All brides have been on that rollercoaster ride ;stressed over where to have the wedding, which vendors to use, gushed at gorgeous outfits, fretted about the dress not being done the way it should, lost it trying to choose good makeup artist, planned, given up planning and re-planned, awwed at that oh-so-cute wedding favors, been excited yet nostalgic at the same time, gone stir crazy yet managed to be calm at the same time. So who better to give you advice then the brides themselves?
One bride shares that she was so stressed about everything on her wedding day that she ended up arguing with her family and wasn‘t in the mood to smile for any of her pictures. Yes I hear a huge awww from all you readers don’t I? That’s why I decided to get you real advice from real brides Hopefully all you gorgeous brides to be can avoid their mistakes and enjoy your wedding day: sparkle cuz the spotlight’s on you!.
Our next bride is extremely unusual , (at least from my experience) and says, “The only thing I chose for my wedding were my shoes and the clutch for me dress. Everything else was done by my family. I am glad I did not become a bridezilla and gave them a chance to do things they wanted to. I wasn’t stressed out. I was happy as everyone was participating in what they wanted”.I know what you‘re thinking: Whoa! that‘s one chill and happy bride. Are any of you prepared to be that laid back? Our next bride discloses why she let go of everything, even the wedding dress design. Cue *Gasp* .
The Dress Fiasco:
So a timeless design or something modern? What length, style, color combination and most important what kind of kaam? Bling bling or not so bling but wearable later? Ah, the sweet worries that accompany a bridal dress.
As the next bride says, “In my case, the process just got soo frustrating, I backed off. This was 13 yrs ago, before desi shaadis became episodes straight out of "Platinum Weddings"like they are now. Lol. My sister was living in Karachi at the time and had wanted to get my bridal dress made by this designer & it became an ordeal and hassle to get her to respond to anything, or give a reasonable time line. I finally told my sister that I didn't give a rats a** about a " brand name/designer" dress. I told her to just get something made that would compliment me. She ended up replicating a Faiza Samee dress for a fraction of the cost (a bronze, farshi gharara) and it turned out fabulous! I'm lucky that my mom & sis both had very elegant & classy styles, so it just made sense to let them take control. I was glad to have someone else worry about wedding logistics and enjoy my day”.
Feelings on the wedding day:
When I was unmarried I used to try and imagine what I’d feel when I was getting married or there were just a few days left for me to get married.. and believe me.. the closer my wedding came the more I started loosing my senses.(yay so one bide finally admits to loosing it).It was unreal ,where all my friends sat around me and I was sitting GUM SUM ,CHUP CHAAP!! (absolutely quiet).Not necessarily, everyone feels this way. However that was MY personal experience!!!” .
The flipside of imagining your wedding day in so much detail (guilty girls?) could be that everything you expected to feel or thought you would feel, pales in comparison to the reality.
The next two brides took out the time to mail me every detail of their wedding day and shared their experience and even though I can‘t include all the details here I’m really grateful to them both for their help. I wanted Real Brides to give you Real Advice, right? My next two brides share what happens if you don’t end up feeling like a princess on your wedding day .
The first bride who wants to remain anonymous writes:
For me there were 3 important things: The dress, makeup and the photographer.
Maybe the jewelry but not so much.
My cousin booked the photographer as he knew what I wanted and it was easy to entrust him the responsibly.
(Back to makeup) I knew what I wanted before I even came to Pakistan so all that left was the dress.
I wanted to revamp my mums gharara. It was a simple red banarsi style gharara with no kaam on it and the shirt was red with kiran and the duppata was missing. Basically the plan was to make a purple shirt and gold duppata. Then I’d take the shirt dupatta and gharara to a karigar and have it filled with crystals and dabka.
The problem was my wedding was to be right after Eid .The timeline was stressful because the person who was doing all this said he would give my wedding outfit by midnight on Friday before Eid.I got my gharara on time but I realized he had made it 2 inches shorter that it had initially been!!! . We found ourselves running to home based designer to see if she could salvage my gharara cuz it was un-wearable, thankfully she could saved the dress.
That was the only stressful thing: figuring out a back up plan and all..
(It may be the Only , but girls , wedding dress fiascos send chills down all are spines don’t they?. Last minute huffle shuffle is pretty much any brides nightmare)
I didn’t care where we had our wedding , I didn’t care who dealt with the caterers nothing mattered so as long as nothing went wrong with my makeup dress and the photographer.
The way I saw it at the time was that I would remember my wedding through my photographs and videos so it was important to me how I looked in them!
That’s it. I didn’t let my self stress out about anything else. There wasn’t much to stress out about with these things really, except getting the stuff on time!
My advice for future brides would be the same: focus on what your priority is (like the photo/video, the bridal dress and makeup were for me). I’d say pick 2 3 things and don’t worry about the rest . give other people the rest of the responsibilities .(Delegate, delegate , but delegate wisely ).
