Pakistani and American Wedding Dress Inspiration

I dream of bridal couture.  The same way a Western bride lusts after Monique Lhullier and Vera Wang gowns,  I lust after Nomi Ansari, Mehdi, & Karma.  They are just amazing designers and I think you can do a lot with their colors and have really detail-oriented wedding with bright bold colors.

A Mehdi Bridal gown

One would think that because Pakistani designer gowns are made overseas that they would cost significantly less than American bridal gowns–not so!  The reason I did not get a designer original was two-fold.  One, of course, it was just too costly. The designer’s whose dress I was inspired by starts at $5,000 for a dress; similar to the prices of dresses you see at Kleinfeld Bridal and other top boutiques here.  So, what I did was I had my cousin take my design to a designer we work with in Karachi and they replicated the style but added elements that were more me.   That’s the beauty of Pakistan.  My wedding dress was entirely hand embroidered, used top of the line bridal fabric (silk banarsi I think, or jamavar, I can’t think of the name) and it was precisely what I wanted.  It cost half of what most designers charge; still a pretty penny, BUT for the intricate handiwork and lush embroidery, I was in love.

My dress was a farshi gharara which is really two wide-legged pants that have pleats towards the bottom.  This enables a more draped effect when the bride is seated.  My skirt must have weighed close to 20 pounds and I had purchased suspenders to keep the skirt up, but I forgot them at home at the last minute.  Luckily, I had no accidents since I had it taken in to a tailor a few days before the wedding to take in the waist!  However, I highly recommend suspenders for too-heavy ghararas.

My wedding

Oh the lengths women go to for their dream wedding gowns!  A list of the top 25 most expensive stores in the US lists not one but two bridal stores.  The Vera Wang Bridal House, and the Kleinfeld Bridal were ranked 22nd and 19th respectively on this list of the 25 most expensive shops in the US.  And why not, when TLC’s popular show Say Yes to the Dress takes place at Kleinfeld and Vera Wang had dressed celebrity brides like Jessica Simpson, Ivanka Trump and most recently Kim Kardashian.

A Vera Wang Bridal Creation

Some may skimp on $5,000 and up dresses by heading to more economical locations like David’s Bridal, which carries the Vera Wang White line, but I have another suggestion for you!  One of my friends went to the Monique Lhullier sample sale in Los Angeles on July 10 and walked out with a $3,000 gown…. she paid just a little under $400 for the dress!  To her, it was well worth lining up bright and early at 6am for.

If I could do it any other way, I would not have gone to David’s Bridal for my white wedding dress.  It’s one of the decisions I regret the most since the customer service was extremely poor and the store was horrible to navigate through. Yes, I had my dream Pakistani gown, but, feeling like a princess two different days isn’t too much to ask for, is it? By the end of my trip, I felt compelled to get my dress only because I felt like I wouldn’t have time to go back and get another one.  The dress was lovely, but not my style.

shoes, shoes, shoes!!

A few weekends ago, I finally decided to venture out to buy wedding shoes.  I spent a lot of time at Nordstrom, Bebe & Aldo… and I found cute shoes but came home with three pairs of shoes that were all not for my wedding.  Woopsies.

I bought a pair of Jimmy Choo’s at Nordstrom’s last weekend for the 2nd event (for the white dress) keeping my finger’s crossed that they might go with the first dress too, but sadly they don’t!  I chose these Choo’s (the Isabele’s) because the heels were just 2 1/2 inches (great for dancing!) and they were comfy yet also flashy.  In love!

I haven’t tried them on with the dress yet as it’s at my MIL’s house, so if those don’t work out, I might get these super cute Badgley Mishka’s in white (or in gold for the first wedding event):

Badgley Mishka "Lacie" pump

In my shoe shopping for the first wedding event…in which essentially the only walking I’ll be doing is down the aisle to my husband-to-be, I can go with higher heels and not have to worry about comfort as much as I have to do with the 2nd event.

For the Pakistani Wedding, I want something with gold embellishments that’s a little bit fun.  I saw these because I love the lace-up backs, but I’m not too sure they will work:

adorable BCBG nude champagne colored shoes

cute lace-up back

These just might be more bachelorette party than Wedding…. just maybe.  Cute still.  The BCBG Anya peep-toe is $198.

Since I love all that glitters, these other BCBGs sequined sling-back heels (just $178) caught my eye:

sparkly sequined sling-backs

These shoes have potential as the wedding shoes… we’ll see.

I also saw these Steve Madden’s online at Nordstrom… they have a t-strap like I really imagine for my wedding shoes but I just don’t think they’ll be comfortable.  They’re glittery like I want:

Steve Madden "Haylow" heels

At $89.95, I really cannot complain.  The heels are 4″ PLUS a 1″ platform so maybe the 5″ total is a big ambitious for a bride wearing tons of heaving clothes on her wedding to balance in.  Super cute though, what do we think?

My ideal shoe is this Ivanka Trump creation... if it came in gold.  I love these shoes because the stones make em pop more.  (They also come in black!!)

Ivanka Trump "Alluvia"

In LOVE!  The black ones are even more cute!!

Now for a lust-list (like if Nordstrom’s carried these I would buy them for the day and then return them!!)

Valentino pumps

These Christian Louboutain Balota shoes… strappy, gold, and everything I’d love for the first event (but at $1095 far, far from budget!!)

Christian Louboutain "Balota" heels

Wish me luck finding shoes for the first event!! ❤

If I was Wearing Red…

If I was wearing a red bridal gown…. I would’ve ordered this one.  It’s by Mehdi, a designer known for outfits that are more classic than modern.  It’s an outfit he showed at the first Bridal Couture week back in November 2010.  Love it!!   His design isn’t nearly as modern as someone like Nomi Ansari Pakistani bridal gown but just a simple idea that is just a gorgeous style.

Mehdi Red Lengha

I’m just so in love with the thick border at the bottom and the fine detailing.  The neck embroidery also makes me super happy because it’s pretty “heavy”.  This outfit almost makes me regret not getting a red lengha…. almost.