Mehndi Rocks!

Ok, so you know that mehndi rocks, but have you seen mehndi rocks?? We think these would make a rockin’ DIY project. They can be as colorful or as simple as you like, and add a handmade and earthy touch to your wedding decor. And they are a unique take-home item! I would love a little pile of them in my home, grouped with candles or flowers.

Simple to make, you can paint different colors onto the rock using acrylic paint, and then use a metallic Sharpie to add contrasting henna-like designs. For extra shine, seal them with an acrylic gloss medium.

So fun and festive! These are from ZamzamCreations at Etsy.

henna rock favors

Here, MagaMerlina shows you some tools of the trade and beautiful mandala designs which resemble the Warli tribal designs with white paint on natural tones.

Pebble mehndi rocks by MagaMerlina

And another Etsy seller uses tiny dots to create her designs, evoking Aboriginal art. A rock painting party would be a fun and creative activity for a bridal shower. You could also use the stones as name-cards for the table setting and incorporate each guest’s name into the design.

Aboriginal inspired dot rocks

These colorful tropical-fish pebbles would be adorable for a beach or sea themed wedding.

Adorable tropical fish rocks.

And I have shared these before, but these rangoli-inspired pebbles seen at Rang Decor are beautiful in their simplicity ,and the grouping with undecorated stones and pure white blossoms brings a feelings of sacredness and tranquility.

Rangoli (kolam) pebbles

Benefits of Bare Feet

Well the sun is out here and it’s going to be a gorgeous weekend. I don’t think it’s really necessary to explain why going barefoot is such a great idea

Bare feet are de rigeur in Tulum, Mexico

Beach Blues – Aquatic Hues

Tiffany blue, it’s SO last season. Or is it? In case you didn’t notice, we are pretty much enthralled with all hues blue. Sunny skies and turquoise waters are never out of season for a destination wedding. Here we have put together some blues for you to peruse. Far from frou-frou, when combined with vintage and eclectic elements, we hope you won’t rule out these watery blues. We’ve also included some tips on how to incorporate color and texture to avoid the stuffy, predictable look of seasons past.

Here is the image that inspired this post, from a cover of Coastal Living magazine.

Over-water bungalow, Bermuda

Proof that Tiffany Blue isn’t always prim and proper, this exquisite room we saw at India Pied a Terre  has a dressed-up Bohemian vibe. Notice how a spicy saffron color is the perfect complement to the blue. Layering closely related tones of green and blue adds a rich look.

Moroccan style room

A mix of elegant and rustic keeps this teal color from being fussy. Diaphanous fabrics, and the patina of an aged building give a dreamy, vintage feel.

How about a soft teal dress with a train to die for!

If you want to include just a hint of blue, how about this vintage-inspired Satya Paul sari in dusky almost-pink and turquoise? Luminous metallic elements keep this looking up-to-date and luxe.

Satya Paul sari

Or opt for a breathable net lehenga style sari like this one from Izaya Designs. Perfect for a beach reception!

Blue net sari from Izaya Designs

Another way to incorporate watery tones is to create a makeup look with teal, turquoise, and maybe even a hint of glitter. Because matching eye-makeup to your outfit is definitely a no-no, this look is best suited to neutral colored gowns or a lehnga in an opposite color, such as mango or paprika. You should also keep the rest of your makeup neutral if going for this dramatic look.

Teal toned eye

For just a hint of blue, try Chanel nailpolish on your tootsies.

Nail polish by Chanel in a lovely Tiffany blue

While it’s easy to get swept away in your color theme, remember that incorporating complementary colors will make everything more vibrant and lively. Without a pop of color here and there, blue could quickly become boring. Flowers are a fun and easy way to add a hit of color. Because very few flowers naturally grow in  Tiffany blue, you are better off using vibrant pink, orange, or red (all of which are opposite of blues on the color wheel). And of course nothing is tackier than flowers which are dyed blue, so please promise you will never ever use those!

