Bridezilla: That awkward moment when you order a bridal jora

Published: October 31, 2012
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Mothers-in-law and brides-to-be share some uncomfortable experiences. DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

Mothers-in-law and brides-to-be share some uncomfortable experiences. DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

KARACHI: 

As brides and grooms gear up for their big fat Pakistani weddings this winter (and the tension in their houses soars to an all-time high with the bride throwing tantrums), we thought we’d ask some bahus and their mothers-in-law about the chemistry they shared when the bridal jora was being ordered.

Saas-bahu love affair

Asiaa Jabeen* and Falaknaz Ahmed*, young girls who have recently joined the newly wedded club, share some interesting stories about their experiences. Ahmed went to a couple of designers before deciding on SanaSafinaz for a valima outfit and a ready-made red Sabyasachi lehenga from The House of Ensemble for her shaadi. While Ahmed and her soon-to-be-husband’s family have known each other for decades, she felt some hesitance and awkwardness when she sat with her mother-in-law-to-be at the designers’ studio. Her mother-in-law clearly told her that, due to family traditions, Ahmed could not wear dark colours on her big day. “Humaray yahaan dark colours nahin pehnay jaatay,” she was told, despite having set her heart on a navy blue HSY bridal. While she succumbed to her mother-in-law’s wishes, Ahmed says she believes that at the end of the day, “The jora wasn’t half as important as the chemistry between the two of us — this is just the beginning of a relationship.” She also adds that her mother-in-law missed no opportunity to tell her how lucky she is for having the comfort of domestic help, as she herself didn’t have that luxury when she was newly married.

On the other hand, Jabeen says she had no such issues. “Both the main days’ outfits were done by my in-laws and my mother-in-law happily accommodated my demands.” She says her mother-in-law seemed easy-going and let her wear whatever she wanted.

In this scenario, the mother-in-law may seem like a dominating figure under whose gaze the young damsel is squirming, but all is not rosy on her end. Mrs Ehsaan* relates that her eldest son married his sweetheart, but the families did not know each other well at all. When she took her daughter-in-law to designer Bunto Kazmi for a bridal outfit, she was too embarrassed to reveal her budget to her young bahu-to-be, and preferred to share it with the designer instead. “Bunto was very cooperative and did everything to fit the exact budget I had in mind,” says Mrs Ehsaan. She realises now that things have changed from her shaadi ka time, and that tagging along with a daughter-in-law for bridal clothes is not a solution. “For my two younger sons, I won’t make the same mistake. Girls are more practical now, so I would rather give them the cash in their hands and let them decide what they want to do with it,” she says, adding that things other than the bridal outfit matter more and should be accounted for in times where wedding costs are so high.

At the studio

It’s not just the saas and bahu who are conscious of every innuendo at the time of the jora selection. Designers have their eyes and ears open too!

“I used to see submissive girls coming with their mothers-in-law and going along with their decisions,” says Shehla Chatoor. “If they did not like anything, they would tell their own mothers and try to have it changed. But the bride of today is different. She is bold and confident and tells her mother-in-law exactly what she wants. And if she doesn’t like something, she will make sure everyone knows it!”

Shehla also feels mothers-in-law have become wiser and understand that it is better to let the bahu decide what she wants in the spirit of keeping her happy and having a healthy relationship.

She explains that it is usually the girl’s in-laws that make an appointment before they bring the bride along and survey the designs and settle on a price. But while the girl is there, Shehla says there are awkward moments. “If the bride wants to wear a sleeveless outfit or a more revealing back, you can see the disapproval in the eyes of the mother-in-law.”

At the end, Shehla shares a most amusing snippet. She tells us that there is no saying who will end up placing the final order. “A bride could be accompanied by anyone from her mother-in-law and mother, to her sisters, sister-in-law, aunts and sometimes even the groom!”

*Names have been changed upon request

Correction: Sabyasachi had been misspelt in an earlier version of the article. The correction has been made.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2012.            

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Anum
    Oct 31, 2012 - 7:29PM

    I would just like to say…people get out of this weding extravaganza. You should think with a cool head whether it is useful to spend millons of rupees on a wedding just because you want to show what a grand event you have organized, because in the end people have nothing but criticism for it. Also spending so lavishly on a wedding jora that is most likely to be worn only once is not worth it.
    Keyword: moderation

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  • Oct 31, 2012 - 7:36PM

    First world problems!

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  • Imran
    Oct 31, 2012 - 9:21PM

    mostly bridal dress is taken on rent from the parlor.Recommend

  • boco
    Oct 31, 2012 - 11:50PM

    It is Sabyasachi not Sabiyasachi, please don’t put something on front page without proof-reading, this isn’t some obscure blog.

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  • Hmm
    Nov 1, 2012 - 12:10AM

    Story of my life . My mother in law also digested it hardly that i want my valima dress of my choice. and yes she made alot of werid faces whn i was ordering jora. But who cares ;)

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  • islooite
    Nov 1, 2012 - 9:28AM

    dude its my Valima ! let me wear what i want on that day . MIL please digest this fact.

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  • anon
    Nov 1, 2012 - 10:19AM

    @Anum:
    I so agree with you – people have started making weddings a way of flaunting their wealth and succumb under social pressure. A simple wedding with no a big show of wealth is absolutely fine I believe.

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  • anon
    Nov 2, 2012 - 7:12PM

    i think people who crib about extravagant weddings probably cant afford them and this is a manifestation of their jealousy. if someone works hard their whole life and wants to spend on the few moments of happiness for their childrens sake, i dont think its anyones place to tell them they shouldnt. its like saying if youre gonna do something only once, make sure u do it in a way that wont make other people jealous. ftw man. get a 500,000 ruppee jora, wear it once and then burn it so no one else can wear it ever again. if you earned that money fair and square, nobody should dictate how you spend it.

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  • Laajaa
    Nov 4, 2012 - 8:50PM

    My mom in law chose every single thing for me. … She took me along with her (to shop) but didnt let me choose LOL… well I dont give her too much lift now :P

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