Every bride dreams of the perfect outfit for her big day but what if you have just a couple of months or even barely days to plan your wedding? The Jhat-Pat pat nikkah or even shaadi is still a thing.
Whether it’s a cultural, familial thing or whether it’s because one spouse is visiting from abroad, snap weddings happen all the time. And then there are sudden engagements, which in our arranged-marriage culture are almost the norm. People are making a much bigger deal of engagements than ever before, so a bride needs a jora that stands out.
While most designers are booked months in advance, there are several designers who cater to last-minute weddings. If you need a bridal outfit in a hurry, you don’t have to settle for a Tariq Road number.
Areesha Chaudhry examines the options for a Jhat-Pat bridal jora in Karachi.
One of the top designers in the city, her flagship store is a treasure trove. Known for her bridals, there are a wide variety of silhouettes to play around with. It’s a great idea to check the store for last minute bridals, as they have a selection of lenghas, dhaka pajamas and ezaars ready to go and can mix and match with some of their heavily embellished shirts and dupattas. Any urgent order can be looked into since they always have pieces in production. They normally take about two to three months on urgent bridals, but sometimes can customize something in as little as 10 days. There are also a variety of lengha-cholis and heavy formals which can be bought off the rack and are great options for a last-minute engagement or a nikkah bride.
Misha Lakhani is brand that has a bohemian contemporary appeal while incorporating artisanal traditional techniques. She offers a fusion of great western and eastern silhouettes, combining the two in unique, stylish ensembles. Each of her bridals has a classic, ornate charm. The collection consists of Angarkha kurtis, Anarkalis, dhotis, ghararas, Lengha cholis and Saaris. The craftsmanshipy entails zardozi, tilla and other intricate, classical embroideries. The studio offers a few semi-bespoke pieces which are ready for purchase off the rack and are ideal for an occasion of a Mehndi or an engagement.
Famed for her opulent collection and grandiose sense of style .Shamaeel’s collection focuses on mainly earth tones such as burnt oranges and reds while the inspiration it seeks is mainly regal vintage.
She takes pride in the brand’s proven performance is being prompt with urgent bridal orders
“Here at Shamaeel we have been making bridals for 28 years and we have often had brides turn to us for an urgent bridal.”
The studio offers a few ready bridals, which are available to buy off –the-rack or which can be altered to a brides specifications on an urgent basis. Shamaeel has a huge team and, depending on what they have in production, they can customize the key motifs and borders from the main theme of an outfit as per a bride’s request, working the motifs onto dupatta, lengha or izaar – delivering the outfit in just “ten days”.
4 .Wardha Saleem
Wardha is known for her play with vibrant colours and modern take on traditional techniques such as gota and French knots. She combines embroidery techniques, applique and even print in her vibrant ensembles, which can be particularly fun for a mehndhi.
Her studio is also known a go-to place for brides in a hurry. Wardha claims,
“We are famous for our urgent orders – we have even delivered bespoke bridals made from scratch in just two weeks and never have we refused any client who wants to be dressed in a Wardha Saleem outfit especially for her big day.”
The design house caters to any client who needs an immediate outfit, diverting their entire production team to cater to those orders or even at times customizing their own samples of bridal ensembles if the bride is really pressed for time.
5 Ayesha Somaya
Ayesha Somaya is a brand that has carved it’s own niche. A great place to pick up affordable pret and formals that channel the latest trends, Ayesha Somaya are also known for the pretty, contemporary wedding outfits and bridals. Their work mainly entails thread work, heavy diamantes and crystal embellishments. Given time, they make beautiful bespoke bridals in a huge variety of silhouettes but they also have options for the shotgun bride.
The studio offers a rack of semi-finished bridals ,which consist of heavily embellished shirts which are ready for sale. The dupatta and lengha are made according to the bride’s specifications and delivered on an urgent basis. They claim to be very prompt with such orders and are accommodating in terms of budget. The designer in her own words states “We have even delivered an engagement outfit in just two days – we worked overnight to meet that request.”
- Farah Talib Aziz
Their collection mainly evokes feminity and charm. The ensembles are full of vibrant florals, intricate embroideries and baroque motifs celebrated through elegant silhouettes. Her bridal line consists a range of traditional eastern ensembles, mostly in vibrant colours such as red and burnt orange, to more contemporary light pastels with lace and pearl adornments. The studio does take up a few urgent orders on bridals, depending on how busy they are with deliveries, and are prompt with an urgent engagement or a nikkah outfit. Brides can choose traditional Farsi Ghararas or modern peplum cholis or simply go for a beautifully customized chikankari outfit.
This multi-brand store is a must-visit if you are looking for an immediate fix as it offers many local and Indian lables. Ensemble stocks a variety of heavy formal wear: Ankarkalis, kurtas and bridal lenghacholis, particularly from Indian designers such as Sanyasachi. The store also hosts trunk shows on a regular basis with designers like Ammara Khan, Elan and Kamiar Rokni bringing a selection of customizable outfits.
