Okay, so not so Wordless–I can’t help but write about these pictures.
The following pictures were taken on Dec 26, 2006, the day before our wedding reception in Bombay, India.
Ravi and I were married in July 2006 in Boston in a small (by Indian standards–82/85 people) ceremony. Some close family traveled from India to be there, but it made sense to do a second reception in India later in the year…and gave me an excuse to come to India (and Asia) for the first time. I had done subtle mendhi for the US wedding, but I didn’t want it to overwhelm my dress. However, for the India reception, I requested full bridal mendhi…which my mother in law and her sister arranged for us. My mother in law, my college roommate Love, and our friend Michelle got mendhi (am I forgetting anyone? Diana? Alexis?) and I had a small mendhi party at the hotel.
As the bride, I got the most intricate mendhi done. So intricate that even with two women working, I sat for a total for four hours for them to complete it (plus another several hours of drying time).
Once the mendhi was applied, I had intricate designs going up my arms and covering my feet
The hardest part about getting mendhi is how careful you have to be while it’s setting. With this sort of intricate mendhi, I couldn’t put my arms down. I had to keep my fingers slightly spread. And I had to stay very still. In the interest of full disclosure, I spent the hours of mendhi drying in the hotel room watching dvd’s of season one of Alias while Ravi manned the remote and fed me/ held cups of water for me to drink from.
BUT…after several hours, you get to do one of the most satisfying and fun things. To remove the now dry mendhi paste, you get to rub your hands together, creating a rain of mendhi dust into your sink. I can’t say what about that makes it fun, except to insist that it is vastly satisfying, especially when you get to see the stain on your skin beneath.
When you first remove the paste, the stain is bright orange, which is why mendhi parties are 1-2 days before the event. By the next day, however, the stain darkens to brown.
A fun fact is that in traditional bridal mendhi, the artist hides the grooms initials or name somewhere in the mendhi design “for the groom to find on the wedding night.”
Here are a few shots of us at the reception…although the reception itself is a story for another day.