So gals you heard it loud and clear, focus on a few details that will matter to you not only on that day but will be a part of something that will first come to mind when you look back on your wedding day. Will it really be the centerpieces, overlays and cutlery?
I’m going to post some extracts from Aliyah’s email because she wrote in so much detail & it was so well written.To make it clear to all you readers Aliyah wants no sympathy guys, so hold back on the awws, (okay, okay you can whisper it).
I’m not writing this piece so that you feel sorry me . I’m presenting u with the facts that happened to me just over a year ago on my wedding day. I hope you learn from it and don’t repeat the mistakes that I did.
*Im not a princess and this ain’t a fairy tale*
Me myself and I .
I like straying away from the norm so I wanted my wedding to really different from previous weddings in my family. This is what caused me problems later on. I didn’t take my mums advice because-well what did she know? And I didn’t turn to friends or family because the weddings were segregated and really low key.
Wedding magazines were my main source as well as exhibitions. FYI : wedding magazines are biased. If the magazine says the makeup artist is great its not necessarily true. Hence why such forums are so helpful, real brides, real views.
Wedding vendors through exhibitions are really expensive and a 10 % discount isn’t sufficient. However the positive side of exhibitions is that all vendors are under 1 roof and you can see their work.
How did I choose my vendors?
Through the old fav, the word of mouth.(Get used to it girls, you’ll be hearing that term a lot).These recommendations were from a good friend of mine, so girls you cant always trust the word of mouth.(Or your friends opinion. Since it’s your day to shine, I’d say hear everyone out but do what you feel is right for YOU.)
Always have a budget and don’t go over it. (Ha!)
Its tempting but-restrain your self. I went over mine because I didn’t realistically anticipate the expenses. If I could re do the budget I would hire a cheaper venue or a cheaper photographer.
I have always thought of the venue as eyebrows they shape your whole event.(I’m doubting guys out there are getting any of this. Sure, you can pretend. One bride-to be was complaining her fiancé didn’t see the correlation between face shape and hair cut style so I know you guys don‘t get this eyebrow metaphor). Too small a venue and you have a problem-too big and it will look like your guests didn’t show up.
I picked a venue which I had initially rejected , it ended up being too small. The vendors may say the room has a capacity of 240 people but this might not be true. 200 people at my wedding was a tight fit. Ask the right questions but remember they are trying to sell you something at the end of the day.
My mum told me to book the venue my cousin had for her wedding, the previous year but I said no. It was lovely and spacious but I couldn’t do that. Had to be different didn’t I?.
My Advice:Visit the venue and imagine realistically how many people could fit in the room. Is there enough leg room, chair room, will people be able to move about comfortably? This can only be determined by visiting the venue in person.
There are only 2 well known caterers that EVERYONE in my family had used for their weddings, so obviously I was going in the opposite direction.
I went for some less known caterers that had a minimal if any portfolio. I chose them over caterers that had OVER 25 years of experience in the business and good contacts with hotels and everything in between. Stupid huh? The well known caterers were not consistent with their food , yes their organization, the management the trade discounts were excellent, but their food was neither here nor there. And everyone remembers what the food tastes like at a wedding.
In a bid to save my wedding I bit my tongue and called the experienced caterers but once you reject someone they don’t want to know you. (Surprise, surprise?) He wasn’t interested in catering the event so I was stuck. Rang another caterer and told him my story and he seemed really sympathetic and said he would call me back. He never did. I called a few more caterers but this led to nowhere. So I was stuck with my inexperienced caterers.
My guests said the food was lovely but I’m not sure they were telling the truth.
My advice: Venues and caterers have a symbiotic relationship. One helps the other out and they often have good relations with one another and other industry experts.
Find a caterer that does the whole shebang such as food, decorations, event management .See if they can recommend any good DJ‘S and florists. It‘s easy to manage when one vendor is doing everything and plus they will haggle for you. They do your leg work for u so you can relax on your big day.
*The dress fiasco *. Part II
My biggest nightmare! I always see such beautiful brides adorned in the most gorgeous fabrics and they look so stunning that sometimes I wish I had never met this “designer” in my life. Your wedding clothes are most important part of your big day.
Slipping into them you should feel like a princess but I felt like a fraud.(Whisper the awws gals).
I was going with the theme of being different. I wasn’t that aware of designers in London, and I didn’t know about replicas or ordering clothes online. I couldn’t go to Pakistan because I had already taken time off for the wedding and I wasn’t confident about where to go etc.
*Word of mouth*
My friend recommended the designer of her Valima dress which was 2 years prior to my wedding.The lady told me the earliest she could meet me was April. I told her my wedding was in July. (“Enough time” she said. It wasn’t).
