An Ode to Happiness by Farah Talib Aziz

Helloooo, so i am back after a long vacation spent basking in a few countries. I hope you missed me. Naah, i am kidding. I hope all of you had lots of fun things to do and that life has been super. If not, i hope you manage to surpass all obstacles with a resolute smile. And if you are still in the dumps, trust me, better days will come. One day at a time, ok? I’ve been there.
 
That said, OH My God, how beautiful these wedding dresses are from Farah Talib Aziz- Design House based in Karachi? If i had the money, i would have gotten my wedding dress designed by her. And don’t take this lightly.
 
Here are some pictures from her latest 2013 collection, “An Ode to Happiness” shot  by the famed Ali Khurshid of Lighthouse Photpography. The beautiful lady complimenting these amazing dresses is Sana Ansari and the makeup is by the talented Natasha Salon.
 
If you like any of these dresses or would like to get in touch with Farah, here are the details:
 
Contact: (92) (0)333 2344 658
farah.talib.aziz@gmail.com
 
Follow her on:
Twitter- Farah Talib Aziz, 
Instagram- Ftadesignhouse
Pinterest- Farah Talib Aziz
 
Note: Let me also state that i claim no rights to these pictures and that all copyrights, trademarks, rights etc. belong to Farah Talib Aziz-Design House.
 
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Wedding Photography: Faahema Ahmad

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Today, our blog covers an interview of the talented Faahema Ahmad of Faahema Ahmed Photography. Without much ado, we present to you, her answers to the questions. The images you find in this blog post have been hand picked by Faahema herself and are one of her favourites. <3

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1.            Tell us your story?

Well, I had always had an eye and flair for the visual arts but my love for photography began when I joined Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and started studying it in depth. It was then when I realized that this is exactly what I am meant to do!

2.            Who are the photographers involved?

It was myself, Faahema Ahmad, who laid the foundation of the company as the principal photographer. I am now joined by my sister, Aamnah, who is a film-making student at IVS at the moment. Primarily, it’s the two of us with a very talented team of assistant photographers and editors.

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3.            What cities do you work in?

We are based in Karachi. But we love to travel and will go wherever work takes us

4.            Where is home for you?

Home is anywhere my parents and pajamas are!

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5.            Did you go to school to study photography?

Yes absolutely. I am a graduate in visual communication, with an emphasis on Photography from the prestigious Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.

6.            How long have you been photographer?

I picked up the camera in 2008 and there has been no looking back since.

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7.            What would you describe as your photography style?

If I had to describe our style of work in one word, it would be “candid”. We love catching natural moments and the true essence of the events instead of dictating when to move, when to stop. We don’t like getting in the way of the flow of the event.  I always say this to my clients – you won’t even notice we are there, until you see the pictures!

8.            How many weddings do you cover in any given year?

Gone are the days when wedding season used to be from Nov to Feb. I find myself busy all year round now!

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9.            What type of cameras do you shoot with and why? What accessories to the camera do you love?

We are Nikon users and own multiple cameras. As far as the favorite accessory goes, I love all of them, but if I had to choose I would go with my collection of lenses.

10.          If you had to choose one lens what would it be?

If I had to choose one lens, it has to be 70-200 VR II! Dream lens!

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11.          What are your most memorable moments with respect to the wedding photography experience?

Witnessing the expressions on the clients’ faces when they see the results, re-living those special moments is definitely the best part of my job.

12.          What are your pet peeves during wedding blocking photography?

Kids and people with personal cameras and cell phones blocking the professionals’ way.

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13.          Any advice for to-be wed couples?

My advice to all the to-be wed couples is that make sure you have a certain comfort level with your photographer because if don’t, it will definitely show on your face in the pictures on the final day. So having some form of a relationship or chemistry with the photographer is essential for happy pictures of the happy couple.

14.          Why should a to-be bride and groom choose your services?

We believe in capturing your special moments with love and care. We are a very easy-going and approachable team of talented people who will make you feel more comfortable and beautiful on the most important day of your lives! We strive to capture the true essence of your relationship instead of a posed, staged one.

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15.          What are the wedding photography packages/ bundles that you offer? (prices need not be divulged) (optional question)

We have something for everyone! We specialize in working around in the provided budget. We currently have a 20% off discount going on as well which is valid till Jan 2014.

16.          What is the best way to contact you?

We are available on the following round the clock!

