The title is “MY” Wedding Invitations because Nouman and I have separate invites. The desi way of making invitations is that each family makes their own invitation and then gives the other side inserts to the day they are hosting. For example, since Nouman’s family is hosting the Valima, they would give us an X amount of Valima inserts to give to our guests.
To make things less complicated, we decided to create our own invitations – it makes things easier and everything looks prettier!
Here is the story of my invitations…
I had a clear picture of what I wanted before I left for Pakistan. I wanted:
- The cover of the card to be black (what can I say, I’m a dark person)
- A monogram
- A pop of brightness by using my favourite colour as an accent
- Either a satin ribbon or a crystal brooch
Simple enough, right? Wrong.
I had heard that there is a strip of stores in Saddar (Karachi) that sell only wedding invitations – this is where I wanted to go. However, my mom was reluctant to go as this area is dominated by males and not a place for women to wander alone.
So what did I do? I went to every card store I came across. Literally. I found some really nice cards but nothing that really stood out to me. Most of these stores were tiny and did not offer options to customize the cards – if I liked the pattern, I couldn’t change the colour; if I liked the colour, I couldn’t change the design.
I asked my mom if we could PLEASE just go to Saddar. She refused.
My mamoo (uncle) overheard us one day and suggested that we use the same person who he got his invitations from 2 years ago. The best part of using his contact was that we didn’t have to go anywhere – he would drop off his samples and we could let him know what we wanted after a few days. Yes, only in Pakistan can you order everything from the comforts of your home. With around 8 days to go before our departure, I agreed.
Unfortunately, after 4 days of him not showing up, we gave up. We had 4 days left for our vacation and I was definitely not going to waste them by waiting for someone. Left with no other choice (Okay, I’m lying. Obviously, I could have settled for a non-custom card but I didn’t want to give up without trying), my mom decided that we would (finally) go to Saddar. I was beyond excited. I was envisioning a huge area (think open-mall concept) with fancy card stores.
I was disappointed. Majorly.
I had never been to Saddar before but it is definitely not what I was expecting. My mom and grandmother had warned me that it’s a sketchy place but its way more run down than I had thought. By the way, prior to leaving for Saddar, my mom and grandmother thoroughly checked how I was dressed – I tried to fob out my Hijab style slightly so I wouldn’t stand out. Saddar, I suppose, is like any other grungy downtown area – old, crowded and grimy.
We went into a few stores and one common factor that stood out to me: every store we entered, we were treated as if we don’t exist. We would wait around forever but people would not pay attention. However, if a male came into the store, they were serviced right away. I was pretty pissed. My mom told me to shush myself (I started “tutting” loudly at some point) and not draw attention to us as “this is how things are here.” That issue aside, I didn’t find anything that stood out to me. Nothing that I found unique or remotely “us.”
At the end of the strip we were at, there was a small store that we were passing by. We peered inside and the place was small enough to (maybe) tightly hold 4 people. Yeah, I didn’t want to go in. My mom and grandmother forced me to go in and give it a try.
I am SO glad I did.
There was a young guy working there and as soon as I started talking, he totally got me. I explained what I wanted (complete with ugly scribbles – aka my drawings) and he pulled out samples of exactly what I wanted. He didn’t have a card exactly as I wanted but we were able to piece together my vision through explanations, drawings and samples. We put down our deposit and he promised he would send me the design that same night.
I loved what he sent.
We went back the next day and spent 4 hours editing everything. I also found my favours on the second trip. We received our invitations a few hours before we were leaving and I was beyond happy with them. I loved (and still do) them and they are exactly what I wanted.
Enough of my blabbing though – check them out below!
Like them? I do! (Get it? Haha. I’m so lame)
p.s. If you’re getting married, or are planning to in the future, I would totally recommend that you go to A Lavish Affair taking place on Friday. The people (erm, owners?) at Lavish Dulhan Magazine offered me tickets to the show but unfortunately I can’t go Some of the top vendors in the South Asian Wedding Industry are attending – I SO wish I could go. If you’re interested in going, either contact me or Lavish Dulhan for tickets!