Tropically bright dahlias stand out against a turquoise backdrop

And if you just can’t resist blue-hued florals, try selecting a cool pink lotus. These almost have a blueish tinge and are exotic and bold.

Tight lotus buds make an amazing bouquet

Or select some succulents to incorporate into your wedding flowers. Many succulent leaves come in soft seafoam colors, and they also have a sculptural appeal and hold up to heat. Did you know you can even plant your succulent afterward and it will take root?

This Aeonium is nearly blue

To complete the exotic Bohemian look, you can hire a tent from Raj Tents, which now have offices in many locations, and colors to suit any theme. The shell chandeliers on this one add an appropriately seaside theme while still looking regal.

Raj Tents keeps it classy

And if all this blue has left you feeling, well, blue, drive away from it all in a Tiffany-toned split-window VW! That ought to cheer you up.

Vintage blue VW van

Every Step You Take – Beach Wedding Shoes

Sometimes it feels like evening shoes are just beautifully decorated implements of torture. Sure, these confections for the feet look delectable, but after an hour, the pain starts to set in. You down a couple more cocktails to combat the pain, and before you know it, you’re having trouble staying upright, and it can be a long way down if you miss a step. Why not start things off on the right foot (I couldn’t resist) with “sensible” but sassy shoes, or even blissfully bare feet. So, say goodbye to blisters and bunions, and say hello to happier feet.

Something Old – Old-fashioned handmade Pakistani Mojari shoes are traditional yet whimsical, and always comfortable. Find them on eBay if a trip to the East is not in the cards. These are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!

Pakistani Mojari slippers

Something New –   For the modern or vintage girl, these jeweled peep-toe slip-ons from Vera Wang suit any Western dress, won’t leave you feeling flat.

Vera Wang Lavender jeweled flats, seen at StyleMePretty.com

Something Borrowed – Borrow a runway look, like these over-the-top gladiator sandals, to make a bold statement. Here, all the height is in intricate leather going up the legs.

Ornate gladiator sandals seen at http://zsazsabellagio.blogspot.ca/

Something Blue – Ok, so they’re not exactly flat, but we just couldn’t resist posting these avante garde flippers by Belgian artist Paul Schietekat.

High Tide flippers

But seriously folks, there are plenty of colorful flat sandals that are dressy enough for a wedding, but not overly precious. We absolutely love Star Mela’s Indian-inspired beaded chappals, and they’re inexpensive enough that you may as well get a few pairs in different colors.

Sandals by StarMela.co.uk

Of course, you don’t have to wear shoes. How about some stunning, traditional jewelry for your feet? For most Indian ceremonies, the shoes come off anyway, and leaving them off means you won’t have to readjust your sari or lengha length. Just set it, and forget it.

Exquisite payals. Who needs shoes?For a more contemporary take on foot jewelry, chiffon florets, which we found over at Wedding Wire.

For a more contemporary take on foot jewelry,  chiffon florets with white pearls are demurely sexy. We found these tantalizing toesies over at Wedding Wire.

Modern foot jewelry photographed by Jesse Hernandez

Of course, if you dare to go bare, why not invite all of your guests to join in the fun? We loved this photo by Sybrand Cillié.

"Shoes here" by Sybrand Cillie

And if that didn’t convince you…

A barefoot bride and groom. So romantic!

Extravagant San Francisco Wedding

Ah, San Francisco… sometimes I forget that my city is a destination for over 16 million visitors per year. Really, what better place to have a wedding? Beautiful buildings with stunning vistas, some of the best food in the world, friendly people, and a mild climate.

It was raining the day I did Divya’s mehndi, but the view from the Bridal Suite at the Westin was even more beautiful, with the mist of rain, it really felt like we were up in the clouds.

Just wait until you see this amazing video of Divya and Sukham’s wedding highlights, shot by award-winning Vijay Rakhra of Wedding Documentary. He captures all the magic and beauty of this Hindu-Sikh fusion fairytale wedding. Highly recommend watching in HD.

