A Design Full of Surprises!

Date:  May 17, 2012--

It was a pretty relaxed day for me.  Wake up, eat breakfast, check emails, reply to emails, do some other administrative work, pack orders, do Noreen's bridal henna, lunch and dinner somewhere in between, prepare for the weekend camp..... WAIT, what?  Bridal Henna!!!!

Hurry, hurry, hurry!  Get the glitter ready! The cones need to be filled!  Where are her matching stones?  What colors is she wearing again?  Holy cow!  I also need a shower!  And I'm scheduled to be there at 3:00pm!!

Well, after a little bit of rushing in my "relaxed" day, I was able to get to Noreen's house in the west end, right on time!  And when I got there, I found out I was working with an Edmonton photographer that I have been following for a few years, Cosmin Danila.

My story of Noreen's henna application stayed a secret until I got home later that evening and shared with my husband, and a year later, with all of you folks!.

During Noreen's consultation, she had shown me a photo of a design that she like... it was very much Gulf style bridal design and something that I had not done before for a bride.  So I practiced a lot for the first few weeks after confirming her booking.  I also sketched out the design on a piece of paper so that I could have it as a guide when I would do her application.  I thought, it shouldn't be that bad.

As always, I started with Noreen's feet, a design that I had created out of my imagination and something that I am very comfortable drawing.  I always start bridal henna at the feet so that the bride has maximum control of her hands until she absolutely has to give it up!

Then it was off for the hands.  I started the design on the backs of her left hands, so I could give her as much freedom to use her palms as possible.  And as I was doing the design, I disliked it more and more... but how could I tell this bride that the design she was so looking forward to for her big day was a design that was not the best work I could offer?  But, I continued, and towards the fingers I went to finish off the design.  As I was finishing, the guests started to arrive, and I got more and more nervous.  My hands began to sweat, my breathing changed, and I dropped the henna cone on several occasions.  Okay, I obviously needed to relax and do the best I could with the design.

But then the guests started coming closer and closer to the bride after meeting and greeting the family.  And all I heard were "ooohs" and "aahs."  Every single person LOVED the design!  And all I was thinking the whole time was "these people have no idea... this is not a good looking design... how can they like this stuff? Okay maybe they are too busy looking at the feet to give notice to the hands...."

So, every once in a while a guest would head over and admire the design, while the whole time I thought that either I was losing it, or they had absolutely no idea about henna designing.

After finishing both the backs, I took a break to visit the "loo." (The bride went to pharmacy school in England ).  When I came back, I realized that the partial meltdown I was having inside my brain was all for nothing.  The huge amount of disappointment I had set myself to receive at the end was just a huge dramatization of my own personal fears... Instead of reality.

The designs on the backs of her hands were actually STUNNING! I do not usually boast about my work, but Noreen's bridal mehndi was indeed one of the best I have done thus far.  A huge credit also goes towards Cosmin, an amazing photographer who was able to capture all the little surprises in Noreen's henna.

I also managed to sneak in Noreen's husband-to-be's initials in her design for him to find on their wedding night.

Not only was her design awesome, her stain was intense!  Thanks to Noreen for sharing the stain photos and again to Cosmin for capturing it!  You can also check out his blog to see the rest of the festivities from this amazing Ismaili wedding.  Be sure to email me if you want to book a wedding for yourself!  I love doing brides, destination weddings, Ismaili, Punjabi, and Hindu weddings, and anything that has anything to do with weddings!

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