Pakistan is an Islamic nation having high regards for Muslim traditions. It has a rich culture where majority of the Muslims belong to Shia sect. People celebrate festivals and wedding occasions with lot of zeal. Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan are the largest cities.
Islamic wedding are popularly known as ‘Nikaah’, which in Urdu means a civil contract between a man and a woman to live as husband and wife. Nikaah outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride.
Arranged marriages have been an integral part of Pakistani society for years and are still prevalent. Marriages are often arranged within the family or within the same community or ethnicity. Social and educational status is very important in arranged matrimonial alliances. The fully arranged marriages are seen mostly in rural areas. The most liberal and educated of Pakistan undergo semi-arranged marriages (couple makes the final decision with consent of parents) in the urban parts of the country.
The Pakistani matrimonial customs and celebrations differ significantly depending on the geographical location as well as the families involved. However, a typical Pakistani Islamic matrimony has at least three main customs involving the Henna ceremony (Rasme Henna), the vows or the Nikaah (the actual wedding or Shaadi ceremony), and a Reception (Walima) offered by the groom’s family.