After an emotional evening, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to get the day started. That evening, my parents would host our joint gaye holud. But there was a lot of prep to be done, specifically my mehndi!
One way that a Bengali wedding differs from an Indian wedding is when the mehndi is applied. In traditional Indian weddings, as hive member priyathescientist pointed out, a bride’s mehndi is applied during her gaye holud, and women in her family are invited to participate. A Bengali bride usually has her mehndi applied the day of her holud or the in the days before the wedding. I think it’s because it’s like watching paint dry, as Mrs. Spaniel told us. In interest of time, we chose to have mine done the day of the holud.
My mehndi artist is a family friend and gifted me her time and talent for the wedding. She brought me some designs to choose from and she went right to work.
Excuse my toenails. I got my pedicure the next day!
Once the mehndi was applied, I sat and watched as prep for the party was happening all around me.
Those are my pretty cousins modeling the beautiful backdrop my mom and sister created out of saris. Most of the colors are the holud colors of yellow, orange, red, and green. The bench is where Mr. Genie and I were to sit and receive blessings.
These are my lovely aunts hard at work making samosas and potato patties. Yum yum! With all the mehndi on my hands, I had to sit still for three hours. My sister put lemon juice and sugar on to keep the mehndi wet so it could get darker on my skin. I felt bad because I was stuck sitting while everyone ran around getting things ready. Sitting doing nothing for three hours isn’t as great as it sounds. I couldn’t hold a book. I couldn’t eat unless someone fed me (which my sister did!). But it turned out to be fun anyway. My cousins and sister gathered around and helped me watch the time pass as I sat like this:
It’s a hard life out there for a Bengali bride. Sigh.
Did you have mehndi for your wedding? Was it a party or was it you flying solo waiting to dry off like mine?
All photos are personal