Pakistani/Indian Bridal Trousseau: How to Select and Order Your Bridal Dresses on Facebook

I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging, but I’m back!  Hopefully with more posts and more wedding planning excitement and tips for brides in the midst of planning.  As a reminder, if you’ve just gotten married or had a super sweet engagement session, submit your pix!  Would LOVE to see your wedding photos and share them with my awesome readers.  🙂

So, what is a Pakistani/Indian girl to do if she’s planning a wedding in the states and simply does not have the time to go overseas to pick out clothes?  It’s almost unheard of these days that a bride actually get to take the time to go shop overseas, and it may be because our community is progressively producing more and more professional young women who can’t take prolonged vacations in addition to honeymoons.  That, or, we just learned how to order dresses online.
So, how do you prepare for your bridal trousseau shopping?  You have the mehndi dress, your wedding dress, maybe your valima dress, and inevitably the outfits for future events.  It amounts to quite a bit of fancy new clothes.  Dresses by top designers like Nomi Ansari, Bunto Kazmi, Sana Safinaz and the like can help your bridal budget spiral out of control (each party dress is like $800, bridals are $3,000+), so a lot of women opt for designer replicas.  The best-kept secret in Pakistani and Indian fashion is out of the bag, ladies.

There has been a surge in Facebook groups where women sell designer replica dresses.  As a matter of fact, my bridesmaids dresses were from a woman who does business via Facebook, but I also met her personally so I felt secure dealing with her.  More on the process for another blog post!

Here is an example of a Facebook page where I found a shalwar kameez design I saw online and placed an order.  My cousin and his wife visited Karachi and she was kind enough to visit this woman and place an order for me.  The outfit came out literally exactly like the photo.  I don’t have a boyish body like this model, though, so the outfit fits differently on me, obviously.   I found a photo on this Facebook page, Azmeh Ahmed Couture.  I was SUPER happy with the end result.  Here’s a photo of me wearing my outfit at a valima brunch (left) and the original (right).

The end product (left) and the original outfit (right)

Needless to say, I can recommend Azmeh and would buy from her again in a heartbeat.  I believe I paid around $200 or $250 for this outfit.   I wear this outfit as often as I can, especially at brunches or lunches.  She has a wide variety of clothes, so I recommend you guys hop on over and take a look.  [also, no, this is not an endorsed post].

Has anyone else bought outfits via Facebook clothiers?  Do share!  I’d love to see how things worked out.  Did you have a good experience?  Have you heard any horror stories?

Christian Siriano’s Fierce Bridal Collection at Nordstrom

Hello gorgeous White Gowns!!  I am in love with these beautiful gowns by Christian Siriano, now available at Nordstrom Wedding Suite.  I didn’t even know he made wedding dresses.

Take a look at these gorgeous wedding dresses:

Siriano won Season 4 of Project Runway and has since been adored by celebrities and fashionistas alike.  I can’t decided if I love the top left dress or the top right dress more.  Both are BEAUTIFUL!! Makes me wish I was getting married all over again.  His dresses are not as high priced as other designer gowns are, the Draped Tulle gown on the top right sells for $1920 on Nordstrom.com.

 

What do you think of Christian’s dresses?  Would you wear a Siriano dress at your wedding?

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.