Thursday, 27 November 2014

THE WEDDING POSTS: The Wedding Clutch Bag by LovetoBag

When shopping for my wedding accessories, I had the biggest trouble find the right shoes and the right clutch bag. I opted not to go for a bouquet because it didn't go with the traditional look I wanted, and I thought a clutch bag would give the right touch.

I looked in a lot of shops for the perfect bag, and couldn't see anything which would go with a Pakistani-style wedding dress, a lot of clutch bags were too plain, not gold enough or looked too Western. I began to look online for more ideas, and loved clutches like this one, but found the prices were way too steep, particularly when it came to designer brands.

I stumbled across Lovetobag while browsing some alternative Indian designers, and fell in love with their collection at first sight. You can see some of their collections here, most of which I love, which are all bright, intricate and beautifully made, with some very reasonable prices. There were more than one pieces that I liked the look of, and it took me a while to settle on one that I liked.

This is the design I picked, called the Heirloom Clutch, which was beautifully decorated and exactly the sort of thing I had been looking for. They come in four or five colours, but unfortunately they didn't have blue to match my dress, or a deep red which I would have picked as well (there was a bright red which didn't go, and a beautiful off-while which I loved but which wouldn't have matched).

I decided to see if I could get one made in blue, and emailed Ayushi at Lovetobag and told her what I wanted - first via Facebook messages and then after that via email. The exchange was pretty quick and it was easy to tell them what I wanted, although it was probably easier because I picked a design and didn't make any changes apart from the colour.

The overall process of ordering took about a month, which was longer than predicted because there was some delay when it came to payment, I'm not used to buying from India and it took me a couple of days to make sure that the payment I made (via Western Union) went to the right bank. Eventually Ayushi confirmed receipt, and the bag ended up at my door step about a week after her email confirming she had the money, and that the bag was being made. The fact that it arrived so quickly was definitely a plus, I remember starting to get stressed out about the wedding, and feeling relieved that one thing was being ticked off my list!

Here's the clutch bag I ended up with, it was slightly brighter than I expected but it worked for my dress, because it added a beautiful pop of blue. I love how beautifully made it is, and it's decorated on both sides which adds a balance to the bag (I feel that some clutch bags are let down where the front can be heavily worked and  looks beautiful but the back is too plain and it ends up looking asymmetrical.)

I have my eye on a few more clutch bags from this company, the quality is amazing and the prices are pretty great for what they are, I'm pretty sure they would cost at least twice as much from a retailer if sold here. I also love the fact that this is easy to use again, I've already used it twice since my wedding for other functions and it looks great!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Honeymoon Travels!

Sorry all, I know I've been absent for a week (or so!), Mr Curly Fries and I went on our delayed honeymoon recently and have only just got back (and already planning our next trip!)

We decided to visit the lovely city of Istanbul in Turkey, which has always been on my bucket list of places I've always wanted to visit. I had a lot of fun in this city, and it was really a great experience, the people are friendly, there's beautiful sights to see and there's some seriously amazing food!

Here's a few snaps of our trip, I probably took over a thousand pictures because there were so many places to visit and lots of things to do, so here's a quick look - I'll be posting in more detail on my Instagram page and also my other blog so keep checking for more!


Sunday, 9 November 2014

The First Dawat...

My husband and I chose not to do a walima (reception) event, partly because we didn't want to spend more than we already had, and also partly because we didn't feel the need. My husband doesn't have a lot of family and neither do I, the wedding was a celebration which felt enough for us and we were happy to have one, joint function which was split in half by us in terms of costs and work.

We also chose not to do one in case we decide to go Pakistan (we are planning a trip next year, but who knows!) where more of our extended family are, in which case we may have a small party out there - what could be more fun than to have a Pakistani function in Pakistan itself! That's still in the future yet, and we've still got our registry to go as well, but that won't happen til next year, most likely.

We did choose to have our first 'dawat' or formal dinner with our immediate family, which was two days after the wedding day. We spent the day after the wedding in our new hour putting stuff away, sleeping (!) and generally winding down and gossiping about the wedding, so it was nice to see everyone the next day when we'd had a good rest.

I didn't wear a bridal outfit on this day, but I did choose something heavy to wear, especially because I was in 'newly-wed' mode so it felt appropriate. I wore an outfit given to me by my in-laws, out of the ones they have given me, this is my favourite, classic, flattering and very pretty. This was a creamy champagne coloured maxi dress with soft pink and purple accents, which had gold and silver work on it. I didn't have any jewellery or shoes apart from the ones from the wedding day, so I wore my wedding shoes and bangles with this outfit, and a purple scarf!

The outfit was very comfortable, and I got a lot of compliments on the day I wore it - it's something I can definitely see myself wearing again and I loved it, I've been looking for an off-white outfit and this is perfect. I don't have any pictures of the outfit itself because I didn't have my camera, and I forgot to take pictures, but here's a few that I took with my husband (who was less impressed with all of my posing). My favourite thing about these photos are the mehndi still dark red on my hand - it really makes me want to put some more on again!


