It’s truly been an amazing year. I feel so blessed by my clients – those that I’ve known for a few years now, and others that have become new friends. Each experience is unique and rewarding in it’s own way. As I browsed through my photos over the past year, there were several that stood out to me and grabbed the attention of my clients and followers too.
I compiled a top ten list of my most popular henna designs this year, based on all of your feedback via social media and the most popular requests. I hope you enjoy! (You can vote for your favorite at the end of this post)
This has been one of my most popular bridal mehndi designs for feet. I still remember what a great time I had doing Pooja’s henna. Her father even requested one of the mandalas to be done on his own hand – to match her design.
I remember meeting Carolyn as a bride-to-be at one of my favorite local coffee houses. She had clear ideas about what she wanted – one of which was the wispy peacock feathers you see in the design. She and her now-husband Vin have a fantastic photography business, Molten Light Studios (on Facebook), based in Seattle.
This is one of my favorites, although in full disclosure I’m probably a little biased since these are my husband’s feet. I love trying out new designs and he is always so supportive. This has become one of the designs that people mention the most. I met so many new people this year who said “you did those feet, right?”
I did this one fairly recently. It was a private appointment for a young, athletic couple living on Capitol Hill and the henna was part of a birthday celebration. She described a large floral/swirly design she’d had done in henna before and wanted something similar.
This was the very first belly I’ve decorated for an Indian mom. Hennaed bellies have not been as popular in that community, so I was excited to design something for her. I was so thrilled when she told me she loved it!
I traveled a couple of hours north – nearly to the Canadian border – to do the mehndi for this sweet bride. Narita’s family welcomed me warmly, offering the most delicious foods and including me in their prayer ceremonies. This was one of my more memorable events.
Megha wanted something less dense for her bridal henna. I love those, because you can really see the design. It may be less traditional, but the beautiful elements within the design don’t get lost in all of the intricate fills. When I do a “full” design, I try to leave negative space so that the shapes stand out.
Lavina presented me with a challenge for her pregnancy henna: she wanted something “Indian” in style, integrating a Ganesh and an Om. Her little boy was so active (as they often are when I’m hennaing!) and frequently contributed to the design with little kicks and rolls. 🙂
When planning the bridal-style henna for her 10-year wedding anniversary, Beth showed me a few different motifs she liked and then let me create the design for her. This is really how to get the best work from your mehndi artist. Attempting to replicate a design usually doesn’t quite end up the same as in the photo/drawing. We all have our own unique bodies in different shapes and sizes. Your artist can tailor the design perfectly for you. When the creativity is allowed to flow, you end up with new and beautiful designs that are 100% uniquely yours!
Here it is! By far, this design received the most attention and requests from future clients. Rachel wanted lighter coverage for her July wedding, and was open to letting me create. I really loved doing this simple style. This is a great example of “less is more”.
Happy new year! See you in 2014!
Want to vote for your favorite?
Planning your wedding is full of so many details! It is exciting, but can feel a bit daunting. Selecting the venues for various events, choosing your outfits, your photographer, and your mehndi artist can be overwhelming. You want everything to be perfect. Having good recommendations from friends or family members is helpful, but you also have your own personal style. Knowing what to look for, and what questions to ask, can make all the difference. We’ve compiled a list to help you find the best mehndi artist for your big day!
Start by finding out which artists are available in your area. You might already have some recommendations, and you can also search the internet using a search term like “bridal henna” or “bridal mehndi” with your city name (or a larger city nearby). Take some time to look through their websites. Their site should have some photos of their work and give you a sense of how serious they are about their business. Is it well organized? Attractive? Up to date? If they have a link to social networking pages such as Facebook, take a look at that too.
Schedule a consultation with the artist(s) you are considering for your mehendi. This will give you a chance to discuss your needs, find out how well you get along with them, and ultimately will help you make a better decision. If they are not local to you, set up a phone consultation.
As you do your research, here is what you should be looking for:
Quality of work. Your mehndi day is an important part of your celebration. Your designs will be attracting attention from your friends and family, as well as your photographer! You’ll only have your mehndi done like this once in your life, so it should be something special. Look at the details. Look at the balance of the design overall. Do you like the style of their work? Do they have any photos that show they can create the style that you want? Their number of years of experience can be a guide, but ultimately it’s the quality of the work that matters on your big day.
The quality of the stain is also important. Request a sample design at your consultation to see the results for yourself. A good mehndi artist will mix their own paste fresh for each bride, and it should produce a dark stain. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so you may get a darker or lighter stain than someone else. But if you meet with multiple artists, you can compare the stains you get from each one. The artist should use high quality, natural ingredients and should NEVER use pre-made cones or black henna. These can have disastrous results! Pre-made cones may simply be old and not stain well, or they may have toxic chemicals in them that cause rashes, blistering or more serious effects. Don’t risk this for your wedding. The artist should be willing to tell you exactly what ingredients are in her paste, and it should smell nice. Black henna and some other premixed cones have an unpleasant chemical odor.
What are their booking policies? Do they book more than one bride on the same day? If they do, this isn’t fair to you. Your artist should be rested and fresh for your mehndi, and not in a rush to go to the next bride.
Do you get along with your artist? Don’t forget that you’ll be spending a few hours with this person while they do your mehndi. You should feel comfortable with them.
Are they professional? Once you’ve discussed your needs for your mehndi as well as any extras (such as a henna party for your guests) a deposit will likely be required to secure your date(s). Once this is done, your artist should provide an agreement or contract that outlines the details. It should provide you with a final cost. This is helpful to you as well as to the artist. It helps to ensure you are both in agreement about the services to be provided and the total price.
We hope you found this article helpful. Let us know what you think!
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to collaborate with a highly talented local photographer to create some incredible images of henna. I’m excited to see the results, but until then here is a sneak peek:
Huge thanks to Jared M. Burns Photography for this teaser shot!
Last weekend I met Samatha, a sweet young woman celebrating her first wedding anniversary. She chose some beautiful patterns, and I decorated her hands while she and her husband made the final arrangements for their tropical cruise. We even hid her husband’s name in her design since she hadn’t done that with her bridal mehndi in India. Both hands are Asha Savla designs:
February has definitely lived up to it’s reputation as the month of love! There were two lovely brides, several birthday parties, a baby shower and a sexy stockings-inspired design for Valentine’s Day.
Here’s a custom design I did for the beautiful Selamawit:
She wanted open space, netting and overlapping flowers. I saw her again a couple of days later to apply glitter and Swarovski crystals; and the stain was gorgeous! I’m hoping to have some professional shots to share soon.
Birthday henna for 11 year old Sami and her friends:
For the lovely Purnima — she chose a more traditional Bhavini Gheravara design. She LOVED the dulha and dulhan images!
Here is a close up of the palms:
Finally, some stocking-inspired Valentine’s Day henna for Rebekah: