Our first time shooting as a Mehndi Wedding Photographer, and the most perfect opportunity had fallen in our lap – a destination wedding.
We had landed in Delhi, India two days earlier. The briefest of opportunities to re-adjust the body clock and we were out on the first leg, capturing Gaayatri & David’s Indian wedding celebrations.
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Arriving at Gaayatri’s parents home in Delhi, we found beautiful, bright decor surrounding the lower floor of their apartment block. One outside area was prepared for dining, with the other being ready for the music, the dancing and the Mehndi party.
Female guests arrived and were greeted, then offered to select a choice of bangles. The vast assortment of colours, guaranteed that any sari could be colour matched & co-ordinated for the wedding celebrations over the next two days.
To one side a group of five henna artists were busy preparing their pastes and applicators. It was fascinating to see. Mehndi parties are traditionally women only, so it was fascinating to see the guys there with their creative magic producing stunning Mehndi designs.
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As the first mehndi designs were created, the musicians and the music started up. A small trio of women singers equipped with a traditional drum, laid down a beat, then took us on a journey within their layered hypnotic chants.
Several hours past while everyone who wanted Mehndi designs were decorated. The musicians inviting family members to lead a few songs, the day now taking on the feel of an open mic event. Between sets, a DJ providing a youthful injection of Bollywood dance tunes, that really got the place rockin. Bar staff offering shots as they wandered the dancefloor.
Throughout all the afternoon Gaayatri had been hemmed in to one area of the courtyard. Sitting upon soft cushions, she had three men working on her hands and feet simultaneously. All she could do was to look on, smiling and enjoying the moment the day before her wedding ceremony.
As the Mehndi party drew to a close, Gaayatri and David shared one slow dance. Guests parted company and headed off for the evening, full of anticipation for the next day.
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