I know that weddings in Pakistan are a jungle. The clothes, the jewelry, the makeup, the shoes lol. It’s harder for people like us that are abroad and don’t have the experience of wedding shopping at all. I mean, friends weddings come up all the time and you somehow get a good idea of how to arrange things, but when you’re totally cut off from that bit as well, it seems like a puzzle even picking out a dress. I thought I would help you guys on the way and give my best tips on where and how to do your baraat dress shopping! It’s not easy, lol I agree with that, but it’s not impossible either!
Let’s jump right into it and discuss the most important part of a wedding—your wedding dress! Weddings in Pakistan are usually a three-day function; mendhi, baraat & walima, but I know people that do a small nikah and jump right into walima as well. It’s entirely up to you and your resources! The hunt after a wedding dress begins several months before the wedding. It’s not only about picking out something you like, but you have to have the right color, stitching, cut, embroidery—you name it. Now, as I mentioned earlier it’s very hard for us girls living abroad. We have no shops to visit, no earlier experience and 99% of the time; no idea what kind of dress we want either lol. There’s so many trends going on in Pakistan at the same time that you literally get lost! So my best tip is to choose whether you want to look like a traditional or trendy bride.
TRADITIONAL OR TRENDY?
I had a very clear idea of me looking like the traditional bride with a jhoomar, nath and a blood red wedding dress, but I changed my mind the last second. I think it’s very healthy for couples to discuss beforehand about how they want to look etc. My idea of the traditional bride was a red dress and that’s it, but after discussing it back and forth we came to the conclusion that going with a champagne color with a hint of red details would look so much better! So I chose a beautiful champagne/bronze dress with small maroon details on it. The lehenga underneath was paired with a beautiful peplum shirt and a heavy bordered dupatta. Such a beautiful combination!
Here alot of different styles come in as well. A few years back it was very trendy with a long shirt with “chawks” on the side, paired with a lehenga. Then all of a sudden mini tops came in, the half-sleeves, the froks, the maxis—you name it. The best is to decide what looks best on you. Are you tall enough for a long shirt? Make a sketch of how you want to look on your big day and Pinterest it for more help!
BRIDAL DRESS SHOPPING?
I get tons of messages everyday of people asking me where they should do their bridal dress shopping. I’m not a professional and I only have experience from my own wedding, but I’ve heard a lot about the bazaar in Lahore. Lahore is always best for bridal shopping, whether it’s for mendhi, baraat or walima! So do go there and have a look! Although, since it’s Lahore, it’s very pricey as well. It also depends on whether you want a designer bridal dress or just something you can customize yourself. So again; scribble down what you’re looking for. It’s SO hard if you jump into it without pre-planning. You will get lost in the jungle of millions of styles and colors.
Now, when it comes to the shops, I only have experience with two different ones, located in two different cities, that sell two entirely different style of bridal gowns, to two entirely different customers. It would be very unfair of me to compare these two, as the first one, Mohsin & Sons is located in the heart of Islamabad, and the other is in Gujrat. They’re simply working with two different kind of people visiting them!
Mohsin & Sons is located in Islamabad and sell very high quality work. It’s such a pity that they don’t have an active working instagram/facebook page where they can showcase their dresses, cause I’m so sure they would get triple as much customers running in and out if they managed that! Social media is everything in the 21st century! Anyway, their service is really good and the employees working there take you seriously, whilst giving their own opinion at the same time. We had the luck of talking to the head of the store which gave us his honest opinion whilst discussing our own ideas, but I’m sure the other ones working there are really really talented as well. I don’t have anything bad to say about them, other than the most important thing; stitching. The lady they have in charge for the measurements have no idea what she’s doing and is very rude. I have no idea if that’s something they’re out looking for in Pakistan—rude employees—but it’s such a turn off! Other than that I can’t recall anything that was bad about them, so I highly recommend that store! This is not for designer bridal gowns, but their work is very high quality and good if you have a budget to hold.
The other store is located in Gujrat called Qari Cloth House. My family have been visiting this store for almost 10 years now and they sell everything from bridal dresses to branded suits and casual shalwaar kameez. I must admit, majority of their work is that typical “gujrati-kaam” but if you really dig in and search for the right dress, you will not be disappointed. I found my bridal dress from here due to the lack of time, and since my tailor is located in Rawal Pindi, I had to get my dress stitched from here as well. The dress is with a peplum shirt and a lehenga with tail. A heavy embroidery dupatta and the perfect shining fabric underneath the net so it gives a “bridal” look to it even more. As I mentioned earlier; I won’t compare their service and work with Mohsin & Sons, cause this one is for the people living in Gujrat, but I had major problems with the stitching here as well. Very irresponsible when measuring, which left me with weird looking sleeves that fell on my dupatta all day long. BUT, you have to keep in mind that I went there and found a dress in a week. Not all stores say yes to deliver a full bridal glam dress within a week! So heads up for that!
My best tip is to have an eye on Pinterest a year before the wedding. Make a board on there or something and pin everything you like! Print out the pictures you like the most; can be containing the b-neck you love, the type of sleeves you want to get sewed on your dress or whatever, and bring them with you to Pakistan. It’s sooo much easier with a clear idea that you can show the shopkeeper as well. This way you won’t be misunderstood! It’s a nightmare wearing a total catastrophe on your big day! So preplanning is the key!
Unfortunately, I have no experience with designer bridal dresses, as I didn’t get one for myself. I would also like to not recommend trusting instagram pages. I know a lot of girls that have ordered dresses online just to get scammed. Other times you don’t get scammed but the fabric and color differs so much from what you’ve seen online, that all of the money you spent on it, just go to waste. So go to Pakistan and have a look there! England is very far ahead with bridal dresses as well—but then again; very expensive!
Next time we will talk about my jewelry and makeup on my baraat day! Hope this post helped you in your hunt for your bridal dress. Much love xoxo