Her wedding henna afternoon

One fine day in June I packed my henna cones, sketches and wooden stool into my bicycle basket and set off into Bidwell Park to journey to another side of Chico, California for Sara’s wedding henna appointment. It was a good day, I felt honored to be able to share the artistry of mehendi with her, a fellow artist. I knew working in such detail would be a challenge, and I was a little nervous, but the ride through the park relieved my worries and cleared my mind.

Earlier in the year we met for her bridal consultation to decide what design direction to take, as there are many styles of henna to choose from. She liked the idea of fine details to her elbows and little to no floral designs, Indian lace style mehendi came to my mind immediately. We set her henna appointment to be 3 days before her wedding, a day she would share with loved ones and a hen party.

I spent a few weeks seeking henna designs on flickr in her style and making little sketches of details I liked from other henna artists. I liked her style choice, and felt mandalas and half mandalas would be a great element to include in her henna. I tried to design each 4 parts of her wedding henna with different, yet cohesive designs. Her palms would have a design which came together when her palms were cupped upward. We would hide her groom’s name in the details.

Wedding henna this detailed takes time to apply skillfully and Sara was most patient. Let’s just say it took me more than 3 hours. We started in the afternoon, I find it is a great time to start wedding henna, as the light is perfect and there is plenty of time for the henna to seep into the topmost layers of your skin. This leaves you the option of removing your henna paste in the late evening and letting it oxidize while you sleep.

So this is her wedding henna  part I, I’ll have the rest of her story next week.

Thank you for stopping by!

4 thoughts on “Her wedding henna afternoon

  1. Wow! It looks great!! Im just wondering – are there different styles of henna patterns? This one, for example, looks very Indian to me. Is there a difference between what Indians and the Gulf ladies paint on their body?

  2. Thank you Katka! Yes, this design is very Indian in style, highly detailed, little negative space. Typically in the Gulf regions, designs tend to have a more flowing naturalistic and abstract look to them with heavy negative space. There are so many styles of henna, each region spins their own story, it’s really quite remarkable.

  3. Lace like, indeed. I love the half and quarter mandalas repeating throughout. It’s a beautiful design and beautifully executed. Mandalas are among my favorite motifs to henna. Do they not symbolize continuity? They do to me anyway, and I think that makes them such a good choice for a marriage.
    The late afternoon sun reveals a gorgeous, rich red-brown hue on hennaed hair. Beautiful.

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