Dear Aunties, Don’t Expect Me to be a Shy, Modest Bride on My Wedding


“Dulhan ho, ziada hansna nahi”, “dulhan ka ziada bolna theek nahi hai”, “sar jhuka ke bethna”. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This is what we usually hear in our society whenever a girl is getting married. And it is one of the things that are fed in our brains; the moment the girls hit their puberty or enter their ‘shaadi wali age’. Dulhan ka sharmana is literally EVERYTHING or else, she is considered “Besharam”.

Here’s what makes me question the aunties and mothers who say all this. If I love someone and getting married to that person, why am I restricted to show my happiness on the day of my wedding? Why is it okay for a groom to show happiness, talk, laugh and even dance on all the events? Why does this sexism even exist? Even if the families have known each other for more than a decade, yet the bride is still asked not to express any happiness? Just, why?

I know that my mother, father, and grandparents belonged from well-educated families who always support and encourage women, yet they all have old-school expectations from their new generation. This all just doesn’t make any sense to me. The traditional culture has been deeply ingrained in them in such a way that it is something that just can’t be changed.


Even though my mom has always encouraged me to become someone, and has always pushed me to go out there and explore things on my own, why not this? Why am I being told to act all shy and modest on my wedding day? I want the freedom to express my emotions, happiness on my big day! What about those who say, “lagta hai dulhan khush nahi. Lagta hai zabardasti ki hai shadi maa baap ne?”

Despite what society thinks and log kia kahenge, I have decided not be one of those sharmeeli dulhans. Yes, I will dance on my big day. Yes, I will express my joy. And, yes, I will laugh as much as I want to and talk to the people around me because I, too, deserve to express my emotions on the wedding day. This is the day I’ve been waiting for, since months! 

Things are changing, the world is progressing. However, we Pakistanis need to understand that it is time to change the way we think. At times, it is okay to let go of a few traditions that actually do not make any sense. However, this will not have any effect on my husband or my in-laws. I will respect them, love them and take care of them just as my own. It’s merely just about the traditions that are in our culture just for the sake of it.

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