Style File: Sana Safinaz

The dynamic duo, as I would love to refer to them as, have dominated the fashion industry in Pakistan. The two, Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer, ensure that their designers cater to women of all ages and sizes. Today’s post is dedicated to their bridal wear. I have seen Sana Safinaz bridal’s in person, and have to say, that their cuts and embellishments are to die for. Their work is quite popular in North America, and from what I have heard, they now have many fans in India as well! The great thing about their work is that they have a signature style and always ensure that their bridals can be spotted from the distance. They use different mixes of colors and from my observations they tend to use mostly applique work.

So this one is for the buyers, what is their customer service like? I know of 4 brides that have purchased from their formal/bridal wear collection.  3 out of 4 received their outfits on time, while one had to wait longer than the time promised.  Overall, I have heard great things about the duo, how they are very friendly and will guide you well.

Here is their information, for those interested, and here are a few pictures I have gathered from Pinterest and Paklinks.com. Enjoy!

Contactinfo@sanasafinaz.pk, sanasafinaz.usa@gmail.com

Phone: Karachi: (+92 21) 353-71768, Lahore:(+92) (0) 300-451-6939

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Wedding Jewelry

So the reason I started blogging was to reflect on my thoughts some day during my wedding planning process. Today is January 21st – we are officially in the year when my wedding will take place. So let’s start off with what is done so far, and what we need to do.  My fiancé and I, after meeting multiple vendors have finalized our decorator, DJ, photographer, videographer and  the Imam.  Catering remains to be a question. I have given my wedding outfit order to a designer I will not name until after my big day. I have also selected my Valima outfit with a designer – whose name once again, I will disclose after the Valima Reception. For the time being – I am going to dedicate a post on jewelry.

I knew from the beginning I wanted to wear a crystal set – specifically Swarovski for my Valima reception.  And that’s exactly what I did. I bought the most beautiful Swarovski collar that I have ever seen (in my opinion at least!).  I am still searching for matching crystal earrings and a tikka to go with it.  I wanted to wear something small yet elegant for the Valima reception.

For the Nikkah Reception, I will be going for a Polki Diamond set. Polki may look very similar to kundan, however it is a form of uncut diamond while kundun is a semi-precious stone (as described on paklinks.com).  As my wedding dress is a mix of gold and silver – I thought a stone that incorporates both colors would go well with the outfit. I wanted it to be completely different than my Valima set – and so that’s how I came about making the decision. My wedding dress designer was also very helpful in providing suggestions as to what would go best with the outfit. I have not seen my wedding dress or my valima dress in person yet. My cousin has been coordinating with both designers. Hopefully what I have envisioned comes to life.

I have decided not to wear a ‘Jhoomar’ or a ‘Mattha Patti’ on both days, and stick to a ‘Tikka’. All three are forms of headpieces (scroll below to the pictures to see what I am referring to). Both my outfits have a very modern look to them. One will made out of the fabric tissue, while the other is made of net. I wanted something contemporary and that speaks to what times are like now. Pakistani brides in the olden days would wear multiple necklaces, various headpieces and a ‘Nath’ (pretty much a really big nose ring). Since both my outfits are extremely heavy – I decided to go for something small, that compliments my outfit rather than takes the attention away from it. I also have a really small face and skinny neck, so I really didn’t want my face to drown in the jewelry.

Hope all the 2014 brides are enjoying planning their wedding as much as I am!

 

 

Madhuri Dixit wearing a Polki Diamond Set

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This one isn’t mine – but I think its stunning!

 

Pretty Malaika Arora wearing a Jhoomar with her hair out

Pretty Malaika Arora wearing a Jhoomar with her hair out

Matha Patti

Matha Patti

Tikka

Priyanka Chopra wearing a Tikka

Style File: Bunto Kazmi

You knew this post was coming. I’m a Pakistani bride-to-be, of course I was going to dedicate a post to Bunto Kazmi. For those of you who don’t know who Bunto Kazmi is, she’s the Vera Wang of Pakistani bridal outfits – every bride’s dream. Many bride-to-bes save up for years just to be a ‘Bunto Bride’ on their special day.

Bunto uses a fabric called French-net for all her outfits. She also uses a lot of Kaamdani to make the outfit ‘shine’. But that’s not what makes her outfits so special. The intricate work, the designs and the various color combinations she uses, are what make her outfits so exquisite.

During my extensive search on bridal outfits, I visited various forums and blogs written by Pakistani bride-to-bes around the globe. I came across GupShup (paklinks.com) which has a whole thread dedicated to Bunto Kazmi’s designs. You will never see her designs at a retail location, and she doesn’t have a Facebook page or a website, so this was the first time I came across any of her work. She’s well known simply through word of mouth. Her creativity is unimaginable and the bejeweled work is so intricate and delicate, that anyone would fall in love with her designs at first site.

