Monday, 7 September 2015

THE WEDDING POST: Mehndi Memories!

Can you believe that it's been a year since my wedding?! I really can't, it seems like only a few weeks ago that I got married and moved away from my parents, and yet I'm so settled and comfortable in my married life that weirdly enough, it feels like I've always been married!

So this time last year, on this day, I had my mehndi night. which was surprisingly an emotional day but a lovely one, surrounded by friends and family. There's a lot of things which I stressed about at the time but on that day, walking in under a curtain of flowers and looking at all of my friends, a lot of that stress and anxiety melted away (to the music of Ali Zafar's Jhoom, if anyone wanted to know!)

I thought I'd do a series of memories posts this week - what I remember from my events, including my mehndi day, the good, the bad and the funny, especially as it's amazing what sticks out in your mind afterwards!

So here's a few random things I remember from my mehndi night, in no particular order, although I'll try not to complain too much! I do remember wanting to do a hundred and one things and stressing about it, and I'm only mentioning them now because a year later looking back, I really don't know why I worried as much as I did.

Getting ready
I'm lucky enough to know a lot of make-up artists and henna artists, so naturally I got my sister-in-law to spend do my makeup, which I loved. We even managed to spend a little free time in the the day where she took me out for brunch before we got ready, which helped relax me a lot. She got the look even better than I thought, I wanted simple and glowy and she managed both without making my face look too heavy or busy, and I loved the result.

It made me happy that I was able to save so much money by booking a makeup artist for my main wedding day, as it can really add up with the more functions you have. I was also glad that it looked the way I wanted without having to compromise - I've met so many women who have opted to do their own makeup or ask a friend to do it, for one or more of their wedding functions and they've looked great, so I'd definitely encourage that options for brides who are thinking about it.

My hair and the mess at the end of the day!
My jasmine flowers (which were such a headache to buy, because I wanted fresh ones!) came loose half-way through the mehndi and basically looked a mess by the end of the day - you can see them unravelling in pictures below, and the before/after of the flowers! This isn't to criticise the hair-stylist at all - I got my hair and dupatta setting done by Shamalah Hairstylist and LOVED what she did, the flowers themselves just wilted and were bound to fall down after a lot of dancing and moving around! The hair looks not so bad in the second picture, but by the time I got home the flowers had dried and my hair was all over the place!

Also, if any Londoners wants to know where I got the flowers, Vallis in East Ham, East London do them at an amazing price of £1 per string meter and they smell beautiful! A tip for any brides using flowers though, keeping them in the fridge really helped me in keeping them fresh overnight.

Even worse, when I got home, it took me ages to undo my hair and get my hair sorted out. It was actually more painful than my wedding hair was because there was a lot more extensions and back-combing involved, and worse for me because I didn't realise it would be this difficult! 

A few of my friends didn’t turn up to the mehndi, which I was a little upset about at the time, although I did get over it 15 minutes into the mehndi, once the dancing started! I only mentioned this because it's inevitable that someone can't make it, or something can happen which can be really annoying - try not to let it get to you too much. A friend of mine who got married around the same time I did told me that she was pretty upset that a some of her friends and family didn't make it to her mehndi, enough that when she went home she was upset and even cried a little. You're bound to be emotional but don't let these be the last and defining moments of your Big Days, the last thing you would want to remember about your events is being upset for the wrong reasons.

It's also easy to get annoyed at the little things like these, when it's so much better to appreciate people who DID turn up and make the effort, which can really make a difference on the night! It's fair to say all of the right people turned up and it was really warming to see that they made the effort, not to mention all of the hard work from my mum, sisters and sister-in-law!

Asian Timings
I got to my mehndi venue really early, and was a bit annoyed that I turned up before the guests, particularly as it meant my brother, who was my chauffeur for the night, and I had to wait because I didn't want to talk into an empty hall. Thankfully, my photographer was already at the venue, and used this time for a quiet photo-shoot which I loved – some of my favourite pictures are from this shoot. I was also glad to be punctual because it meant I had some quiet time to myself beforehand.

Sweets and Favours
I barely saw the beautiful sweet table my sisters made and set up. I sure as heck didn’t get to eat anything from it. At least I had lots of photos of it afterwards! Similarly I had spent a lot of time with my sisters making up favour bags, sweet cones and decor boxes in a peacock print theme, which kind of got lost in the hall decor, but admittedly on the day, it didn't matter as much to me anyway.

We’d bought lots of jasmine strings to make into bracelets (ghagray) for some of the guests, and some of them got forgotten. Two of my friends ended up putting dolly-mixture sweet bracelets on my wrists to make up for it because we forgot to get my best friends to put the flowers on my wrist! I don't know why I look so serious in the photo below because I remember laughing about it all!

Our food got served late, which was very frustrating, as the caterers had been calling me all afternoon while I was getting ready to ask me about venue access and set-up. I actually got up from my stage at one point during a break when the guests managed to eat, to go into the kitchens and tell off the caterers. They learned their lesson and served the food on time on the wedding day though, so at least I told them off effectively!

Dancing the night away!
We managed to get some of the older ladies, the mums and aunties, up for a Beyonce dance which was fun, and it was even better when my sisters and friends joined in too. One of my friends is an amazing (and enthusiastic!) dancer so she stole the show with her moves and got me to join in as well, although I'll admit I was a lot more embarassed!

My niece and I doing twirls!
It feels pretty strange to look through some of these now and see myself all dressed up, especially because I looked pretty calm in a lot of photos and I know I was quite nervous!
A friend of mine got married a few days ago and told me she felt the same - I think it was that point after months of stressing that she walked in and decided to just enjoy herself rather than look for things that had gone wrong.

I know there were a lot of things which were missing, didn't look the way I thought or just general things I thought were needed - looking back I now know that as much as we brides love the little details. the beautiful decor, the amazing dances, it's more important to enjoy the night and being with your close ones. Above all, just sit back, relax and focus on looking good!

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