Phone : 0323 2983546

Email : faahema.photography@gmail.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/F.AhmadPhotography

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Bridal Embroidery: Chatta Patti and Chatkian Patkian


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I recently came across a very traditional form of embroidery known as Chattapatti which is a variation of the zardozi embroidery. Chattapatti embroidery is made up pieces of four or more colours of cloths stitched either diagonally or vertically embroidered with kamdani and sequins.  Different colours of cloth cut in small pieces basically have to be cut in similar geometric shapes and stitched and embroidered together.

Another variation of chattapatti embroidery is known as chaktian pattian, which comprises of small colourful and vibrant pieces of cloth stitched together in the shape of a diamond.

This form of embroidery flourished in Lucknow, India during the reign of the Nawabs of Awadh.

In Bridal dresses, these two forms of embroidery may be used while designing sleeves and are also stitched on the bottom part of lehengas, ghararas and dhaka pajamas. This is definitely a beautiful and traditional form of embroidery best suited for classic brides. However, given the hard work, dedication and skill that these form of embroidery require, it can cost A WHOLE LOT to get these made, except maybe if you know some one in India who may get it made at a comparatively cheaper price for you.

Here are some examples of the Chattapatti and Chatktian Patkian embroidery:

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In Pakistan, one of the best known specialists of Chattapatti embroidery is Bunto Kazmi. However, other designers such as Umar Sayeed and Doctor Haroon are also known to make these. There are no guesses how pricey the bridal dress is going to be though. :) 

Did you wear Chatta Patti or Chatkian Patkian embroidery on your BIG DAY? Let me know. :)

Disclaimer: I do not own any rights, titles or privileges to the pictures shared. These pictures had been publicly shared on various forums and websites and have been procured through obsessive googling.

 

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Image by Faahema Ahmad Phorography

The Nikah

Better days have come, AlHamdulilAllah. The main tip is to not be afraid of initiating reconciliation. There should be zero ego issues. :) AlHamdulilAllah! AlhamdulilAllah! AlHamdulilAllah!

It was our Nikah anniversary a few days back. Strange that barely two months have passed since our wedding (rukhsati) ceremony, but an entire year has passed since our Nikah. For those who are confused, a Nikah ceremony is when the bride and groom sign the marriage contract and agree on various terms and conditions of the marriage. The Nikah ceremoney is usually conducted by a Muslim scholar or cleric. Ruksati is when you finally decide to leave your parent’s home and start living with the groom and his family. It is not necessary that both events be separate. Thay can happen on the same day. It’s just that my situation was different. :)

I signed my marriage contract in a jhat pat ( fast track) fashion. The decision to go through this by both families was made three days before the actual ceremony. And two of those days were working days which means i was tied up in my 9 to 5 job as well.

In three days, we scrambled to get a caterer who would put a decent tent in my backyard, as well as serve good food. In three days, I had to pick a dress and get it stitched. In three days, we had to suddenly inform close family members. There was a lot of stress- a lot of pressure- a lot of everything. But it got done. There were perhaps fifty or less than fifty people who attended the ceremony and as far as I recall, the whole thing started at around Maghrib and ended well before eleven p.m.

The nikah itself took place in a near by mosque where the groom and the males were. Since the mosque is just a few paces from my mom’s house, i stayed at home.

Here are some pics from the Nikah ceremony. I will share details of how we celebrated the anniversary later. :)

Fii Aman Allah until then. <3

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And i recently wore the same dress at a valima ceremony. This is how it looked without all the formality. :)

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The to be Bride became a bride finally.

 

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So i am married. AlHamdulilAllah.

There is lots and lots to update you folks about but it will take time.

I am slowly getting into the hang of a 9 to 5 job and a very long commute back home, as well as somehow managing to keep things at home in order. To be frank i don’t have much to do as my sweet mother in law does the cooking, but i need to keep the room and washroom clean and tidy and yes the laundry has to be sorted out too. Such trivial things that need commitment and planning. :p

Also, i just took a mini break and opened facebook and saw a friend’s rather sweet and emotional status update about their one month anniversary after the wedding? ( why would you call that an anniversary? )

You know what the problem or perhaps not the problem is – Me and hubby are not big on anniversaries and remembering dates at all. So yeah, it was somebody else’s status update that made me realise that it will be in a few days time, it will be a month since our wedding as well.

Look, i can’t do these monthiversaries ( yes, i made that up).  I have a memory of a gold fish and i like it that way, most of the times.