When we met the designer said she had just made a sharara for someone and it would be perfect.This was way before the sharara trend we are seeing now so I was ahead of the trend .Heheh. (Different remember?)
I talked she sketched. The sample wasn’t a bridal one so it was hard for me to imagine. I choose a blood red sharara with zardozi kaam on chiffon. I told her I didn’t want bling as I thought it looked tacky, I regret this now. The duppata had curved edges as opposed to straight ones.
The shirt was short and of zari which gave it some texture with a high waist line with some work beneath it( so now you guys know how much we girls think about our wedding and- ahem ahem our wedding dresses).
The sharara was supposed to be covered in kaam and had 14 panels’ .It sounded fabulous on paper. I handed her the deposit and she said she would contact me in 2 weeks when the swatches would be ready.
I saw my wedding clothes and I wanted to cry. There was no wow factor, normally when you try on your wedding clothes people gasp. My sister was deathly silent. The kaam wasn’t as it was promised there was no scalloping .In short, it just wasn’t bridal. It looked like plazzo pants instead of the grand, elegant and over the top as promised.The designer knew that there was an error but she never once apologized. She made excuses . Eventually said she would add more kaam to the sharara. I was so relieved. (It was a short lived relief).
I went to collect my clothes one day before my wedding. I had mehndi on my hands and anger in my heart .I couldn’t believe it .It was outrageous. I saw my clothes and not much had changed.I broke down in tears and told her she ruined everything .She didn’t even apologize. Instead she broke down in tears as well and said her newborn was taking up a lot of her time. She was a first time mum and was caught up with that. She should have made it clear that she wasn’t ready to go back to work I would have understood. I told her I wouldn’t be recommending her to anybody. (The end of an era: word of mouth finally stops?).
When my designer wouldn’t return my clutch which I gave as a color source she said she doubted it was 150 pounds. I told her “Yes, well looks can be deceiving because the outfit you made for me doesn’t look the price I paid for it either”.
She didn’t reply and I got my clutch back.
My advice: You all know this by know , but I will say this again : these are your wedding clothes, leave enough time for them. And Tread carefully.
It’s not that I hate my wedding clothes: its just that every time I look at them they remind me of her and everything I went through.
I had a shred of optimism in me , that my “great” makeup artist would somehow manage to make my plain clothes look great. I couldn’t be more wrong.
Two makeup trials of 35 pounds each.
The third and final one was 75 pounds.
I choose the third and it was again (groan) through *word of mouth*, through another friend. Though honestly during the trials I felt that her makeup was the closest to my vision. I wanted matt foundation, no shimmer, full red lips and smoky eyes. It was the most bridal I had , so I booked her.
My Advice:It’s really important that you have you clothes and jewelry before you book any trials. It’s for your own benefit really, as you can then visualize what you will look like on your wedding. That is reassurance where as I was gambling.
Here’s how it went down on the wedding day with my MUA:
She was late. Bad sign.She texted me asking if I had safety pins. Another bad sign.She asked me when she wasn’t even halfway in the room ,“Do you have the money?”. Third bad sign.
She started the makeup and I kept looking in the mirror. I kept correcting her as she couldn’t even do the liner straight. She said she didn’t allow clients to look in the mirror until she was done.*Poor brides who fell for that*.
She ruined my hair , because she was talking too much to my photographer. Instead of redoing my hair, she ran because she had another appointment. Right. She couldn’t even do my duppata setting and it wasn’t even heavy. She used eyelash glue for my tika!
So there I was, slippery duppata, flyaway tika and basically feeling crap about myself. All of my guests could tell I was uncomfortable.
For my husbands Xmas party I hired a pro and when she arrived I asked her if she wanted the money “No,” she replied,“ wait and see you might not like it”. I was shocked.
On the night I felt like people were staring at me, one girl asked me where I got my hair done and if she could take a picture. And girls that’s what you want. (And love).
Final advice to all you Brides to Be:
Start the wedding earlier, because their will be delays.
Don’t be overly involved, take a step back. I organized everything and so I kept
pointing out the hiccups .So much so I didn’t even enjoy my wedding and it went by in the blink on an eye.
Take a male with you to meetings , I took my sis and I think they took advantage of that. Unfortunately, we live in a man’s world as the saying goes. .
Don’t worry about dieting the pounds will fall off you due to stress a week before the wedding. You will stress out but hire reliable individuals.
Read the fine print when signing contracts,
Don’t take crap from anyone but still remain professional at all times .
I hope my story has helped you in one way or another. Looking back I now know who I would book for everything.I am still obsessed with weddings, wedding pictures, wedding clothes, and anything related to weddings. When my sister gets married, whenever that maybe I know have the tools and experience to make her wedding perfect.
After all, everyone deserves to feel like a princess for one day.
I couldn’t agree more.