Last year I had the pleasure to be the wedding photographer of this lovely couple at the registry’s office in Munich. I was completely smitten by the vivid, emotional and warm atmosphere that was created by their family and friends and, of course, by the couple itself.
A few days ago, the henna night of the bride took place – which is basically a formal and official hen’s night in Turkish traditions. At a henna night, the bride bids her farewell to her family and can celebrate and dance in the safe environment of the female members of the family.
I never participated in a henna night before so I was thrilled when the bride asked me to be her photographer for this occasion!
The location for the henna night was a simple but lovely space, the Café Sürahi in the western suburbs of Munich. “Sürahi” stands for “jar/jug” in and so porcelain jugs which were turned upside down, serve as lights in the café.
When all guests had arrived, the bride entered the location together with her cousins and friends, lots of tambourines and of course to the sound of Turkish music. They immediately started dancing and only finished when the groom arrived to begin with the preparations for the henna ceremony.
Each female guest was given rose for one hand and a candle for the other. A tray with henna and candles was prepared to be passed around until the aunts of the bride would paint the hands of bride and groom with henna.
After the ceremony, the bride formally bid her parents goodbye which is basically really only for the sake of the ceremony itself, to be honest. Most of the times, the bride nowadays has moved out of her home long before and usually will see her parents and family on a regular basis. Still, this was such an emotional situation, beautiful and heartwarming that I myself was touched by it.
With the bridal dance, gratulations for the couple and dinner, the evening was continued. After dinner, the men left the party so that the women could celebrate and dance with the bride without any disturbance.
For me, it’s an immense honor and pleasure to be the photographer at these emotional occasions and I am thrilled and excited to photograph their wedding here in Munich in a few weeks.