Above: My beautiful friend Windy Chiu (sensational makeup Artist) embellishing my completely dried out skin and frazzled hair with her magic because on my engagement day (planned it myself) I was completely dried out including my left contact lens, which I ended up tackling like a boss. If I was not wearing lenses, I would have been blind. In the photo above, I'm definitely thinking about my parents arriving on time (guests have already entered in the same space as I'm getting my make up done). Sisters are in the outskirts somewhere - I hope they're greeting guests. My cousin MIA because I gave her all my tasks the night before - thank GOD! My friends, no one is around to keep me calm. Girlfriends are calling me stressed DF and my fiance looks happy seeing me getting ready but NOTHING IS OKAY because I'm thinking of tasks while told to relax as Windy is doing my makeup. Okay and I'm not done, just getting started here. Oh and my fiance is wonderful because he has dealt with my crazy over the years.
Advice. Advise. Advertise & Adulthood.
Well into my wedding planning, I'm already nearing the end with absolutely no finite details, no signed contracts and an overwhelming mind with a very weighed down and bold mouth. I'm loud, irritated and already overdosed in debt and reconsidering my dream wedding gown because well, I just was not prepared for cultural input and mind games.
Laws of love just turned into the regulations of sanity and the ownership of one's needs during the time of marriage. Your wedding is something that you have planned for countless days and nights. And your marriage is just about to begin.
Your dreams are overlapped with the theories of great philosophers on why you need someone to live a great life and how you cannot surface the world's greatest wonders without true love and destiny. But if you have submerged into the great depth of understanding, patience and belonging then why are you resurfacing what you buried to be burdening your aspirations of love and reflections of who you both really are? Here is the first chapter of planning what has become a mechanic shop of hopeless car rental parts to which should be a journey of the soul. Being the eldest, you're probably drowning in debt or else you have accomplished your immigrant parents' dreams by outlandishly holding yourself together throughout stress management and financial clarity. Because hey, you did what they said and it worked and now you're shitting diamonds because big fat weddings are a significant part of your life and all the aunties need to know who you are, what you wore and how they can make their daughter look better or just as good as you. Why does this matter again - inviting everyone? Oh yeah, because you have years of history together but absolutely NO present. Rewind that in your head, the last part. No present relationship with the families that your parents immigrated to Canada with.
If I could host a large wedding with my friends families and all my cousins and extended family members in the country my parents call home, than yes, I would do so but I cannot so I will move forward with my life and to many more splendid shared moments.
Am I too loud for my usual crowd? Has this marriage changed me, yes. Have my views to life changed, yes. Do I still love the man I fell in love with, yes. Am I in love with weddings, no. Do I want to get married, yes but right now I just want to flee the world and talk to God. So here I am God, here I am.
Above: My eyelashes look great, thank you Windy so long as they don't fall off. Thank you Windy for keeping my eyes on point.
Wedding planning is not ordinary in any way, shape or form. I highly recommend hiring a wedding coordinator/planner if you're in the industry or have absolutely no idea regarding the amount of grey hairs that will suddenly weigh down the sight of your vision - STOP and rethink your planning. Setup a meeting with your families and tell them that what they are getting into is not what you want nor is it worth the arguments and the deterioration of your health to have what truly, is not what a marriage entails.
Involvement is not to be taken gently.
Advice: Show your family photos, a mood board helps but please avoid pinterest as you will be caught in the storm of opportunities and opinions of trends. Take them to the appointments that matter the most to you so they understand the capacity that the venue can hold, the catering costs (per head) so they can make a calculation and then add in all the details (vendor list) with their costs before anything else. Do not start making your guest list until you have booked your venue, this will save you from the cluster headaches or seasonal changes (I literally have thought of delaying my wedding because my emotions were stirred by the agony of having to discreetly take names off our list).
Your partner is your most important player next to you so USE THEM just do not abuse them. They love you and you love them, that's why you're shifting towards the next chapter..I would want to say dance but the dance looks more like a tragic series of unfortunate events by Daniel Handler. Give yourself a break girl! No one is asking you to have the perfect wedding and no instagram algorithm is going to make back the money you spent on the wedding so stop aggravating your emotions with cheap 'FUND MY WEDDING' tactics. No one is going to fund the event except you. It's a whole other ball game when your parents have saved and planned your day (savings are great). I highly advise on saving for your big day. Event blunders to take shape when details are left unscheduled; this may lead to you developing a narcissistic personality disorder. DO NOT let a mishap change the way you feel about getting married, if this is the case - GIRL, you need therapy. But do not worry, you have your partner and your beautiful life ahead of you and wedding planning is just surfacing your commitment and journey of love and growth ahead. My suggestion, plan ahead and give your family members tasks.
