People often say that Pakistan has not four, but five seasons. Starting with summer, autumn, winter, spring and the most popular of all- the wedding season. It is no secret that people celebrate Pakistani weddings like there’s no tomorrow. The attires, the food and the decor, everything is prepared as lavishly as possible. Families spend millions of rupees on a single event, regardless of their economic status or financial limitations.
Despite the massive costs, these occasions have become a necessity rather than a formality. Some guests also get offended on the slightest of mistake by the already-harassed organizers and family members, only to leave off in a huff (but not before gobbling up the food).Wedding seasons still reign supreme in the social calendar of every green-blooded Pakistani.
This wedding-mania has reached new heights thanks to the popularity of social media. Now common people can easily see how their favorite celebrities celebrated their own weddings. In turn, the things that were once considered luxuries have now become necessities. Family-centric events such as mayoon and dholki ain’t no more a part of weddings. Bridal showers and rung parties are trending. Some people have gone to the extent of having destination weddings with more than ten events, each with its own costume, theme and elaborated decoration.
However, there is a new trend in the horizon that might cheer up all those who are tired of attending boring wedding functions.
Or as the famous Al Pacino in the movie Scarface states,
‘Say hello to the little wedding’.
Trending Pakistani Weddings
In simple words, a hybrid wedding has two or three events in it, all combined to make a super-fun and a inexpensive wedding. People have even chosen cool names for their events. Some people came up with ‘Mashalima’ (mehndi+shadi+valima), whereas others named their event ‘Shendi’ (shadi+mehndi)… Perfect for trending on Twitter!
Most people who have long been sufferers of the boring-shadi syndrome have embraced this trend. The following are some reasons why this new trend might (and should) gain popularity quickly.
Let’s be honest. Most expenditures in Pakistani weddings are done for the sake of create an outstanding impression towards your relatives and most importantly the In-laws. This obsession with degrading others often lands the family of the bride or groom in debt. Major expenditures include venue, decoration and food. Isn’t it logical to hold one combined event and pay only once for all the things rather than calling the same set of guests to different venues? Ideally, both parties can and should split the cost of the event which makes the task much easier.
- Less hassle
Arranging the clothes and makeup, coordinating and ordering the jewelry, booking the photographer, distributing the cards. There are countless things, one has to do to organize a wedding. Now multiply those things by two (or whichever number of events you are planning to have). No wonder even the sanest of women can become bridezillas when it comes to their own wedding.
Also, having one event means that you only have to meet the annoying ones among your relatives only once. As a bonus, they also get less of a chance to criticize you and your family. Smaller event ends in minimizing the hassle one goes through.
Pakistan has one of the highest poverty and malnutrition rates in the world. This is ironic, considering that almost 40% of the food cooked in Pakistan get wasted. More events mean more opportunities for people to waste food.
The combination wedding trend can be a blessing for people in the lower classes. Those who cannot afford to have multiple events but do so under social pressure. It will make their lives a whole lot easier. This also save such families from coming under debt each time a child undergoes his or her marriage.
Double The Fun
“Mehndi” is the only event during the course of a wedding that most people look forward to attend. The reason? You actually have something to do except getting dolled up and looking pretty. You get to sing or dance, or at least participate in all the fun customs that varies with the changes in the communities, societies and culture.
On contrary, those Pakistani weddings which includes baraat and valima are usually bore-fests where guests are mainly waiting for the dishes to unfold. A moment when you might regret to be a part of such a crowd, but then you find that space to grab a bite also. Simultaneously, the couple takes the center stage bossing the podium, staring at all the guests while aunties scrutinize every aspect of the couple’s looks. Not an appealing scenario, right?
Compare this to the hybrid events, which combine the fun and festivity of the mehndi with the formality of baraat and valima. What else do you need? Sign me up, pronto!
Less time consuming
Aur bhi ghum hain zamaane mein shaadi ke siwa
Ok, now that I have got Faiz Ahmed Faiz turning in his grave, let’s review the time it takes to plan a Pakistani wedding. One wedding involves at least 4 months of prep. This includes researching, ordering, booking, rejecting, freaking out and roaming about in markets (not to mention a lifetime of saving money from the parent’s side). All that for events that will last 5-6 hours at most.
Realistically speaking, no one has that much time these days. Most young couples are either working or studying, or doing both simultaneously. It is very hard to take time out from a tough schedule to get into the nutty gritty of multiple events. So a multi-event combo is a much easier option.
Having just one event will also ensure that more people attend your wedding, since the social calendar of most people is already filled choc-a-bloc with invitations. This is especially true in peak wedding seasons like after- Eid ul Fitr, Eid –ul-Azha and the summers. Hence having just one event will also be convenient for your guests.
In the epic battle of the trends in Pakistani weddings, the Mashalima/ Shendi might prove to be relevant with the David versus the Goliath story.
Given the many conveniences that a hybrid wedding offers, we are rooting for it to become, and remain, the new way to celebrate the union of two people. It is high time for every Pakistani to improvise and implement on the varying trends.
Oh, and if you need any more convincing, check out this lovely couple’s Mashalima footage!