Who did you choose as your designer? And why?
Rema Qureshi: I was in India and chose my outfit there, and I am yet to order my mehndi outfit!
Fatin Gondal: I am generally a very picky person, and in this case I was very clear about the kind of look I wanted to go for. I didn’t go on a jora hunt from one designer to the other. For me it was always going to be Khadija Shah of Ã‰lan. I love her work, the choice of color palates that she works with, and most importantly I trust her.
Mishaal Anwar: I’ve always wanted an element of traditional red in my shadi outfit, without it being overwhelming. After speaking with Dr. Haroon, he totally won me over with his enthusiastic idea of that perfect red dupatta in an overall pink color scheme. For my valima I wanted a completely different look. Shehla Chatoor with her modern cuts and contemporary style promised just that.
Sameen Khan: My mother, Kauser Humayun, is a fashion and jewelry designer and is making my jewelry, formals, nikkah and mehndi outfits. I would trust her blindly with it actually. For the wedding itself, I decided to go to Rizwan Beyg: he made my sister’s wedding jora and my mother, sister, and I all consider him to be one of the most-if not the most-talented designers here.
Who did you choose as your makeup artist? And why?
Rema: Have not decided yet, but will go for someone who can complement the traditional look I have in mind.
Fatin: Ather Shahzad for my valima and Leena Ghani for my wedding. Leena is one of the few who gives you a very natural non-caked up look, which is exactly what I needed for my day-time wedding event.
Mishaal: Honestly, I’m waiting to take that decision. Lets see how the December and January brides do. Better to learn from other people’s mistakes!
Sameen: I wear very little makeup on a daily basis, and I wanted to go to a makeup artist who knows her stuff but will not a) change me, b) go overboard, or c) make me look like a creampuff. I chose Leena Ghani, because she doesn’t change faces and she uses bronzer liberally (something that very few Pakistani makeup artists are willing to do)!
Are you planning on going sans makeup on the mehndi?
Rema: No makeup, just lots of color and flowers!
Fatin: No. Everyone attending looks their best on mehndi, why shouldn’t the bride!
Mishaal: What’s the point of the out-of-bed look before the big day?No one should look less than perfect when lights and eyes shine bright on you. Natural doesn’t mean literally. It also doesn’t mean party makeup.
Sameen: I won’t lie: I’m planning on wearing a touch of cover-up under the eyes but mehndis are meant to be makeup-free so I wouldn’t do more than that. I like the idea of flowers as adornment instead of makeup and jewellery.
Are you involved in doing up the house you’ll be moving into? What will you miss most about your own home?
Rema: Yes that’s work in progress! I’ll be missing my bedroom, and most of all coming home to my parents.
Fatin: Not really. I didn’t want to do it up in a rush. Shezy, my fiancÃ©, is extremely busy with work right now and I have been caught up with all the other wedding preps. I’m really looking forward to doing it up together with him, in ease, once the craziness is over. There’s so much I will miss about my home. But I think most of all my room, I love my room, it’s always been my happy space, being able to walk around in my pajamas and eating midnight snacks and chilling with my mom.
Mishaal: I’ll be setting up my home in Los Angeles once I get there. Better in person than online. Thankfully my mother-in-law has taken up the stress to do up my place here. I can totally rely on her to do something amazing.
Hollywood aside, I’ll definitely miss being served tea in bed, like a boss!
Sameen: I am indeed involved in doing up the house and it’s the most stressful part of the entire experience! I’m very particular about having an inspiring yet livable space that reflects one’s personality. My fiancÃ© loves the minimalistic look and I love moody, dark (sometimes shabby chic) spaces so we are trying to find a balance. What I will miss most about my own home is alone time: the ability to lock myself in my room for hours and make time for my self and my creative ventures i.e. reading, writing, painting, etc. That is very precious to me.
Weddings in Pakistan have become such big blockbuster events. People are hiring choreographers from India, flying in flowers from Holland. Do you agree with this approach or does it bother you?
Rema: It doesn’t bother me but I feel that the hosts, friends, and family should enjoy the wedding. Sometimes I find wedding events become more about showiness and ostentation rather than about the couple, and all the fun involved!
Fatin: I don’t believe in too much or too many functions. It’s hectic for everybody including the bride. I think what’s important is the intention behind it. Some brides may want the perfect outfit, others may want the perfect dreamy wedding with beautiful exotic flowers. To each their own. What’s important is that no one should stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone to prove anything to anyone.
Mishaal: “Grand” has a positive correlation with stress! I don’t care for such drama and so much khowaari. My friends have choreographed some dances nothing short of Bollywood productions. I try not to judge people who spend exorbitant amounts on their weddings, because it’s quite entertaining to witness:
Sameen: I don’t believe in spending so much time, energy, and money on a single day. An event manager can relieve the burden of organizing a wedding yourself, and I am using one for that reason. However, one must draw a line between a wedding and a show. Just ask yourself: Am I doing what I’m doing for the right reasons? And always lean away from the latter, because that’s never a good way to live. What bothers me about blockbuster events is how they are used to make statements.
For those brides without a host of female siblings and cousins, they have to host and organize dance practices themselves? How are you managing the dance practices?
Rema: For my sister’s wedding, I took on that role, so I’m hoping that’s her turf this time!
Fatin: Honestly, you don’t feel the lack of if it you have friends like sisters. Mine have completely taken over and been great sports about my dance practices from organizing to participating.
Mishaal: I don’t really have that problem, MashaAllah. I’ve got the siblings, the cousins and the friends. Not to forget I’m not at all averse to the idea of stealing a few dances from all the weddings I have to attend. Ladies beware!
Sameen: Actually, I am quite fortunate to have a whole host of female relatives (and some good, good friends)! Considering how very little I know of the latest Bollywood tunes and moves, I’ve delegated dance practices to my sister and cousins as well as those friends who are particularly talented at choreography and dancing. We’re only practicing a week to ten days; I believe in having fun with it and not taking things too seriously.