Photography by Nika Jaksic
Day One - Mayoon
Mayoon or mayun, is celebrated at the bride’s house. Usually the bride’s friends and close relatives get together at her house and they dance and sing, often accompanied by drum music. The bride usually wears a simple yellow dress.
Day Two - Mehndi
The Mehndi typically takes place one or two days prior to the main wedding day. The groom’s friends and family bring along sweets and henna for the bride, and the bride’s family does the same for the groom. The bride normally wears a green dress for mehndi. The bride and/or the groom are brought forward in the ceremony under a decorative cloth by their close relatives.
Day Three - Wedding
A Wedding or Shaadi in Urdu, is the main day of the wedding. The bride’s family is responsible for the reception and arrangements on this day. The bride traditionally wears a red dress which is heavily embroidered. The dress is always accompanied with heavy gold jewellery.
The nikah is the Islamic marriage contract ceremony. It is performed by an imam.
Finally, the Rukhsati takes place, when the groom and his family will leave together with the bride. The Qur’an is normally held over the brides head as she walks from the stage to the exit in order to bless her. This is a somber occasion for the bride’s parents as it marks the departure of their daughter from their home. The departure of the bride becomes a very emotional scene as she says farewell to the home of her parents and siblings to start a new married life.
On the day of the wedding, the couples’ bedroom is decorated with flowers. It is also customary for roses to be laid across the couples’ bed.
Day Four - Walima
This is the final day of the wedding held by couple as they host their first dinner as husband and wife. The groom’s family invites all of the bride’s family and their guests to for a feast. The walima is typically the most festive event of the wedding ceremony and intends to publicize the marriage.
The bride wears a heavily decorated dress with gold jewelry provided by the groom’s family. Typical colour palettes are pastel shades. The groom normally opts for a formal Western suit or tuxedo.
The Western equivalent to the walima would be the wedding reception, though walima’s are held the day after the shaadi or wedding.