Location: Victoria Hall, Hartley Wintney
Henna by: Sheena Sodha
Photographer: Lauren Mitchell Photography
Anika’s bridal Henna party – also know as ‘Mehndi’ is the traditional henna painting ceremony in India whereby close friends and family on both sides attend. The ladies’ hands are painted so beautifully – it is like a work of art and they look wonderful dressed in vibrant colours. I arrived at Anika’s parents home in the afternoon to capture some images of Sheena ‘painting’ Anika’s hands – I was transfixed! The designs were stunning and I asked Sheena if she has a ‘plan’ of what she is ‘painting’ – she confirmed there was but she also ‘goes with the flow’. All in all it took over 3 hours to complete!
Once at Victoria Hall the atmosphere was full of happiness and it was lovely to see the people who attended the Registry Office and those at the Engagement ceremony last year. After setting up the lights and taking some shots of the stage and detail shots – Anika and Rishi arrived!
There was a place at the top of the hall decorated in colourful cushions and a couch which they spent most of the evening around as friends and family came up to wish them well. Anika also had her feet ‘painted’ and while she had to wait (all night!) for her hands to dried, Rishi had to make sure she stayed fed and watered! It was lovely to see them both so happy. The evening ended with songs, a chocolate quiz and lots of lots of laughter.
Both families had really welcomed me into their tradition and lives and I felt so blessed to be witnessing, let alone capturing these precious moments for them. I loved every second of it – below are some images from the evening.
The next event is the Religious ceremony at Anika’s parents house. Just wait for the images – they are stunning!