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?

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Timeline Ready: “LIKE” me on Facebook!

Hey All!

This is non-wedding related, but, I just wanted to let my fans know that I am now on Facebook and I would love if you would go and become a fan. I have really exciting promotions coming up that I am dying to share with you, so, go ahead and visit my page by clicking HERE and becoming a fan.

In other news, we are going to start taking submissions of weddings because after all, you come here not only for wedding planning advice but also to peruse gorgeous photos.  So, feel free to email me at thebridaldiaries@gmail.com for a chance to have your wedding/bridal shower/engagement or any other amazingness featured on the site!

XOXO,

Sidra

5 Wedding Day Regrets: What Would I Change?

What would I change about my wedding?  This is going to be a long post just because I want to explain my rationale for these regrets.

I absolutely loved celebrating every moment about my wedding but there are certainly a few things I would change, and they mostly have to do with unpleasant experience with certain vendors.  I thought that I dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s during my wedding planning, but alas, I did make a few errors that I would never repeat!  I feel like brides area always looking for ways to make their days less stressful, where, here are my tips!

1) Hire an Usher:  Thanks to my 300+ guest count, I would’ve hired an usher or two to help people to their seat.  My family was forced to do the ushering, which I’m sure made it a less than pleasant experience for them.  Unfortunately, people brought their uninvited children to my wedding and those children sat in other guest’s seats.  As the bride, I didn’t realize that my family had to deal with a lot of unnecessary stress at the wedding.  I did notice a few kids who weren’t invited at my wedding running around (and much to my surprise I saw photos of people who were not invited on Facebook!), but I thought that they had come as replacements for their dads, since a lot of girls enjoy going to weddings more than fathers do.  It’s perfectly OK to come as a replacement for a guest, but the replacement should sit in the seat that was pre-chosen for that guest, not in another guests seats! My poor family couldn’t be rude or firm with family friends, but I think an usher would’ve done the job seamlessly and seated extras in empty chairs.
Advice: Be more firm in your wording about how extra guests are not allowed.  Hire ushers to seat extra guests in empty seats, not in seats that are taken by guests who are in attendance.

2) Hire a better DJ/MC:  My DJ was absolutely AWFUL.  My Pakistani wedding didn’t have any dancing, so truly, I didn’t really need a DJ.  I got one to make it easier on my family so that they could enjoy the wedding more without having to MC or handle the iPod.  In retrospect, I would have nixed him altogether.  He was rude, he said the name of my officiant incorrectly, when my husband walked in he said welcome “the bride and her parents.” He also promised to have speakers placed outside during the appetizer hour and didn’t have those setup.  He failed to have music playing for the reception entrance.  He had been trained on the schedule before the wedding but still managed to make mistakes.  My DOC also told me that he set everything up later than the agreed upon time.  When I tried to complain to his boss, the boss evaded my phone call for WEEKS, and when I did finally get to speak to him to demand a partial refund (to which I feel I was entitled to!), the boss said “you will not get your money back.”  For that, I have no qualms about telling brides NOT to hire Shadi Solutions DJ for your wedding.  They were the vendor I most regret hiring.
My advice:  I think getting the My Wedding DJ app (4.99!) on an iPod touch ($199!) and renting great speakers is probably a better idea than dishing out the $700 I spent on my DJ.  Mind you, $700 was on the low-end of DJ prices in the OC area!  The app and a new iPod touch would have cost me less.

image courtesy if iTunes

3) Alternative Rental Company.  I saved a lot of money by using a local Orange County rental business for the few rentals I needed–or so I thought!  I used regular chairs and linens throughout the room (more on this choice in a later post), but for my main show pieces I wanted fabulous linens.  I got the basics – 2 chiavari chairs for my Sweetheart table, pintuck table covers for our sweetheart table, table covers for my candy bar, and  2 runners for my cake + cupcake table.  The total was just about $40 which I felt was super affordable.  I thought the vendor was a bit rude, but the prices were great so I signed away on the 9-page long contract (should have been a warning sign!!).  Literally, the contract for my wedding venue was probably less pages.  The company (which shall remain anonymous) was based less than 10 miles from the venue, but their delivery and pick up costs were pricey– $100! I decided to forgo that and have a bridesmaid pick up the rentals and have my sister drop them back off to her after the wedding.  Well… my poor grandmother was hospitalized immediately after my wedding due to a seizure, and my sister is her primary caretaker and she was unable to make it out to OC to drop off the items.  Whilst I was on my honeymoon, I was sent an email by the vendor invoicing me for a $240 fee, already deducted from my account.  I was shocked at how HIGH their per day late fees were considering she never verbally mentioned it to me.  When I got home I found out that these fees were in fact listed in the contract.  I would advise all brides to be extremely cautious when signing contracts and to always ask about fees!
My advice:  Choose quality over price!! People buy expensive cars due to quality, make sure you are getting quality stuff.  This rental place was a little run down and the pricing was dirt cheap, but I found out the hard way how they really made their money.  Also, be sure to read your contracts thoroughly and ask about fees.

Candy buffet table at my wedding. This is a rented linens.

4) Hair and Makeup Trials:  I have no regrets whatsoever about my bridal beauty for the Pakistani wedding, it was done flawlessly.  Absolutely flawlessly.  I love Farah Manekia for her work and highly recommend her (email me at thebridaldiaries@gmail.com for her info).  As a matter of fact for the three weddings in my family following mine, all the brides used Farah!  However, for my Macedonian wedding I regret the choice I made.  My hairstylist of 7 years is incredible at styling hair and I was so happy to have her be apart of my day, but I gave her the wrong direction in terms of style.  I didn’t think about what I wanted as much as I should have, even though there is nothing wrong with the hairstylist’s talent.  She is incredible and copied the photo exactly, sadly it didn’t go well with my dress.  The makeup artist did a poor job and I think I could’ve done a better job myself!  It’s to the point where I wish I could re-take photos in my dress with better makeup!  Unfortunately,  chose the wrong styles for my dress.
My advice:  Do trials, make sure you love your look! Be sure it goes well with your outfit.   Take a friend to the trials and be very particular about your style.  These photos will be around forever.

5)  Be less crazy:  I dropped 5 pounds in the week just before my wedding because of all the stress.  I love my family and friends, but I definitely gave them some unnecessary verbal lashings before my wedding.  For example, my wallet slipped out of my purse when I drove my mom’s car…. who did I go off on for that? My little brother.  Because he was driving her car when I needed my wallet.  Even though it was my fault I took her car and that the wallet fell out and I didn’t notice it.
My advice:  My older brother said this to me: We all love you, we’re doing this for you because we love you, just relax and enjoy your wedding and let us enjoy it too!!  One thing I am SO grateful for is that on my wedding day I actually ENJOYED everything because I’m a crazy planner and everything went off without a hitch.

Alright ladies, I hope this helps you in planning a more happy wedding day!!  Leave your comments, do you regret anything from your wedding planning?  What would you have done differently?