The Wedding Atelier 2018


Opulent interiors, grand floral decors, dresses worth fortunes with jewellery perfect to be worn by a pampered princess, as well as stalls of hair and make-up artistes ready to break one’s bank, were all part of The Wedding Atelier 2018 – a wedding expo mainly pulled off as an effort to ensure a quick luxurious [wedding] fix for country’s one per cent lot (read: elite).

Fatima Zehra Mallick, Natasha Lakhani, Dr Tasneem Nakhuda, Jeannette Faruque, Rehana Saigol & Sana Hashwani talk about wedding trends as part of a panel discussion


With weddings in Pakistan being a national sport, businesses that benefit from this regular grand affair are always in demand and with time, the concept of preparing for a wedding has turned into a gigantic industry leaving people with no choice but to ensure it’s the most memorable day of their life. From a dress designer to a flower vendor, there’s an opportunity for everyone to showcase their talent. To turn an otherwise intimate affair into a grand festivity, there’s always a clientele that cares about nothing but luxury, more so the elite.

Keeping the same in view, Sara Chapra of Carbon Events organised a two-day wedding expo at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi on the 2nd and 3rd of October. Particularly focused on brides-and-grooms-to-be, the exhibition was an ultimate luxury wedding guide and one that could possibly blow your mind away.

The regal wedding show was organised with the aim to offer expert advice and insider tips on everything wedding – under one roof. The event was a like jamboree of the crème de la crème of Pakistan’s wedding industry, offering solutions to an exclusive clientele with over 100 artisans showcasing in 25 categories including beauty, jewellery, photography, wedding decor, home interiors, bridal wear, beddings and much more. Stalls by some of the most prominent names spotted at the event were those of Natasha Salon, Shehla Chatoor, Deepak Perwani, Sana Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya, Tena Durrani, Nida Azwer, Zara Shahjahan, Kiran Fine Jewellery, Republic Womenswear, Zainab Chottani, Ansab Jahangir, RAKA Events, Esfir Jewels, Karachi Candle Company, SERA by Seher Aziz, Ammara Flowers, to name a few.

It was indeed an extravagant wedding guide for those who’d like their dream wedding to come to life. First day of the event kick-started with a laudable turn out and was a great opportunity for soon-to-be-wed girls and guys to meet experts and market leaders in the realm, who were there to not just showcase their products and services but also offer recommendations through exclusive meet and greet sessions, particularly catering to their elite clientele.

Set up for a rather exclusive target audience, Sara Chapra transformed PC’s marquee into a dream wedding fair in her much appreciated style. Solutions from top vendors in Karachi were just a few steps away. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that there were more options for brides-to-be rather than grooms-to-be. Be it a dental consultation or sorting wedding giveaways, there was something for everyone.

Those looking for a fairytale wedding were present at the exhibition, moving from stall to stall, asking for tips and ideas in the quest to nail everything from make-up to decor, perfectly on their big day. Attendees saw installations depicting future bridal trends named Bridal Trend Forecast-Vision 2020, which was set up by Carbon Events. A number of prominent Pakistani couturiers showcased their designs and accessories as a concept from Vision 2020 with names like Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya, Tena Durrani, Nida Azwer, Zara Shahjahan, Deepak Perwani, Zainab Chottani, Republic Womenswear and Talha Batla of Hilal Silk Palace.

Panel discussions featuring Natasha Ali Lakhani of Natasha’s Salon, dress designer Sana Hashwani of the Sana Safinaz duo, jewellery designer Rehana Saigol, Jeannette Faruque owner and fitness trainer of Studio X and Dermatologist Dr Tasneem Nakhoda took place towards the evening on day one. Attendees awaited for the panel discussion to start but before that could happen, a brief meet and greet session had Natasha crowded by her admirers in the quest to find out all of her beauty secrets. Queries regarding what’s in and what’s out in wedding preps began once the panel was set to address them.

Natasha addressed the issue of brides coming to her with a lot expectations but very little understanding of matching their bridal make-up and dress accordingly. “Brides have a different idea for make-up and hair. But when they bring out their dress and jewellery, it just doesn’t match. I would suggest girls to always sit down with the make-up and hair stylist, dress and jewellery designers and tell them what do they want eventually and get advised accordingly.”

Sana talked about her future design ideas with the audience, giving them an insight on what to expect from the bridal collection of Sana Safinaz. “Bridal dresses will be more experimental from now on. Different silhouettes will be seen with extravagant designs and, we’ll be using more colours and vibrancy to our dresses.”

The first day also witnessed a surprise fashion flash mob set off by the Ansab Jahangir Studio featuring the popular TV actress Ayeza Khan, as well as top runway models like Michelle Mumtaz, Misbah Mumtaz and Aneesa Sharif, all adorned with regal dresses, heavy jewellery and bridal make-up to take cues from. Numerous attendees were offered complimentary spa services including pedicures and blow dries by Sara’s Salon, as well as free makeovers by Ruqaiya Salon.

Speaking about the reception of the grand event Sara Chapra said, “Through this grand wedding show, the idea was to break boundaries by providing wedding essentials and interactive sessions all under one roof. I am overwhelmed with the response we received on the first day. Seeing so many couples come in with their families, chit chatting with numerous experts and walking out of the venue all relaxed, felt nothing short of amazing.”

The second day also packed tons of unique and glamorous wedding solutions to those dropping by at the exhibition venue. Those in attendance walked beside pretty, mesmerising decors and interiors, as well as got offered complimentary eatables like mithai, coffee, macaroons, chocolates and cakes by food/cafe stalls here and there.

“When a couple is getting married, they have so much to plan. Through this event, I aim to solve all their wedding woes, by connecting them with most popular wedding experts from Karachi and Lahore, all under one roof. On both days, we received an overwhelming response from couples-to-be who left the venue seeming quite content. I hope to take this forward and eventually turn it into an annual wedding expo that brides and grooms look forward to each year,” said Sara Chapra on the second and final day of the event.

In the process of gathering the event’s details for our readers, what we extract from the two-day expo was that despite being ‘open to all’, the expo did not really cater to a diverse market. While it was not aimed at ‘welcoming all’ The Wedding Atelier 2018 proved to be a fad for those who can afford to plan a fairytale wedding and turn it into an ostentatious occasion in the blink of an eye by spending millions and in some cases, billions, while being on a self-indulgence spree. But then again, all is well that ends well and The Wedding Atelier 2018 did manage to hit some right chords amongst Karachi’s bigwigs. •