The morning of the wedding felt surreal. Surprisingly, I woke up well-rested (I love my sleep come rain or shine) but with knots in my stomach. It’s one of the most important days of your life and yet your emotions vary by the second. The best way I can explain how I felt is by saying this: I was truly happy and at peace (Alhamdulilah) but I could not stop the internal shaking in my stomach (and no, it wasn’t my gut shaking). I was lying in bed and thinking about my room, my family, my current home and the new life I was going to lead. I could not believe the day was here.
Unlike many brides (and grooms), I slept in that day. I had been awake (and crying) for around 15 minutes by the time my family came inside my room to check on me. My family is big on hugging and kissing so as soon as they saw that I was awake, they all jumped into bed with me. I cried, we laughed and then finally I got out of bed.
It was a very calm and peaceful day. It was Jummah (Friday) so all the men went for namaaz and I showered, prayed Jummah (Friday prayers) followed by Salatul Hajaat. The makeup artist for my family came around 1:30 so all my aunts and sisters started getting their hair/makeup done while I just hung around in a daze. My mom ordered pizza so we all munched on that (I definitely wasn’t a non-eating bride; I had 2 slices but had to stop because I didn’t want to be bloated). My mamoo’s (uncles) had picked up the flowers and dropped off my favours/receiving table things at the venue so I was very relaxed and carefree.
Besides how peaceful everything felt, the one emotion I remember strongly is the amount of crying I did. I cried in bed, I cried in the shower, I cried while praying… I cried all over the place. As my family’s makeup artist was finishing up, I sat on the couch next to my mom and tears started flooding out (again). Neither one of us said anything but she held me in her arms and let me cry. I remember the makeup artist and her mom saying “Awww” but I couldn’t stop. Finally, when my makeup artist (Shirley Wu) buzzed from downstairs, I stopped crying and went to put on my wedding shirt.
Putting on my wedding clothes felt surreal. I remember trembling as I slipped into my shirt – this was really happening. I changed and went back outside to get dolled up! Once I was outside, I had my first small panic attack – my photographer was still not here. As Shirley started doing my hair, I kept thinking that she was so fast and that my photographer had better not miss this. Finally, we placed a call to the photographer who assured us that they were minutes away. Obviously, they know better when to come so that they don’t capture the ugliness pre-makeup. Once my photographer came, they took my getting ready shots (the pictures came out amazing but I can’t share most of them due to my wearing Hijab) and pictures of all my accessories.
While I got my hair/makeup done, I was also on Skype with my khala (aunt) and nani (grandmother). Unfortunately, they couldn’t attend but they were with us the entire day via Skype. My khala is a joker and she kept cracking jokes. Initially, my khala had no idea that Shirley can speak/understand Urdu – she cracked a joke about the makeup and Shirley responded in Urdu. It was pretty funny.
Once my hair and makeup was done, Shirley asked me to put on my Gharara and get my dupatta. She put on my jewellery, did my dupatta setting and I was ready! By the way, when Shirley finished my hair/makeup, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t stop smiling. I looked like a bride!
By the time the short photo session was done, we were running around 15 minutes off schedule and we rushed to get out of the house. My parents, younger sister and I were in one car and my sister and brother-in-law were in a second car. I remember reading lots of dua (prayers) and my mom reading lots of dua’s as we left the home.
When we arrived at the venue, my dad helped me out of the car and we walked inside the hall. As I entered my wedding hall, I was blown away. I fell in love with my venue all over again. I quickly said hi to my videographer and the venue’s coordinator and made my way back into the lobby. At this point, we took some more pictures and then I rushed upstairs to hide in the bridal room.
In the bridal room, I waited – to finally be a Mrs.