I had just moved to Seattle for a job opportunity in the finance industry. I remember it was a hectic day and I was not used to Seattle traffic after moving from Boise. Little did I know that in that same crazy day I would meet the man I would marry…two years later; here we are in Boise, on our wedding day.
We both knew shortly after meeting each other that we wanted to get married. Our families were excited to plan our wedding because we wanted to have a traditional Pakistani wedding. Jassem and I decided to have our wedding in Boise since it was my hometown and it would be easy for his relatives to join us from California.
The Grove Hotel was the perfect venue for our wedding reception and other events. Growing up in Boise, I always dreamed of having my wedding at the Grove Hotel. Our event manager Bridget Delligatti was amazing and worked with my Mom to teach their Chef how to make traditional Pakistani wedding entrees.
Bridget went above and beyond to take care of us for the three main wedding events that were at the Grove. My Mom visited Dubai and Pakistan to get traditional wedding invitations and other decorative accessories for the various ceremonies.
The weddings last 4-5 days due to all the festivities and events. The first day is the Dholki celebration which consists of family and friends who gather to sing songs while playing the “dholki” which is a Pakistani drum and dance to music.
We flew down my friend Natasha (owner of Henna by Natasha) who is a professional Henna Artist to apply henna on my family and friends to prepare for the next days celebration. The second day is the Mehndi (Henna) which also includes guests putting henna on the hands of the brides and groom. On this day the bride wears yellow and the tradition is for most family and guests to wear vibrant colors such as yellow, green, and red. It’s custom for the bride to wear minimal makeup on this day and for a more natural look.
Flowers are also a big part of Pakistani weddings and they are used for decorations for each day. The Mehndi event also includes lots of food, sweets, and dancing with friends and family. One of the traditions is for the bride’s siblings and cousins to bring her to this ceremony while holding a scarf above her head to protect her. The third day is the main wedding event called the Baraat. This is the day when the Bride wears a glamorous, jeweled dress known as a Lehanga, with ornate jewelry. My Mom bought 22K gold from Dubai for my wedding and had it custom designed by our family jeweler in Pakistan to match my dress.
The jewelry included earrings, necklace, tikka (worn on the forehead), ring, and a set of eight bangles. I wore a red-maroon dress which was handmade in Pakistan. I also wore five larger gold bangles which my late Grandmother had brought from Pakistan and wanted me to wear at my wedding.
The Groom also wears traditional Pakistani men’s clothing called a Sherwani which can be in any embellished style or color to compliment the brides dress. Jassem preferred to keep his outfit simple and classic. The men in the family wear suits or sherwanis, while women wear colorful and embellished shalwar kameez or saris. This day consists of the bride’s family welcoming the groom’s family and having a feast, followed by cake, and other customs. The fourth day of the wedding is the Walima which is hosted by the groom’s family. This event is for the groom’s family to welcome the bride and announce their marriage to their friends and relatives. Bliss events did a wonderful job bringing our vision for the wedding to life. Teresa worked with my Mom for months to ensure she created the exact look we wanted for each day of the wedding.
The flowers were beautiful and our décor was exactly what I had imagined. We were looking to have a simple, yet sophisticated look for our events. Ira & Lucy provided elegant settees and chairs for our stage. Tana did our photography and beautifully captured every moment of our wedding. Tana photographed every detail, from the jewelry all the way to each tradition during the wedding days.
Makeup by Gabby