- Mina Hasan
This studio is another that’s helped out many last-minute brides.They usually have a variety of outfits available to purchase off the rack. They work well with urgent orders and can be quite accommodating by offering to sell their bridal samples or any orders which in process of completion. These ensembles can then be altered according to the client’s specifications .
Their latest bridal collection is inspired by colonial trellises and uses geometric and floral motifs along with handcrafted tulle, brocades and crepes in diverse cuts. Jewel encrusted and metallic embellishments make this collection both feminine and modern, while still maintaining the traditional elegant beauty the brand is associated with.
NidaAzwer’s modern take on the classic is sublime. Her intricate embroidery, classic silhouettes and masterly use of colour and embellishment set her apart. She doesn’t stock wedding wear or bridals but is always prepared to customize samples that she has in production. The choice may be limited and depends on the season, but if you’re lucky you may find something spectacular.
Farnaz Mustafa has a distinct, opulent style, working particularly well with Indian fabrics. Her ornate creations employ traditional kamdani, zardozi, tilla and mukesh along with delicate threadwork.
The designer in her own word states:
“ I can create any design on any fabric , though I do not believe in repeating any similar piece of work, so I try and create something different for every single order that I get. Also I cater to every budget whether you give Rs8,000 or 80 Lakhs”. At my studio we cater to many urgent bridal Joras and have always delivered what we can. At times we give our customers whatever is in our production studio and then try and do a lighter dupatta and gharara. In fact we have even delivered Faarsi ghaari on urgent orders”
While she does claim to cater to any budget, her creations tend to be on the expensive side in general. However she does caters to urgent orders so her studio is always worth a look.
11. Tena Durrani
With a swanky new studio in Bukhari Commercial, Karachi, Tena Durrani offers a wide variety of bridal joras perfect for all wedding events. The designer allows customisations that help create a unique outfit for each bride which hold true the brand’s signature style. Even though the lead time for bridal orders is up to 4 to 6 months, they do accommodate clients with urgent orders. They cater to clients and their timelines to the best of their ability, depending on production schedules and how heavily embellished the outfit is. Clients can even pair up separate pieces to make custom ensembles.
Their latest bridal collection, ‘Omorose‘ took inspiration from the beautiful century renaissance homes from around the world. Intricate embroideries and flattering silhouettes complement a palette that begins with soft creams, earthy pewters blending into greens, golds and rich jewel tones.
If you’ve a tight window to fit in a bridal ensemble, be sure to head on over to their studio and have a look at their bridal and formal outfits. You can even try on their samples to get a better idea of what suits you in terms of colours and cut!
12. Zainab Chottani
Zainab Chottani is another designer who has just opened her flagship store. Her bespoke bridals generally have a lead time of 4 -6 months but they do stock ready-to-wear heavy formals that are ideal for an engagement.
“When we opened, I expected the pricier items to sell less quickly but customers have really appreciated having a ready option for important occasions. Our heavy formals can also be adapted for a bride by pairing with a heavy dupatta or lengha.”
At a pinch, Zainab will allow a last-minute bride to make use of one of her sample pieces and makes every effort to accomodate such clients.
“A woman’s wedding day is one of life’s major event and we do our best to help bride’s realise their dream jora – even if they don;t have the luxury of much time.”
Zainab works equally well with vibrant colours and pastels, with a wide range of bridals to suit any occasion.
All these designers have stores and large teams to enable them to cater to last minute brides depending on their workload. It’s a better bet to go to someone like them rather than a small-scale designer who doesn’t have the resources to deal with the sort of minor hiccups that always happen (load-shedding, strikes etc.)
If you’re getting married in peak wedding season, you may have a much harder time finding an outfit as all of these designers are very busy. If you’re not getting married in December or January, other designers can also be accommodating for regular clients, depending on their workload and how well you know them. I’ve known the likes of Sana Safinaz and even Bunto Kazmi to deliver outfits in just a couple of months but these are rare occasions.
If all else fails, there are many upcoming designers who are more than happy to accommodate bridal orders and would love be the ones to make your wedding outfit. Upcoming designers can sometimes make a massive effort, as a bridal is a big deal for them. Provided they have a team that can cope with the logistics, they can sometimes pull off the extraordinary. Many are prepared to design according to your specifications and will reflect your personal sense of style – resulting in a unique bespoke creation.
Once you’ve made your choice, let others stress about the details
Your wedding day many not be the ideal time to experiment but if you do have a Jhat Mangni-Pat Byah type situation it’s worth considering all the options. Once you’ve made your choice let other people get super stressed with all the details. Relax and concentrate on yourself as it’s your wedding and what matters is how you feel about yourself. Remember if you feel good, you will emanate radiance and beauty.