Pakistani weddings are vibrant yet emotional events, days of celebrations that are rich with cultural traditions and family support. It can feel like a whirlwind for the couple and their parents, so booking great Pakistani Wedding Photography is a key part of planning.
Today we’re talking all about Pakistani Weddings and why we love photographing these amazing events. Read along to discover our favorite planners, venues, and tips for creating an unforgettable Shaadi.
Pakistani Wedding Events
Pakistani weddings are multi-day affairs planned by both sides of the family. Each ceremony, or Rasam, has its own significance and place in the timeline. Though you may stretch the celebration into a week-long affair, many Pakistani couples complete all events within three days.
Either way, booking Pakistani wedding photography is the best way to ensure each moment is recorded so that you can look back on it – and all the people who made it special.
The Dholki is a relaxed celebration where the closest friends and family sing songs, practice dances, and offer blessings. The bride and groom will typically host two separate Dholki parties since they won’t see each other during this Mayun time before the wedding.
Mehndi Night is the time many Pakistani wedding guests look forward to the most, though it may have a smaller invite list than the reception. It typically begins the core wedding events that take place over two or three days and involves a lot of dancing, music, and food.
The bride gets henna on her hand, and the groom gets oil poured on his hand. They’re often adorned with flowers on Mehndi Night, which can occur as one joint party or separate celebrations.
The Nikkah ceremony is when the bride & groom become officially married. For many Pakistani families, this is an especially emotional event since it signifies the bride’s official joining of her husband’s family.
The Nikkah Ceremony is typically an intimate gathering of the closest friends and family.
The Baraat is a big celebration that follows the Nikkah Ceremony. It represents the groom’s family coming to take the bride from her family. For this event, the bride’s family welcomes the groom and his kin into their home (or rented space) and offers food and entertainment.
This is one of the events where the family prioritizes Pakistani Wedding Photography, as they’ll want to get portraits of the many guests celebrating with them.
Right after Baraat is the Rukhsati, when the bride bids an emotional farewell to her family and goes with her husband to begin her new married life.
The day after the Nikkah and Baraat, the groom’s family will host the Valima, or reception. This is a time when extended friends and family gather to celebrate the marriage.
The Pakistani Valima is dazzling by anyone’s standards, but it’s a bit more subdued than the other wedding events. Attire is toned down with golds and pastels, and the atmosphere is typically more of a banquet-style reception.
However, as Pakistani wedding traditions blend with American and other religious customs, the Valima – and all aspects of the wedding week – are becoming more unique, a reflection of each couple.
Planning a Pakistani Wedding
It can feel overwhelming to plan a Pakistani wedding in America. After all, most venues and vendors are accustomed to single-day Western weddings with particular food and drink menus.
Even if you choose to host a simplified Pakistani wedding, you will still face challenges, like finding a venue that will accommodate a traditional Desi menu and have space for the Rasams you want to include.
Need help planning your event? Here is our quick guide for simplifying the planning process for your Pakistani Wedding.
Work with a Pakistani Wedding Planner
Working with a professional wedding planner is one of the best ways to stay sane during your wedding planning process. Planners can provide full-service help, offer design services, or simply help your final details come together.
Here are a few planners who coordinated Pakistani Weddings throughout Colorado and the U.S:
Mountain Occasions (Colorado & The Rocky Mountains)
SoCal Event Planners (Southern California and across the U.S.)
Pearls Event & Co. (New York, New Jersey, Florida, and worldwide)
Sobi Qazi (Texas & worldwide)
Events by C (Washington DC, Chicago, Destination)
Book Pakistani Wedding Photography
You’ll want to book your photographer early, since you’ll likely need them for multiple days. Is it possible to use different photographers for your various events? Sure, but there are downfalls to that too: you may get your photo collections in different timeframes, and they might have varying aesthetics.
So book your Pakistani Wedding Photography early, and hire someone experienced in large-scale events.
Selecting a Venue
Once you’ve created a guest list and decided which events to observe, it’s time to book your venue (or venues!). Some Pakistani weddings occur at one single location, while others are at multiple places.
Staying flexible on the locations will help ensure you can have the kind of wedding you’re dreaming of. Here are key things to consider as you look at venues, along with our top recommendations for places that work well for Pakistani Weddings:
- Capacity: Ensure your venue can accommodate your guest count. Bank on everyone you invite coming so that you’re not in a bind later on.
- Food & Beverage Policy: If you want to include Desi food, you’ll want to find a place that allows outside food & beverage OR has an approved Desi catering partner.
- Budget: Create an overall budget for your wedding that includes decorations and attire. Do some initial research to get an idea of venue costs, then stick with the budget you and/or your families create.
- Location: If most of your guests will be traveling for your wedding, having it in a locale that offers venues that work with your budget and vision may make sense. If none of the Colorado Wedding venues work for you, we can travel to capture your destination wedding.
The Chateaux at Fox Meadows (Broomfield, CO)
What you’ll love: There are multiple spaces at the Chateaux to accommodate your different Rasams, and they allow your choice of catering as long as you use their staff for serving and setting up.
Infinity Park Event Center (Glendale, CO)
What you’ll love: If you need space, Infinity Park Event Center has it. Plus, you can hire your choice of professional caterer as long as they meet the venue’s requirements.
Riverview Event Center (Brush, CO)
Website: http://www.rivervieweventctr.com/ Capacity: 300
What you’ll love: This small school has been repurposed into an event center. This means you’ll enjoy multiple rooms for various events while taking advantage of their flexible catering policy.
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (Pueblo, CO)
What you’ll love: This is a great budget-friendly venue for Pakistani Weddings. You can rent the Jackson Conference Center for $1700 or less and add other room rentals to accommodate your multi-day wedding events.
Space Gallery (Denver, CO)
What you’ll love: This dynamic spot is located right in Denver, so it’s convenient for any groups flying in for the wedding. They allow couples to provide their own food & beverage, so you can feature a traditional feast for your events.
Z Ranch Event Center (Greeley, CO)
What you’ll love: While barn venues don’t top most lists for Pakistani couples, you can’t beat Z Ranch’s flexible food policies and capacity, allowing 450 people for a seated dinner and dancing.
Other Vendors for a Pakistani Wedding
Though hiring a planner will take a big load off your checklist, you may still need to hire some professionals yourself. During the 6-12 month-out timeframe, you’ll want to secure your Imam, decorator, hair, makeup, mehndi, DJ, food, rentals, and attire.
Looking for more South Asian wedding inspiration? Check out our guide on Colorado Indian Weddings here!
Throughout the planning process, stay in touch with both sides of the family. A Pakistani wedding will involve lots of support from loved ones, so be sure to include them and the traditions they value.
At the end of the day, though, it’s a wedding between you two as a couple. So set a budget you won’t regret, hire a photographer you value, and try to enjoy each moment fully.