Celebs lead the way as brides shun traditional weddings

Special Celebs lead the way as brides shun traditional weddings
Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and her now husband, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 16 February 2018
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Celebs lead the way as brides shun traditional weddings

Celebs lead the way as brides shun traditional weddings

ISLAMABAD: South Asian weddings are known throughout the world for their grandeur, color, festivity and, of course, the fact they seem to never end.
There are dholaks (pre-event dance parties), mayouns (pre-Mehndi festivities), Mehndis (the most epic of dance parties and the pre-wedding night of fun and color) and then the weddings themselves, which are almost always followed by a walima. This isn’t even taking into account dance parties and club nights thrown by friends, milads (an event which calls for reciting naats), musical evenings and the slew of dance practices and dinners that precede and follow the main events — all accompanied by guest lists that easily cross into three and four digits.
However, in this day and age, the drawn-out wedding is being replaced by couples and families opting to do things their own way. This season in particular has seen a number of high-profile weddings go viral after the brides and grooms overlooked the hullaballoo of large weddings in favor of more curated moves.
Perhaps the first wedding that set the social media world ablaze was that of model Saheefa Jabbar Khattak and Khawaja Khizer Hussain. With a few smaller dholkis leading up to the big day (their nikkah), the bride, who had full access to the world of designer goodies, kept it simple and stayed true to her own aesthetic and taste. And she actively participated in her wedding (in bubblegum pink and no heavy dupatta in sight) instead of watching from the sidelines. “Breaking the norms is what defines [me],” Saheefa said.  “I am not ordinary, so I do not do ordinary.”
She said no to the multi-day way for a myriad of reasons, utmost of which was keeping her guests, family and the couple themselves in mind. “I cut the cost for everyone,” said Saheefa, who in only had a small nikkah followed by a daytime reception. “I knew [had I gone the traditional route] I’d be on stage sitting idle. I wanted everyone, me included, to just enjoy and dance.”

This was followed by fellow model Farwa Kazmi’s low-key and gorgeous daytime nikkah, which was followed by a reception a few weeks later, taking place with just a handful of close friends and family. She went for a traditional ensemble and jewelry, but also stayed true to her own.
And right after her came a wedding not out of Pakistan, but starring Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and her now husband, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. A golden couple from their land, their wedding was heavily followed across social media and, though like the previously mentioned couples, it didn’t skimp on the glam, they chose to get away from A- list guest lists and stick to a small destination wedding with only friends and family.
Since winter marks the rise of wedding season, we spoke to brides-to- be on why they are or are not going down the traditional route.
Zahra, whose wedding will have a number of the expected events leading up to the big day, would have opted out had she had the leeway. “My in-laws insisted on all the events, it is the societal pressure — they are from a certain class and have certain expectations,” she said. “One should respect other people's time. Who in their right mind has the amount of time to attend 10 different functions or even three for that matter?”
She added: “Me marrying someone is a change in my life and my family's, not the entire country's. It is an intimate decision, an intimate change and should be treated as exactly that.”
“I didn’t want a million different events,’ says Nada, who is finalizing her wedding plans. “Rather than having 500 or 800 people staring at me while I am sitting on a stage, I am a fan of having a few events done up well, [rather] than a million not done as tastefully. I feel the fewer events you have, your guests value it more and everyone wants to be there and attend them — they mean more, and they’re more fun.”
Nada also commented on how the long, drawn-out wedding culture takes a toll on the bride. “I’ve found that brides are always sick in Pakistan, they have like 95 events leading up to their actual day,” she said. “I knew they would tire me, tire my guests — frankly speaking I think it’s a complete waste of time and money as well.”
Zahra also commented on the finances involved. “All the money you save by keeping it to fewer days you can use for investing in your future,” she said.
Will the modern approach to desi weddings become the leading approach? Only time will tell.