Wedding Collectibles co-founder Andrea celebrated her impending marriage at a bridal shower inspired by Indian culture. The party focused on the application of traditional Indian (temporary) tattoos (mendhi or henna), bridal shower games influenced by Indian tradition and entertainment, and a host of wonderful edible goodies.
Though henna is traditionally applied to an Indian bride’s hands and feet before the wedding ceremony, Andrea’s mendhi party was a touch she wanted as a nod to her lifelong passion for Indian culture. Her family found their love for the Indian lifestyle after the rental of a Bollywood film during a family movie night. After several trips to Little India, Hindi classes, sun yoga, and as one guest described, the development of “a high tolerance for spice,” there was no going back for the bride or her family.
The traditional elements:
A mendhi artist was on hand to apply the traditional temporary adornment to every guest in attendance, including the bride. Most guests chose designs on the palm of their hands, but at least one left with a flower on her shoulder. As a hostess described, henna is popular in India not just as decoration, but also as a personal air conditioner. “It draws heat out of the body,” she said. Though mendhi is traditionally applied to the bride’s arms, legs, and back before the ceremony, Andrea wanted the special tradition a little early. Bridal henna is usually done 2 or 3 days before the wedding for good luck, and the artist will also often hide the groom’s initials somewhere within the design for him to find.
The décor of the day:
Though the party space took only a small portion of the hostesses’ backyard, the event felt spacious and cool. The heat of the unseasonally warm day was guarded by lengths of sari (colorful cloth pieces) that draped from the roof of the patio – many of the guests also wore similar saris (ranging in color from pink to orange to vibrant shades of blue and green). Two large tables framed the mendhi space that acted as the event’s centerpiece.
The centerpieces fell in line with the colors of the event, focusing on reds, yellows, and oranges. The hostesses filled large glass bowls with strawberries and lemon slices submerged in water, and topped them with beautiful floating orange and yellow flowers. The home that the event was hosted at fell in line with the Indian theme as well, playing the bride’s favorite Bollywood clips in the living space and smelling ever so slightly of the delicious Indian cuisine that was later served.
The bridal shower menu was as expansive as it was delicious. It was a self-serve, but catered, event, and there was no lack of edible opportunities. When guests arrived, they were treated to appetizers such as panir and peppers, samosas (spicy and complex deep fried veggies and potatoes), and creamy mango smoothies. During lunch, guests found garlic naan, palak panir, chicken tikka masala, daal (lentils), and a dessert of milk cake treats (called ras mali) and son papri.
The games and favors:
Instead of traditional bridal games, the hostesses modified some old favorites to fit the day’s Indian theme. Instead of a toilet paper wedding dress, two teams of guests learned how to wrap a sari. After one trial, the teams were set against each other; the winning model earned a beautiful beaded bag. Another bag was later awarded during a game that asked guests to choreograph their own Bollywood-style dance. On their way out, guests were treated to bangles (directly from India!) and a beautiful artisan tote bag.