Everything is MashaAllah going great, so why complicate things? ;)

Maybe, i should use this monthiversary bit to have a nice date with hubby? <3

Until laters,

a bride thinking, so glad the wedding is over. *Yay* :)

 

 

A Closer Look at Aapi’s Bridal Dress

A lot of you requested a closer look at my Sister’s Wedding Dress. It is very difficult to refuse when i know there are good intentions behind it. I firmly believe in helping people and if this gives anybody inspiration, it will be my honour. Here are some random pictures. :)

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My Sister’s Wedding- Part 1

Since i have posted some pictures from my Sister’s Dholki and her Mehendi, it would be in the natural scheme of things that i would put up her Wedding Pictures as well.

As i reminiscence about that day, i realise that i was probably more tired and nervous than my sister.  She took her sweet time to have a good lunch while i kept telling her to hurry up and ensure that she kept all the things she needed at the Salon.

Co-incidentally, the salon that was supposed to do her make-up was undergoing renovations, so we were to go instead to the proprietor’s house close to our home. 

My sister’s makeup was done by one of their make-up artists.  We were served tea, cookies and chips. All i remember is that it took a really long time to do the base on her skin and i was feeling super sleepy. Although the huge master bed was enticing but i was super shy and instead  curled up on the sofa and dosed off. 

We had arranged for the photographers to come to the house to take some shots of my sister getting make-up done and wearing her jewelry.  I think that is the only time i perhaps woke up and washed my face.

We then had to make this realllly important decision: Should we put the jhoomar or not? We finally decided not to put the jhoomar as my sister has a thin face and the dupatta was heavy and it seemed like there was too much on her. :)

My sister was finally ready and looked really beautiful. MashaAllah. It was then my turn to get my make-up done and i kept saying, “Please, i want very light base. I don’t want to look made up.” Silly me. 

To sum it up, a lot of people complimented the make-up done on my sister and myself. :)

The actual event was a whirlwind, with me going to and fro from the bridal room to the main hall and back. There were moments where i had to try very hard to not cry and stifle all those emotions – especially at the time of nikah and at the entrance of my sister into the hall.

The groom decided to arrive in a pretty horse carriage and to the sound of the dhol beat. His family members did a small bhangra mix ludi dance just when he got down from the carriage.

The bride’s entrance was basically a last minute idea. We had lots and lots of floating candles lying around so i decided to use them. My female cousins were the first ones to enter the hall with floating candles resting on their palms ( this turned out to not be  such a good idea later as the  shell of the candles started heated up). They were followed by mu brothers holding this Mashals. My sister the entered with ammi and aboo at her side, followed by myself. The wedding entrance song was “Rab Rakha” from the movie, ‘Love, Breakups, Zindagi.”

Dinner was served soon after and then the joota chupai ( hiding of shoes) rasm began which i HATE. I only agreed to be part of it since my cousins were insisting. However, i was standing way back and not being very active in the whole thing- unless where required i.e. Yes, this amount is acceptable. Let’s go!!! 

I have told my parents and my family that i don’t want this insane rasam ( my opinion only) on my wedding.

Rukhsati time as you all must have guessed is dreadful. I hugged my sister and then disappeared right at the end of the crowd where i tried to control my self and hate all these people taking my sister away. :P My mom tells me that i had three streams of black tears (kohl) flowing from my eyes.

Strangely as soon as my sister and her in-laws left, all the ladies from our sides took our shoes off ( heels) simultaneously and walked inside the hall. We even have a very funny picture as evidence ( which i will not share). :)

There were a few bitter sweet moments afterwards when i put food on my plate and started looking around to find my sister so i could sit with her. Ofcourse, she wasn’t there.

There was also this moment when my mom called out to Sister for something, only to realise that she said goodbye to us a few minutes back.

 

*Sigh*

 

Annnnyway, before i start missing her even more, here are some pictures from the event.

Wearing Bangles

Aapi wearing her bangles.

Getting Ready

Getting Ready: Lash it up.

Aapi and Moi.

The decision: Jhoomar or no jhoomar.

The decision: Jhoomar or no jhoomar.

The Pretty Shoes

The Pretty Shoes

Helping the Bride wear her shoes. :)

Helping the Bride wear her shoes. :)

Ah, finally done. :)

Ah, finally done. :)

Looky the hands.

MashaAllah. She looked beautiful.

MashaAllah. She looked beautiful.
My favourite picture.

My favourite picture.

In case you are wondering:

The shoes are from: Samia & Azmay Shahzada

The Dress is from: Makkah Bridal, Rabi Centre ( Ground Floor)

The makeup is from: Fahim Burney’s Salon and Spa

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Ticking things off the list in my head

Oh well, not a lot of days to go to the wedding. Good news is that i am able to sleep in the night. 

