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7 Most Popular Pakistani Wedding Traditions

Pakistani weddings are full of joy, food and a line of traditions. These conventions are what make them unique

Pakistani weddings are a grand affair with many rituals and traditions.

They do not finalize in a single day, but on average they last for a week or two.

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Whether you choose a lavish wedding or a modest Pakistani wedding tradition is a must.

Mostly, Pakistani weddings include Nikah, Mayon, Mehndi, Barat and Walima.

However, it does not stop there. In fact, Pakistani weddings include cultural traditions that add the splendor of events.


Usually, Pakistani weddings start with a dholki ceremony, which is already a part of the celebration for brides.

It is just a celebration by women consisting of family and friends and usually a Henna Ceremony on a weekly basis.

There was a time when only the bride’s family and friends were invited on Dholki night, however, times have changed and some families invite in-laws to attend.

Traditionally, during the ceremony, women of all ages gather around playing drums, also called dholki, with one another sitting with a dust spoon with tapping against the dust.

Women play drums and sing popular wedding songs related to teasing the bride and groom and often the mother-in-law.

There is no doubt that Dholaki celebrations are full of laughter, joy and happiness. This is definitely the best way to start Pakistani marriages.

Mayon Tradition

Another pre-wedding tradition in Pakistan is the Mayon ceremony.

This cermony takes place at the bride’s residence between family and close relatives.

Traditionally it is called the beauty tradition in which turmeric is applied on the skin of the bride.

Turmeric paste is made from turmeric, sandalwood and other oils. They are usually bought by the groom’s mother and sisters who put it on the bride first.

In addition to the turmeric tradition, the bride’s close friends tie a knot on the bride’s arm.

As well as traditions, there is plenty of food, song and dance.

Due to the turmeric ritual, bridal attire, make-up and hair are usually kept simple and minimal.

Urgent Rishta spoke exclusively to Miss B, who is recently married. She revealed that Mayon was her favorite event. She said:

“Pakistani weddings have many traditions and events but no doubt, as a bride, Mayon was my favorite.

“It’s because it was the most stress-free ceremony for me as a bride and for my family. I had to sit and relax while everyone took turns to put turmeric on me.

“Also, it was a great opportunity for everyone to get their hair down and dance at night. My husband continued until late at night.

Undoubtedly, Mayon is the best wedding ceremony to relieve any stress and lighten the mood.


The next most loved event is usually henna. Henna can be held by the bride and groom as separate celebrations, or families can gather to throw a grand ceremony.

The much-anticipated henna celebrations are packed with dance performances by the couple’s family and close friends.

This, of course. , Depending on the family’s preference, but sometimes couples prepare their own dance for guests.

In the style of a true Pakistani wedding, the elders gather around the bride and groom and place leaves on their hands.

The elders then apply henna to their leaves, put oil in their hair and feed them usually sweet sweets .

The traditional color for a henna bride is yellow, however, over the years, this has changed and different henna themes have been adopted.

They have a multi-colored theme, a fabulous Mughal theme and many depend on the bride’s preference.

During the henna celebration, the bride’s hands, arms and feet are adorned with beautiful and intricate designs.

It was believed that the bride’s mother-in-law liked her henna color more.

For the groom, he traditionally wears a vibrant kurta, while his close male friends and family usually wear a colorful neck scarf to match the theme.

Also, another cultural tradition that takes place during the henna ceremony is giving the guests something sweet.

Usually, bags of sugar or sweets are distributed to guests to thank them for attending.



The most important part of the entire Pakistani wedding ceremony is the nikah which is also called nikah nama.

The couple exchanges prayers in front of witnesses and tie the knot together.

The bride and groom say “Qabool Hai” which means “I do”, thus tying them in a permanent relationship.

After that, they sign each marriage contract, known as the marriage contract, which includes the couple’s consent and terms.

Immediately after the marriage contract was signed, the groom’s family paid for the wedding in the presence of all the guests.

This tradition is considered an act of joy and happiness.

Interestingly, Nikah Dholki can be held before or after Mayon and Mehndi or even on rainy days. It depends on both families.

Barat tradition


This is followed by the Barat ceremony which is generally considered as the ‘bride’s side’ wedding ceremony as it is arranged and held by them.

During Yum Barat, another Pakistani wedding tradition is performed.

On the arrival of the barati (groom’s family), they were stopped at the door. The bride’s sisters stand at the door carrying a glass of milk for the bride.

In return for the milk, the groom pays the sisters before they let him in.

Another tradition involves giving money to the bride and groom. Named salutations, attendees go on stage to congratulate the couple and give them money as a sign of happiness.

With extravagant decor, guests are served delicious food, including roast, shish kebab, plow, biryani. Curry , confectionery and much more.

One of the dress codes for the day is purchased by the family of the Langga girl who also presents her son-in-law with a sherwani gift that she wears on this day.

Barat Day is indeed the most stressful day of all wedding events.

This is because of the heartfelt farewell ceremony known as the farewell to the bride.

Despite the happy occasion, Barat is in tears with the bride’s family who must send their daughter to their new home.

Miss B recalled her emotional outburst on the day of her wedding. she said:

“Despite the food, the music and the decorations, all I can think of is the moment my dad put his hand in my husband’s and crying and saying goodbye.

“It was one of the hardest things ever, and it’s something you’re never really prepared for, no matter how much you think you are.”

After the ceremony, the groom’s side takes the bride to their new home where they perform more cultural traditions.

Before the bride enters her new home, she must step on the cotton and then her mother-in-law gives her money.

Another post-wedding tradition involves competition between couples.

A cup of milk is usually placed in front of the couple with rose petals. Another threw the gold ring into the milk.

The couple will then have to find the ring in the milk. This is repeated three times and the winner’s ring is retained.



The last event of Pakistani marriage is Walima. This day is a grand reception hosted by the groom.

Walima is the best way to end a series of wedding ceremonies. Enjoying everyone without stress is a relaxing celebration.

On this day, it is customary for the bride to wear a linga given as a gift by her in-laws while the groom wears a suit.

Both the decoration and the food are loud music to compliment the dynamic setting.

After the royal wedding, the bride traditionally returns to her ancestral home.

A day or two later, her husband and in-laws go to her maternity home, where they officially take the bride home.

Pakistani wedding traditions do not end here. In fact, there is another tradition called Maklawa.

This is when family members and friends invite the newcomer to a new lunch or dinner.

Undoubtedly, these numerous traditions are the life and soul of Pakistani marriages and these are the things that make them extraordinary.

Every tradition helps to celebrate the lifelong union of the bride and groom. A Pakistani marriage would not be complete without these traditions.


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