henna - Milwaukee wedding photography

I have noticed some trendy brides rocking the henna lately and wondered where the tradition came from.  All right, so I know it is mostly used in Indian weddings but what does the tradition mean?  How did it start?

So I took my question to Google and I discovered that the centuries-old tradition started with the Bride.  It was a great way for brides to be adorned with beautiful patterns and was accessible even to families that could not afford to drape their daughters in gold.  Also, it has been a tradition in several countries around the world (like over 60) … I guess it’s not just India.  Henna is a tradition that is unique among cultures and even varies between families.

Because Henna’s deep color is thought to symbolize the strength of the impending marriage, the darker the design is, the better.  Its hue also represents a husband’s love for his wife and even his family’s love for her.  This is why brides use special oils and treatments to darken the die.  As an added bonus, brides get a break from household duties until the henna has faded!

Today the ritual has resurfaced and become more popular again.  Many brides are partaking in the traditional henna party called a Mehndi.  At a Mehndi the bride is lavished with extravagance and painstakingly covered in henna.  Traditionally, only the females closest to the bride were invited to this ritual but today it can be a huge affair with entertainment, drinks and food.  After all, Henna can take hours to apply and let dry so entertainment and drinks are a must (at least in my opinion)!

Jami-Nishant-Harrison-Studio-4

Harrison Studio via Junebug

Henna is an extraordinary work of art and a lovely ritual.  The pictures of the effect are always amazing!