Monday, 3 November 2014

My Shaadi

It's finally here, the final post (well, there's still a few more after this, but this is the Big One). I'm still waiting for some more professional photographs from my photographers (we had two professional photographers, one from my side and one from my husband), but we are still waiting for half of the pictures so I'll post the ones I have for now!

My wedding day was a pretty emotional day, but it was also a very surreal one - both me and my husband later both agreed that the whole day was like a strange dream.  I'll be posting fuller posts about details of my outfit, my jewellery, make-up and lots of other stuff soon with my mehndi outfit, but here's the main stuff!

While I was getting ready in the early afternoon (the wedding was an evening function), my make-up artist was helping me get dressed, doing my hair and make-up and also my jewellery and dupatta setting, whcih she did an amazing job of! My photographer also turned up when I was nearly odne to take photographs of me getting ready and of all of my jewellery and outfit. Here's a few of the details - I was really happy with everything I had and the way it all came together. There's also a sneaky peek of my eye-makeup as well!

We took some shots before I left the house, I dont have a lot of full length shots but there are a couple, I'm hoping that there's more from the other professional photographers as well though. I loved how traditional and Pakistani my outfit looked, which was the style I was going for. I decided not to have a bouquet for the day because it would have gottten lost in the detail of my outfit, but I did get a beautiful clutch bag custom-made from India (more about this soon!) which I loved.

Here's a shot of my lengha below, I went for a very deep red (without going maroon, which was tempting but would have looked too dark in my photos) with a petrol blue and olive/lime green accent running through the scarf and skirt to add a splash of colour. My jewellery is a mix of real gold from my parents, pearl and polki/kundan jewellery and also some beautiful bangles from Bees which I got mixed (very last minute!). There's also a shot of my henna, which I was happy with because it was nice and deep red.

This is the venue that I got married in, the hall itself is on the left of this lobbey but this was the main bit that my husband and I took photographs in. You also can't see it, but what I loved was the huged black and white chequered floor when you enter which looked nice and dramatic! I kept the decor pretty simple, and went for mainly white and gold, with some accents of red (typical I know, but it was easy to be consistent with it!) and tried to keep the overall look very simple and striking.

One of the more amazing things from the day was the beautiful cake - the whole thing was made by my sister after months of planning. One of my closest friends also made some beautiful buttercream cupcakes to match which was also an amazing gesture, and really added a personal touch to the day.

Here's is the groom's entrance with his party, I was busy hiding in a separate room but I heard some of the noise when he came in! And below that is my immediate family as the welcome party, waiting to throw petals at the baraat or the groom's side. I loved what they all wore, soft colours like peaches and corals, and the babies all had matching, flouncy bridesmaid dresses that made them look like floating clouds.

Soon after this was the religious ceremony itself - this is me signing my nikah (the signing of the papers itself and the consent which is given, which is the main part of the wedding), which was a huge moment (although I wish I had a nicer pen, my sister had a lovely Swarovski one for me in her purse but didn't get a chance to pull it out!)

After this, the groom did his part of the nikah and we were married - which was time for me to finally come out. This is me being walked in by my brother, who looked amazing in a tux and bow-tie (he didn't want to wear it but did for me, bless him!) I was incredibly nervous at this point, and feeling a little dazed, with my brother telling me "don't be nervous!" over and over again!

And yes, I had a little cheesy moment here, the minute I walked in and saw all the guests, and also saw my husband on stage, I relaxed and the nervousness melted away. I also couldn't stop grinning, which makes me laugh I see the photos because I look so cheerful!

After my brother helped me up on stage, my husband and I did lots of posts - this is us posing awkwardly. Both of us are very used to being behind the camera, and not in front of what felt like paparazzi - but it was still an amazing moment, being with friends, family and neighbours in one room.

Once everyone was served dinner, we took the opportunity to go outside somewhere private and take photographs, which was fun. I remember trying to make my husband laugh and him telling me to stop it, and also telling my husband not to drop me in half of the poses we were told to do! Here's some of them, there's a few more but these were my favourite.

We then went back to in to eat out dinner, and then finally cut out cake. This was also a fun memory for me because while my husband fed me delicately (so he wouldn't mess up my lipstick), I ended up shoving a cake-piece in his face!

We also put our rings on - my husband and I had rushed to buy these last minute as well, but he had picked out a beautiful diamond ring which was also a lovely moment.

After a few final poses with friends and family, we eventually ended up doing the rukhsati (the leaving ceremony) which thankfully was short and sweet, and which was a very short drive to our new house. This is a shot of myself with two of my favourite friends, who both ended up wearing light pink by coincidence - I have happy memories of both of their weddings and it was amazing to see them both at mine.

I'll be posting more details of the wedding outfit and more soon, but for now, I think I've bombarded you enough with photos! I will leave you with my favourite moment of the day - my sisters, brother, sister-in-law and nieces all huddled together for a selfie on stage which was a really fun picture and which eveyerone looked amazing in. I can't show you the photo itself, but here's th emoment we took the selfie!

I also wanted to leave a message for everyone who has left me kind emails, messages, Instagram notes and comments - thank you so much for all of the blessings, congrats and kind words! It was a beautiful day and worth it to see so many happy faces!

-- Curly Fries x