This is the last behind-the-scenes post from the wedding days. Due to alot of requests, the next series will look at post-wedding life. Yup, I’m going there.
The day of the Valima started off good, Alhamdulilah. Nouman and I had set our alarms for 11:00am, giving us plenty of time to shower, get dressed and have breakfast before heading to my hair/makeup appointment. Although we did wake up at 11:00, we lounged around for too long and were rushing out the door to make it to my appointment in time.
Nouman dropped me off and then went off to get dressed himself – my parents had reserved a guest suite in our condo during the wedding so we utilized that. Once I arrived at the salon, I was asked to put on my shirt and then head over to my seat. Shirley was working on another bride so her assistant started on my hair. Shirley had a look at my jewellery and asked me what type of look I wanted. I explained that I wanted a “clean” look - dramatic eyes, natural lips and nothing too heavy/caked on. I had done a dark/bolder look on the shaadi, so I wanted the valima makeup to be a complete contrast. While my makeup was being done, one of my family friends also entered the same area as me to get done up for our valima. We chatted while we were both getting pampered and then Nouman called to say he was ready and outside the room. We allowed him to enter while Shirley finished my makeup. Once I was ready, Shirley pinned my dupatta, Maggie (her sister) put on my chooriyan and Nouman helped me put on my shoes. Then, we were off! Oh yes, I did forget my pants and garment bag. Richard, Shirley’s husband, was kind enough to call me to pick it up. Embarrassing!
We were running approximately 10 minutes late so we rushed to our photoshoot. The entire ride there I kept asking if my lip colour looked okay – I generally prefer bright colours so the neutral lipstick made me question my look. Once we arrived at our photoshoot, we met our photographers, grabbed an umbrella (just incase it rained) and headed off to take pictures. As we walked to our location, passerby’s were clapping, cheering and saying congratulations to us. It was so sweet! Walking through sand was tough but a bride’s got to do what a bride’s got to do for great pictures, right? The photoshoot itself was uneventful – we were used to our photographers by then and at times I could anticipate what they wanted us to do. Towards the end of our photoshoot, we took pictures by the water and then Nouman and I started panicking because we were getting late (again!).
Once we arrived at our Valima hall, Nouman dropped me off to the main entrance so I could go and hide in the bridal room. Obviously, I first had to check the hall and took a peek inside – I loved how everything look! I said salaam to all of Nouman’s family, Nouman had arrived by this time, and then we both went into the bridal room. This is where the wait began, again! We were kept company by Nouman’s cousins and also by our videographer who wanted some “getting ready” footage of us. Nouman also worked on his speech while I ate appetizers.
Before we made our entrance, Nouman’s family was introduced. When it was time, we made our way to the entrance of our hall. Luckily, one of my friends had just arrived so I asked her to fix my train as Nouman and I made our entrance. I felt like a celebrity when we entered – the whole room was on their foot, the music was beating loud and we could hear cheers everywhere. As we walked inside, there were faces everywhere but the faces I was looking for were of my family members. Finally, I saw my family at the front and I waved at them while holding back tears. Yeah, I don’t know what came over me. We had our cake cutting ceremony right after the entrance so that distracted me from crying. Both sets of parents were asked to join us for the cake cutting – Nouman and I had decided to have them by our side for this ceremony. We all hugged, cut the cake and fed it to each other.
After this, we did a mini-photoshoot, watched a slideshow and listened to speeches. We also had the mandatory portrait pictures with our guests. Once all that was done, it was time to get the party started. Nouman’s friends started on the dance floor and after around 15-20 minutes, we were finally able to break free from everyone and get onto the dance floor too!
The entire night was fun and upbeat – something we both wanted. For me, the highlight of the night was when Nouman danced to me on Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel.
I was totally pooped and tired by the time we were ready to leave. Thankfully, we saved ourselves the 1 hour drive back to the east end because we were staying at my parents house. My parents had booked a guest suite so we crashed there once we were home.
The next morning, Nouman and I dressed up and went upstairs for brunch with my family. It was a houseful and the last time I would see my uncles and aunts before they headed back to the US. Spending time with my family felt good – I even got to Skype with my khala in Pakistan. My nani didn’t attend my wedding but that morning, I wore an outfit that she had asked me to wear when I had gone to do my wedding shopping in Pakistan.
Overall, our wedding was amazing. It was fun and full of people that we love. I wish I could get married to Nouman all over again. Alhamdullilah.
For more Behind-The-Scenes moments, check out the following posts: The Day Before the Mehendi Day, Mehendi Day – Part 1, Mehendi Day – Part 2, Wedding Day – Part 1, Wedding Day – Part 2 and Bridal Room Shenanigans.