Desi Wedding Home Decor

I’m really happy to say that my husband’s brother got married this past weekend, and even happier that the wedding is all over! As it goes with desi weddings, there’s a bunch of family that comes and stays in the home for the week-long wedding festivities. Part of a wedding is the “wedding home,” which has got to be decorated to put everyone in the mood.

I wanted to share what I, alongside the team of guys that makes up my in-laws’ side, came up with.

 

Introducing:  Desi Wedding Home Decor

Age Range:  6+ years old

Cost:  $$ out of $$$$

The “Bid”

Both my mom and my mother-in-law (from different parts of the Subcontinent) have a custom of sending a fruit basket and a basket of nuts and chocolates to the other side/the other family being married into. And not to mention the traditional sweets, mithai! Here’s what my brother (who came out for the wedding and was such a huge blessing to have!) and I came up with! These are meant to be shared by the whole family.

Pro tip from my brother for wrapping huge baskets with cellophane: lay two big pieces of cellophane over each other like a plus sign. Put the basket in the middle but DIAGONAL–this way you’ll have enough coverage to last the entire stretch of the basket! Bunch up the cellophane at the top and secure with a piece of ribbon tied tightly, then go for the bow and make the top fancy. Discretely patch together the slits in the cellophane with tape.

It was a tough sell, but I convinced my mother-in-law to use mason jars. What a win.

My friend taught me how to do this. I don’t know what this ribbon crossing technique is called, but you take two pieces of ribbon and twist them 180 degrees when you cross them. Another easier way to decorate mason jars is with washi tape.

Tahoora!

We also ended up gift wrapping wedding clothes, shoes, and other gifts.

The Fireplace/Family Room

This is where the family spends most of the time and it is connected to the family dining area and the kitchen.

I added the “Shaadi Mubarak” (congratulations on your wedding) banner the morning after the wedding/nikkah and baraat, which was the first time my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came to the house together after the wedding.

The banner says “shaadi mubarak,” (literally “blessed marriage” or less literally “congratulations on your marriage”). The wooden letters had to be painted before I put them up because they were scratched from the store enough that they looked shabby in a bad way.

What I Used:

  • wooden letters from Michael’s
  • corrugated glitter cardstock from Michael’s
  • sticker letters (glitter) from Meijer (local grocery store)
  • Christmas/string lights (icicle) from Sam’s Club (blue and white)
  • wreath wire mold from a creative reuse store
  • flowers and vines from a creative reuse store

 

The Stairs

Since nearly everyone is staying upstairs in the bedrooms, I wanted to put something there. The stairs are also quite easy to decorate (as all stairs are) and they are visible from both the living and family room. The home decor at my in-laws’ home is already in the red-orange-tan-brown spectrum, so I wanted to choose something that would match their house. Also, we were having a mehndi/henna party the night before the wedding ceremony (not the kind of mehndi you’re thinking about, just the groom’s side getting henna done after dinner) and I wanted to decorate for that a bit as well.


The pom pom garlands were a slight pain to fluff out but with the help of 5 or 6 people, it didn’t take too long. I simply hot-glued the flowers in between each (red) pom pom.

What I Used:

  • pom pom tissue garland from Dollar Tree
  • flowers (from a local creative reuse store)
  • hot glue gun
  • floral tape (to help the flowers stay upright instead of drooping)
  • wire cutters

Inside the Front Door

Lanterns are from the Dollar Tree-the same ones I used at my mom’s house for Ramadan decor earlier this summer!

What I Used:

  • paper lanterns with LEDs (from Dollar Tree)
  • fishing wire
  • Christmas/string lights (blue icicles) from Sam’s Club

The Front of the House

I wanted to utilize the columns in the front of the house, which is something that I rarely see in California. We also had a shortage of string/Christmas lights and I wanted to figure out something that wouldn’t need lights on the outside (although that would have been great.) I also wanted to make a wreath for the front door that said “Welcome Fareeha,” (my sister-in-law’s name) that would be a direct gesture to her. I decided to use feminine colors (purple and pink) and they just so happened to match the flowers in the front! I used the same flowers/color scheme to decorate the car 🙂

The columns’ ribbon was secured with packing tape.

I threaded a floral wire through the bow (I had to use two floral wires to make it long enough to wrap around the column) to secure the bow in place. I used the gray/silver mesh ribbon and added the magenta tulle ribbon underneath to help it stand out a little more against the white column.

 

A Command hook is on the front door. A woman at the local creative reuse store made the epic bow for me at the bottom of the wreath.

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This is the second wreath I’ve ever made and it was pretty easy. My first step was to use the magenta tulle ribbon and tie it to the wreath mold so that I could pull it out a little bit at the end if there were any blank spots. Next, I attached a vine to fill in the wreath, and then another vine that already had the smaller magenta and purple flowers attached to it. I simply hot glued the flowers down. A tip: place a newspaper over your work station and arrange all of the flowers before you start gluing them down. I had a few anchor flowers that I glued down first to make sure that the wreath stayed symmetrical.

Tip: glue down the letters, even if they are sold with adhesive on them.

A cute aside, the FedEx delivery guy congratulated my mother-in-law on the birth of a girl. The new girl in the house, however, is just a couple decades older than what the delivery guy was probably imagining! (But seriously, wouldn’t it be so cute if people decorated the home when a baby is born in the family…?!)

What I Used:

  • wire mesh ribbon, purple and silver (from a local creative reuse store)
  • tulle ribbon (from Michael’s)
  • packing tape
  • wire wreath frame (from a local creative reuse store)
  • flowers, vines, and ribbon (from a local creative reuse store)
  • glitter sticker letters (from Meijer)
  • Command hook (from Walmart)
  • hot glue gun

The “Just Married” Car

From my impression of my sister-in-law’s family, I thought they would really appreciate the getaway car being decorated. And in general I think it’s cute anyways 🙂 I literally had no idea what I was doing with this, and my husband, his cousins (all guys) and my father-in-law totally came in clutch that day and took care of most of it.

The lights on the back of the car at night, when the bride and groom were leaving. The lights really killed it 🙂 and oddly enough, everyone thought my engineer husband was responsible for it!

What I Used:

  • wired and unwired vine and loose flowers (from a local creative reuse store)
  • flower bunches (from Dollar Tree)
  • battery-powered LED lights (from Michael’s)
  • washable chalk markers, chisel-tip (from Michael’s)
  • tulle ribbon (from Michael’s, the same one used in the front of the house)
  • gray net (from Pakistan, it was meant for another craft)
  • floral wire
  • packing tape

My suggestion with decorating a car–less is more, but don’t forget those lights on the back.

I have to thank one of my husband’s distant relative and his cousin (both from Pakistan) for really taking charge on the car decorating project and holding things together while I was about to have a breakdown over the car and getting ready in time. Anyways, with some quick Google image searching, we managed to come up with a plan and my husband, his father, his cousin,that relative, and I pulled together and managed to finish the car from start to finish in under an hour.

A few tips for you here about protecting the car: when making a wreath for the hood of car, use wireless vines as your base. I decided against using a wired wreath frame because I didn’t want to scratch the car. Also, I don’t know if standard packaging tape (Scotch brand) is safe for the paint, but my sisters used it when they decorated the car when I got married and my father-in-law was all for using it on his car for my brother-in-law’s wedding…so I guess all I can say is that both of those times, the car wasn’t damaged.

 

Well, that’s a wrap! Wishing my brother-in-law and his wife all of the happiness in this world and the next, insha’Allah!

Bride, mother-in-law, and me, from left to right. I got a chance to wear my wedding clothes again!

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