“As she sits in her room alone, she wishes she could sleep another night in the ocean of fabrics flooding her room from floor to armour. Her mehndi would get ruined so she puts on her robe to get ready. As she pauses for a moment, she reads a letter; unopened and marked with her name. The sun begins to set and she pulls out her grandmother's haar (necklace); an heirloom. A relic binding three generations and souls…”
BRIDAL DIARY: I was brought in to adorn Mashiat for her third Bridal Henna experience (well first diary) but third mehndi application. Her husband Tadmir had booked their honeymoon trip to Greece and she wanted to feel like a Bride again. This touched my heart and I was overjoyed that she had asked for a platinum diary for her vacation. We had consulted over face time and her details were highlighted by her enthusiasm on screen.
A henna diary versed her years of true love, Bengali quotes, a dulhan, enchanted florals, MT monogram, his name and a lace composition on her exterior hands and feet. Seen below is her digital diary which was first hand rendered to include all her details. No bride should ever be forced to have mehndi on her hands especially of those lines that are not her own. A henna diary is the journey of the bride, which includes her reflection through family, desires and love story.
I believe that a Bride’s henna moments should not only reflect the cultural associations of henna but who she is as a woman. These stills were captured to express the importance of time and transitional periods. After adorning many brides and hearing their stories, the application of Mehndi is a much needed period of cleanse;so often forgotten or packed away with wardrobe of ones youth and history during wedding season.
Adorned the beautiful Mashiat who recently got married in Bengladesh. This diary was a PLATINUM B Diary which was rendered beautifully with her love story and personal details. She is wearing a printed tulip saree from Chandan Fashion, denim of her own and a vintage blouse from Chosen Vintage.
One Bride had mentioned that she was financing her wedding as her father had long passed and her mother was her sole supporter. She did not want to burden her mother as she had no savings and had worked a half day before we had met. As my fingers wrapped around arm, the warmth of my fingers transferred into my other non-dominant hand and she felt a sense of comfort. I have been told to possess powers of healing or comfort but this was something we both shared. This was a moment she needed and I was glad to be there. You need to be healthy and happy but not everyone has a support system or can ask for one. Every bride walks a different journey and for that reason, her diary should be her own.
I believe that this moment of clarity is needed and having a bridal stylist for your special day provides our communities with a deeper understanding of marriage. Our families need to understand that a bride is a whole of her own kind; her view on the world is one of multiple lenses and so sees culture through colour first and not with meaning.As the time of marriage is within hours, the process in planning a blissful marriage can be slow and steady. This style shoot is for the working woman, the woman providing for her family, the woman who begins her day with free spirit, the woman who may be a mother, the woman who has a second chance in marriage, a woman who is accepting of change and diversity within marriage.
My advice to the bride of today, take some time to meditate with the ones you love, a few fingers in counting.As you near your special day, turmeric blended with oils and yoghurt will be used to exfoliate your skin, enjoy it. As you bathe in milk or a luminous mixture of oils and water, allow it rejuvenate your skin for a new path; a journey involving another whole world. As you have prepared your look through pins and screenshots for your sangeet or mehndi, allow others to adorn you whom you trusted or hired. Family and friends will rejoice alongside the bellies of drums and dancing glasses filled with lassi and refreshing cocktails, take part.
Meraya Studios Mashiat Breath of Henna The Sai Lens Chandan Fashion Chosen Vintage
For Bridal Styling and personal stories, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COME into the garden, Maud, For the black bat, night, has flown, Come into the garden, Maud, I am here at the gate alone; And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad, 5 And the musk of the rose is blown.
For a breeze of morning moves, And the planet of Love is on high, Beginning to faint in the light that she loves On a bed of daffodil sky, 10 To faint in the light of the sun she loves, To faint in his light, and to die.
All night have the roses heard The flute, violin, bassoon; All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d 15 To the dancers dancing in tune; Till silence fell with the waking bird, And a hush with the setting moon.
I said to the lily, “There is but one With whom she has heart to be gay. 20 When will the dancers leave her alone? She is weary of dance and play.” Now half to the setting moon are gone, And half to the rising day; Low on the sand and loud on the stone 25 The last wheel echoes away.
I said to the rose, “The brief night goes In babble and revel and wine. O young lord-lover, what sighs are those, For one that will never be thine? 30 But mine, but mine,” I sware to the rose, “For ever and ever, mine.”
And the soul of the rose went into my blood, As the music clash’d in the hall: And long by the garden lake I stood, 35 For I heard your rivulet fall From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood, Our wood, that is dearer than all;
From the meadow your walks have left so sweet That whenever a March-wind sighs 40 He sets the jewel-print of your feet In violets blue as your eyes, To the woody hollows in which we meet And the valleys of Paradise.
The slender acacia would not shake 45 One long milk-bloom on the tree; The white lake-blossom fell into the lake As the pimpernel doz’d on the lea; But the rose was awake all night for your sake, Knowing your promise to me; 50 The lilies and roses were all awake, They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.
Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls, Come hither, the dances are done, In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls, 55 Queen lily and rose in one; Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls, To the flowers, and be their sun.
There has fallen a splendid tear From the passion-flower at the gate. 60 She is coming, my dove, my dear; She is coming, my life, my fate; The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;” And the white rose weeps, “She is late;” The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;” 65 And the lily whispers, “I wait.”
She is coming, my own, my sweet; Were it ever so airy a tread, My heart would hear her and beat, Were it earth in an earthy bed; 70 My dust would hear her and beat, Had I lain for a century dead; Would start and tremble under her feet, And blossom in purple and red.
One would give his heart out when he would meet Summer's day, reading line after line in the ambiance of caffeine and haze. An overwhelming gaze appeared when She rose in her teacup skirt to not only swiftly move him, but to create a fix. One that would last an infinite set of years to hold and cherish. As She rose from her seating, the wind moved swiftly across her teacup skirt outlining a verse in florals. He saw his name..a name that she would call her own, true to her heart.
Unwilling to share her diary's moments with anyone else, Tigger, Monika and I spent the morning with Mithu. Define - Mithu: a woman of overwhelming intelligence and a heart filled with infinite delight. A character that devours the light and emits all of it within the darkest of nights to keep her loved ones away from hesitating surprises. Sitting with her on the morning of July 18th, the drapes on the windows casted romantic shadows on the tapestry and mahogany table which I lay down my cones on. I usually pack light but there was something weighing over my shoulders. A process that I had been prone to since I was a mere 11 years old, was all buried. I could not bare witness to this feeling so I let myself work with the idea of Bridal outside it's regular conventional design compositions. Strange though, I had the design right infront of me but I could not figure out where to begin. I was the Artist, 'I AM THE ARTIST.' How could I have possibly let my mind go idle in the start of the appointment? This beautiful bride became a treasure as she filled her morning henna appointment with laughter and an unbearable twitch. As she spoke, I drew and as I drew she blossomed as a new Bride. We worked around a couple sets of arm rubs and intimate finger abrasion. A set of arms (front and back) till her elbow's very curves and feet (5" above her ankles) I versed her favourite poet's verses; Tennyson.
Her diary from start to finish was created with her favourite verses from the famous poet Alfred Tennyson. The beautiful photos by Monika Mistry instil each and every memory from that blessed day. Her greatest companion, Tigger joined in on the action as he enjoyed the scent of lavender. We watched the lines dance on her arms as she floated above the earth with her heart locked in a chest adorned in emeralds and delight. Her grandmother came to us to see her transform into a Bride. Trinkets from the family adorned her neck and fingers. An arrangement of gifts from her mother and the voices of beloved family and friends joined us later in the evening. A woman is unaware of the changes that once were custom or known.
What happens to a Bride who is not familiar with a custom? Who does a Bride turn to when she is alone? What colour does she wear during her wedding? Does she love the conventional wedding? Who makes the rules?
Speaking to Mithu throughout her henna diary days as well as during her diary event, we had several discussions on customization and where Brides feel their true selves are reinstated. A Bride becomes a woman in her own element while having support. An avocado is at its ripest when it is the happiest of green, a soft firm hold around an avocado provides this delicious vegetable interest to uncover it's juicy and highly nutritious valuable personality; it's interior beauty. Mithu wished for an intimate and private affair because she was used to this element, she is my perfect avocado. Her choice of Mani Jassal was a suitable one for her transitional period. Being adorned as a Bride, you wish to be at ease and fall into a nurturing state of sheer beauty. She gracefully presented herself while being enhanced by Rav B Beauty Concepts. Her flowers in her hair and romantic updo defined her soft hues and natural tan.
The fairies dressed themselves in pearls so that they could mock her presence. Her beauty was that of the sun and her heart forever set to her prince. She was eternally casted in happiness. My teacup beauty. Any morning with her is spent just right. When you have a Bride who is so cheerful and affectionate, your world spins itself undone just to have her smile again. Mithu loves her indian heritage but she wanted something that would redefine it in another light. She consulted with me near the end of the holiday season when I had just arrived back from London, England. We spoke for an hour on how she loved english literature and is a teacher. Her personality was elating art's finest creations and I wanted to give her a twist on the Secret Garden while rendering her favourite poem.
For many of us who choose to contrast heavily in our wedding's desires, we would rather invest in feeling than show and tell. Mithu is that Bride. She wanted to feel the warmth of her friends and so she invited her radiant mother to her consultation. A friend, a best friend, a companion for life is your mother. Mithu's mother was a pleasure to meet and talk to about her daughter's favourite moments. They are a compelling duo. When the consultation had completed, I had the pleasure of creating a beautiful rendering for her while the elements danced and spread throughout her palms.
At the end of this beautiful chapter, a Bride rejoices with her adored collective of blessings. Voices who she will always be compelled by and an orchestra who she will forever be a part of. Congratulations Mithu, a beautiful Breath of Henna Bride. July 2017.