So I did it. I decided to email her daughter Fizza Kazmi, who takes care of all the administrative duties, to find out the price range of her outfits. Her starting range was between $4,500 and $5000. I wasn’t too keen on spending so much on just one outfit, and since there was still over a year left to my wedding, I didn’t bother. However, a few months later, I had the opportunity to see a ‘Bunto Bride’ for the first time in Canada. Although her work is pretty common/popular in Pakistan, you don’t see Pakistani-Canadian brides wearing her designs. I fell in love. I emailed Fizza back the next morning, only to find out that she was already booked a year in advance! I begged and begged her to make  an exception and to squeeze my order in, however Fizza refused. Sigh.

Even though I won’t be a Bunto-bride, I can still admire her work. Below are some of my favorite designs by her.

** Please note all images have been taken from Paklinks.com. Please send me a message if you would like to have any of the images removed**

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Weight Loss Society

I am not sure why I picked this title – but I did. I’m writing this as I munch on a strawberry strudel from Tim Hortons. Weight has been a constant struggle for me and I am sure for others as well. I feel like I am constantly counting calories and avoiding foods I just wish I could indulge on. I understand how it feels to be overweight – and I know how hard it is to get rid of that fat. I was about 132 pounds when I first got engaged (back in February). Today I weigh about 115, and I still do not feel totally satisfied with my body. I can always pinpoint the excess fat somewhere or the other. Everyone keeps telling me to stop the weight loss – but I know for a fact that I still need it. My goal is to lose another 5-10 pounds before the search for the perfect dress. 

To be quite honest, I decided to dedicate this post to myself and other women out there who have to face this constant struggle. All I have to say is, keep at it. Its very hard to get your body the way you want it in a short time span – and trust me its very discouraging at times when you don’t see desired results – but I promise you one thing – you will soon enough.

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Done!

Done & done. We have finally managed to book all our vendors except for lighting for the Valima (reception party on the groom’s behalf). I am so excited about this that I can talk about weddings all day long.  My upcoming post will speak to our most exciting vendor pick – our decorator.

Mission Possible: The Hall Search

Okay so it’s been a while since I updated this blog – and I am totally defeating the purpose of updating my few readers of my wedding preps. So let’s go back to February – the hall search. Before I begin this post, I’m going to tell you about how blessed I am with having such an amazing family and such amazing in-laws. Both families went together for the search and we both made sure we were aware of all the details before booking. So our first stop was Le Jardin. This place is absolutely stunning! I discovered this gorgeous venue when a Facebook friend posted pictures of a wedding she attended at this venue. It was absolutely stunning. It gave a very Victorian look – and was very classy. It was a good 45 minutes away from our place, which was the first thing my family pointed out. When we went in – we were in awe of the beauty of this place. A gentleman greeted us and told us he would give us a tour of the place. Although we loved the venue – we were extremely disappointed at the size that was being offered to us (FYI – we had about a guest list of 300+ in mind). So extremely disappointed with the hall size being offered to us, we had to decline. So we continued our search…. Chandni Convention Centre was the once place my sister had been talking about from the get go. She mentioned that there was no better venue to hold our Mehndi function at. So that was our second stop. Now this venue has 3 different halls. We were greeted by an extremely nice individual who was very accommodating to all our requests. We knew this was going to be the one. Status: Day 1 Complete We ended the day by visiting Apollo Convention. Instead of going on and on about how terrible our experience was with this particular individual we were dealing with – I am going to talk about the two other halls we did end up booking. Embassy Grand: We loved this place from the get go. Their halls were so classy and the people were pleasant to deal with. I had the chance to attend a wedding at this venue this summer – and was in love with what the place had to offer. Pearson Convention Centre: This venue was recently renovated into a stunning hall with a modern yet classy feel to it. My fiancé was in love with it the moment he entered into the lobby – and that made my day 🙂 So there you go. After visiting approximately 25 venues across the GTA, calling multiple hall managers – we managed to complete our search. Below are pictures of each of the halls. I promise to update my blog more often, as I should. Bye for now 😉

Chandni Convention Centre

Chandni Convention Centre

Embassy Grand Convention Centre

Embassy Grand Convention Centre

Pearson Convention Centre

Pearson Convention Centre

 

Accessories

This is my new obsession. Although I’m not really a jewellery person (I just wear small tops in my ears but love bracelets and watches) I’m really starting to love the look of handcrafted, ethnic pieces. I love jewellery that tells a story – or gives a cultural vibe.  I have been searching online for some pretty necklaces to wear at my wedding events, but came across these items that were issued in an exclusive interview with Mashall Chaudhri in  Paperazzi Issue 1 with Pakistan Today”. I absolutely love her style – and as she mentions in her interview that travel has changed the way she defines fashion. So have a look and let me know what you think.

 

Courtest of images: styleonpaper.com

This is also known as a Matha Patti or a Tikka

This is also known as a Matha Patti or a Tikka

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Absolutely loving the necklace

Gorgeous!