Henna Ceremony

With how expensive a multi-day wedding can get, I rarely get a couple that books me for the henna ceremony. Personally, I recommend it. It’s practically the bride’s bachelorette. There are a lot of pre-events when it comes to a Southasian Wedding. The henna ceremony is often the most casual. For this bride, it was at Bella Banquets. It’s an intimate little venue in King City. And in this particular case, the groom was able to attend.

Henna, also known as Mehndi, is an ancient form of body art originating in India and across South Asia and the Middle East. A henna ceremony is a pre-wedding celebration in Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim culture when the bride has the mehndi “stain” applied to her skin. It traditionally covers her palms, back of hands, feet, and anywhere else she chooses. Typically held the day before the wedding, this event often has a lounge feel. Although henna associates with weddings, the paste does offer a cooling feature. This is why it’s so culturally popular in warmer countries. For example, ancient Egypt, royalty would cover their entire body in it as a way to stay cool.

History

There’s a reason the party occurs so close to the ceremony. Tradition says the deeper the color of the bride’s henna, the happier the bride and groom’s marriage will be. Depending on the family, it can also mean how much the bride’s mother-in-law loves her. However, the color is derived from your own body temperature. The warmer you are, the darker the stain. It’s why you’ll find a lot of drinking at these events. Alcohol will actually warm you up and allow the stain to come out darker.

Designs symbolize various blessings, luck, joy, and love. The groom’s name is usually hidden somewhere in the patterns. He has to find it on the wedding night before getting to “do it.” This is one of my favorite traditions. With brides getting more and more creative with their henna designs, they can turn this tradition into a very fun sex game. From the lovely people who brought you the Kama Sutra.

This couple also incorporated a Gaye Holud ceremony incorporated into this event. It’s a Bengali tradition where the family applies a Tumeric paste to the bride’s skin, or in this case the groom as well. The paste serves as a blessing but it also gives their skin a beautiful glow for the wedding day.

While I didn’t photograph this couple’s actual wedding day, I did capture their anniversary photos. They also came back for a family session with their dog a few years later.

 

Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets gifts
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets decor
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets decor
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets decor
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride getting dressed
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride portrait
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride details
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride details
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets groom portraits
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets gifts
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets gifts
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets groom's family
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets bride's entrance
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets groom
Bengali Gaye Holud at Bella Banquets first look
Bengali Henna Ceremony family portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride and groom portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride and groom portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bridesmaids
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony mom
Bengali Henna Ceremony auntie
Bengali Henna Ceremony brother
Bengali Henna Ceremony flower girl
Bengali Henna Ceremony bridesmaids
Bengali Henna Ceremony sisters
Bengali Henna Ceremony family
Bengali Henna Ceremony groomsmen
Bengali Henna Ceremony groomsmen portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony family portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony groomsmen portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony family portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride and groom portrait
Bengali Henna Ceremony bride and groom portrait