Your Guide to Surviving through the Big Fat Pakistani Wedding Season

Have you ever entered into a wedding function flustered, sweaty and stressed?  When Shaadi season hits Karachi, it can leave the best of us in a frenzy.  Murphy’s law plays its part well when it comes to last minute glitches, messed up hairdos, broken heels, make up blunders, you name it and it will happen. Nevertheless, there must be a better way to do it right? We at Karachista have put together a survival guide for all who struggle to survive the tsunami of shaadi events. These tricks will help you get through the atrociously tiring and endless but of course exhilarating back-to-back shaadi events that have become the norm.

  1. Revamp, Re-Use, Re-Style

There’s nothing like a stack of shaadi invitations when it comes to sparking a wardrobe crisis. It would be great to just walk down E-Street and pick up the latest, most kick-ass outfit whenever you want, but hey reality check….. that ain’t always happening.  Dig out all those outfits you have hanging in your wardrobe and put them to good use. It’s all about attitude and invention………restyling your old outfits can make them look as good as new.  Breathe life into an old lengha with a newly styled choli and contrasting dupatta or tune up an old outfit by trading in your straight cut pants with some flowly gharara pants or boot-cut beauties.

Breathe life into an old lengha with a pretty new choli

Now this isn’t exactly the kind of advice I would be giving in normal circumstances but lets face it,  in a chaotic city like Karachi anything can go wrong.  YOU need to make sure you DON’T tell your darzi, dyer, picco-walla, kaam walla  the exact date that you need your work done by. The date must be at least 10 days in advance, because mess ups are quite likely to happen, and you’re the one that’s going to be managing the nerve-wracking damage control.

The darzi – a key member of the pre-wedding squad

3. Look Good and Be Comfy

I know all those gorgeous slender legs showing off killer heels on Instagram look super-hot but they can cause some serious discomfort – at least for us normal people. No matter what hacks you use, pain and blistering are an ever-present danger; outdoor events in the garden will leave those beautiful heels in a muddy mess; and let’s not even talk about the potential for embarrassing blunders. Toppling off the stage is not exactly the kind of memory you want to create at your besties wedding. So be smart and pick the right shoes, ones which gives you the right amount of height but at the same time are comfortable. Wedges are a great option for outdoor events but can seem informal indoor unless you tuck them under a sari or lengha. When nothing but heels will do, there’s nothing comfier than a peep-toe.

Misha Lakhani, PLBW 2015, Misha Lakhani bridal collection, bridal wear
Misha Lakhani  styles her wedding wear with cool and comfy khussas
  1. Recycle your Blowdry

Want to save on the hefty amounts you’ll be dishing out for hairdos? Be smart and plan your hairstyles in a way that ensures you don’t have to hit the salon every day. If you want your blowdry to last longer than one day, then bring out the dry shampoo. Dry shampoo saves you from washing your hair and soaks up excess oil and grease. You can also plan a line up of your hairdos .. e.g. Day 1 : Blowdry Day 2: Recycle with Dry Shampoo Day 3: Tie up in a braid or bun. There’s some great YouTube videos out there for loads of DIY tips.

Maximise your blow-dry with different looks

5. Power Nap and Power Snack

Shaadi season is a marathon and all those late nights and late meals aren’t the best way to stay at the top of your game. All that socializing and picture posing  doesn’t come easy 😉 Make sure you catch a power nap during the day, and have a snack or small meal before you start getting ready.  You really don’t want to make a spectacle of yourself by making a beeline for the buffet the minute they finally serve dinner – not to mention the gazillion calories you’ll end up snaffling because you’re just sooo hungry by that time.

Avoid being embarrassed by binge eating at the wedding!
  1. Master the Just In Time (JIT) Method

Everyone knows that the time on the card has no meaning at all but timing your wedding attendance is a fine art. Too early and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb, as really only close family arrives anything like on time. If you’re a real newbie and stick to the time on the card, you may even arrive before family! Leave it too late and you’ll have missed half the guests and all the fun.  If you’re attending a mendhi in Karachi, nothing really gets going before 11 p.m, though 10 p.m. is a better time to reach a baraat or Valima. Bear in mind this the time pretty much everyone aims for, so you may end up stuck in traffic as 500 guests all try to get into the venue at once.

It’s worth remembering every family is different – some are sticklers for early starts and others are total late-latifs – it’s best to consult someone close to the family to get the best idea of when to turn up (oh and this is a very Karachi-centric guide. Lahore is another ball-game entirely). Also remember that with multiple functions every night, you have to pace yourself. Unless the invitation is from someone close, you don’t need to go to every single event you are invited to – attending one is a good enough.

Arrive just in time for all the shadi fun
  1. Turn SHAADI Whatsapp groups on silent

Whatsapp groups can be super annoying as there will be that one idiot that turns up early everywhere and will keep sending messages. That perpetual messaging from people can really be a stress builder and distract you. Just remember, even if you are running late, it’s not a big deal as you can always make it up in the upcoming functions.

Silence those pestering peeps

Ever get caught off guard from that aunty that has no sense of personal boundaries (er 80% of desi ‘aunties’ I’m thinking) Well the best policy is that as soon as she grabs you and starts telling you that you’ve gained weight, or enquiring about the petty details of your life, just look busy! Grab the nearest plate, glass of water and excuse yourself politely saying  ‘ Sorry aunty, dadi needs me to get her a glass of water’.

Errr Jee Aunty….

9.Have an Agenda and Stick to it!

Unless some close to you is getting married, there’s really only one way to handle a wedding: Enter, Big Fat Smile to Cameras, Meet & Greet the essentials: Groom and Bride, Closest Family Members, Pass on the Envelope/Gift. Then you can flutter around and socialise and usually the last of all Eat.

I’m just wondering how fast I can get the meet-and-greet done


  1. Go with the flow

Even the best laid plans go awry when it comes to weddings. There’ll always be something that goes wrong – whether it’s the photographer turning up late or delays at the salon or the decorator not putting up enough flowers. And that’s before the family spats that will leave an entire branch of the family not talking to another for the next five years. At the end of the day, remember the people that count the most: the bride and groom and their immediate families. Go out of your way to smooth any difficulties and lend a helping hand if you’re close to the family. Stay till late but not too late, compliment all the little touches they’ve worked so hard on and do everything you can to make their big day as special as possible.

Remember it’s all about making the day memorable for the happy couple


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