Friday, 31 October 2014

The Dholki Nights #4: Blue Silk and Mehndi Hands

We've finally come to the last dholki night, which was the night that I put on my actual bridal henna on my hands and feet. We held this two days before the actual wedding day so that the henna on my hands and feet would come out darkest after two days (and it did for me!) and also because rather than have too much to do the day before the wedding, it would give us time to have one last shin-dig so that the day before we'd have the house to ourselves and be able to do last minute preps.

My outfit for the last dholki night was relatively simple after the previous dholkis. I had found this beautiful dupatta in a local store in a rich royal and peacock blue which was covered in gota work (strips of metallic fabric sewn on). I had actually bought this a good few months ago and immediately wanted to save it for my dholki, its traditional and simple, yet looked striking. I also loved it because it reminded me of the sort of thing my mum used to wear when she was younger.

I got a matching plain royal blue silk salwar kameez outfit stitched to match with the outfit, I wanted something simple which wouldn't cost too much and would comfy, especially if I ended up getting some mehndi stains on it!

This is how I wore it, I didn't get to take too many pictures because I soon got very busy, but you can see that I went for more of a Punjabi-style outfit; a short kameez with a loose salwar for bottoms. I love the vivid blue of the outfit and the dupatta, which was quite big so I had to keep draping it.

The dholki kicked off when my mehndi artist arrived to start on my bridal henna, which she ended up spending more than two hours on, doing intricate detail on my hands and feet. I didn't want mehndi further than my elbows because my bridal outfit was full-sleeved, but I did want really intricate designs so I gave my mehndi artist a few pictures for ideas of what I preferred, and she used that as inspiration for my final design.

This is my bridal henna (in progress and the end results!) on the night of the dholki, picture credits go to my sister! I did get some henna done on my feet as well but I won't post that because I hate pictures of my feet!

While I was doing mine, my sisters, mum, nieces, aunts and some of my friends also got their henna done as well - we didn't end up having enough cones for everyone so some of my sisters waited til the dholki was over and the next night to do their henna!

And of course I couldn't not include one of my toddler nieces getting a small butterfly on her hand from my mehndi artist, although this lasted about five minutes before it got wiped off!

I don't have a lot of pictures of the other guests, but this is me posing with one of my close friends, who wore a beautiful butter-yellow outfit and some amazing head-piece jewellery!

I also have a shot of two of my nieces wearing matching outfits in different colours eating some crisps they managed to persuade my mum to give them!

I really enjoyed this dholki, especially because it gave me an excuse to be the viewer and sit and watch everyone dance, sing and generally be silly without joining in! It was also really nice to have one last girly night with all of the family and friends before the big day - wedding post coming next!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Dholki Nights #3: Watermelon Pinks and Oranges

I decided to dress up more on the third dholki night, because it was a busier evening and I had planned to wear this outfit below. I'll be doing a fuller post about this outfit, which was inspired by a Maria B bridal and which I loved wearing because it was so feminine and pretty, and felt dressed up without having to add a lot of accessories.

It looks slightly red and yellow in the pictures, but it's actually more of a deep, watermelon pink and the sleeves were a yellowy-orange, with a sky blue sharara to wear underneath. I didn't have any accessories with this outfit because it was quite heavy, but with this outfit I didn't really need any.

This is how I wore it, I didn't get time to look for any matching bangles, but I did find some yellow/orange khussay and I also found a matching watermelon pink lipstick too! I had ordered this outfit a few months ago from Pakistan, and hadn't realised it was going to be this heavy, so kept it as a back-up mehndi outfit in case my actual mehndi outfit went wrong (thank god I didn't need it!)

The other girls who came to the mehndi wore lovely outfits as well, my nieces and friends coincidentally all wore pretty red, pink and beigh outfits which went with mine quite nicely! I don't have a lot of pictures of the guests, but here's a few below (my baby niece is wearing one of her elder sister's baby outfits, we couldn't believe it fit her!)

We had a lot of fun in this evening, my friends and I played antakshari (a singing game) and got everyone up dancing by the end of the evening with some old-school songs from the 90s and noughties! We also got the older ladies having fun with some old songs that they sang (which we didn't know any of the words for, so we had our own English dholki and sang the words to Beyonce's Single Ladies!)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Dholki Nights #2: Vintage Glass and Greens

As I'm sure you've guessed, we had more than one dholki night in the run up to the wedding! It was a nice opportunity to see friends, family and neighbours, and they all rallied to bring food and join in with the songs, which were a lot of fun.

