Sunday, September 1, 2013

OOTD & a OPNO'S GUIDE: to planning a wedding in Muscat in 3 days time for under 500 OMR

What I wore: hot pink Khaleeji dress, costume Turkish gems, and my own attempt at henna
Last week we bid goodbye and mabruk to a long time on-and-off OPNO girl. I can't wait to read about where her next set of adventures will take her, whether it is to another Gulf state, North America, or even a plot of land in Barka... She and I have gone on many a crazy last minute road trip together, and her wedding was much of the same, one crazy string of mishaps after another that lead us to a good place worth finding afterall.  Pretty much the only thing that went off without a hitch was our wardrobes. Originally, we'd planned to pick up a white wedding gown by Elie Saab in Dubai, but unaware exactly what day the wedding would be, and unsure of what our budget would be, we weren't sure if her dress would arrive on time if she ordered the one that she wanted, ect... so in the end we went with a Khaleeji theme for everything. The good thing about being an Omani bride is... you usually get at least two wedding dresses;).
I wore a hot-pink Khaleeji-style dress of chiffon embellished with a smackload of crystals from a store in Seeb Souq. I liked the circles in the design and picked that up with a costume ring, and set of bracelets I already owned. My Barbie-pink shoes were from Le Chataeu www.lechateau.com/  back in Canada, and euqally Barbie-pink manicure cost .250 baiza via myself. Henna and makeup were done by myself for a total cost of .500 baiza. But let us not count my expenses since, what the guests wore did not come out of the wedding budget.
The bride wore a traditional Khaleeji-style wedding gown in green from Malaak in Al Bajha mall. Her make-up was inspired by Kierra Knightley's smokey eyes at Chanel, and a bronzed, 'I just got off a boat from sailing the Carribean' glow. Although the  bronzed look was not achieved due to Omani-makeup atrists being used to bride requesting to be painted white conintuously. Her henna was done in a Somali, 'vines' design, and her hair was swept up and to the side, curled, and locked into place with a jewelled-headpiece. "You look so traditional," the hairdresser almost sobbed, admiring her creation. "If only you had told me I would have prepared gold!" She seemed utterly stricken that this bride chose not to purchase any gold to wear in her hair. The bride's shoes were nearly forgotten at the salon, but were a crushed velvet from Charles & Keith. The bride kindly paid for ghetto me to get my hair done (as I don't trust Omani make-up artists and insisted on doing my own [which they nearly charged the bride for as well]) I looked like a woman from Texas and we'll leave it at that. They said they were going for a "Hindi" style due to my face shape and my desire that the whole styling process only take 20 minutes, in order to get the bride to her wedding in time.
Alas, while we had finished on time, our driver had decided to go get his hair-cut at the last minute and left us stranded outside the salon sweating in the sun and getting honked at by every loser driving by. Totally sucky. So very late, we arrived for the wedding party itself, after the guests. We had insisted not to be "Arab" but as this is usual behavior in Oman for the bride no one seemed to mind. By Omani standards of bride arrival times, our bride was rather early. Above, is the speech I prepared to give at the wedding banquet to honour the bride, and my dear friend, and it was written to describe everywhere love is mentioned in the Qu'ran and what that means towards my wishes for her happiness. But let's get back to earlier that day....
As we'd only known 3 days before the wedding when it would exactly be, we were in a rush to book a hall and prepare a marriage contract for the bride and groom to sign. Also, the men were supposed to have a wedding lunch, but as they were responsible for having that,  it didn't really ever materialize, God bless their hearts. The melka/nikah took place just after Dhuhr prayer, and both bride and groom looked so happy, they were glowing mashaAllah. Perfume and chocolates provided our mainstay, until the men insisted we take lunch at Sadaf before the bride's hair and makeup appoint, which of course made us late.
Driving to the salon... alas,  if we had been picke dup in time, we would have been on time.
The location for the female-only wedding banquet took place at Al Makan, which astounded us with it white Arabesque decor, and price tag of only 191 OMR for hall+food+ cake. Due to lack of time for planning we didn't bother with a kosha {our bride wanted to eat and socialize anyways} and it was really such a surprisingly nice place and wedding.  Our only decorations were Qu'ran holders spray-painted white and the glass candy jars we arranged on the tables with chocolates. The guests who made it, the food, and the bride's happiness, made the short notice, and all the runing around we did, worthwhile. May Allah give her and her husband and their children happiness, ameen.
If you are wondering how to pull of the same, below is the break-down for a budget, and just a small tip to keep everything as inexpensive as possible for you: "never ever tell the salon, spa, henna artist, stylist, make-up artist ect, that you are a bride. You are a guest. Prices will always be lower if you do this;)"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oooh beautiful pics masha allah! i love the henna! & ur daughter is looking so big now masha allah!