Never leave your venue to 2 months ahead. If you cannot afford the luxuries of the 'big fat indian wedding' then do NOT do it. No one is asking you to indulge in the event for someone else's betterment or visual happiness. Love, this is your wedding and your commitment is no one else's diary entry. It is your guide to one of life's greatest adventures - LOVE.
It is an intimate and priceless journey that you two share. Whatever you want, do it. Do not allow others to make your wedding day itineraries; ones of perfection and poise. What is the perfect marriage - who is ideal? What is the ideal wedding dress? Who is authentic enough to do your makeup? Does your song make you feel euphoric as you raise your head, beneath your veil..? Who has these questions? - I DO!
So girl, let me tell you. If you think I have it easy, I do not. I have 1000 questions on my mind and this is not healthy. I've just recently learned to release these thoughts and work within my budget as that is the healthy advantage to a remarkable relationship.
Let me honour my thoughts here and inform each of you clearly. Happiness ignites a flame within you. Be who you two are and enjoy the flowers as they fall from the sky onto the two of you as you enter the venue to celebrate your story.
Until next time on the Bridal Culture Blog.
I'll hopefully have many more details to share and I cannot wait to share my vendors with you.
Photographer: Liat Aharoni
Written with love..
I have to be honest with you, where I am now, who I am with is all because I believed in love; I believed in myself. It was not easy knocking on the doors of commitment, nor is this journey but I fell in love with my best friend. I love him. We love each other and our relationship is growing every day. This blog post is filled with love. If you want to read it while wearing the lens of 'intentional love' then you will be bamboozled by the time that so easily passes you by. A scenario where love is often seen as a burden than a beautiful adornment of accomplishments.
If you wish to read it while sharing an optical lens of perspective and compromise, you'll find yourself and your partner growing exponentially, as you two find happiness in yourselves and one another. If you need a comparison; a possible comparison to the thoughts that provoke my mind, than put all your raw fruits into a basket and expect them to ripen with an unforgettable sweetness. I'm telling you now, love is not easy and no one will tell you when you'll fall in love or when you'll make the right entrance to meet the right person. It will simply happen.
And so it did..
Our expressions shared with my sisters after we had completed the religious ceremony. Yes, Ayaz also wears a veil. The veil signifies a holy union in a sacred space.
It took us seconds to agree to dating overseas as young adults with no financial backing except our part time jobs and a pocket full of hope.
How was this possible? What would my parents think of me? I had found someone, was he really there for me? Was this love? Long distance relationships, heard of them but do they work? If so, I'm not traveling anywhere so how do we meet?
It began in the start of Fall 2006, Ayaz and I reconnected during the month of Ramadan. We were both on separate ends of the world, yet, we celebrated together. I try to remember the day where I sprawled onto my bedroom floor while reading his emails on our bond and how he felt about me. I told myself this was it, after all I am a die hard hopeless romantic. I had to use Abu's HP laptop as what I read next would change my life evermore. As we grew fonder of one another, we continued pursuing our dreams, and days turned into weeks and weeks into months. He was in a bee-hive industry (fashion, media, new company launches) the network was competitive and he loved working. He was the right fit and found security quickly. My adversities were a combination of dreadful commutes, proposal requests, and what was the start of my chronic anxiety, which I thought was major stress from school, and not having the right finances to complete my assignments. I would always make Ayaz a priority as he was my best friend and someone who I could confide in when it came to inspiration, family, and a lover's quest for union (the calling cards didn't matter). I had an array of friends (gosh I miss University) who supported my class assignments. Curatorial periods were my favourites as everyone was bewildered by my projects expressing 'distance, reflection, allegiance, enigma' and I wished I had experienced more time expressing how I had felt visually. "Saira, you can change the way someone feels .." they all said it, they still do.
This is a traditional ceremony during the engagement in Islam called the Imam Zamin. We wear the names of Ali and Fatima on our upper right arms to acknowledge their blessings on this beautiful day.