On the 13th of April was my wedding day. Getting up early in the morning because we had to go a long way from Lahore to reach Saigolabad which is near Chakwal. It is a journey of about 5 hours from here (Lahore). Our family and friends got together and we started off our journey to Saigolabad. When we were about to reach Saigolabad, we stopped at a gas station and groom’s car was decorated with flowers and petals. It looked superb. After reaching at the bride’s home, we were seated in a separate place with all the other males. The priest (as in our culture) had the papers of Nikkah (Marriage) which I had to sign. The bride had signed it already. Both the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other until they have signed the Nikkah papers. I signed and he asked if I accept the marriage, and I replied “I accept”. Then all the people which were there put their hands up and prayed for our better life. After that we were directed to the place where lunch had been setup. Then we were shown way to the place where bride and all the females were sitting. Even there too very few males were allowed to go there. I was seated next to bride. She was wearing a red colored Lehnga and she looked marvelous. I wore a black Sherwani Kurta that day along with a turban and peach colored Khussa (shoes).
It is a custom not to speak to one another as it’s considered ill mannered, so we had to be a little reserved as you can see in the picture. Marriages differ from place to place so the situation is not exactly the same at every wedding, but mostly similar to this. My marriage took place in the country side (village) so we had to respect the customs and traditions of that place. When we sat together, many relatives came and sat with us, giving us money as gift which she had to place in her purse. Then she was escorted out of her home in the shade of the Holy Quran (our Holy Book). She and I sat together in the car along with my mother seated next to her and my dad in front.
After reaching Lahore, my parents gave her gifts (dresses). It’s a kind of tradition here. There is another tradition/custom that the groom has to give a gift to bride on the first meeting after marriage. It’s called “Munh Dikhayi” (First Look of her face). This is called this way because nowadays marriages have changed a little and we already see the bride’s face, while some time ago bride had her face covered and the groom had to unveil her after reaching back home and being alone in room. But anyways I digressed, the gift from the groom can either be a flower or a thing made from gold. As from me, she got a ring with heart shape on it.
After marriage the groom has to arrange a party for the bride’s relatives and his own friends. That party is called “Valima”. I had booked a marriage hall for that party. The picture in which she is wearing green dress is of the “Valima”. On this day the groom and bride are a little less reserved than before and can talk to each other and can greet the guests. It was a party of around three hours and my friends also joined me who were unable to join me on the wedding day. This party is also considered as marriage. It’s a part of marriage without which marriage is not considered complete here. We were given envelopes of money as token of gift from everyone who joined us.
One more tradition worth mentioning is that the groom and bride have to visit the bride’s home and live there for at least two days after the Valima Party. We left 2-3 days after the party as we needed time to rest and lived in her hometown for two days after which we left for Khanaspur (hill station) and then came back after some days as it was quite cold there, unbearable cold.
She and I also enjoyed a lot in our city Lahore which is full of sights and places worth visiting. Marriage has brought us close and it has created a strong bond of relationship, love and care which we have for each other.