As far as traditions go, I’m not big on them.
If you’ve ever watched a Bollywood movie with a wedding, you know that Indian/Pakistani weddings are a grand affair. Weddings are multi-day events that involve extended families on both the bride’s and groom’s sides, including that second-cousin’s brother-in-law’s aunt you’ve probably never met.
It’s all about glitz, glamour, tradition and family (hopefully not in that order). Now with five months to go, crunch time is here. I’m lucky to have my mom play the role of my remote wedding planner – multi-day ethnic weddings are no joke, especially when you’re planning them in Canada.
A visit to Karachi quickly taught me how easy this would have been had we just planned to get married there. We’d have things done in no time, no sweat, and my checklist skills would probably not have been put to use.
Here, wedding season basically lasts 4 months in the summer. So really, you have 16 weekends that you can pick from, and that’s when every other couple is looking. Yes, you can have a winter wedding – but with a Pakistani wedding, and out of towners, it’s probably best to stay away from a winter wedding. I can just hear all the uncles and aunties complaining for the rest of my life that it was too cold during your wedding. Not what I want us to be remembered for.
Due to the limited time window to get married in Toronto, if you want a summer wedding, the planning time can often be quite long. We got officially engaged in March 2017; and we’ll be getting married in August 2018. For me, it feels a lot longer than it needs to be. I can wait for it to be over now (in a good way)! I can’t wait to be married, but I’d like the wedding part to be done with.
As a result of my 18-month planning extravaganza, I’ve spent lots of time researching (on Pinterest), bored lots of friends with the topic of my wedding; and maybe even learned a few life skills such as talking on the phone (yes, i’m that typical millenial that hates phone calls – why can’t everyone just text?).
So, what have I learned from Project Wedding 2018?
- Weddings are serious business. No seriously, if you have a skill or talent that can be utilized at a wedding, especially traditional weddings, jump on it! Whether you’re a talented makeup artist, calligrapher, printer, florist, baker, sales rep, event planner – tack on the word wedding and you can charge some insane premiums. Maybe one day I’ll find a creative use for my accounting degree with a niche in weddings (that’s the extent of my enterpreneurial spirit apparently).
- Planning a wedding is a full-time job. As a bride, you’re this event’s CEO, CFO, COO, lawyer, accountant, PR manager, and any other position that the wedding needs. I am beginning to understand everyone who told me I will feel lost with too much time on my hands after the wedding planning is over. There’s always something you could be doing and you’ll never be caught up on your checklist. Granted, I’m one of those people who has many to-do lists and spreadsheets, so my addiction to organization gets the best of me. Nevertheless, know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t underestimate the effort that will ultimately fall on you as the bride!
- Bridezilla is expected but remember to ask for help. Ask, don’t expect. Just like any other aspect of life, there will be some people who will rise to the top. Don’t expect everyone in your life to drop everything in theirs to help you plan your wedding. Be cognisant of their strengths and weaknesses. You may want your best friend to perform a dance at your wedding, but if she’s not going to be comfortable with it – what’s the point? You want to make sure that you have your support system to help you get through this.
- It’s not just your wedding. Okay, that sounds contradictory to this post. But hear me out! You may be getting married, but chances are this may not be your dream wedding. Especially when it comes to a traditional wedding. My fiance is an only child, and I’m the first of my siblings to get married. So that means the pressure is on! Depending on your family dynamics, there may be lots of opinions about all the big and small things. Stand your ground if it means a lot to you! But…
- Negotiate wisely. As pointed out above, lots of people will have vested interests in your wedding. Here is where you’ll have to put your United Nations Ambassador hat on. Be diplomatic! Remember, the occasion marks the beginning of a new chapter for you and your partner, along with their families. Don’t give anyone a reason to start this relationship on the wrong foot.
- Pinterest with caution. Pinterest is a great inspiration tool, but it can also be a time suck. Don’t spend all your free time on it. It’s easy to get carried away with all the glamourous weddings there’s been around the world. But ask yourself if it’s a reflection you? Some ideas may not be practically feasible for your wedding. For me, all my pinterest inspiration seems to be best suited for a rustic venue. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fit in rustic with traditional in my venues – some ideas are just better left on Pinterest.
- Do what feels right. Ask for help, but take it with a grain of salt. Use your network to find different vendors, procure ideas from what other have seen. But remember ultimately it’s your decision. It’s your budget, prioritze whether that exact shade of rose gold is important enough to you! If it is, fight for it, if it’s not maybe it’ll be better spent elsewhere.
- Have fun! Like I said before, you get to be the CEO, CFO, PR manager and fill all the other positions in the wedding. Try your best to focus on the parts you’ll enjoy, and see where others can help, whether it’s your fiance, your family, bridal party or even vendors – that’s what they’re all there for! This is your time to shine, so
KEEP CALM AND SHAADI ON!
In the meantime, I’m off to eat some butter chicken with cauliflower “rice”. Felt like the best way to get on the wedding diet and practice those wifey skills expected of me; talk about killing two birds with one stone.
I used the Instant Pot recipe for butter chicken from by Two Sleevers. It turned out fantastic, and I forgot that I was eating cauliflower rice!