The Muslim Bride Special Wedding Feature: Sana’s Bridal Henna Application Day
Next in our series of Sana and Shahzeb’s wedding events is the Bridal Henna/Mehndi application day. We weren’t really sure if this should be included in our feature of main events. But since it included a special dedicated space, chair, table, hair dryers, lots of picture taking, and involved an entire day with a team of bridal Slavelves (singular. Slavelf – a term thought of but not necessarily created by us since we’re sure some game nerd is already on it – means captive bridal slave elves and are independent intelligent women who may voluntarily or through manipulation are required to provide 24/7 bridal moral support, bring food for the bride, most likely then also feed her, tell her jokes, stories do wonders by the way, fan her if she’s feeling hot, take her Hijab on and off when non-mahram invades the room and do other such wholesome duties a.k.a. Kaneez in urdu, a female maid servant.) so we might as well introduce it as an important Bridal Henna/Mehndi Application day event!
Following are some tips we put together with the help of our henna artist, Sumeyya of Henna Craze and our bride Sana, and her Slavelves (a.k.a bridal slave elves) in order to help out our future brides prepare for their bridal henna session:
I’m On A Clock…Not! – Take your time! Unless you want to make your bridal henna work to appear as if it was done while crazy bulls were running after you, no need to rush the process. It’s an intricate job so you should give yourself and the artist a break. For a few hours get away from the crowd and set aside some space and time to make sure your bridal henna turns out beautiful and perfect. We seriously believe that it is never a good idea to have your intricate bridal henna session done during a pre-wedding event. You have to sit still and you can’t do that when the world is hugging you or dancing around you.
Clean Slate – Your henna artist most likely doesn’t plan to do a Marcel Duchamp style Readymade on your hand. This means she/he will need a clean canvas so wash your hands and don’t put any oils or lotions prior to your henna application. If you do, then don’t be surprised if your henna results in a lighter stain and you get a clichéd response like, “I told you so!” From your henna artist.
Grooming Pains – Make sure you do all kind of grooming (waxing e.t.c) for areas where henna will be applied a day or two before your henna session. No one wants to look at a bride with a painful face so make your life easy and get all the painful stuff done in advance. Trust us, you will thank us later.
Mani-Pedi And Nail Polish Dilemma - Painting of your nails as in manicure and pedicure should also be done before your henna session. Yes, it is okay to do a polish change after your henna application is done. Just make sure your henna has dried off when you do go for it though.
Working It Off - Scrub-a-dub-dub sounds fun! But not after henna is applied. Please don’t decide to do Spring cleaning and do all house errands that involve washing and scrubbing your hands and feet right before your wedding day (hmm… are there really house errands that involve feet washing?) otherwise be prepared to see your henna disappear into a lighter stain.
What Not To Wear – Anything that looks like a full Chewbacca costume is not really appropriate for you bridal henna session plus you might scare some of your Slavelves away. Generally you want to get into something that is comfortable and that you can sleep in as well. It’s a long process and if you are planning on getting henna above your elbows and ankles then get pants that roll up and can be folded easily. You don’t want wet henna paste to touch anything during the application. Think Capri or mid length skirt, something that will end above your ankles.
Washing Craze: You want to keep it to a minimum. At the Mayoun/Manjha pre-wedding event, our henna artist, Sumeyya recommended that we keep our skin away from water for at least 6-8 hours. And brides need to do that for a full 8 hours! This was definitely not an easy task since most of us had a lot of running around to do. Try to sit still for at least 3 hours and use gloves when showering. If you plan to do a lot of manual work then try getting your henna done once the entire group has gone and towards the end of the night. This way you can be patient and pray that you hopefully fall asleep from utter exhaustion.
I Like To Move It, Move It – No please, don’t! Out of all the days, please refrain from moving yourself on your bridal henna application day. If you’re going to move around and try to dance for any reason, the henna will get smudged! Remember when you were a kid and some bully pushed your hand while painting? Yes remember the mess and tears? This is the exact same thing but with a different paste.
Paparazzi – Chances of that happening to you are slim unless you are a celebrity bride. Sorry. Still you would be surprised how much photography your smart phone ends up taking. We know most people don’t think of this but trust us it will happen at some point. So why not just be prepared and use better cameras? Also, Make sure you are in an outfit and colors that would give you appropriate pictures to share. No tacky flashy clown outfits please.
Lastly, remember you’ll be sitting with that wet henna paste on your hands and feet for a long time so don’t forget to visit your nearest restroom before your henna session takes off.
Hope our tips will help make your bridal henna session comfortable in some way. Again, if you want to share any more tips or say a few words of encouragement then please don’t be shy and comment under this post.
Next in the series: Our tales of the pre-wedding Mehndi/Henna Event.
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