|Description:|| This oriental prince is our own Shafaat Ali, who recently got engaged to Nida, his lovely princess, in Pakistan.|
The traditional wedding ceremony in Pakistan is a festive season for the family. Everything starts with a dinner visit of the parents of the groom to the parents of the bride, after which they invite the parents of the bride to their home for a family dinner. Once both families are satisfied, and especially the girl and boy do also show their eagerness, the parents of both families finalize the dates of no less than six festive occasions. The dates are usually fixed half a year in advance, to allow time for the necessary preparations. The six occasions are:
1. Engagement (optional): This is when the ring ceremony takes place for bride and groom.
2. Mayoon : Elaborate decorations of the bride's hands (Mehndi, see image), with active participation of the ladies, who sing songs and generally make it a festive and happy occasion.
3. Mehndi: Similar to Mayoon but on a larger scale, with a lot of guest and attendees. It includes a fierce singing competition between the two families.
4. Wedding Day: The bride moves from her parents home to her husbands home. This event is on a (very) large scale, and is one of the most important occasions. The reception is hosted by bride's parents
5. Valima Reception: Similar to the Wedding reception but completely hosted by the groom's parents.
6. Chauthay: A (relatively) small scale event that takes place at the home of the bride.
The Wedding and Valima ceremonies of Shafaat and Nida will take place this year, on October 6th and 7th respectively. Just before these events, in September, Shafaat has promised to visit us, albeit as yet without his princess of course.