I decided to wear something simpler on this night, going with a silk jamawar print suit with paisleys all over, and some glass bangles that I've had for years (they remind me of my mum because she used to wear some similar ones, and we'd always get boxes of these bangles for years from Pakistan when we were young!)
Here's what I wore with the outfit, I kept it very simple with the bangles and some earrings, and some gold khussay (which are really old, I've had them since way back in 2000 when my eldest sister got married - perhaps time to throw them out soon!)


Here's how it looked on me, I loved how comfortable this suit was, and the slightly fitted look it had. There's also a small piping of purple all over the suit and on the scarf, which I liked because it gave a nice contrast without clashing with the rest of the suit, and the outfit itself was perfect for a warm  evening.

We decided to have more of a relaxed evening for this dholki, which gave everyone a chance to sit and talk, eat good food and let the children ran around, although we still managed to sing some songs and play games before everyone went home! I didn't get to take a lot of photographs in this evening, but here's some of the food and some goodies, and also of my niece dancing around the dholki drum and teaching us how to really use it!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Dholki Nights #1: Olive, Orange and Raspberry Dresses

We decided to hold a few dholki nights at home straight after the mehndi night, which were a lot more of a laid-back affair. We had originally wanted to hold them before the mehndi night as a sort of build-up to the mehndi, but there was too much work to do before the mehndi and it made more sense to continue it afterwards as a build-up to the wedding itself!

You may remember my sister's dholki nights a couple of years ago, which were a lot of fun for us, so naturally, although we were all a little tired from the mehndi night, we were looking forward to some fun at home - we would be singing Punjabi folk song with a small drum (or dholki), dancing, feeding all the guests and generally having a good gossip with everything - which was a great atmosphere to be in as a bride-to-be!

This is our dholki area, which was a marquee hired locally, and which we decorated ourselves. I was a little frustrated at first at not being to decorate with the dupattas I had, so my mum and sister went out and bought lots of fabric and they, along with my sister-in-law decorated it beautifully. I loved the mix of colours and the cushions which was a nice environment for everyone, we added some lights, music and tables for the food and it was all ready!

I think the best touch was the flower ball though, which my sister-in-law had made as a flower tree for my mehndi, and which we kept fresh by watering it and hanging it in the marquee for a garden-look!

I was pretty spoilt for choice in terms of what to wear for the dholki nights, I had ordered a few (minimal!) outfits to wear for this time specifically and was pretty excited about wearing my new clothes. This is what I wore - an olivey/lime green angrakha-style dress with a colourful orange, raspberry pink and olive dupatta, which was very comfortable. I kept the styling very simple, with some earrings and a tikka (I took off the earrings later!) and some comfy khussay (I'm sure the collection of khussay I have only come out during dholkis now!). I also matched a set of bangles which were in the perfect colours and added a nice spark of colour.

This is me wearing it, I didn't take many photos because there are a lot of me sitting down and joining in with the singing. I love angrakha-style (wrap-style) dresses and this is the first one I have ordered, which felt a little strange around the bust but was very comfortable. I also loved the pitta or flat metal strips which was embellishing the dress and added some weight to it.

One of my little nieces also coincidentally matched my outfit which made my day - her mum dressed her in a cute olive and orange Maria B children's dress which she looked adorable in. Unfortunately she is also a very lively child and this is the clearest picture I have of her wearing the dress! My sister's eldest daughter also wore a beautiful olive green suit with an orange dupatta which also matched me!

There wasn't really a dress-code for the guests, but they all wore some amazing outfits. One of my closest, best friends wore her mother-in-law's wedding gharara, which looked beautiful and very classy, I can't show the full thing but this is the colours of the gharara:

My sisters wore some lovely suits, my eldest sister wore a blue and silver sparkly outfit which was very pretty, and my sister-in-law wore a gorgeous orange and black printed kurta from RDC London, I don't have pictures unfortunately, but they were lovely! (although here's a shot of the dholki being crawled over by my niece and some of our outfits!)

All picture credits go to my sister, who managed to take more photographs than I did for once! I don't have a lot of other pictures of outfits, so I'll finish off with a picture of some of my nieces and the babies in my family frolicking outside the marquee and posing!