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How to Plan a Wedding in 21 Days (Part 1)

by in Lifestyle on 2nd February, 2017


Right. So, I had my nikkah 2 years ago. The plan was, we did a small nikkah (immediate family) and then we would do a big wedding reception in the summer (6 months later). The motive to do a big wedding, we’re talking 300-500 people was led by my in-laws and my parents. My husband and I hated the idea and conveniently never got around to planning it over the past two years. 

Fast forward to my two year anniversary and I’m planning my reception in 21 days. Here we go!

26th November: 21 days to go 

So to compromise between us not wanting a reception and my parents wanting to invite Tom, Dick and Mohammed, we decided we should just book out a restaurant. This also means that no one gets excited about the capacity of venues and it means we don’t have to faff with decorations, caterers and all that jazz.

INTENTION: If you are planning your wedding get your intention correct. Who are you really doing it all for? So many couples get pressured into big massive reception parties and sadly start their married life with a big dent in their pockets. It’s ridiculous that couples or parents are taking out loans just because of the whole “What will the community say,” if we don’t have a big wedding. The reality is that “the community” won’t be there by your side during the ups and downs of married life. #ActYourWage

To do: Guest list!

How to create your guest list for a small wedding or nikkah:

— Nafisa/ (@Nafisa_Bakkar) December 8, 2016

To do: Make a list of all the halal restaurants you would want to hold it in or just ask Twitter.

HELP: need a halal restaurant in london that can accommodate 80 people. Good food and good vibes. Heeeeellllppppp

— Nafisa/ (@Nafisa_Bakkar) 20 November 2016

Call them up and ask about capacities. We originally planned for 60 and then have now gone up to 80!

Taste testing: Arrange a taste testing as they normally have set menus. I found it was easier to first choose what cuisine you want first and then choose the restaurants.

27th November: 20 days to go 

I’m meant to go an outfit for the reception today by I have too much work to do and preparing for my talk at LSE! Meh I have two weekends InshaAllah I’ll find one then. Watch the talks here (shameless plug and what):

28th November: 19 days to go 

Put down the deposit on the restaurant yay! With restaurants you have two options generally:

  1. Pay per head
  2. Pay a fixed price for up to x amount of people

Work out what will be cheaper and ALWAYS haggle. Ask them to throw in free drinks or a starter or something!

I was choosing between Bombay Brasserie and another Indian restaurant but

29th November: 18 days to go

Two days to go! It’s my two year anniversary alhamdulilah. The irony that I’m planning my wedding reception  ????


To do: Find a MUA

Text the MUA I had from my nikkah and hope to god that she is free.

Hoooray! She is.

To do: Give her a brief


Right off to enjoy my anniversary

30th November: 18 days to go

To do: Find a cake! Two tier. Wow cakes are expensive £300!

I’ll do it later.


3rd November: 15 days to go

To do: Find an outfit

I headed to Ilford Lane. Found NOTHING. I literally was thinking what am I going to do. Headed to Green Street and 5 hours later found THE dress, Alhamdulilah!

Went to ilford lane today. Literally just cater to the fair skinned pretty Pakistani look. Where the warm colours at B. #melaninpoppin

— Nafisa/ (@Nafisa_Bakkar) December 3, 2016

Here’s a sneak peak!


Buuutttt I need to add sleeves #ModestFashion

To do: Find material for sleeves


Still to do:

  • Get favours
  • Get sleeves done
  • Decorations
  • Find photographer
  • Seating plan
  • Finalise guest list
  • A whole load of other things

Stay tuned for part 2 to see if I pull it all off! Duas please.

Read Part 2 here.

Nafisa Bakkar

Nafisa Bakkar

Co-founder and CEO at Amaliah Find me @nafisa_bakkar on IG and Twitter