Planning an indian wedding is so different to planning an English wedding. The stress, I am sure is the same but the amount of work that goes into an indian wedding is on another level. I mean a good indian wedding lasts at least 3 days minimum, with family and friends attending each event working up to the wedding. That’s a lot of people in one house, 300 people at a wedding is considered a small indian wedding. Trust me!
The amount of people isn’t even half of it, people are constantly telling you what to do , who to invite, what you should be wearing and traditions upon traditions to uphold. An indian bride has to abide by so many rules and regulations when planning an indian wedding, but the best part of an indian wedding and the one part the bride has every say in is the Mehndi (henna) night because that ish is on YOUR body.
On this night the focus is on the brides hands and feet, the mehndi artist will apply a very detailed and creative pattern using henna to the brides hands and feet to adorn her for the wedding. They say that the darker the henna comes out on the bride that is how deeply her husband loves her. Mine better be dark!!!
The henna isn’t just for the bride, all the female guests take turns to have their hands done, they don’t do the feet as this is symbolic for the bride only. The occasion is like a party, so there is food, drink and music all night long, well till the bride gets fed up of the hugging, kissing and fake smiling at people and their cameras. All in all its a pretty fun night, stress free for the bride, not so much for the brides family who have to be hospitable to the guests.
How to pick the right person
Henna which was once a traditional aspect of indian weddings and events has quickly turned into a fashion accessory and a lot more people are readily available with the talent to apply henna, even I can manage something small when given the chance. So then how do you choose who is right to perform this important and iconic task on your big day?
I cannot tell you how many websites and portfolios I have seen all of which have been stunning in themselves, everything from the simple strip to the most intricate details. For me, I think that it is more about the person applying the henna then the work itself, I mean the work has to be good but as a bride you will be sitting in that same position for 3 to 4 hours while this person does their work. Personally being the chatty Kathy that I am I couldnt ever sit for 3 hours with someone who couldn’t hold a conversation or someone who sits in silence (trust me I have seen that before).
The most important thing I think when working with clients is the ability to make then feel comfortable, relaxed and build that rapport; how else would you ensure that that person will recommend you to their friends and family. It was really important me that the person I picked made me feel important on my day, someone who will take their time to make me look beautiful and at the same time keep me engaged and want to sit there for 3 hours with them.
In my hunt for the perfect Mehndi artist; who would make me feel like a princess on my big day, I think I managed to speak to about 10 people over the phone and in person. Some of these people couldnt even answer basic questions I had about how the day would be planned out, pricing, examples of their work or even the type of henna that would be used (we have all heard the horror stories of bad henna). I was beginning to get frustrated and at this rate ill end up having to settle with someone randomly picked out of a hat, until I met Tina.
I was not looking to book a Mehndi artist when we went to the Leicester Wedding Show that weekend. My sister in law thought it would help me to get some inspiration for the wedding, I thought it would be a good sunday out the house. We walked around the hall, took in a fashion show and then walked around some more. It was quite something, I had never been to a wedding show before and it was surreal that I was wearing the ‘Bride to be’ sticker. It hasn’t hit me properly that I am getting married.
I stopped by a stand with beautiful custom made flowers and while I was exploring all the colours with fascination, my brother (being the charmer he is) was chatting to a guy on the next stand. He turned around and introduced me as the Bride to be. The young man explained about the types of mehndi they did and proceeded to show me the level of work they do. I was intrigued.
I looked at the stand it was a beautiful shade of purple ( purple is clearly my colour) but the stand also had such beautifully decorate candles and was bustling with people. I read Tina’s Mehndi on the board.
From the minute that I was introduced to Tina I had made my mind up that she was the one, she was vibrant and conversational. She built a rapport immediately which is so important as I mentioned before. She was able to answer all my questions on the spot with great detail and the price she provided was the BEST that I have ever been given. She was fun and lively and that was what I was looking for. To boost she is trained by Ash Kumar, that may mean nothing to some of you reading this but he is the A Lister of the henna world how could I be going wrong.
Another major factor when choosing your henna artist is to try and sample the product that they will be using on the day, the work they produce could be amazing but when the henna dries if the product doesn’t come out dark within an hour or so and continues to get dark over the next 24 hours that product is worth nothing.
As a bride you will be photographed all day so you want to ensure that the henna is dark enough to see it. Tina gave me a sample on the spot she even tried another product on my mum. I was impressed, so far she is the only person I have spoken to that has offered a sample and to show you what to expect from the product.
I was sure that I wanted to book her, I would have done it on the spot but mum wanted some time to see how the colour came out in the next few days before deciding. I guess she is right; better to be sure before booking, so I waited.
Did I book Tina?
Hell yess I did!
The colour came out dark and continued to get darker over the next 3 days I had it on, it even took 2 weeks to come off. Yet another factor to consider, you do not want henna that starts to fade in a few day as you will usually apply this a few days before the event. You want to make sure that it stays dark and it did.
I emailed Tina and then followed it up with a call and she was bright, bubbly and friendly as the day I met her. That rapport was still there and the conversation was enjoyable, she really lives up to the slogan ‘service with a smile’. You can hear her smiling through the phone and you can tell she is passionate about what she does. I was really looking forward to working with her. I am looking forward to having her do my Mehndi.
The whole booking process was simple and straight forward no complications. I am literally thrilled and cant wait for my henna night.
My henna night isn’t for another year but I will be blogging and Vlogging my experience so make sure you watch this space. In the mean time if you are in the midlands area and are looking for an amazing henna artist for any event then contact Tina I promise, you will not regret it and check out her Facebook and website for more of her work. ( I am not sponsored to do this blog I just love tina).
Till Next Time!