There are some close ups of the mehndi in the video but just in case you miss those, here are a couple close-ups from Sherman Chu. Also a shout-out to Amrit Dhillon-Bains at Anais Events – serious organizational talent there.

Mehndi by Darcy, photo by Sherman Chu

Gorgeous Divya, photo by Sherman Chu

Radical Rangoli

I have always loved Rangoli (also known as Kolam) for the beauty and geometry of the designs, and its ephemeral nature. While I have seen many wonderful Rangoli creations in Southern India, humbly sprinkled each morning by women, and some extravagant creations from colored sand or flower petals at weddings and holidays, none of it compares to the creations by this New Yorker Joe Mangrum. Be sure to check out his site for more images too. Intricate overlapping knot-work, exuberant colors, and organic yet geometric patterns will blow you away. Prepare to be inspired!

Watch the video: Joe Mangrum sand art

Amazing Rangoli-like sand painting by Joe Mangrum

Street sand-art by Joe Mangrum

Kolam in city streets by master sand artist Joe Mangrum

Henna for Tadasana Festival

Today is one of those busy days and while I’d love to spend a couple hours compiling a clever post full of eye-candy, I really must attend to getting all of my orders out the door, before heading out to henna a baby bump!

So instead, I leave you with an image from yesterday. Henna for the lovely Kimberly, owner of Namaste Yoga and Wellness. She is headed to Santa Monica for the Tadasana Festival which is an amazing yoga and music festival on the beach.

Have you considered bringing a henna artist to your yoga or fitness retreat? Check out our Top 5 Reasons why you should.

Tadasana Yoga Festival mehndi design

Mehndi for Tadasana Yoga Festival, Santa Monica, CA.

Guest Post: How to Choose the Perfect Mehndi Design

hennalounge:

In case you didn’t see my guest post at Luxemi.com, here it is!

Originally posted on The Luxe Report:

We know that a lot of our readers are either brides-to-be or wedding-guests-to-be, and we were thrilled when Darcy Vasudev of Mehndi Paradise offered to write a guest post post for the Luxe Report! Have questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Once you’ve completed the laborious task of choosing the right outfits for your festivities, the next step is choosing your mehndi designs.

While it’s usually best to give your mehndi artist some creative license, you’ll want to choose something appropriate for your occasion that reflects your style. Darcy Vasudev, of Mehndi Paradise, shares some tips on pinpointing your unique style, with examples of her work to inspire you.

The Tasteful Traditionalist – Typical Hindu Indian designs are lacy and intricate and may contain images of peacocks or other animals, images of a bride and groom, dancers, and musicians – a veritable wedding party on the arms! Representations…

View original 692 more words

Bohemian Inspiration

One of the best things about destination weddings is the more relaxed, intimate atmosphere. Rather than a stuffy, formal affair, destination weddings are about close family and dear friends, savoring the moment, spontaneous bursts of song or dance, and allowing a beautiful starry sky,  a breathtaking sunset, or turquoise waters and coral sand to be your backdrop.  Here at Mehndi Paradise, we are super-excited about the Bohemian and Tribal trends that are popular this season, and we think they are perfectly suited for the more casual, but uber-romantic beach weddings.  Here are some of our favorite looks and decor ideas for 2012. It’s not too late to incorporate some exotically rustic romance into your  event!

A beautiful fishtail braid is perfect for a beach wedding

If the messy fishtail braid is not for you, you can go for a more classical Indian braid, with kundan jewelry affixed. Try mixing and matching different styles and bits of jewelry for an eclectic Bohemian vibe.

Bling out your braid!

For that matter, you may as well bling everything up with lots of love beads. You can create your own version of this Chanel Haute Couture look.  Pearls are the perfect accessory for a beach wedding and look far from prim when draped in numbers! Layers of chunky bangles complete the look. Sticking to a color theme of whites and ivories keeps this look from becoming cluttered or chaotic.

Chanel

The Bohemian bride is not afraid to experiment. Instead of going matchy matchy with the eye makeup (a common mistake with Indian brides matching their eyeshadow to their sari or lehenga) a multi-colored peacock-inspired eye brings a hit of color without looking dated. This is your day to have fun, and take a walk on the wild side.

