Top tips for surviving the wedding season

Pakistani Wedding season survival tips
PHOTO: Rammal/Nabia Mehmud courtesy Express Tribune Pakistan

December in Pakistan can mean only one thing – Wedding Season: a never-ending string of dholkis, mayyuns, mehndhis, nikkahs, baraats and valimas. Even if you love the colour and drama of big fat Pakistani weddings, the sheer scale of the winter marital marathon is exhausting.

Short of retreating to your duvet vowing to become a social recluse, there’s no way to avoid attending a large number of events. In theory the dressing up, dancing, feasting and mingling should be fun. The reality is a blur of late nights, salon appointments, wardrobe crises and traffic. Still, you can minimize the worst of the discomforts of the season with a few smart moves.

Be systematic & picky

Pop all those events into your phone’s calendar so you can keep track of where you are supposed to be. Unless you’re very close friends or family, it’s perfectly acceptable to attend only one event per wedding. The mehndhi with its colourful dances is generally the most entertaining but if you want to hang around only long enough to congratulate the couple and press an envelope into their hands then the Valima is the best bet.

Organize your wardrobe

Decide what you want to wear and when. Dig out your shaadi-wear, spot-check and dry-clean if necessary. Lie blatantly to designers and tailors about when you need new outfits by. They expect it and even rely on it.

This Misha Lakhani outfit is trendy and versatile

Book a weekly TLC session at the salon

All those late nights, blow-dries and rich food can play havoc with your skin and hair. Make time for a weekly protein or hot oil hair treatment. Add a body massage if you can, particularly if you’ve been attending lots of late night dholkis.

Don’t skimp on gym time

Unless you are working off tons of calories in dance practices, don’t even think about skipping your regular exercise routine. Those wedding mithais are going to tip the scales unless you take action.

Stock up on pretty envelopes

Avoid that last minute rummage for suitable covers for cash. White office envelopes look so tacky.

Embrace Teatime

English style teatime

Whether you are a guest or a family member, there’s little chance of getting fed at a wedding until the wee hours. Teatime therefore should be a substantial affair – sandwiches, soups and fruit chaat are the order of the day. You’ll be able to keep hunger pangs at bay and just sample the wedding goodies instead of stuffing yourself with rich, greasy food till you’re almost comatose. Alternatively, you can eat at home at then go to the wedding – events invariably start late and there’s plenty of time for dinner beforehand.

Anti-Aunty prep

Pakistani Aunties are a lethal weapon and weddings are their playground. They’ll ask why you’re unmarried or why you don’t have kids yet even though they haven’t exchanged two words with you in five years. They’ll rishta-stalk anyone who looks unmarried and tell people they are looking fat or unattractive. They’ll force silly rasms on everyone even when the bride is teary-eyed at being made to do something she doesn’t agree with. Aunties are guaranteed to ruin almost anyone’s evening with a choice remark. Keep an eye out for them and avoid at all costs. If you’re of a certain age avoid “aunty-hood” by avoiding all personal remarks and never ever using the word “healthy”.

Get salon smart

Hair-dos offered by Dressing Table Salon in Karachi

Book your blow-dries for as early in the day as you can manage. Salons are crazy busy later in the day which means long waits and rushed jobs. Skip the Blow-dry once in a while for a cool messy up-do – it’s kinder on your hair and the net is full of step-by-step videos. Also make sure to get Gelish nails – who has time for regular nail touchups when you’re out every night? Gelish is chip resistant and longlasting – there’s no longer any excuse for shoddy nails.

Be kind to your skin

Cleanse, tone, moisturize? Not likely! Chances are that the best your skin sees at the end of a long evening under makeup is a half-hearted swipe with wet-wipe. Compensate with a proper cleanse and tone when you’re properly awake and remember to drink lots of water to keep your skin well-hydrated. Make sure you use a primer under makeup – it gives your makeup greater staying power and protects your skin at the same time.

Of course these tips are mainly for wedding guests. If you’re one of the happy couple or their parents, this doesn’t even begin to touch on your issues. Managing all the details you pored over, making sure the event runs smoothly and making sure no one is offended is the tip of the iceberg. You’ll invariably have the relatives who start a feud over little things, the impossible task of making sure everyone has a driver when they want one and last minute let-downs by caterers or event managers…. Xanax anyone?

Published in Karachista’s regular column for the Express Tribune on 22nd December 2013
Copyright 2015 Karachista. All rights reserved
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta is chief editor of and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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