A lot of things are being managed and done. I am ticking things off the checklist in my head. Maintaining a diary of sorts for things to do for the wedding would just make me insane and make others go crazy too. So, yeah i’m managing this wedding, free-style and it seems to be working. :)

I have seen my wedding dress ( love it) and my valima dress ( love it) , MashaAllah. Both of these dresses are in the final stages of being stitched.

What’s left to do is some bridal lingerie ( *face turns crimson*), bits and bobs and SHOES (that should be another post altogether). I have to chase up a few vendors but that’s doable. No fret.

Wedding cards have gone into printing. Both families decided to print the same cards for the events as opposed to having two separate sets of cards, which is cool by me; especially since i got to choose the colour, font and layout altogether. If you think it would be something unique, you would be surprised. It’s simple, elegant and minimalistic. That pretty much describes the taste of me and hubby- simple and elegant. Period.

I have booked mehendi application experts for my female family members. I am still unsure about the bridal mehendi (henna) but i will figure it out.  I just don’t want to spend Pakistani Rupees 7000/- on bridal mehendi. This is the standard rate being quoted by the top mehendi application experts in Karachi.

Pretty mehendi favours have also been delivered all the way from Multan. *Yippee* 

I am still contemplating whether i should order in wedding favours and a wedding cake, which is basically an extravagance and something we Asians have picked from western weddings.  But if i manage to find something in my budget, I’ll go with it ( Or NOT). We will see.

Will write later and until then stay happy and thankful for every small blessing in your life.

Lots of Love.

xox

My Sister’s Dholki

As the time nears for all relatives to start coming in Karachi from other cities in Pakistan and other countries as well, i can’t help but recall the festivities that were happening in our house last year at the time my elder sister was getting married.

I recall endless dance practices, me, the Bride’s sister and the maid of honour being the most stubborn of all and forcing everyone to practice and practice again. ;)

We had this cute little dholki at our place a few weeks before the wedding. We got in some catering people to install wee fairy lights in the house and bring us a dholki and dafli, ordered some biryani from a local eatery, purchased some bangles, ordered some flower garlands, bought a  few floating candles for decoration purposes and we were set to go.

This was also the day i persuaded my sister to let me put some make-up on her and just as i was about to put in some eye-shadow on her eye-lids, i started crying. It just hit me that she was going to leave in a few days and i just couldn’t take it anymore.  My sister started laughing initially at my bawling face but then as expected, she cried too and then i really had to get my act together.

*Sigh*

Here are some pictures from the event:

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Cousins’ Hands

Family and cousins singing songs

Me in yellow trying to generate a beat. ;)

Dandiya for some hey jamalo. ;)

Arranged by Yours Truly.

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Mithai ( Sweet meat? )

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Fresh floral wrist candy.

Glass Bangles.

Decoration ( that’s cousin in the background).

Arrangement by Yours Truly.

Sister's Hands
Sister’s Hands

My sister’s mehendi

So i have always loved dancing. Not that i am a great dancer, but dancing is fun isn’t it? Which brings me to the dhol dhamaka in mehendis. :)

 

My personal opinion is that mehendis should be solely a family event. There should be no outsider as such. Even when it comes to friends, they should be the closest ones. I am not too fond of strangers taking pictures, making videos on their cell phones and gawking at the girls dancing. 

 

That said, my sister’s mehendi ceremony last year was also a simple, strictly family event and lots of fun. The only hiccup that day was the mehendi application expert we had booked ditching us. Yep! The mehendi wali we had booked to put bridal mehendi on my sister’s hands and feet pulled a disappearing act on us.

 

After several frantic phone calls, thanks to a great school friend, I  booked another mehendi application expert literally last minute. But then because of the mehendi wali issue, the entire event was delayed and there was just no option but to try to dry the mehendi on my sister’s hand and feet by a hair dryer. That was something. 

You know how they say everything happens for the better. Well, it was for the better because the mehendi put on my sister’s hands and feet was just beautiful. MashaAllah. And once the event started, everything went smooth. My sister looked so pretty and radiant.  Infact everybody did. :)

 

We  danced to a medley of the following songs on my sister’s mehendi last year:

 

  1. Mehendi hai rachne wali – Zubeida
  2. Sasural Genda Phool (remix)- Delhi 6
  3. Gal mithi mithi bol (remix)- Delhi 6
  4. Ni nachle- Imran Khan
  5. Chamak Chalo- Ra One
  6. Aewayin Aewayin- Band Baja Baraat
  7. Aja Nachle- Aja Nachle
  8. Sadi Galli- Tannu weds Mannu
  9. I’ve got a feeling- Black Eye Peas
  10. Latthe di Chadar- Rajeshwari

 

Here are some pics from the event: