Time to throw it back to Monday August 25th 2014, the day my mother organized my lovely Henna afternoon at our house. What is a “henna bridal party”? In many Muslim and Hindi weddings, it’s traditional to have a henna party before the wedding. During this event, an artist uses a paste made from dried henna leaves to paint beautiful patterns on the hands and feel of the bride and her guests. In India, this ceremony is called a Mehndi party and it’s a very joyful occasion because the bride has to sit still for many hours while her friends dance and sing songs to entertain her and bring her presents.
As for henna parties in the Middle-East, they’re considered to be a type of oriental “bachelorette”/”bridal shower” during which the bride enjoy a lovely afternoon/evening with her close girl friends/family dancing the night out, eating delicious food and of course, have henna patterns draw on several parts of her body. It’s believe that henna gives blessings, luck and it’s also seen as a beauty enhancer. Some of the designs can sometimes be symbolic designs representing positive qualities.
I love traditions like these; which is why I was very keen on having a henna party prior to the wedding. It was such a great moment, dancing with my friends, posing in our abayas and enjoying delicious bites while getting some henna on.
For the occasion, I wanted a look that would stand out. We don’t always have the occasion to be dressed in a “abaya”! I personally LOVE the detailed work of the Lebanese designer Rami Kadi. It’s incredible how his designs are always so beautifully embroidered and his vision of oriental opulence is just the best. As advised by Rami, I went for an arabic calligraphy hand embroidered abaya. For the calligraphy, we chose words of joy and positive energy to fit the bridal mood (MashAllah or God Bless, Al Baraka or Benediction, Al Sa3ada or Happiness, Al Farah or Happiness, Al Iman or Faith, Al Sourour or a stronger way of saying Happiness, etc.). Rami’s wonderful touch was my name “Lana El Sahely” embroidered in arabic on each of the abaya’s sleeves. Here’s a sneak peek of the calligraphy sample before it was sent to be embroidered:
To complete my look, I needed a royal headpiece. In my opinion, no one does it like L’Atelier Nawbar. I love their approach to statement headpieces and the way they make it look vintage. I chose a rose-cut diamonds headpiece, a stunner.
For my makeup, Fady Kataya chose to go for the black kohl eyeliner and bold red lips. I kept my hair naturally waved.
Makeup: Fady Kataya
Hair: Sami Idriss from Tony El Mendelek Salon