Situation: An 11 year old Pakistani girl is invited to be a flower-girl at the wedding of a Caucasian couple. She’s lived in England all her life, and wears both the traditional tunic/scarf/pants and jeans and t-shirts. She’s been raised by a single father who has long been estranged from his extended family, but he’s active in the local Pakistani community, so she’d still have lots of contact with women of her culture.
Question 1: the girl and the bride are great friends (former next-door neighbour and babysitter) so I want the girl to do something customary from her own culture for the bride. I’m looking for something more traditional than religious; I’d really like the Pakistani equivalent of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ or putting a silver sixpence in your shoe.
I’ve searched for ‘pakistani wedding customs’ and the best I can come up with is a modified version of Rasm E Mehndi (henna party); with the girl going to see the bride a day or two before her wedding and insisting on singing a ritual blessing while decorating her feet and/or wrists with henna. While nominally Church of England (and it may be the non-legal celebration after a quickie registry office wedding to satisfy the legal requirements) the bride would let the girl do this simply because she adores the girl and accepts the gesture in the spirit it’s meant.
Question 2: the girl’s father is, as I’ve said, very involved in the local Pakistani community and it’s issues. He’s a professor, but I’m not sure of what; what are the chances that he would/could become an official – a registrar, I believe it’s called? – and perform a civil ceremony?