Peacock eyeshadow

And you can always get wonderful event inspiration from our friends over at Style Me Pretty. We fell in love with this casual but festive beach dining room for a destination wedding in the Bahamas. You can never have too many fairy lights or lanterns!

Bahamas beach wedding with fairy lights galore

Sometimes it’s the smallest details that add a truly personalized touch. These hand-painted rangoli pebbles by Rang-Decor would make a delightful DIY project to add to your centerpieces or wedding decor, and a fun take-home or favor for your guests. The perfection of a Plumeria blossom is the perfect complement to the rustic stones.

Rangoli stone with Laxmi footprints by Rang Decor

We also fell in love with EmPlume‘s amazing feather bouquets! You will never have to worry about your bouquet going limp in the tropical sun, and it also makes a gorgeous heirloom to display in your home for years to come. Subtle crystals in the centers of the feathers kick up the luxe factor without being too serious.

Feather bouquet by Emplume.com.

You’ll notice the lack of shoes in this post. We, of course, think that a Bohemian inspired beach wedding would do well with henna instead of heels. Intricate mehndi designs can take on the look of a sandal, and you’ll never get blisters from dancing all night! We suggest accessorizing your feet with the chunky anklets AND henna for a luxurious look that is far sexier than any Louboutins!

Henna for beach wedding

Dripping with jewels!

Honeymoon Henna – Spicy Edition (nsfw)

Henna has a long history of sensuality, though this fact is often ignored today. The aroma of henna has been considered an aphrodisiac and the earthy red color has been associated with fertility and femininity since ancient times. It is said that on the mehndi night, the bride-to-be would be educated by the older women in the ways of love. The more intricate the design, the more schooled she was in the arts of love. Oh la la! Other traditions of henna included love poetry going all the way up the legs, and in Yemen and Oman, it is said that the henna designs extended onto the chest and rear as well. The tradition of hiding the groom’s name in the design used to be a game (foreplay, if you will) for the new couple on the wedding night. The groom had to find his name in order for the marriage to be consummated! In some cases the bride and groom were meeting for the first time, so the games helped to break the ice.

Today’s traditions are a little more reserved, and usually the mehndi night consists of good-natured gossip, singing and dancing. Some brides still hide the groom’s name, but now it is said that if he can’t find his name, the bride “wears the pants” and the groom must give her a gift. An iPad 3 perhaps?

But let’s face it, henna still retains it sensual nature.  Here are a couple more ideas,  from tame to taboo, on how to spice things up with henna for your Wedding and Honeymoon!

A well placed design can highlight the arch of the foot (a classic Kama Sutra erogenous zone). You can be tame and let your partner catch a glimpse of your hennaed soles as you slip out of your stilettos. Or you can go wild and serve a feast on your feet. This definitely enters into taboo territory, but as long as your feet are clean, you can be sure it is a dining experience that will not be forgotten!

tropical henna on the soles of the feet

A graceful mehndi pattern accentuates the natural arch of the foot. Photography by Tim McManus

eating off the feet

Not for the faint of heart, the most unique meal you'll ever serve up! Photo by Tim McManus

For the au naturel ladies,  the body is made even more beautiful with gorgeous natural henna patterns in an organic design. As nature intended. Try a henna “tattoo” on the body. Bringing sexy back!

Sometimes henna is all the adornment you need. Photo by Bijou Images

Sultry gazes and henna

body henna design

Exotic tropical floral mehndi on the back is still tasteful. Photo by Bijou Images

And let’s not be naive, there is always that one bridesmaid who sneaks something shiny and naughty into your honeymoon suitcase. Don’t let it go to waste! We guarantee that even if you were embarrassed to open that present at your bachelorette party, that your partner will not mind one bit. So bring on the lace, the lyrca, the corset lacing, and neon. Party of 2??

boudoir henna

Let go of your inhibitions! Photo by Michael Bina