Rachna and Nitin’s haldi ceremonies were held coinciding with one another on the same day. This is a ceremony where close family and friends gather together and provide blessings to the couple while covering them in a paste using turmeric powder. The haldi ceremony involves smearing first the groom with copious amount of turmeric paste, starting from the feet and moving upwards to his face. It is said to be a purification ceremony. It is some what of an organic way to create a spa-like treatment meant to clear your skin of blemishes, etc. most Indian’s believe that it gives the couple somewhat of a certain glow to them before the wedding day itself.
Weddings in India are considered to be a sacred and sanctified ritual. They are long ritualistic and elaborate affair with lots of pre-wedding, wedding, post wedding rituals. The occasion of Mehendi is one of the most important pre-wedding rituals. It is a fun filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family. Different regions of the country celebrate the ritual in a different way according to their own marriage customs, rituals, and culture. The celebrations also depend on the wealth and status of the people. The bride’s family celebrates with a mehendi party for the gathering of friends and relatives for blessing the bride as well as for amusement.
The ceremony is mostly held at bride’s place or sometimes in a banquet hall on the eve of the marriage ceremony or few days before the marriage. On this occasion a professional henna designer or some relative applies mehendi to the brideâ€™s hands and feet. There are few places in India where it is a ritual that the first motif of henna or mehendi is applied by the brideâ€™s sister-in-law whereas there are some places where the first mehendi motif is said to be auspicious if applied by brideâ€™s mother.
The Mehendi or henna motif is not only the adoration of the bride rather it epitomizes her transformation from a virgin girl to a temptress for her husband. As per Kama Sutra, henna is one of the sixty four arts of women. Popular motifs of the bridal mehendi are conchshell, flowers, Kalash, peacock, doli and baraat patterns. The intricate motifs of the bridal henna also hide the husbandâ€™s name. It is said that the husbandâ€™s name in the intricate henna motifs is made for the groom who has to find out his name in his brideâ€™s mehendi as an evidence of his sharp eyes and active brain to impress his girl.
The mehendi function is usually organized with the sangeet function. So, it has a festive feel to it with the women dancing and singing traditional songs on the mehendi ritual. The bride is dressed in light color clothes with light jewelry. According to the custom the bride must not step out of the house after the mehendi ritual until the wedding day. It is believed that the darker and deeper the henna stains the more the husband and the in-laws will love her bride. The ritual of mehendi signifies the strength and power of love in a marriage so it is regarded as a good omen for the would-be bride. It is said that the longer the bride retains the mehendi, the more auspicious would be her future.
Now aren’t you dying to see some photos!
LOVE these shots – what a gorgeous bride, and beautiful setting!