in Streetsville Mississauga, and it was actually someone’s house, and so SM knocked on the door and asked if we could do a photo shoot on her property and the lady who lived there was SO wonderful she invited us in and was so hospitable and let us take pics inside and outside her house and even helped hold my dress! It was totally last minute and we just got lucky! That said, our photographer had called the hotels beforehand and got the OK from their management to do a photo shoot there (They are used to it) and we were going to go to the Royal York, I think. My advice: just think about what kind of backdrop do you want for your photos? Do you want regal furniture? Or something more modern? Do you want it to be outdoors? Think about what you want your pictures to look like and then think about the various venues that you could approach -theatres, hotels, historic sites, etc. etc. Google wedding/engagement photo shoot locations and see what comes up in your search and most importantly ask your photographer – they should be able to help you find a location! Good luck!!

    1. Hi! First of all hes quite happy that someone has asked me about his outfits lol. He got his Kurta for the mehndi and sherwani for the wedding from Dubai. On the valima the tux jacket was from Reiss and the tuxedo pants from j crew!

  2. i love this gatsby-esq wedding theme, especially the typewriter entry book! Oh and your dress is just perfect! thanks for all the wonderful pictures and inspiration !

  3. First of all can I say MashaAllah!!! Girl you’re one gorgeous lady and you looked beautiful on all the events! Secondly…you’re pretty much awesome for putting this blog together! I love love your creativity and saw bits of pieces of things I’d definitely do for mine. I’m in Calgary and the market here is just getting bigger. Still not the greatest as TO. Anyways…my shaadi is still a while away. My brothers nikkah is in December in Pakistan. Lahore. Any suggestions for shopping? Would love to hear about your experiences!
    P.S I know its not respectful to ask about your wedding budget….but what approximately is one looking to spend by having a wedding here in Canada?
    Appreciate the blog and all your advice! Cheers

    1. Hi Sadia! Thanks so much for your comments!! The blog has been a fun outlet!! Congrats on your upcoming shaadi! I have talked about all my shopping suggestions in Lahore on my blog already so search for those tags! In terms of budget, the biggest dictating cost is the number of guests. E.g. I had 300 at the shaadi and we were able to secure the per person rate of the hall at $40/pp. Thats $12,000. Then add the cost of photography, videography, decor, flowers, dress, jahez outfits, etc etc etc and it can all add up fast! And then that’s one day, there is the whole mehndi as well. The average non-desi wedding in Canada is around $30 K, I think Pakistani weddings are more like $40-60K

  4. your wedding opened up a bunch of ideas for me… IA they will turn out very helpful…Loved ur blog.. and the mehndi theme was sooooo beautiful… i loved dat da most…
    Your wedding had the true pakistani flair and essence. Ive seen many paki weddings abroad but they dont have that typical desi paki vibe but urs was perfect plus im sensing ur frm lahore …if u are then i must say hats off u truly brought lahore to toronto(if u knw wat i mean)…:) 😀

      1. whats da fabric that used in the drapes for the mehndi?? the colored ones?/
        and dont u hv a collection of other photos? ideas for wedding poses???

  5. Hey there…love your blog and your candor! It’s been so much fun reading this as I prep for my wedding next year (at the Mississauga Convention Center too!). I just had a question for you re: decor (perhaps you can PM me if you don’t feel comfortable replying directly). I’m wondering if you can provide some details what one should budget for decor (looking for something similar to what you had at your reception) and some good decor companies you can recommend. Thanks!

  6. Hi Safa, belated congratulations on your beautiful wedding! I adore your style and love all your wedding outfits! Would love to read a post about outfit details! Especially your Valima outfit and jewelry- they are to die for!

  7. Hey Safa! Love your blog im getting married in April and I was looking for reviews on MUA, I noticed before you said you cancelled with Shirley Wu but at the top of your valima page you said she did you hair and makeup? I liked your hair and makeup but am confused as to who did it. Also can your recommend a mendhi lady? Thanks in advance:)!

    1. Hi Tehseen! Thank you! I did cancel Shirley Wu, but for my shaadi, my mother in law also had her booked for my valima and so I didn’t ask her to cancel it for that day. So Summera did my shaadi makeup, and Shirley my valima. Shikha Bedi did my mehndi and she did a great job! !! Congrats on your upcoming celebrations!

  8. thank you, were you happy with shirley wus work? I have Jenny Wu booked for my reception and am looking for someone for my nikka (im thinking Summera)
    thanks again:) ugh i tried shikha already shes in india then!!

    1. Hey Tehseen, to be honest, I didn’t love Shirley’s makeup on the valima – i felt like it was very matte whereas with Summeras makeup i felt like she brought out radiance. I just think Shirley was great maybe ten years ago, but I feel like her looks look dated now and I think there are better options. Just my personal opinion!

    1. Thanks Sidra! I actually have no idea though – the valima jewelery was a gift from my mother in law. But it’s gold, so the price is just based on international market rates of gold, the price is based on that and calculated per ounce, so all gold is priced depending on weight. sorry couldn’t have been of more help!

  9. Hi Safa! I have one more question, I visited Kamiar Rokini recently when i was in pakistan, and i found it to be ridiculously expensive. If you don’t mind sharing, how much was your valima outfit for? I am okay for anything up to around 6k but from what i remember his stuff started at around 8-9. I have so much to plan, and it would really help. thank you!!!!

  10. Asalaamo alaikum Safa!
    My brother (whose upcoming wedding I’m helping plan) came across your blog. I just went through all your pictures and wanted to say I think everything looked beautiful, including you mA! So nice to see so much culture still alive in your events. I pray your marriage is even more gorgeous than your wedding festivities, iA, Ameen.

  11. You looked absolutely elegant and classy all through the event. Everything seems so perfect and organised, like..a fairytale. You guys are such a dream couple.
    I’d really really want a typewriter in my wedding too.
    So. I want your permission to use the idea.. Im a lover of words and the typewriter idea just took my heart away. Its okay if you can’t. I understand. All cool! =)

  12. Hi Safa,
    If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell how much did the whole wedding (Mehndi, Barat, Jewellery, other expenses) cost?

    1. Hi Muneeb,

      Well, I don’t really feel comfortable giving a total number – but I will say it definitely added up, especially when you start calculating line by line items (flowers, stage, etc.) I was lucky that my mum had jewelry from her shaadi time, so we didn’t spend anything more on gold… but yes, weddings can be expensive! If you’re trying to get an idea of cost, make a list of every expense and get some quotes so that you get an idea of what you need to budget.

  13. Hi Safa,

    This is such an amazing blog. I am getting married next year and also wanted to have my wedding at Mississauga Convention Centre. I am wondering if you could tell me what Pakistani Caterers you had at your weddings and what you thought of them?

    Thanks again,


    1. Hi Fatima, thank you so much! I know that my in-laws used a guy by the name of Bilal, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the food! ( I can’t remember eating a thing!). Thanks for your comment – I’ll do a post on this!

  14. Hi Safa,
    You looked absolutely stunning at your wedding and I love all the little details that you had especially your type writer idea for a wedding message. I want to possibly have a type writer at my wedding as well. Where did you get it from and how much did it cost?

  15. I was doing a google search and somehow landed on your page. I don’t know why but weddings make me cry and so did yours (I am literally struggling because I am sitting in my office). I am from India and have attended one wedding in Pakistan. Most of our customs and rituals and more or less the same which is why I was able to connect with everything so much.
    You wedding surely seemed like it was a lot of fun. You two look so happy and so do your families. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey with us.
    Stay Blessed.
    Love from India! ❤

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