Ayesha Tahir sits on a platform as gold-plate bars are placed by Adil weight during their wedding in Dubai.
Tanvir Usman, Staff Reporter
In a world where weddings are no longer confined to traditional venues, Dubai has emerged as the ultimate destination for couples seeking opulence, luxury, and a touch of glamour on their special day.
With its iconic skyline, lavish hotels and a reputation for hosting high-profile events, Dubai has cemented its status as a top choice among those looking to celebrate their love in grand style.
Recently, a video featuring a Pakistani bride, Ayesha Tahir, being weighed against gold, went viral on social media.
The wedding itself encompassed all the elements of a dazzling Bollywood-style celebration, taking place against the backdrop of Dubai's lavish and ultra-luxurious hotels.
However, it is important to note that the families involved clarified that the gold bars used for the weighing were actually gold-plated, not solid gold.
Nevertheless, the controversy surrounding the bride being weighed against "gold" added an interesting twist to the already glamorous affair.
It all began when fate intervened, bringing Ayesha and Adil together in a remarkable way. Having studied at the same university, their paths crossed during a time when the world stood still. The COVID-19 pandemic turned them into neighbours. It was as if their meeting was destined, leading them to embark on a journey of love and matrimony.
Six months prior to their wedding, Adil and Ayesha exchanged engagement rings in a magnificent ceremony held at the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.
The wedding festivities commenced with an extravagant yacht party, followed by an enchanting Bollywood-themed night. The traditional Muslim wedding ceremony, known as the nikkah, took place, followed by the mehndi ceremony, where intricate henna designs adorned the bride's hands.
The groom's procession, known as baraat, and the walima, a lavish marriage banquet, concluded the grand celebration, spanning an impressive ten-day period.
While talking to Gulf Today, the couple and their families shed light on the reasoning behind weighing the bride against gold, which propelled them into overnight fame.
Mian Umar Ibrahim, Adil's father, said that their family weddings in Dubai were renowned for their grandeur and magnificence.
This particular wedding drew the presence of over 1,000 guests, including royals, close friends, and businessmen. However, the unique aspect of this celebration was that it unexpectedly went viral, taking everyone by surprise.
In this beautifully scripted tale, the bride first met Adil's sister, forming an instant connection. "I met Adil's sister, and we hit it off immediately. As we got to know each other better, our families grew closer. Being neighbours during the pandemic further deepened our bond. Hence, our marriage was arranged," explained Ayesha.
The decision to incorporate the gold weighing ritual stemmed from the couple's choice to embrace the theme of Jodha Akbar, a popular Bollywood film. Each family member assumed a character from the movie, dressing accordingly and dancing to the film's iconic tunes.
"If you watch the film, there is a scene where the bride is weighed against gold. We essentially recreated that scene to stay true to our chosen theme.
The gold weighing was an integral part of our wedding. We never anticipated that the video would go viral. We only found out about its viral status the next day through our photographer, which took us by surprise," expressed Ayesha.
The couple faced criticism on social media and from certain media outlets due to the viral video. However, they were quick to provide clarifications. Adil added, "We never expected it to go viral, and we took the initiative to clarify the situation. Media outlets in India, Pakistan, and the Arab world interpreted Ayesha being weighed against gold differently. Some labelled it as dowry, while others saw it as haq mehr. The true story behind this gesture was often overlooked, leading to the creation of negativity surrounding the event."
The gold-plated bars used for the weighing were prepared by the groom's family, taking into consideration the weight of the bride's attire and jewelry.
It was a symbolic custom aligned with the chosen theme. The video garnered so much attention in Dubai that conversations about the wedding could be overheard even in restaurants. Ayesha herself received offers for photoshoots recreating the iconic gold weighing scene.
"After sharing the gold content, we noticed a significant boost in views, likes, and comments on Instagram. Some posts even reached one million views," revealed Ayesha.
The couple said that Dubai was selected as the wedding venue due to the presence of relatives and friends residing in the UAE. The couple had deep ties to the community in Dubai, having spent most of their lives there.
The wives are called Shumbal, Shubana and Shahida. Shumbal has three children, Shubana two from which one has been adopted by Shahida.
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