After our Mehndi party, we rested. It seems common that families plan the actual wedding event (called the Nikah) to occur after one day of rest between it and the Mehndi. Since these parties last easily until 3 or 4 in the morning, you can understand why no one's ready for Day 2 until they've had a day in between to get some rest.
But everything in Pakistan seems to be done at the last minute. Like when we were preparing for the groom's side Mehndi party - a pre-wedding celebration - and my husband and his brother went to arrange for the food a week before the event and we told to come back later since the event was too far in advance to plan for. So naturally, the day of rest was the perfect time to finish up all those last minute preparations for the Nikah. And by last minute I of course mean "absolutely essential."
One of those arrangements we made in the day before the wedding was for the flower bed tent. This is one of my absolute favorite things about desi weddings, but strangely I haven't even met many desis that like it all that much! From what I gather, it seems that this tradition is considered maybe low-class or cheesy? Both of my brothers-in-law were not very excited about the idea. In 2007, when we traveled to Pakistan to attend my other brother-in-law's wedding, I had to convince him that he should have the flowers done in the room even though he thought it was outdated. My winning argument seemed to be that even if he didn't want it, it was tradition and maybe his new wife did and she would only have one wedding night after all.
I can't remember, but I think that Chachoo was similarly not that into the flower bed thing. Even most of the cousins in Pakistan seem to not like them that much. The few cousins who supported my idea mostly said things like "Oh, no, I've seen some nice ones these days, understated and with not too many flowers."But I just love it! They create a whole frame of bamboo over the bed like a tent and then literally cover it with flowers. And I like 'em how I like most things in life - more is better! I only lament that I didn't know about this when I was getting married and thus, I will never get a wedding night flower bed tent made for me :(
In fact, I don't even remember how I learned about the flower bed thing. But I do remember when we went shopping for it. Back during the 2007 wedding, after I finally convinced my brother-in-law, we went down to the same flower shops that sell the other wedding flower arrangements. When M told them what we were there to discuss, we were showed to some benches just past the storefronts and given some photo albums. Apparently after the successful installation of a flower tent over a bed, these flower guys would sometimes take a picture for their album so they could use for sales talks. They had all sorts of different styles in there, from the heavier styles to the more modern, contemporary look.
But just a few pages into the photo album, I came upon the strangest thing. I guess that after the bed has been all made up in advance of the wedding night and the flower installer guy is there to take a picture of the finished product, for some reason they sometimes include the groom. In some of the photos, there's the groom posing - sometimes leisurely propping himself up on his elbow, but most often puffing out his chest and trying spreading his shoulders and knees as wife as possible to look like a big shot. When the flower seller went to get something, I took my chances and snapped a picture of his photo albums - it's not every day you get to see something like that!
Of course, when the flower guys came to prepare our flower tent, I couldn't help myself. I forced M to pose for his own picture. Luckily, he's a good sport and plays along - puffing his chest out, jutting his chin up as high as possible, and setting his face with a grimace. Or maybe he just knows the drill - I won't shut up until I take a goofy picture!