July 4th weekend is when America celebrates Independence Day and for most it is filled with family, friends, BBQ, pool parties, the beach and fireworks. This hardly ever holds true for me because there is always something a lot more important going on- there is always weddings July 4th weekend. Fittingly so, my husband and I got married the same weekend many (many) years ago. Ha. This year one of my friends got married and her wedding events dominated the weekend.
On July 4th, we had a pre wedding party to attend- the Gaye Holud (pronounced guy). This is a Bangladeshi term for a pre wedding party. A Gaye Holud is a fun festive non formal party before the wedding to get everyone in the mood. It’s filled with dancing, henna, music, food, décor and gifts. During a Gaye Holud, usually wedding clothes, jewelry and gifts are presented beautifully and exchanged. Holud itself is actually turmeric powder- that is a yellow spice. It is said to make the skin glow and at some Gaye Holuds, all the guests put the holud on the brides skin to give her a glow. The bride wore a sari in typical holud/mehndhi colors. Holud/mehndhi colors are usually yellow, green, orange and red. The bride also was adorned with artificial decorative floral jewelry to add to the festive feel. Many brides wear real flowers as well.
I wore a typical Pakistani mehndhi outfit consisting of bright colors. I wore a silk outfit with wide leg pants. The pink dupatta I used to cover my hair. The chiffon crinkle material was perfect to give a little extra volume. I bought it from Pakistan when I went on my first ever trip this past December. Yes you read correct, my first ever trip. I made a post on it, be sure to read about it here.
The mehdnhi was separated the second half of the evening and the guys were asked to leave. This enabled all the girls to join in the dancing festivities by not having to cover up and being able to dance and perform the organized dances. I actually had to leave early and could not stay for the remainder of the Holud because I had work for 13 hours the next day.
Saturday was the wedding. The bride wore a beautiful forest green gown perfectly coordinated with cream. She didn’t wear typical red because she wore that color on her nikkah (religious wedding ceremony) about 8 months prior. The bride wore a Paksitani style outfit. The gown had a train and was heavily adorned with crystals in large motifs all throughout. Her dress sparkled from every direction and could be easily seen from every single corner of the hall. So stunning, Mashallah!
I wore a gown which I also got from my Pakistan trip. The gown I wore was one of my favorites. I loved it because the gown had all these extra details that made it so unique. It has horizontal pleats on the chest, ruching on the wrists, vertical pleats on the bottom hem, a jeweled neckline and large crystals embellishments in many different colors. The dark colors- black and gray which made it perfect for a nighttime wedding. The front was all embroidered with threadwork and crystals and faux pearls. There was so much work on the outfit, I didn’t wear any jewelry except one Swarovski cocktail ring.
This gown is actually just like an abaya/jilbab but heavily adorned. I enjoyed wearing it so much and I will definitely wear it to some of my friends’ weddings that are coming up! I actually had to wear my gown with flats but it worked out perfectly because my feet didn’t hurt and I was able to hold my kids with no difficulties (wearing heels and holding kids takes serious balancing skills- a skill that I have not mastered as of yet)
To end the July 4th weekend, I attended the Halal Food Tour the following day in New Jersey. You can read about that here.
And Ramadan Mubarak to all who are observing! Whether you started Tuesday or Wednesday try to benefit from all of the blessings of this month.
Thanks for reading! Xoxo
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